The best way to Prepare and Insulate Your Own Attic. How you can air seal and insulate your atticso your home fails to lose all the heat it needs to help keep you warm this winter. Getting your attic up-to-speed with insulation is one of the most cost effect measures to aid your house become more energy-efficient.
Going to the attic usually means certainly one of three things.
1. Your 10 years old and playing hide-and-seek.
2. Your 32 yrs old and you have an additional valuable heirloom to hold away for ever.
3. Your 54 years old and you’ve noticed a wet spot on the ceiling and you’re afraid the roof is leaking.
Each one of these are top reasons to enter the attic, but for now, let’s enter in the attic to check out the insulation and figure out if adding more insulation will be a good – house warming – lower the ability bill – action to take.
Building codes effecting insulation levels failed to really begin to take affect until the early 1980’s. In case your home was built just before 1984, you will find a very good chance that your particular attic has minimal attic insulation. Builders inside the 1940’s did not insulate a lot of anything, builders in the 1960’s filled the space between the roof rafters with about 4 inches of insulation. Builders in the 1990’s installed 8 inches ( R-25 to R-30 ) of loose-fill Isoler Des Combles Perdus and also by the year 2000, insulation levels had reached 12 inches ( R-38 ). Today, depending on the homes location, attics are now 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 if you live in a cold climate and you’re attempting to keep the nice and cozy in as well as the cold out, or if you live in a warm climate and you’re continuing to keep the cold in and the warm out.
Dark colored, metal fiber appearing insulation is probably rock wool. A favorite attic insulation within the 50’s and 60’s. Fairly effective and never any adverse health hazard. However, insulation granules that are roughly ¼ inch square that feel like Styrofoam and contrast from mirror shiny to dark in color might be vermiculite asbestos. This really is bad stuff due to the asbestos content. My advise to attics with vermiculite is to get it professionally removed. Do not handle or disturb this insulation with no direction of the professional contractor.
Tip – Don’t mess with knob and tube wiring and don’t handle vermiculite. Call a pro. If your home was built before 1940, you should be conscious of knob and tube wiring. This can be clothed bound wiring that is attached to ceramic knobs as it runs over wood framing structures or runs through ceramic tubes once the wire runs through holes within the framing or building material. This type of wiring must be replaced by new electrical wiring by an electrician before insulating. Should you insulate directly over knob and tube wiring, the wire can heat up and make up a fire danger.
Yet another thing, watch in which you step when in the attic, only step on the truss or rafter framing lumber. In the event you step between the framing members you are likely to stick your leg with the ceiling and also have one ugly hole to patch then one heck of a mess to clean up before the tiny women gets home. Tip – to provide a place to place your feet while you work on sealing the attic floor, take some plywood into 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 you can see what you’re doing and where you’re going. Tip – miner style head lights work good here.
3. If you have a flue or chimney running up through your attic, or recessed lights or ceiling fans, you will need a small roll of light weight metal flashing, 18 to 24 inches wide. One pair of tin shears.
4. Can of insulating expanding spray foam.
5. Tube of inexpensive general purpose caulk along with a caulk gun. In case you have gas appliances, also pick up a tube of high temperature caulk.
6. Cardboard vent chutesfor placing between the roof trusses in the same location as each eve vent or bird block. Count the amount of you will want by counting the amount of eve or soffit vents externally the house. The easiest tool to install the chutes is to use a squeeze or tacker stapler.
7. Extra cardboard to use as barriers to separate areas 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 over the heated area of your home where you are likely to insulate. Items stored on the garage can stay. Boards that have been placed in the attic to keep items on also need to be removed. Tip – Possess a garage sale.
2. Consider the vent chutes as well as the tacker stapler and install a chute each and every location where it comes with an eve vent. Fit the chute so insulation can not block the vent and a flow of air can move from the outside, with the eve vent, up from the chute and out to the attic. Attic ventilation is essential for the fitness of your attic.
