How you can Prepare and Insulate Your Own Attic. How you can air seal and insulate your atticso your home will not lose all the heat it requires to keep you warm this winter. Having your attic up-to-speed with insulation is probably the most cost effect measures to help your house be a little more energy efficient.
Visiting the attic usually means certainly one of three things.
1. Your ten years old and playing hide-and-seek.
2. Your 32 years of age and you will have an additional valuable heirloom to hold away for ever.
3. Your 54 yrs old 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 power bill – action to take.
Building codes effecting insulation levels failed to really commence to take affect up until the early 1980’s. If your home was built prior to 1984, you will find a very good chance that your particular attic has minimal attic insulation. Builders in the 1940’s did not insulate a lot of anything, builders in the 1960’s filled the space in 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 Isoler Des Combles 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 trying to keep the warm in as well as the cold out, or maybe you live in a warm climate and you’re attempting to keep the cold in and also the warm out.
Dark colored, metal fiber appearing insulation may well be rock wool. A favorite attic insulation in 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 colored 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. Tend not to handle or disturb this insulation without the direction of a professional contractor.
Tip – Don’t mess with knob and tube wiring and don’t handle vermiculite. Call an expert. If your home was built before 1940, you need to be aware of knob and tube wiring. This is clothed bound wiring which is mounted on ceramic knobs because it runs over wood framing structures or runs through ceramic tubes if the wire runs through holes inside the framing or building material. This kind of wiring will need to 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 a fire danger.
Yet another thing, watch that you step when in the attic, only step on the truss or rafter framing lumber. Should you step in between the framing members you are likely to stick your leg from the ceiling and also have one ugly hole to patch then one heck of a mess to clean up before the small women gets home. Tip – to provide a place to put your feet while you work on sealing the attic floor, take a bit of plywood to the attic which 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 which means 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. For those who have gas appliances, also pick up a tube of high temperature caulk.
6. Cardboard vent chutesfor placing in 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 amount of eve or soffit vents from outside the home. The easiest tool to set up the chutes is to use a squeeze or tacker stapler.
7. Extra cardboard to use as barriers to separate places that you may not want insulation.
8. 1/4 inch, #6 sheetmetal screws along with a cordless drill. Tip – get self starting and threading screws.
How you can prepare the attic before installing insulation:
1. Eliminate 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 within the garage can stay. Boards which have been put into the attic to hold items on should also be removed. Tip – Use a garage sale.
2. Take the vent chutes and 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 through the chute and out in to the attic. Attic ventilation is important for the healthiness of your attic.
3. With pieces cut from the roll of metal flashing and the high temperature caulk, seal around the flue pipe where pipe comes with the ceiling. Cut a half circular pattern through the edge of the metal and install round the pipe like a collar, screw set up using the sheet metal screws by screwing through tabs bent up on the sides from the metal and screwing in to the framing individuals the truss. Place half collar using one side in the pipe and a half collar on the other. Caulk the space in between the flashing and also the pipe using the high temperature caulk. Tip – when working with the thin metal, wear gloves in order to avoid getting cut by the metal.
4. Now take the metal flashing and the tin shears and form a cylinder across the flue pipes and masonry chimneys and anything else that carries hot combustion gases. There has to be a two inch air space between the hot flue as well as the new sheet metal insulation barrier. Use the sheet metal screws to hold in place. These cylinders should consider looking like extra tall turtle neck sweaters over a metal neck.
5. In case you have recessed lighting or canned lights ( same thing), locate them within your attic. Older canned lights that you cannot cover with insulation will never be IC rated. IC means Insulated Ceiling. The IC rating should be clearly indicated on the label attached to the back in the light. Do not confuse a UL rating ( Underwriters Laboratory ) with all the IC rating. They are certainly not 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 really is safe to protect the canned light with insulation. Air space in between the IC rated light and insulation will not be needed. Tip – Now might be a good time to upgrade the recessed lights to sealed cans and IC rated.
When the canned light is IC rated, seal the light where it will come from 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 appears from the ceiling and then any holes within the light body with higher temperature caulk. Form a cylinder with all 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 position 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 that they are protected against the cold. The plant is definitely the can light and the bucket is definitely the sheet metal.
6. Locate any exhaust fans, there may be none, several. The fans should have a ridged or flexable round duct running from your fan with an exhaust point that puts the exhausted air outside rather than in the attic. Utilize the all purpose caulk or the foam spray to seal the fan body on the ceiling. Use the caulk to seal the holes in the fan body. Make sure the duct is exhausting for an eve vent or even a roof peak vent. Utilize the metal flashing and the foam spray to seal the exhaust duct towards the eve or roof vent. Keep the duct with wire or plastic ties to make certain that the duct will not fall down over time. An exhaust fan includes a one way flapper valve within 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 will be a good time and energy to replaced older noisy exhaust fans. I would recommend an exhaust fan rated at 100 cfm (cubic feet per minute ) or even more and on the quiet side.
7. Now take the can of spray foam and apply foam to each and every hole where an electrical wire, T.V. wire, or telephone wire enters or leaves the attic. Perform the same for your plumbing pipes. There has to be vent pipes running up from your attic floor and the roof. Foam where the pipe comes with the attic floor. 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 spaces that be a consequence of unneeded space at the conclusion of bathtubs or closets. They maybe caused by irregular framing for instance a triangle formed where a closet meets a hallway that suits a bedroom door. These open chases kkwzjo to become sealed with more than just insulation. Take a bit of cardboard, make the grade to match over the opening, lay a bead of all the purpose caulk round the lip of the opening, lay the cardboard on top the the caulk and screw down using the sheet metal screws. So now you simply insulate within the cardboard.