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does my ceiling really need to be damaged in order to remove wet insulation?

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taviaromescu

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Hello, recently we had flooding in our condo due to bad plumbing in the condo over us. The water came through the ceiling fan. A few days later I called a water damage remediation company. By that time the ceiling around the fan had hardened again, and it looked fine to me. The fan is fine now. There are no bad smells of mold anywhere. So the guy who came out put his fancy water-detection device on the ceiling, and announced that a huge section of the ceiling, and even part of the wall, will have to be removed, to get the wet insulation out.

Really? Can't they find a way to dry it? Wouldn't it dry just fine on it's own? We live in a hot climate, but there is high humidity right now. It won't last - it is usually quite dry.

I had to call them anyway, because of damage in another bathroom, but I am not sure about this one.

Thanks for your thoughts....
 

Snoonyb

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Are you more concerned about the inconvenience of the repairs or the potential eventuality of mold?
 

Snoonyb

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So, the potential of mold developing from the lengthy drying process involved with insulation, is of no concern?

Really?
 

taviaromescu

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IS there a way to deal with this, other than digging a hug e hole in the ceiling and wall? Any helpful thoughts appreciated.
 

taviaromescu

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Further thought: would one ordinarily do this only if one actually sees mold damage on the the wall or ceiling , and/or smells mold? I ask because that is not the case here.
 

Snoonyb

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Mold will migrate to where ever there is a medium to support it, so is it in your fiscal interest to be determined to be the source, and having been warned of that potential?

Are you aware of the concept of loss prevention?
 

Fireguy5674

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What Snoonyb is telling you is that the odds of the water drying in an enclosed area between floors as you have described before mold sets in is unlikely. While yes, it is inconvenient, it will be even more inconvenient when they have to move you out completely or plastic off half your living quarters, to rip out the ceiling and remove moldy insulation plus scrub down the floor joists and paint the area with mold killing paint. And since some ones insurance should be footing the bill, have the job done right so you don't end up paying a bill later because it was not a good time. I am in the middle of a massive mess because a finished basement in a large home flooded and it was not discovered until everything was molded. And unfortunately I am footing that bill because it is my daughters house. (Long screwed up story involving divorce.)

Long story short, as Snoonby points out, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
 

MrMiz

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Having had some experience with this recently here are my answers to your questions

Really? -Yes
Can't they find a way to dry it? - Drying is the process of allowing the water to move to a different location usually with air/evaporation. If there is no way to get air to move across the area with water in it then no it will never dry. Your house isn't a perfect seal but it can still hold water for and amazingly long time if there is no evaporation or its very slow. What's the purpose of insulating a house... preventing conditions you don't want from outside to effect the conditions inside... again primarily air. So your insulation is going to try and prevent the conditions you need for it to dry.

Wouldn't it dry just fine on it's own? - No the water is trapped by the insulation and drywall. Did you know that in some wet climates older house were never insulated for this very reason. A sponge will never dry out with out evaporation. Your insulation is the sponge. The rest of your house is things attempting to prevent the evaporation. Even wood does not evaporate water it absorbs it then holds it until it has a method to evaporate the water else where.

We live in a hot climate, but there is high humidity right now. It won't last - it is usually quite dry. - you've got an excess of water inside a location that has no reasonable method to remove the water. The water isn't going to disappear on it's own it's got to evaporate and move somewhere else. This is done by opening the space and giving it a path to move to. By not doing this your guessing that it might eventually work. The damage redemption company you called is presenting you with the only method they know to make it work. The solution they are suggesting is correct and they are not trying to rip you off. They are providing you with a solution that will work.

IS there a way to deal with this, other than digging a hug e hole in the ceiling and wall? - Conceivable there are other methods with and exceptionally unlimited budget to accomplish this. It's my opinion that the contractor you contacted has provided you with the most reasonable method that presents a way for him to estimate a cost based solution. By this I mean if you told me to come up with another way to do it and cost was no object. I would definitely be able to find another way.

I felt the need to post my answers because I felt like some of the other answers were a bit insulting. There is nothing wrong with the previous posts.... I just felt compelled to try. Hopefully my answers are not insulting (I honestly can't tell) but are presenting in a logical way that I came to my own conclusion with this same problem. I am an exceptionally cheap and untrusting person. In every decision I make I struggle internally to no end with what I can basically get away with. The only way I see to make your situation cheaper and via a known trusted individual is to do exactly the method suggested by the contractor yourself. Logically it doesn't not make sense to expect that there will be no issues with doing nothing. You are gambling by doing nothing and gambling never has the odds stacked in your favor.
 
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