Insulating your home

The best way to air seal and insulate your loft so your house does not lose all of the warmth it needs to keep you warm this winter. Obtaining your loft up-to-speed with insulation is among the most cost effect measures to help your home be more energy efficient.

1. Your 10 years old and enjoying hide-and-seek.

2. Your 32 years old and you’ve got one more precious heirloom to keep away for ever.

3. Your 54 years old and you have noticed a wet spot on the ceiling and you are afraid that the roof is leaking.

These are all good reasons to join the loft, but for today, let us enter the attic to check at the insulating material and determine if adding more insulation will be a great – home warming – lower the energy bill – thing to do.

Building codes effecting insulation levels didn’t actually begin to take affect until the early 1980’s. If your house was built before 1984, there’s a fairly good chance your attic has minimum attic insulation. Today, based on the houses place, attics are being insulated with 16 inches of blown-in fiberglass ( R-49 ), cellulose, or stained blue jeans.

Yes, shredded blue jeans, I am serious, the ripped up blue jeans were being set up in a wall as insulation.

Attic insulation is energy efficient if you live in a cold climate and you are trying to keep the heat in and the cold out, or if you reside in a warm climate and you are trying to keep the cold in and the warm outside.

Dark colored, metal fiber seeming insulation is most likely rock wool. A favorite loft insulation from the 50’s and 60’s. Fairly powerful rather than a health hazard. However, insulation granules which are roughly 1/4 inch square that feel like Styrofoam and comparison from mirror glistening to dark in colour may be vermiculite asbestos. This is bad stuff due to the asbestos content. Don’t disturb or handle this insulation without the direction of a professional contractor.

Tip – Do not mess with knob and tube wiring and do not handle vermiculite.

If your home was constructed before 1940, you want to be conscious of knob and tube wiring. This can be clothed bound wiring that’s attached to ceramic knobs since it runs over wood framing runs or structures through ceramic tubes once the cable runs through holes in the framing or construction material. This sort of wiring will have to be replaced by new electric wiring by an electrician prior to insulating. If you insulate directly over knob and tube wiring, the cable can heat up and make a fire danger. Bee Removal

Another thing, watch where you step when in the loft, just step on the truss or rafter framing timber. If you measure between the framing members you’re going to stick your leg through the ceiling and have one ugly hole to spot and one heck of a mess to clean up until the small women gets home.

Tip – to supply a place to put your feet as you work on sealing the attic floor, have a sheet of plywood to the loft which will reach over several rafters.

1. Standard face mask and mild coveralls.

2. Drop light so that you can see what you are doing and where you are going.

Tip – miner style head lights work great here.

3. For those who have a flue or chimney running up through your attic, or recessed lighting or ceiling fans, you’ll require a little roll of light weight metal flashing, 18 to 24 inches wide. 1 set of tin shears.


5. Tube of cheap general purpose caulk and a caulk gun. In case you have gas appliances, also get a tube of high temperature caulk.

6. Cardboard port chutesfor putting between the roof trusses in precisely the identical location as each eve port or bird block. Count how many you’ll need by counting the amount of eve or soffit vents from outside the home. The simplest tool to put in the chutes is using a squeeze or tacker stapler.

7. Extra cardboard to use as obstacles to different areas where you don’t want insulation.


The best way to prepare the attic prior to installing insulation:

1. Remove the items you have saved in the loft which were placed within the heated area of your home where you’re going to insulate. Boards which were set in the attic to store things on also have to be removed.

2. Take the port chutes and the tacker stapler and put in a chute at every location where there’s an eve vent. Fit the chute so insulating material can’t block the port and a stream of air is able to move from the outside, through the eve port up through the chute and out to the loft. Attic ventilation is very important to the health of your loft.

3. Cut a half circular pattern in the edge of the metal and put in around the pipe such as a collar, screw set up with the sheet metal screws by screwing through tabs wrapped up on the faces of the metallic and screwing to the framing members of the truss. Caulk the distance between the flashing and the pipe using the high temperature caulk.

Tip – if working with the thin metal, wear gloves to avoid getting cut from the metal.

4. These cylinders should seem like extra tall turtle neck sweaters onto a metal neck.

5. In case you have recessed lighting or stained lights ( same thing), find them in your loft. Older canned lights which you can’t cover with insulation won’t be IC rated. Don’t confuse a UL rating ( Underwriters Laboratory ) using the IC score. They are not the exact same thing. A UL rating means the canned light has a cutoff switch installed which will turn off the light if it becomes too hot. An IC rating means it’s secure to cover the canned mild with insulating material. Air distance between the IC rated insulation and light isn’t needed.

Tip – Today would be a great time to update the recessed lighting to shut cans and IC rated.

When the canned light is IC rated, seal the light in which it comes through the ceiling with overall purpose caulk – your ready to install insulation within the lighting.

If the canned light isn’t IC rated, seal the light in which it comes through the ceiling and some other holes in the light body with high temperature caulk. Form a cylinder with the metal flashing and put it around the light body just like you would a flue pipe leaving a 2 inch air space. This should look like a gardener which places an open end bucket over his young tomato plants so that they are protected in the cold. The plant is that the can light and the bucket is the sheet metal.

