It’s common for your Tampa home to have fiberglass insulation in the basement or attic that’s exposed to the air. The pink, fluffy batts wedged tightly between studs, rafters and joists prevent outside heat, air and moisture from pushing through into your home.
But you might wonder: Does fiberglass insulation need to be covered, or is it safe to leave it exposed? The answer depends on how you intend to use or already use the area with exposed fiberglass.
When Does Fiberglass Insulation Need Covering?
As long as fiberglass sits undisturbed, it poses no particular health risk, which is why builders who leave fiberglass insulation exposed are well within Tampa building code. This isn’t a dubious decision that might change in the near future to improve safety; even the American Lung Association agrees that exposed fiberglass is safe for residents if undisturbed.
If your attic or basement with exposed fiberglass insulation is used for storage only and doesn’t regularly host people who might interact with it, you don’t have to change anything. But conversely, this means exposed fiberglass that is likely to be disturbed, such as in a basement or attic you use regularly for anything other than storage, might not be so safe.
The Dangers of Exposed Insulation
It’s not uncommon for new homeowners to use basements or attics for different purposes than the people who initially built the home or for long-term homeowners to change how they use a room over time.
If your unfinished rooms with exposed insulation have become gyms or playrooms over time, it’s good to start thinking about covering that exposed fiberglass insulation.
Undisturbed fiberglass insulation is safe … but disturbed fiberglass insulation can cause a host of health problems for occupants:
- Interacting with exposed fiberglass insulation can release glass fiber particles into the air that act as lung, eye, and skin irritants. No one wants tiny fibers of glass anywhere in or on their body.
- Even if you can expect adults to keep their distance from exposed fiberglass insulation, children using those rooms may touch or even eat it, which can be a serious health risk — and of course, even adults can trip or otherwise have unpleasant accidents.
Covering Exposed Fiberglass Insulation
If you need to cover exposed insulation to safeguard an occupied living space, you’ll want to select a permeable barrier that won’t trap moisture. You want your home to breathe somewhat, to keep your fiberglass aerated, and discourage moisture buildup that leads to insulation-destroying mold growth.
Common solutions for covering exposed insulation include:
- Sealing the insulation by stapling a polymembrane sheet over it.
- Installing paneling or sheetrock over wall insulation.
- Installing plywood flooring over floor insulation.
- Working with an insulation expert to ensure safe, code-compliant results.
What IBP of Tampa Can Do for Your Exposed Insulation
If you want to leave dealing with exposed insulation to a team of trained experts, the professionals at IBP of Tampa can help you implement any of these solutions.
We can also deal with the exposed fiberglass insulation in other ways, including replacing it with other forms of insulation (or new fiberglass insulation, if your current insulation is damaged), adding additional insulation over the top of it or removing it entirely to make room for another form of insulation.
Choose Tampa’s Insulation Experts
Are you not sure whether you need to cover the fiberglass insulation in your home or are looking for help choosing or installing a covering material? Contact Installed Building Products of Tampa, the attic insulation contractors Tampa homeowners call first when they need help making their homes as cozy as possible year-round.
Call (813) 280-5007 or contact us online for answers to your questions!