Things To Know Before Insulating Your Attic | Improve Comfort

hey Michael Church crawlspace ninja and

basement ninja and today I'm going to

discuss with you what I feel you need to

know before insulating your attic

insulating your attic will improve air

quality it will approve improve

efficiency and also make your house more

comfortable so you want to make sure you

do it right stay tuned okay first of all

this is staggering did you know that the

Department of Energy says that a

properly insulated attic could improve

or save you between 10 to 50% of your

heating bills every year is that not

nuts that means that most people have a

very very uninsulated attic and we've

seen this time and time again we'll go

into an attic and there will be that

much insulation and you know they're

walking around in hoodies and all that

kind of stuff so what we want to do is

we want to give you some tips that you

should think about before even

insulating the attic and also explain to

you some of the different methodologies

in insulating your attic number one make

sure that if you're gonna go through all

the expense of insulating your attic air

seal all the major penetrations in the

attic floor this is all of the the

heating and air duct penetrations all of

the exhaust vent fan penetrations if

you've got a water heater then it's got

you know the the piping going up through

the attic you're gonna need to get some

fireproof caulk and build a dam around

that to make sure that the insulation

doesn't burn you want to make sure all

that is done properly you want to make

sure that your air sealing all of those

chases and your attic hatches and all of

that stuff and if you've got one of

those big monster fans that's in your

hallway that they've installed back in

the 70s and 80s to to ventilate the

house I recommend you just yank that

dude out and seal all that guy up and

and the air seal that properly and redo

that that a drywall and that should take

care of most of the air loss from your

living space up into your attic okay so

this should go without saying but

obviously you want to make sure that you

take care of all roof leaks now believe

it or not not everybody thinks about

that if you get up there and you see

matted insulation or insulation that

maybe looks like it might have debris or

different things like that you could be

getting water from the roof leaking or

from your gable vent okay

whenever we did our attic we had two

Gables obviously it was a shotgun style

attic so you had two Gables okay well

one side one gable was taken on all this

blowing rain so when we got up there to

suck out all that old insulation that so

that we could air seal the floor of the

attic we discovered there was mold all

over the drywall it was a great place

for snakes to get in and different

things like that so you want to make

sure you air seal those Gables if you

find out that they're letting water come

in because you don't want to blow in

insulation or or put batting down or

whatever down there only for that

insulation to get wet and ruined in the


another big mistake that we see people

not doing as a matter of fact we've had

quite a few people call us that they

have developed a mold problem after they

hired a contractor to blow in insulation

because they didn't make sure the attic

was properly ventilated okay so there's

two types of ventilation there's active

and passive active inhalation would be

installing solar attic fans or some kind

of active ventilation that comes on when

the temperature gets to a certain point

passive ventilation is where you have

maybe the gable and I'm sorry the soffit

and the ridge vent so that way during

the convection process when the Attic

gets really hot it starts to move air

from the soffit up through the ridge

vent the only problem is is they didn't

put baffles in to make sure that those

soffits didn't get clogged so if you're

gonna pay somebody to put batting

insulation in your attic or blow in

insulation if they don't have those

soffit vents open for air flow it could

create a mold problem so make sure

you invest in that as well okay another

big mistake we see people doing is that

they will have all this plywood down so

that they can store their Christmas

trees and old photos and things up in

their attic well guess what if you've

got plywood directly on a piece of 2x4

you've only got about three inches of

insulation if they even insulated

underneath the plywood at all so get all

that plywood out of there and stop using

your attic for storage if you're

concerned about comfort and energy loss

and all that kind of thing try to find

another place to put those items and I

know that's a big expense but anyway

that could hinder the amount of

insulation you're able to install

because of all of the plywood that

you've got for storage okay so we've got

two different types of insulation we've

got batt insulation and which is the

roll-out insulation and then we've also

got loose fill insulation most of the

