The best way to Prepare and Insulate Your Own Attic. How to air seal and insulate your atticso your home fails to lose all the heat it needs to keep you warm this winter. Getting the attic up-to-speed with insulation is probably the most cost effect measures to help your house become more energy-efficient.
Going to the attic usually means one of three things.
1. Your 10 years old and playing hide-and-seek.
2. Your 32 years old and you have an additional valuable heirloom to store away for ever.
3. Your 54 yrs old and you’ve noticed a wet spot on the ceiling and you’re afraid the rooftop is leaking.
All these are good reasons to enter in the attic, for the time being, let’s enter the attic to check out the insulation and figure out if adding more insulation might be a good – house warming – lower the ability bill – action to take.
Building codes effecting insulation levels failed to really start to take affect till the early 1980’s. In case your home was built before 1984, there is a very good chance that your attic has minimal attic insulation. Builders in the 1940’s did not insulate most of anything, builders within the 1960’s filled the space involving the roof rafters with about 4 inches of insulation. Builders inside the 1990’s installed 8 inches ( R-25 to R-30 ) of loose-fill Isoler Des Combles and through the season 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 if you live in a cold climate and you’re trying to keep the warm in and the cold out, or if you live in a warm climate and you’re continuing to keep the cold in and also the warm out.
Dark colored, metal fiber appearing insulation is most likely rock wool. A favorite attic insulation in the 50’s and 60’s. Fairly effective rather than 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 is bad stuff because of the asbestos content. My advise to attics with vermiculite is to get it professionally removed. Tend not to handle or disturb this insulation without the direction of the professional contractor.
Tip – Don’t mess with knob and tube wiring and don’t handle vermiculite. Call a professional. In case your home was built just before 1940, you have to be aware of knob and tube wiring. This really is clothed bound wiring which is mounted on ceramic knobs as 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. In the event you insulate directly over knob and tube wiring, the wire can heat and make a fire danger.
One more thing, watch in which 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 from the ceiling and have one ugly hole to patch and one heck of any mess to clean up before the tiny women gets home. Tip – to provide a place to place your feet when you work on sealing the attic floor, take a bit of plywood in to the attic that will 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 kind 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 at the same location as each eve vent or bird block. Count the number of you will require by counting the number of eve or soffit vents from outside your home. The best tool to install the chutes is by using a squeeze or tacker stapler.
7. Extra cardboard for barriers to separate areas where you do not want insulation.
8. 1/4 inch, #6 sheetmetal screws as well as a cordless drill. Tip – get self starting and threading screws.
How you can prepare the attic before installing insulation:
1. Remove the stuff you have stored in the attic that have been placed on the heated area of your property where you will insulate. Items stored within the garage can stay. Boards that have been placed in the attic to hold items on also have to be removed. Tip – Possess a garage sale.
2. Consider the vent chutes as well as the tacker stapler and put in a chute at every 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 from the outside, from the eve vent, up from the chute and out into the attic. Attic ventilation is very 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 around the flue pipe where pipe comes through the ceiling. Cut one half circular pattern through the edge of the metal and install across 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 in to the framing people in the truss. Place half collar using one side of the pipe as well as a half collar on the other. Caulk the space between the flashing and also the pipe using the high temperature caulk. Tip – whenever using the thin metal, wear gloves to prevent getting cut by 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 everything else that carries hot combustion gases. There has to be a two inch air space in between the hot flue as well as the new sheet metal insulation barrier. Make use of the sheet metal screws to hold in place. These cylinders should consider looking like extra tall turtle neck sweaters on a metal neck.
5. For those who have recessed lighting or canned lights ( same thing), locate them inside your attic. Older canned lights which you cannot cover with insulation is definitely not IC rated. IC is short for Insulated Ceiling. The IC rating should be clearly indicated on the label linked to the back from the light. Usually do not confuse a UL rating ( Underwriters Laboratory ) with all the IC rating. They are not the same. A UL rating means the canned light features a cutoff switch installed which will turn the light off when it gets too hot. An IC rating means it is safe to protect the canned light with insulation. Air space between the IC rated light and insulation is not needed. Tip – Now will be a good time and energy to upgrade the recessed lights to sealed cans and IC rated.
If the canned light is IC rated, seal the light where it will come with the ceiling with general purpose caulk – your able to install insulation on the light.
In the event the canned light is not IC rated, seal the light where it comes through the ceiling as well as 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 would a flue pipe leaving a two inch air space. Hold it in place with the sheet metal screws. This will look like a gardener that puts a wide open end bucket over his young tomato plants so that they are shielded from the cold. The plant is definitely the can light and also the bucket is 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 your fan to an exhaust point that puts the exhausted air outside and not inside the attic. Use the all purpose caulk or even the foam spray to seal the fan body in the ceiling. Make use of the caulk to seal the holes within the fan body. Make sure the duct is exhausting with an eve vent or perhaps a roof peak vent. Use 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 certain that the duct will not fall down as time passes. An exhaust fan features a one of many ways flapper valve within the exhaust fan body just before it attaches to the duct. Given the chance, inspect the flapper valve and ensure 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 to your house. Tip- Now might be a good time and energy to replaced older noisy exhaust fans. I recommend an exhaust fan rated at 100 cfm (cubic feet each minute ) or more and on the quiet side.
7. Now take the can of spray foam and apply foam to every hole where an electric wire, T.V. wire, or telephone wire enters or leaves the attic. Carry out the same for your plumbing pipes. There has to be vent pipes running up from the attic floor and the roof. Foam in which the pipe comes from the attic floor. Usually do not foam in which the pipe goes over the top.
8. Some homes, both older homes and newer, may have open framing spaces that run from the attic floor down to the floor below. These are generally spaces that are caused by unneeded space after bathtubs or closets. They maybe the consequence of irregular framing like a triangle formed where a closet meets a hallway that suits a bedroom door. These open chases kkwzjo to get sealed with more than just insulation. Take a bit of cardboard, make the grade to match on the opening, lay a bead of all purpose caulk across the lip from the opening, lay the cardboard on top the the caulk and screw down with the sheet metal screws. Now you simply insulate over the cardboard.