Insulation serves an important role in helping buildings maintain a set temperature. Floods, severe storms, water/sewer line failures and dozens of other accidents can expose insulation to water.
If left unchecked, this moisture intrusion could cause severe damage to the insulation, promote mold growth, and cause numerous other problems in a structure. This is why restoration specialists have to check insulation very thoroughly on any water damage job.
But, as important as checking moisture in insulation is, these inspections should be done as safely as possible. To maximize safety on the job for you and your workers, here are a few safety tips:
1: Wear Safety Gear!
Many kinds of insulation, such as fiberglass, can be hazardous to people even when they aren’t moisture-compromised. Fiberglass insulation can be a severe irritant to exposed skin—causing itching, burning, and even infections as tiny slivers of glass fiber penetrate the skin.
Mold in insulation can introduce respiratory safety hazards on top of the hazards posed by the insulation itself. To prevent injury from contact with insulation, it’s important to wear the appropriate safety gear, including:
- Hat or other head covering
- Long sleeve shirts
- Industrial dust mask
This safety gear can help reduce your risk of accidental harm from the insulation or any mold it may have.
2: Use Long Moisture Meter Probes
To get the most accurate measurement of moisture in insulation, you need to be able to get deep in the insulation. However, you’ll also want to avoid simply shoving your arm into the insulation—even if you are wearing gloves and a thick work shirt.
Using a moisture meter with long probes allows you to get a measurement of the moisture content of your insulation nearer the center or bottom of the insulation. This can help you better pinpoint moisture intrusions without you having to put yourself dangerously close to the insulation.
3: Keep Your Work Area Ventilated
Wherever you’re working, you’ll want to make sure there is a good amount of ventilation for that room. Make sure that you’ve set up your air filtration system before starting work so it can remove free-floating dirt, debris, and mold spores. This will let you keep air circulation in the room up — all while keeping exterior mold spores outside and fiberglass particles inside.
These are just a few basic tips for being safe while checking moisture in insulation. For more information about the top moisture testing tools for restoration jobs, check out some of our other resources.