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Exposed Insulation Health Risks: All You Need To KnowBy admin
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
There’s not often reason for you to spend time around uncovered insulation, but you may unwittingly be breathing in particles of your insulation material, or its by-products of it- even if you haven’t noticed any explicitly exposed areas in your home.
If you’re suffering with coughs, sore eyes or hayfever-like symptoms within your home, it’s important to educate yourself on exposed insulation health risks: and then ensure you can identify and remedy the issue, for the sake of your health and wellbeing.
Exposed Insulation Health Risks 101
Dependent on the insulation material in question, there are health risks that can be caused by the inhalation of the insulation or its by-products. These include, but are not limited to:
Fibreglass insulation is made up of tightly-woven fibreglass strands, and is often stuffed into wall cavities, and laid between the floorboards of loft spaces.
It’s important not to touch fibreglass insulation, as it can cause severe irritation and cuts to the skin, but the materials can also be harmful to the respiratory system.
Fibreglass insulation breaks down as it ages and can release strands of glass into the air. These tiny glass particles can cause severe respiratory and lung conditions and injury if inhaled. These particles can also cause severe eye irritation, and in the worst cases of exposure, blindness.
Fibreglass insulation absorbs moisture, and once damp, can develop and grow mould and mildew. Both are harmful when their spores are made airborne and inhaled, primarily affecting those with conditions aggravated by airborne allergens and in some cases, causing such illnesses as well.
Cellulose insulation is recycled material that is often blown into cavities or spaces. It has been made from cotton, sawdust, hemp and straw, but is now primarily made from recycled newspaper material, chemically treated to reduce its flammability.
As cellulose insulation degrades over time, the newspaper ink on the material off-gases, and its toxins become airborne. This can be damaging to respiratory health, and cause both short and long-term irritability and illness.
Once installed, spray insulation promotes a healthy and clean air quality within the home, even when completely uncovered. It’s installed by specialist technicians accredited by the British Board of Agrement (BBA), who will apply it safely and completely
How Can Exposed Insulation Areas Be Fixed?
If the exposed insulation is in an area that can be visibly be seen, the wall or sealant around it should be repaired in a manner that will not allow damp to seep through or the area to become damaged again.
However, the safest way to ensure the insulation doesn’t become exposed again is to remove all harmful insulation and replace it entirely.
Which Form Of Insulation’s The Safest?
Yes! Spray foam insulation is an industrial foam that can be sprayed directly onto a surface, or injected into a wall cavity or floor crawl space.
The spray expands up to one hundred times its original size once in contact with the air, to fill the space around it before drying out.
Once dry, which can take up to twenty-four-hours, spray insulation is completely safe to be around – to the point that it doesn’t even need to be covered, unless you’d like it to be for aesthetic reasons!
Third party testing has shown that there is no risk of off-gassing, even during the drying off period, and that whilst there can be a ‘trace’ level of formaldehyde present during the application of spray insulation, it is considerably below all acceptable standard levels.
The nature of spray foam’s expansion means that it forms a seal around the home, keeping external pollutants and irritants at bay. The chemical make-up of it also means that it won’t deteriorate over time, and cannot absorb moisture, eliminating all risk of damp or mould growth.
Once installed, spray insulation promotes a healthy and clean air quality within the home, even when completely uncovered. It’s installed by specialist technicians accredited by the British Board of Agrement (BBA), who will apply it safely and completely.
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