Tips for Installing Insulation in Attic

August 29th, 2012

Installing insulation in attic is necessary for improved energy efficiency and for lowering your utility bills. At times you need to upgrade your attic insulation, especially if your house is old (built before 1978) and makes use of outdated or dangerous (carcinogenic) insulation materials. Following are some tips for installing insulation in attic. Safety Measure While installing insulation, if you walk between the rafters, you may fall through the gaps and crash down on the living area below the ceiling. A crash like this can maim you for life, if you aren’t killed. Many people end up with permanent spinal cord injuries and break their backs which can be fatal. To prevent such an accident from taking place, you are advised to arrange planks of plywood all across the attic floor. This will create a safe walking space for you. Lighting Use bright, proper and sufficient amount of lights all throughout your attic. The entire workspace should be adequately illuminated. While installing the insulation, your hands will be occupied at all times and moving around a light from one place to another will be difficult and time consuming. Installation Tips To ensure air circulation in the attic, you should check for proper vents in a variety of places up in your attic. The outer end of your attic is the place you should start from. As your work progresses, you will find sufficient space for easy movement. Fill up the spaces in between the rafters to their full capacity without leaving gaps. Reserve the smaller pieces of insulation for use in the relatively smaller areas. This will prevent wastage and breaking up of big chunks of insulation material. Types of Insulation You can choose from the commonest types of insulation which are – vermiculite loose fill, cellulose, mineral wool, fibreglass, high density or medium density fibreglass batts, mineral wool or fibreglass rolls and batts. Amount of Insulation Required If the thickness of the existing insulation is 12 inches or more than that, you won’t require additional insulation. Your target should be to attain an R value of 38. Each inch of insulation increases the R value by 3. Other Tips Maintain a minimum gap of 3 inches in between the insulation and the lighting fixtures to prevent a fire mishap. Wear all kinds of protective clothing including masks, gloves, long sleeves and eyeglasses to protect your skin and lungs from insulation materials and flying debris. Before installing insulation in attic you should check for signs of leakage. Signs of moisture intrusion and leakage are apparent on the ceilings. You should rectify this problem with care and then install the insulation. If your insulation material gets wet, it will be rendered useless. You are also advised to start your attic insulation work early in the morning and avoid the hot afternoons or steamy summers. Attics get heated up pretty easily and they are the first part of the house to warm up in the sun. Working in extreme heat can give you a heat stroke.