Having mold and water damage repaired can be an extensive and costly undertaking for homeowners. And replacing moldy, damaged walls may be a short-term solution at best.
Water damage and mold remediation contractors who look beyond the initial repair to a longer-term solution – preventing continued moisture infiltration – can see increases in both customer satisfaction and profits.
Exterior building considerations are always the first line of defense in water management strategy, however. Moisture control modifications include proper ground grading, flashings, weep holes and gutters that direct bulk water away from the home or building. But some moisture will still manage to get into the building in the form of vapor, which is why interior solutions are important.
Questions contractors should address for their customers include: how did the moisture get in in the first place? And how can it be managed more effectively in the future?
Proper Insulation Can Deter Moisture and Mold
Most moisture infiltration in homes happens when water vapor suspended in heated air condenses as it comes into contact with cool surfaces in the attic and inside wall cavities.
The heat is transferred through attics and walls through the natural processes of conduction, convection and radiation. Different types of insulation are designed to handle specific types of heat energy transfer. According to the Department of Energy, the most common types of insulation, such as fiberglass batt or spray foam, reduce conduction and, to a lesser extent, convection.
Attic radiant barriers and reflective insulation, on the other hand, help block radiant heat transfer by reflecting energy away from their Low-e reflective surfaces. Contractors working in hot-humid climates select perforated barriers or perforated Low-e layers within cavities because they allow water vapor that finds its way in to dry rather than remain trapped by other vapor-retardant mass insulation materials such as foam board and polyethylene.
If moisture infiltration has already occurred once, it will likely happen again. The logical solution is to not only repair the water and mold damage but also to install specialty insulation add-ons that can help prevent the problem from recurring in the future.
Satisfaction and Value with Fi-Foil Insulation Add-ons
Fi-Foil is an industry-leading manufacturer of specialty insulation products that can help prevent mold and water damage. Perforated options used alone or in conjunction with other types of insulation allow walls and ceilings to breathe in hot-humid zones.
In addition, Fi-Foil’s attic radiant barriers are composed of layers of metallic foil and/or metalized polymers designed to reflect up to 97% of radiant heat energy away from the living envelope.
Reflective insulation products feature multiple enclosed air spaces designed to insulate against convective heat transfer and add significant R-value to a structure.
Attic radiant barrier and vapor transmitting air barrier products include:
- Silver Shield™ Attic Radiant Barrier and Radiant Shield™ Two-Sided Radiant Barrier both take advantage of Low-e reflective materials to reflect radiant heat and reduce heat transfer. The perforated versions available and recommended for hot-humid climates allow controlled amounts of vapor transmission, which means that any moisture accumulation in the attic has a way to dry out. Radiant barriers work well in combination with other types of mass insulation.
- SkyFlex™ Flexible Sheet Air Barrier consists of two aluminum layers deposited on woven polyethylene and is commonly used behind tubs or showers as a Class I vapor retarder. SkyFlex Low-e surfaces also install easily, creating six-sided cavities for attic knee walls that improve both the performance of existing insulation and comfort in adjacent rooms. SkyFlex reduces radiant heat transfer while creating a mold- and water-resistant barrier when used in the correct application closest to the condensation point. SkyFlex VT™ Flexible Sheet Vapor Transmitting Air Barrier is perforated to allow any transmitted moisture to escape in hot-humid climates where some condensation may occur within cavities or behind barriers. The Low-e material in both versions of SkyFlex significantly improves comfort by keeping heat outside in the summer and inside in the winter.
Reflective insulation products include:
- RBI Shield™ Multipurpose Reflective Bubble Insulation helps reduce moisture accumulation and infiltration from the soil while improving a home’s thermal performance. RBI Shield serves as reflective insulation, typically installed on floor joists adjacent to crawlspaces, and is capable of decreasing multiple types of heat transfer. Single or double-bubble foil insulation versions are available.
- M-Shield™ Reflective Insulation for Masonry Walls is specially designed to inhibit mold growth in wall cavities. It has an outer synthetic layer and contains no organic compounds, therefore, no food for mold, and is often used for mold-sensitive homes or buildings. Its two reflective air spaces also make M-Shield an excellent choice to control convective and radiant heat transfer in masonry insulation applications.
Convincing Customers to Opt for Insulation Add-ons
Because some customers might be skeptical about add-on products, water damage restoration or mold remediation contractors should be prepared to explain the long-term benefits and peace of mind associated with attic radiant barriers and reflective insulation, including:
- That water and mold damage can be repaired, but the problem can recur if the cause of the problem – moisture content transmitted in the attic or behind walls – is not also addressed.
- That mold can be present even if it is not noticeable – and a small amount of it, especially of certain types of black mold, can cause significant respiratory problems. Specific types of radiant barriers and reflective insulation can help minimize mold growth in hot-humid climates and promote healthier air inside the home while also improving comfort and energy efficiency.
- That the moisture-reducing properties of radiant barriers and reflective insulation can help prevent both mold growth and pests such as termites and other insects.
To assist water and mold remediation contractors interested in exploring the profit potential in specialized insulation add-ons, Fi-Foil has launched the 2020 Try-Fi Program. The program offers 20% off the first order and the option of a first add-on free.
To grow your business and help your customers improve the performance and comfort of their homes, contact Fi-Foil today and ask about the 2020 Try-Fi Program. Visit our website or call 888-513-4972.