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Stabilized Cellulose Water Stains


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I am assuming these stains at the walls next to the insulation is from blown in stabilized cellulose which has some water in it. The stains were consistent next to the insulation at most of the exterior walls.

Is there enough water in this application to cause this type of staining and puddling in and around a light fixture? Otherwise, I can't explain it.

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I have never seen cellulose insulation wet enough to cause stains like that. I guess it is possible in the photo of the wall cavity because the moisture would fall with gravity and collect at the base but the light fixture one I would be looking for another source for that stain.

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I don't think so but I never thought about it. This was in a closet so I think the switch feed because of proximity would come from the ceiling j box. Why?

Just wondering if the EMT acted as a conduit to carry water into the fixture box then the fixture itself.

As for where the water came from...I don't know. Condensation? Been cold lately?

Marc

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Marc, it is Chicago, the windy city. It gets cold fairly often.

Those are old stains, I think.

Mike, I agree with Scott. The moisture is likely traveling along the conduit into the light fixture. The moisture may be from warm air leaking into the attic from below and condensing on the conduit and the cold wall.

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The moisture may be from warm air leaking into the attic from below and condensing on the conduit and the cold wall.

Could it be warm, moist air from the living space escaping up the conduit like a chimney and condensing inside the conduit (as opposed to attic air condensing on the outside)? It's not something I've seen before, but I usually see conduit under insulation where it stays warmer, plus I live in a dryer climate.

My only thought on the walls is that I've seen snow blow in through attic vents plenty of times (including my own house). It usually evaporates as fast as it melts and doesn't cause problems.

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Marc, it is Chicago, the windy city. It gets cold fairly often.

Not that anyone cares, but the monicker Windy City was bestowed upon our fair hamlet due to the Chicago politicians' tendency to blow a lot of hot air, i.e. BS

Ain't got nothing to do with windy weather.

Well I care. Thanks for that.

First I heard the expression - Lou Rawls "Dead End Street".

He says they call it the windy city cuz of the hawk. the almighty hawk.

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The moisture is not from the cells. Loose fill is blown in dry. So is dense pack.

The material is wetted at the nozzle in order to activate the adhesive so it will stick in open stud cavities.

I think the mirrored moisture patterns on the wallboard says the insulation was wet so I was wondering about how wet the cellulose can be. I've never seen wet cellulose applied except on Youtube.

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It's windy at alot of places today. Good luck out East.

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I'd wager that the watermarks are from condensation that formed just above the insulation. Cells settles as it ages, an R30 application is 10" fresh and 8.75 - 8.9" settled. Add a couple decades of wet/dry cycles (hi/low RH), and people disturbing it (3 CATV cables and a home inspector or two) and it settles more. That would explain the multiple water lines.

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Vapor diffusion condensing.

Moisture migrates from the moist/warm interior through the insulation upward and outward toward cooler/drier air. As it hits the cold air just above the insulation some of it condenses on the cold surfaces that are touching the edge of the insulation. If the insulation were installed so that it were not touching those cold surfaces the moisture would have evaporated and there'd be no stains. The problem with that is you end up with a band at the perimeter of the room that's so poorly insulated that you get ghosting lines around the perimeter.

The thing to focus on - is it enough to damage anything or is the amount of condensation being handled easily by the building products? Are they drying out sufficiently to provent long term accumulation of moisture that will support fungi?

It looks like they are. I wouldn't sweat it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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