Attic Insulation Prep
Attic insulation preparations are actually more important than the level of insulation itself.
Here is a list of things to consider BEFORE adding insulation to your attic:
1) Does your attic needs more lights? It is likely going to be much harder to navigate AFTER the additional insulation is installed. Installing better lighting before your start is better.
2) Are your top-plates, lights, wiring holes, plumbing holes, and duct penetrations sealed? How about bath fans, are the ducts short, straight, and insulated right? This is fundamental stuff that must be done right. We want the house to be tight.
3) Do you need baffles or dams or walking platforms or catwalks? How are large humans going to “service” the attic space once the joists are FULLY ENGULFED in insulation? You either elevate most of the foot traffic well above the insulation, or build a small vertical dams to keep the dusty insulation away from the storage zone or central walkway. In new construction the platform must be above the insulation completely or about 12″ – 14″ above the drywall.
4) Do you need to replace your access door or pull-down stairs? Do you want to make a secondary cover?
5) Are your skylights properly insulated and wrapped with an air-barrier?
We hope these topics are spurring creativity. Get out there and get dirty and make a lasting improvement while getting to know the home and learning a lesson or two. Use tubs. If you spend 6 hours in an attic working you should go through 2-4 dust masks. They make miniature plastic leaf rakes that can be really useful for maneuvering loose fill insulation and placing baffles and batts awkwardly in the soffit above the wall-plate. If you are going to be chinking 60 folded pieces of insulation and air- vents in the most un-reachable part of your attic you should utilize a stick of some sort. 2 man team minimum.