This weekend, our very own Ryan Walton had a small leak in the foundation of his home. He removed a piece of the drywall to investigate, and found white pebble styrofoam behind the drywall. While it was a hairline crack causing the leak, the repair job became a more sizeable one, since the white styrofoam behind the drywall absorbed the water coming in and then spread to other absorbent pieces surrounding it.
Unfortunately, these wet pieces of styrofoam had also developed mold on them. The wet, moldy styrofoam needed to be removed and the area cleaned. Ryan’s next steps will be to spray the affected area down with a mold killer, repair the crack through Wise Cracks, and re-insulate. However, he won’t be re-insulating with white pebble styrofoam!
Reasons to not insulate with white pebble styrofoam in the basement
- Even without a leak, moisture in the concrete walls can be absorbed into the pebble foam.
- Lower R-value per inch.
- White pebble foam insulation will absorb water/moisture up to 3x its weight
- Pebble foam insulation keeps wood structures wetter for longer, causing mold.
His Next Steps
Insulation that absorbs water allows the leak to go undetected longer, and ends up affecting a bigger area due to “wicking.” So, Ryan’s next steps to avoid a moisture problem like this one is to insulate with the best moisture resistant alternative: 2lb closed cell spray foam. Spray foam insulation would have prevented the spread of moisture, as it does not retain moisture. Since it also contains no organic material, mold cannot grow on it. Since 2lb closed cell spray foam will not absorb moisture, it will also prevent wood structures from coming in contact with moisture.
Spray Foam Insulation protects your basement structures from moisture. We offer free estimates to help protect your home from future moisture issues.