The attic is one of the primary sources of heat loss in a home. An uninsulated attic, therefore, can cost you a small fortune when wintertime rolls around. Luckily, you don't have to be an insulation contractor to solve this problem, so long as you arm yourself with the right information. If you have an uninsulated attic, read on. This article will provide an introduction to the insulation process.
Step 1: Prepare the attic.
Start by placing wooden planks across the floor joists of the attic. This will help you move around during the installation process. It is paramount that you avoid stepping down into the spaces between the joists, as you risk breaking through the ceiling of the room below.
Next, use caulk to seal any cracks that allow air to pass up to the attic from the rooms below it. Pay extra attention to the following areas:
Once you've got the attic air-tight, all you need to do is calculate the amount of insulation you'll need, and you'll be ready to get down to work. What step you take next depends on whether you'll be using batt-and-blanket or loose-fill insulation.
Step 2: Installing the insulation
The insulation needs to fit snugly between the joists on either side—if it is too loose, it's not providing the necessary insulation. Measure the space between the joists to determine the width of the roll that you should buy.
Most batt-and-blanket insulation will come with a vapor-retardant facing on one side; this is the side you want to be facing down. This facing helps to keep moisture rising up into the attic from contacting—and therefore degrading—your insulation.
Beginning at a wall, unroll a roll of insulation toward the center of the attic. Treat the insulation gently while unrolling. Applying too much pressure can cause the material to weaken, thus providing less of a heat barrier.
Repeat this process until all of the spaces between the joists are covered with insulation, trimming the roll to the correct length, as needed.
To install loose-fill insulation, you'll need to first rent a loose-fill blower from a home improvement center. This machine works like a vacuum in reverse, allowing you to easily spread insulation across the floor of the attic.
When installing loose-fill insulation, it's generally a good idea to have a helper working with you. That way one person can hold the blower hose, while the other is in charge of controlling the flow of insulation at the machine. It's best to start at the walls and back your way slowly toward either the center of the room or the entryway, whichever is more convenient.
When it comes down to it, installing attic insulation doesn't take a degree in rocket science. But it is important to take the time to learn some of the tricks used by professional insulation contractors like Four Seasons Insulation Ltd. The information provided in this article should help to make your installation process as easy as possible.
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