April 7, 2015

It’s important to color-check your insulation once in a while. If you see your fiberglass insulation turning black or getting dirty, it’s a sign of air coming through, which means your home isn’t properly insulated anymore. Insulation works best when there is no air movement through it. It’s similar to wearing a sweater on a cold windy day: The sweater doesn’t do a great job keeping you insulated because the heated air in the sweater is constantly pushed away by the wind.  

So how do you know how well your insulation is performing? Here’s how to check it: 

  • Inspect the insulation along the inside perimeter of your basement, looking for discoloration. Properly working insulation should be a yellow, white, green or pink color depending on the manufacturer.
  • Move the insulation on the basement ceiling around a little bit (just use a wooden spoon or other object to push it back and forth) to see if it has darkened. If you see unusual coloring, you may want to schedule a free insulation evaluation to see how best to stop air leakage.

Note: If you must disturb fiberglass insulation, wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts, pants and goggles. A respirator with a particulate filter should be used to prevent inhalation of the potentially dangerous fibers.

Before removing fiberglass insulation, it is a good idea to dampen the area to prevent particles from entering the airspace. Afterwards, wash your hands with water, preferably cold water, as warm water can expand pores which have trapped particles and allow them to travel deeper into your skin.

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