How to Tell if Insulation Is Dirty or Moldy

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Things You'll Need

  • Goggles

  • Face mask

  • Magnifying glass

  • Flashlight or head lamp

  • Plastic gloves

Take note of dirt and mold on your insulation.

If you have an attic in your house that is covered in sheets of fiberglass insulation, then you may be wondering how to tell if your insulation is dirty or moldy. Dirt and mold can adhere to the fiberglass sheets. Dirt that can attach to your insulation includes dust, dirt from outside air that does not get filtered well and dirt from construction activity within your home. Moisture can cause mold to grow on your fiberglass insulation.


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Step 1

Put on goggles and a mask to cover your nose and mouth. These items will help protect your eyes, nose and mouth from harmful dirt, debris and mold.

Step 2

Put on a head lamp and turn on the lamp. This will free your hands to inspect your insulation. If you do not have a head lamp, then turn on a flashlight.

Step 3

Place a magnifying glass close to the insulation to observe dirt particles or mold spores that might be forming on your insulation sheets. Take note of any brown, black, green, pink, orange or yellow particles. Insulation sheets are a solid color such as white, which will make the dirt and mold easy to spot. Any discoloration of the insulation sheets may indicate the presence of dirt, debris or mold.


Step 4

Avoid touching the particles. Mold and dirt can easily irritate your eyes, nose and throat. If you feel that you must touch the surface, wear a pair of plastic gloves and throw them away immediately after inspecting the insulation. Take note of any moisture, as this can cause mold to form and spread on your insulation.