In my previous articles, I discussed some basics considerations to keep in mind before beginning insulation installation. I suggest you follow this same process but also make a few additions. For example, your attic insulation may not be the only area affected by the seasonal movements of the weather. If so, insulating other areas of your home, such as the exterior of the home or your garage, should also be considered. You can also include the crawl space, which is right next to the basement.
Once your existing insulation installation is finished, it is time to begin the insulation installation of the new attic insulation. Start by removing any existing insulation from the attic. This includes insulation that was installed between the exterior walls and ceiling. Also, be sure to remove any windows and doors that were open during insulation installation.
One of the main components in the installation of insulation in the attic is the type of insulation being used. You want to select a high R-value (for insulation) that will provide proper protection from heat loss. Many people prefer to use rigid foam board insulation, which is rated at a high R-value of 32. However, if rigid foam board is not the insulation you originally selected, be sure to replace it with a high quality moisture-resistant and fire retardant product. You may also want to consider using high quality insulation board.
The second step in insulation installation is to install the insulation board on the walls in the attic. Depending on where you live, you will probably need to apply the insulation to all walls in your house. This will provide the framework for the flexible piping that is used in vapor barriers. After you apply the insulation, you should carefully inspect the perimeter wall to ensure it is straight and has no joints or openings. If there are any gaps in the walls, you should correct them prior to continuing with the insulation installation.
Once the perimeter wall is in good condition, you will next install the insulation board into place. Most attic insulation will have a plate section, which serves as the insulating material in the center. You should measure the distance between the two brackets before you install the insulation. You should stagger the insulation pieces by using about six inches per batch. The key is to have enough insulation for the square footage of the attic.
Once the insulation has been installed, the ceiling joists should be caulked and the attic insulation should be tightened. Make sure you install the ceiling joists properly, especially at the corners to ensure there are no leaks. Next you will want to add the foam board insulation between the rafters. Be sure to overlap the insulation by at least six inches. This will help reduce air movement and therefore prevent ice dams. The last step is to tie the bottom ridge cap in place.
Installing loose-fill insulation requires an installer to blow-in the insulation using a sprayer. Once the entire attic insulation is blown-in, it should then be caulked and added to the edges of the wall. A typical loose-fill installation requires four inches of insulation for each inch of the roof sheathing.
R-value per inch: An important aspect to attics is the R-value per inch. This number tells you the insulation material options should be used to minimize the energy loss through the attics. A high R-value per inch means that thermal resistance is significantly increased. Low R-value per inch means that thermal resistance is decreased. The final step in attic insulation installation is to trim all the obstructions. Trimming can be done with a saw, but it is better left to a professional.