3. With pieces cut from your roll of metal flashing and also the high temperature caulk, seal around the flue pipe where the pipe comes through the ceiling. Cut a half circular pattern through the fringe of the metal and install across the pipe like a collar, screw set up using the sheet metal screws by screwing through tabs bent up on the sides in the metal and screwing to the framing people in the truss. Place one half collar using one side in the pipe and a half collar on the other. Caulk the space between the flashing as well as the pipe using the high temperature caulk. Tip – when working with the thin metal, wear gloves in order to avoid getting cut from the metal.
4. Now consider the metal flashing and also the tin shears and form a cylinder around the flue pipes and masonry chimneys and anything else that carries hot combustion gases. There has to be a two inch air space in between the hot flue and the new sheet metal insulation barrier. Use the sheet metal screws to hold in position. These cylinders should look like extra tall turtle neck sweaters on the metal neck.
5. In case you have recessed lighting or canned lights ( exact same thing), locate them in your attic. Older canned lights that you simply cannot cover with insulation will not be IC rated. IC is short for Insulated Ceiling. The IC rating needs to be clearly indicated on the label attached to the back in the light. Usually do not confuse a UL rating ( Underwriters Laboratory ) with the IC rating. They are not exactly the same thing. A UL rating means the canned light features a cutoff switch installed which will turn the light off if this gets too hot. An IC rating means it is actually safe to protect the canned light with insulation. Air space involving the IC rated light and insulation will not be needed. Tip – Now will be a good time for you to upgrade the recessed lights to sealed cans and IC rated.
In the event the canned light is IC rated, seal the light where it appears through the ceiling with general purpose caulk – your able to install insulation within the light.
When the canned light will not be IC rated, seal the light where it comes from the ceiling and any holes within the light body with high temperature caulk. Form a cylinder with the metal flashing and set it around the light body like you would probably a flue pipe leaving a two inch air space. Hold it set up with all the sheet metal screws. This ought to look like a gardener that puts an open end bucket over his young tomato plants so they are shielded from the cold. The plant is definitely the can light and also the bucket is definitely the sheet metal.
6. Locate any exhaust fans, there might be none, several. The fans should have a ridged or flexable round duct running from the fan to an exhaust point that puts the exhausted air outside and never inside the attic. Utilize the all purpose caulk or the foam spray to seal the fan body on the ceiling. Make use of the caulk to seal the holes within the fan body. Be sure the duct is exhausting for an eve vent or perhaps a roof peak vent. Make use of the metal flashing and the foam spray to seal the exhaust duct towards the eve or roof vent. Secure the duct with wire or plastic ties to make sure that the duct will not fall down with time. An exhaust fan includes a one way flapper valve inside the exhaust fan body just before it attaches for the duct. Because of the chance, inspect the flapper valve and be sure lint, dust, hair, moisture and gunk has not left the valve stuck open or glued shut. The flapper valve is a back flow restrictor, keeping cold or warm air from coming back down the duct into your house. Tip- Now might be a good time to replaced older noisy exhaust fans. I suggest 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 hole where an electric powered wire, T.V. wire, or telephone wire enters or leaves the attic. Perform the same for that plumbing pipes. There must be vent pipes running up through the attic floor and out your roof. Foam where the pipe comes with the attic floor. Do not foam where the pipe goes over the top.
8. Some homes, both older homes and newer, may have open framing spaces running from the attic floor down towards the floor below. These are generally spaces that be a consequence of unneeded space at the conclusion of bathtubs or closets. They maybe caused by irregular framing like a triangle formed where a closet meets a hallway that fits a bedroom door. These open chases kkwzjo to be sealed with more than just insulation. Take some cardboard, make the grade to fit over the opening, lay a bead of all the purpose caulk round the lip from the opening, lay the cardboard on top the the caulk and screw down with all the sheet metal screws. You now simply insulate within the cardboard.