It’s not uncommon for Tampa homes to have exposed fiberglass insulation in the basement or attic. Pink, fluffy batts wedged tightly between studs, rafters, and joists insulate the space against exterior temperature changes. But here’s the question: does fiberglass insulation need to be covered, or is it safe to leave it exposed? The answer depends on how you use the space where the exposed fiberglass is located.
Don’t Worry About Covering Fiberglass Insulation in Unoccupied Spaces
Builders who leave existing fiberglass insulation exposed in Tampa are in compliance with building codes because as long as the insulation is undisturbed, it poses little to no health threat. The American Lung Association agrees on this point. This means if your attic or basement with exposed fiberglass insulation is used for storage only, there’s no need to make a change.
Is Exposed Insulation Unhealthy?
What if the previous owner of your new home used the unfinished basement for storage, but you want to convert it into a gym or playroom? In this case, even if you don’t plan on completely finishing the basement, you should cover the exposed fiberglass insulation for safety reasons, including:
- Disturbing fiberglass insulation can send particles into the air that act as lung, eye, and skin irritants.
- Children playing around exposed fiberglass insulation may touch or even eat it, which can be a serious health risk.
How to Cover Fiberglass Insulation
If you decide to cover fiberglass in an occupied living space, make sure you choose a permeable barrier that won’t trap moisture. This allows your home to breathe more easily and helps prevent mold growth. Suggestions for covering exposed insulation include the following:
- Seal the insulation by stapling a polymembrane sheet over it.
- Install paneling or sheetrock over insulation located in the wall.
- Install plywood flooring over insulation located in the floor.
- Work with an insulation expert to ensure safe, code-compliant results.
Talk to the Tampa Insulation Experts
If you’re still unsure about whether to cover your fiberglass insulation, or you need help selecting an appropriate covering material, contact Installed Building Products of Tampa. We’re the attic insulation contractors Tampa homeowners call first for keeping their homes comfortable year round.
Ready to receive answers to your questions? Then call (813) 280-5007 or contact us online!