6. Find any exhaust fans, there might be none, one or more. The fans need to have a ridged or flexable round duct running from the enthusiast to an exhaust point that places the exhausted air outside rather than in the loft. Use the all purpose the foam spray to seal the fan body in the ceiling. Be sure the duct is exhausting to an eve port or a roof summit vent. Support the duct with plastic or wire ties to make certain the duct doesn’t fall down with time. An exhaust fan has a 1 way flapper valve in the exhaust fan before it attaches to the duct. Given the opportunity, inspect the flapper valve and be sure lint, dust, hair, moisture and gunk hasn’t left the valve stuck open or glued closed. The flapper valve is a back flow restrictor, maintaining warm or cold air from coming back down the duct in your residence.

Tip- Today would be a fantastic time to replaced older noisy exhaust fans.

7. Now take the can of spray foam and apply foam to each hole in which an electric wire, T.V. cable, or telephone cable enters or leaves the loft. There ought to be port pipes running up from the loft floor and out the roof. Foam where the pipe comes through the loft floor.

8. Some houses, both older homes and newer, may have open spaces which run from the loft floor to the floor below. These are spaces that result from unnecessary space at the end of cabinets or bathtubs. They maybe caused by irregular framing like a triangle formed where a cupboard meets a hallway that matches a bedroom door. These open chases have to be sealed with more than just insulation. Have a sheet of cardboard, cut it to fit over the opening, lay a bead of purpose caulk around the lip of the opening, then lay the cardboard on top the caulk and twist down with the sheet metal screws. Now you just insulate over the cardboard.

Ready to Resist

1. Tape measured- for calculating the square footage in your loft and for marking cardboard strips together with the thickness of insulation that you would like to add.

2. Either one is great.

3. Insulation – Large hardware and construction shops will have a blower you can use should you purchase the insulation from them. Do not forget to call ahead and book the machine. The blower includes about two miles of hose.


5. Attic access tent- This is a seldom new thing for insulation within the attic access opening once you have insulated the remainder of the attic.


7. Gate latch – two little gate latches for holding the access lid down.


Take the tape and measure the width and length of the loft space. This can usually be done from outside the home by walking around on the yard rather than in the attic walking around on narrow trusses.

Have a trip down to your favorite hardware store and go for the insulation department. Grab a bundle and read just how much insulation is in the bundle at a particular thickness or depth. The graph on the package will permit you to calculate the number of packages of insulation you’ll need if your attic is a lot of square feet and you wish to add as much R-value. As an example, 1 package will cover 100 square feet at R-16, 56 square feet at R-30, and 32 sq ft at R-49.

Tip – buy a bundle or two additional, as soon as you get started blowing insulation you do not need to stop to go get yet another bundle.

Load up the mill and the insulating material in the rear of the pickup and head home for a good, energy saving afternoon.

Place the blower at a handy location. You’ll have to plug the machine into an electrical socket, feed it with bundles of insulating material, and run the hose from the machine into the loft. Tack up a couple of the cardboard thickness indicating strips which you made so you’ve got a target depth to target for. Spray the insulation from the hose in a sweeping movement which allows the insulation to fall in your loft floor like a nice light snow. Fill 1 section of loft to the planned depth before continuing on to another section. Take care not to guide the flying insulation to the eve chutes or within the cylinder barriers.

Tip – If your attic has an electrical junction box or any other fixed thing that will be tough to find once covered with 16 inches of insulating material, mark it’s location by writing on a piece of cardboard and stapling the signal over the thing on a roof rafter with an arrow pointing the way.

Fill the whole attic with fine new insulation to an even depth indicated by the cardboard thickness measuring strips placed efficiently around the loft. As soon as you have all of the attic filled except only the area around the attic access opening, stop for a minute, take some cardboard, and put in an insulation barrier around the opening. You can now add insulation to the proper depth up into the opening.

Hint – Plan ahead so the hose and the mill hopper isn’t full of insulation when you’re finished and need to take the hose off the machine.

Hey, you are almost done.

1. Spread the loft access tent over the opening.

2. Twist the 1/4 inch self adhering weatherstripping into the touch perimeter of the lid that fits covers and into the access opening.

3. Install the hatch latch clips, one on either side of the lid in such a way that if the latch is secured, it pulls down on the lid and compresses the weatherstripping so the lid is air tight.

4. Load up the additional bundles of insulating material and the blower and come back to the store.

There’s certain to be a light sprinkling of insulation below the access opening and around the region where the blower was found. Brooms don’t work well on insulation in grass or carpet. Catch the vacuum cleaner and do not stop until your sure you won’t have to sleep on the sofa.

You will now get the satisfaction of a lower power bill, a warmer feeling, less drafty house, and a furnace that doesn’t have to work so hard. Hope this report has been a help, please come back soon and hurry, I will not be leaving the light on for you…

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