time contractors will install loose fill

insulation it tends to do better and

lower attics where you have more

obstacles to work around and all this

because you can just blow it around that

that stuff now the bad insulation tends

to be more of a DIY project because it's

easier to utilize and manage and you

don't have to rent a machine you can

just buy the batting insulation and

throw it up so I'm going to talk about

three different types of Louisville the

one we personally like the best is the

fiberglass okay because it's naturally

fire retardant it tends to be about the

same in cost the r-value is about an r2

per inch so you know it's it's really

good it's clean it blows in clean it

tends to be less dusty


then some of the cellulose and rockwool

items that we've seen but the advantage

of rock wool is that it has a chemical

treatment that can you know cause pests

not to want to nest in it and things

like that so a lot of your pest control

companies will blow in only Rockwell

that's all they use I'm sorry only

cellulose they only blow in cellulose

that's the only kind of insulation

they'll use because a lot of people will

call pest control companies to do the

insulation after they've had a raccoon

investment or mice or rats or things

like that obviously you don't want to

have a litter box

over your house so one of the things you

can do if you're gonna use either

cellulose or fiberglass is make sure you

seal all of those penetrations around

the attic to keep pests and different

things from climbing in it's called

exclusion so you can create an exclusion

zone all around the Attic to stop that

the last one that we come across very

little in our area is rock wall okay so

from what I understand about rock wall

as it tends to be more expensive than

the other two and it's just harder to

get a hold of in certain areas so

typically most people in our area it's

gonna use either loose fill fiberglass

or cellulose and as I mentioned before

fiberglass is our number one choice now

if you're gonna use a bat style

insulation then you've got four choices

you still have fiberglass you still have

two cellulose you still have rock wall

but they've also got some cotton fiber

insulation Zout there so if you're gonna

tackle this project on your own a little

bit at a time then you may decide that

using a batt insulation is easier for

you to work with and you don't have to

rent a machine especially if you're just

doing this a little bit at a time you

know most of the time getting those

machines for a few hours can be costly

and all that even though it tends to go

faster but remember don't do any of that

insulation until you've air sealed the

floor of the attic you don't want to

take all that time and blow in you know

our 38 or our 49 of insulation and then

have to suck it all out because you've

realized that you made a mistake so make

sure that your air sealing first the

other thing you want to do is if you're

in a really cold climate you need to

have at least

r49 okay and then if you're in a warmer

climate you can get away with less and a

temperate climate like maybe Tennessee

you want to go with at least in our 38

so that's about 13 12 13 inches of

insulation would be our 38 so the colder

if you're up in Minnesota you want to go

a lot thicker if you're down in Florida

you don't have to go quite as thick but

air sealing is still just as important

no matter what your climate is to stop

drafting and all that sort of thing okay

so as I mentioned before you may want to

get rid of bad insulation if you've had

rain come in through the gables or

you've had some kind of roof leak or

something like that make sure you get

yourself an insulation vacuum and suck

out all of that bad stuff and the bad

thing about wet insulation is number one

it's not really that effective but

number two it's kind of hard to get out

it's really tough I can cake up and all

that sort of thing so make sure that if

you've got a lot of caked up insulation

up there especially that's cellulose I

mean can you imagine wet paper how

difficult is that to get out of an attic

so if you're gonna take the time don't

just blow good insulation on top of that

insulation make sure you invest and get

all of that bad insulation out and then

air seal the attic and lastly if you

live in a part of the country that

offers energy credits either through

your local municipality your power or

things like that TVA used to do stuff

like that they don't really do it


but if you're in some of those high

energy states like probably California

over on the west coast up in Washington

Oregon even up in New England they may

have energy credits that can help you

get a bonus or a rebate on that

insulation that you install so my name

is Michael church with crawlspace ninja

I hope this was helpful for you before

you tackle that attic insulation make

sure you take a look at all those tips

and I hope you make it a happy and

blessed day and we'll see you later

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