The best way to Prepare and Insulate Your Own Attic. How to air seal and insulate your atticso your home will not lose all the heat it must have to keep you warm this winter. Having your attic up-to-speed with insulation is one of the most cost effect measures to help your home become more energy-efficient.
Visiting the attic usually means among three things.
1. Your a decade old and playing hide-and-seek.
2. Your 32 years old and you will have one more valuable heirloom to hold away for ever.
3. Your 54 years of age and you’ve noticed a wet spot on the ceiling and you’re afraid the roofing is leaking.
Each one of these are excellent reasons to go into the attic, but for now, let’s enter in the attic to look at the insulation and figure out if adding more insulation would be a good – house warming – lower the energy bill – thing to do.
Building codes effecting insulation levels failed to really begin to take affect until the early 1980’s. If your home was built before 1984, there is a very good chance that the attic has minimal attic insulation. Builders in the 1940’s failed to insulate much of anything, builders inside the 1960’s filled the space between the roof rafters with about 4 inches of insulation. Builders within the 1990’s installed 8 inches ( R-25 to R-30 ) of loose-fill Isolation Combles Perdus and also by the entire year 2000, insulation levels had reached 12 inches ( R-38 ). Today, depending on the homes location, attics are being insulated with 16 inches of blown-in fiberglass ( R-49 ), cellulose, or shredded blue jeans.
Yes, shredded blue jeans, I’m serious, the ripped up blue jeans were being installed in a wall as insulation. Attic insulation is energy-efficient in the event you live in a cold climate and you’re continuing to keep the nice and cozy in and the cold out, or if you live in a warm climate and you’re trying to keep the cold in as well as the warm out.
Dark colored, metal fiber appearing insulation is probably rock wool. A popular attic insulation inside the 50’s and 60’s. Fairly effective rather than any adverse health hazard. However, insulation granules which can be roughly ¼ inch square that feel like Styrofoam and contrast from mirror shiny to dark in color might be vermiculite asbestos. This is bad stuff because of the asbestos content. My advise to attics with vermiculite is to have it professionally removed. Tend not to handle or disturb this insulation without the direction of any professional contractor.
Tip – Don’t mess with knob and tube wiring and don’t handle vermiculite. Call an expert. In case your home was built just before 1940, you have to be aware of knob and tube wiring. This is clothed bound wiring that is certainly mounted on ceramic knobs because it runs over wood framing structures or runs through ceramic tubes if the wire runs through holes within the framing or building material. This type of wiring must be replaced by new electrical wiring by an electrical contractor before insulating. If you insulate directly over knob and tube wiring, the wire can heat up and make up a fire danger.
Yet another thing, watch where you step when in the attic, only step on the truss or rafter framing lumber. In the event you step in between the framing members you will likely stick your leg with the ceiling and possess one ugly hole to patch and one heck of the mess to clean up before the tiny women gets home. Tip – to supply a place to put your feet as you work on sealing the attic floor, take a piece of plywood to the attic that can reach over several rafters.
Tools and materials needed:
1. Basic face mask and light coveralls. Cloth or leather gloves and eye protection.
2. Drop light so that you can see what you’re doing and where you’re going. Tip – miner style head lights work good here.
3. In case you have a flue or chimney running up using your attic, or recessed lights or ceiling fans, you may need a small roll of light weight metal flashing, 18 to 24 inches wide. One set of tin shears.
4. Can of insulating expanding spray foam.
5. Tube of inexpensive general purpose caulk as well as a caulk gun. In case you have gas appliances, also pick up a tube of high temperature caulk.
6. Cardboard vent chutesfor placing involving the roof trusses in the same location as each eve vent or bird block. Count the number of you will require by counting the amount of eve or soffit vents from the outside the home. The best tool to put in the chutes is by using a squeeze or tacker stapler.
7. Extra cardboard for barriers to separate locations where you may not want insulation.
8. 1/4 inch, #6 sheetmetal screws along with a cordless drill. Tip – get self starting and threading screws.
The best way to prepare the attic before installing insulation:
1. Take away the things you have saved in the attic that have been placed within the heated area of your home where you will insulate. Items stored on the garage can stay. Boards that have been placed in the attic to keep items on also have to be removed. Tip – Possess a garage sale.
