Debris and contamination are main causes of dirty electric motor winding failures. Insulation that is impacted by contamination has a much shorter lifespan than insulation protected from exposure to contaminants. While insulation can be negatively affected fairly easily by contamination, the problem can also be addressed before it causes a complete breakdown. Regular service and maintenance is key to proper motor performance and to avoid problems with the dirty insulation before larger problems result, including a complete motor breakdown. Reduced motor performance, overheating, and surges in voltage are all indications that there is dirt and debris in the insulation.