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Question DetailsAsked on 7/11/2013

should there be exposed pink insulation under my bathroom sinks?

moved into home built in 1979. we are renting. there is a double vanity sink in the main bath. under each one there is a rectangle cut out under pipes there is pink insulation exposed. shouldnt that be covered? When you take a shower you smell that insulation smell.

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OK - I am stumped. First, fibreglass insulation does not have any smell I have ever noticed - even when brand new. If you smell something and it is coming from that area (i.e. much stronger after you open the cabinet doors, if there are any, or if you stick your head under the sink if open underneath, then you must have a leak backing up in the sewer pipes and leaking into the insulated floor or wall space, or an open vent pipe in that area. If truly smelling there when you take a shower, it probably does the same when the toilet is flushed, and a plumber (or you) need to track down the source before you close it up, as it will be putting moisture into the insulation and wall/floor cavities, eventually leading to rot.

This could have been sloppy installation, an installation where the pipes took up too much room so the plumber cut a hole in the floor or wall to fit them in, a case where th drywaller or floorer got in before the plumber did his stub-outs, or a place where a repair was made in the past.

I would find out where the smell is coming from, and if a leak or venting, solve that problem first. I would then feel around in the insulation for any dampness (be sure to wash hands real well after, to minimize fiberglass itch, if that gets to you). If dry, you can drywall that area up (or cover with flooring if in the floor), or you can buy screw-on cover plates (which you might have to modify to fit around or drill for the pipes, and then cut in half to fit over the pipes in 2 pieces) made of plastic, galvanized sheet metal, or stainless steel (though that is REAL hard to modify with normal tools). Be sure the cover plate screws are not so long they will penetrate the drywall and penetrate water pipes or wiring in the wall, or feel around in there real good first to be sure you will not hit any utilities.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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