2. Go ahead and take vent chutes as well as the tacker stapler and install a chute at each location where it comes with an eve vent. Fit the chute so insulation can not block the vent as well as a flow of air can move externally, through the eve vent, up with the chute and out to the attic. Attic ventilation is important for the health of your attic.
3. With pieces cut from your roll of metal flashing as well as the high temperature caulk, seal across the flue pipe in which the pipe comes through the ceiling. Cut one half circular pattern through the fringe of the metal and install round the pipe like a collar, screw set up utilizing the sheet metal screws by screwing through tabs bent up on the sides in the metal and screwing into the framing individuals the truss. Place one half collar on one side from the pipe as well as a half collar on the other. Caulk the space involving the flashing and the pipe using the high temperature caulk. Tip – when you use the thin metal, wear gloves to prevent getting cut by the metal.
4. Now go ahead and take metal flashing and the tin shears and form a cylinder round the flue pipes and masonry chimneys and anything else that carries hot combustion gases. There should be a two inch air space involving the hot flue and the new sheet metal insulation barrier. Make use of the sheet metal screws to hold in place. These cylinders should look like extra tall turtle neck sweaters on a metal neck.
5. If you have recessed lighting or canned lights ( same task), locate them inside your attic. Older canned lights that you simply cannot cover with insulation will never be IC rated. IC means Insulated Ceiling. The IC rating should be clearly indicated on the label connected to the back in the light. Do not confuse a UL rating ( Underwriters Laboratory ) using the IC rating. They are certainly not exactly the same thing. A UL rating means the canned light has a cutoff switch installed which will turn the light off if this gets too hot. An IC rating means it is actually safe to pay for the canned light with insulation. Air space involving the IC rated light and insulation is not really needed. Tip – Now would be a good time for you to upgrade the recessed lights to sealed cans and IC rated.
When the canned light is IC rated, seal the light where it comes from the ceiling with general purpose caulk – your ready to install insulation on the light.
When the canned light is not IC rated, seal the light where it appears with the ceiling and any holes within the light body with high temperature caulk. Form a cylinder with the metal flashing and place it across the light body like you will a flue pipe leaving a two inch air space. Hold it in position using the sheet metal screws. This ought to look like a gardener that puts a wide open end bucket over his young tomato plants so that they are protected from the cold. The plant is the can light and the bucket is the sheet metal.
6. Locate any exhaust fans, there may be none, a number of. The fans must have a ridged or flexable round duct running through the fan with an exhaust point that puts the exhausted air outside and not in the attic. Utilize the all purpose caulk or perhaps the foam spray to seal the fan body at the ceiling. Make use of the caulk to seal the holes within the fan body. Be certain the duct is exhausting to an eve vent or even a roof peak vent. Utilize the metal flashing and also the foam spray to seal the exhaust duct to the eve or roof vent. Keep the duct with wire or plastic ties to make sure that the duct fails to fall down over time. An exhaust fan has a one way flapper valve inside the exhaust fan body just before it attaches to the duct. Due to the chance, inspect the flapper valve and make sure lint, dust, hair, moisture and gunk has not left the valve stuck open or glued shut. The flapper valve is actually a back flow restrictor, keeping cold or warm air from coming back down the duct in your house. Tip- Now would be a good time for you to replaced older noisy exhaust fans. I would recommend an exhaust fan rated at 100 cfm (cubic feet per minute ) or more and on the quiet side.
7. Now take the can of spray foam and apply foam to each and every hole where an electric wire, T.V. wire, or telephone wire enters or leaves the attic. Carry out the same for that plumbing pipes. There must be vent pipes running up from the attic floor and out the roof. Foam where pipe comes through the attic floor. Tend not to foam in which the pipe goes through the roof.
8. Some homes, both older homes and newer, may have open framing spaces running from the attic floor down for the floor below. These are spaces that are caused by unneeded space at the end of bathtubs or closets. They maybe the result of irregular framing like a triangle formed when a closet meets a hallway that meets a bedroom door. These open chases kkwzjo to get sealed using more than just insulation. Take some cardboard, cut it to fit on the opening, lay a bead of purpose caulk around the lip in the opening, lay the cardboard on top the the caulk and screw down with all the sheet metal screws. Now you simply insulate within the cardboard.