What Makes Moldy Insulation a Fire Hazard?

December 3, 2019 2:53 am Published by Leave your thoughts

No matter the type of home insulation you choose to install in your attic, be absolutely certain you’ve done everything possible to ensure the health and safety of everyone in your household. This means doing research so you know what insulation products are best for avoiding mold and fire. While moldy insulation may not be a direct cause of fires, mold spores caught up in flames can disperse into the air and create unhealthy environments. Here’s what you need to know.

Insulation and mold

Mold doesn’t simply appear for no reason. While mold can grow in any environment, there are certain conditions that initiate and exacerbate mold growth—namely, the presence moisture. Moisture needs to be present in your Portland, OR home for mold to grow, and the organic materials in some insulation types can be ideal food for mold. Although some products claim to be mold-resistant, the fact of the matter is that if organic materials and moist conditions exist, mold can grow on any surface:

  • Ideal insulation: Since mold feeds on organic material, consider installing attic insulation that is inorganic. Options such as fiberglass, spray foam and mineral wool are all inorganic, so they don’t feed mold growth.
  • Less-than-ideal insulation: If you live in an area where moisture in the air is a constant problem, you might want to avoid cellulose insulation. This particular material is composed of organic material, which, as you know by now, is a main food source for mold. Some cellulose insulation products are treated with chemicals or other agents that prevent mold growth.

Insulation and fire safety

If you’re concerned about fires starting on the insulation in your attic, you are not alone. Luckily, there are precautions you can take to protect your family and home from fire dangers in Portland, OR. Old, weak or moldy insulation can be a potential fire hazard, so you should take care to choose insulation materials that are fire-resistant when replacing old insulation or adding insulation to previously uninsulated parts of the home. Read on for some important factors to consider when comparing the various types of insulation for fire safety:

  • Foam insulation: According to the Insulation Institute, spray foam insulation is capable of igniting a fire at 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cellulose insulation: The majority of cellulose insulation materials are made up of largely paper products, like recycled newspaper. Although most are treated with fire-retardant chemicals prior to installation, when untreated, these products are highly combustible.
  • Fiberglass and mineral wool insulations: As mentioned earlier, these types of insulation products are composed of inorganic materials. Not only does this mean they don’t feed mold growth, but they are also non-combustible to.

Having moldy insulation is a health and fire hazard. If you suspect you have a mold issue in your Portland, OR home—whether it’s clearly visible or not—don’t wait long to contact Active Mold Control LLC. Reach out to us today to schedule a mold inspection appointment. We look forward to helping you get the mold out of your space as quickly as possible!

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