The next project on the list for ER’s house is adding attic insulation. The house as is has about 1.5″ of rock wool insulation, and about 5″ of fiberglass above that. So, the attic is insulated to about R-19ish. This is a far cry from the recommended R-50 to R-60!
So, to remedy this situation, I decided it would be best to blow cellulose over the top of the fiberglass. I chose cellulose for a number of reasons. Cellulose is a nice environmentally friendly option for insulation. Installing cellulose is cheaper than fiberglass rolls, and its much easier to install. It also stops airflow much better than fiberglass. In my book cellulose wins hands down.
The first thing that needed to be done was to clean the attic. The previous owners only left a few boxes and carpets in the attic so that went quick. However, the roof on the house was just redone several months ago and the roofers made a horrible mess of the attic. There were tons of nails, wood chips, and more dust than you could ever sneeze at. So, I got out the broom and shop vac and started cleaning things up. To help with the clean up of the nails I got out a large magnet I had laying around. This did pretty well picking them up. This is what it looked like before.
The next step in this process was to seal the attic. This means pulling back the fiberglass and rock wool and filling any holes or gaps that might let air pass easily into the attic. This is easily done with either caulk for small holes and gaps, or expanding foam (Great Stuff) for larger holes and gaps. I recommend finding where all the wiring goes, because they have to drill holes to get the wires through the ceiling. Also, junction boxes can leave huge gaps as well. Seal them up so air doesn’t get through! Here are a couple examples of the work and what I found in my attic.
Its very easy to tell if air is getting pulled into the attic. Just look for areas of dust accumulation on your insulation. Its very evident when you pull it all up.
With the attic all sealed up it is now ready for insulation. Of course there are snags in the plan and some odd areas to get insulation in. Check back later to see how that goes.
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