How Long Can Home Insulation Withstand Direct Exposure to the Elements?

Answered by Brett ~ September 7, 2011 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I had a modular home delivered, and there is some exposed solid insulation that is waiting to have siding installed to cover it. Can the insulation still be as effective after it is exposed to the elements? Is there a certain time before they begin to breakdown?

Eva M. ~ Buffalo, NY

Brett Kulina

Unfortunately Eva, most brands of rigid foam insulation can start to deteriorate when left exposed to the elements for a prolonged period of time. If your home's insulation has only been uncovered for a few weeks then I'm sure it's OK, as most building materials are typically designed to withstand some sun exposure during construction. However, if the exposed insulation on your modular home has become discolored and is now brittle or crumbly to the touch, then it probably has been left uncovered for too long. Before finishing the siding installation on your home, it would be best if you replaced any insulation that appears to be damaged.

If you want to know the specific exposure ratings for your brand of insulation, then contact the manufacturer and ask them what their recommended maximum exposure times are for their home insulation products. Some manufacturers actually print this information right on the face of the board, or it can be found on the company's website. If it is going to be a while before you can finish the siding job, then perhaps you should temporarily cover the exposed insulation with a tarp.

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