Insulating the attic is on every homeowner’s to-do list, mostly because of the many benefits it has to the house residents. With a well-insulated attic, you will enjoy impressively low energy bills, cleaner, better air quality, and lower temperature fluctuations as the seasons go by. With the costs of LPG and heating oil climbing by the day, insulating your house is now more of a requirement than an option.
The cost of installing insulation can be remarkably high, with many homeowners forking out as much as $1500 to professional contractors. Thankfully, you should not have to fret about it; attic insulation is a DIY job that you can handle in one weekend. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you get the best quality possible from a DIY attic insulation:
Remove all the junk stuffed in your attic
Having items in your attic will impede the process of adding the right layer of insulation, so get the boxes out and plan to remove any plywood flooring that may interfere with the effectiveness of your insulation.
Select the right insulation material
For a DIY insulation, you can have either loose-fill or batt insulation. You can readily add either of these to uninsulated attics or existing layers. You may find that fiberglass is cheaper, but if you want to be greener, choose cellulose.
Loose-fill insulation is packed in bags and blown into your attic using equipment that you can rent from a home center. You can opt to distribute the material with your hands, but the result will not be as good. Loose-fill insulation is perfect for your home if your attic has many obstructions that need working around, irregular joist spacing, or gaps in existing insulation that need to be filled out.
Batt insulation is more flexible as it comes packed in rolls between 16-24 inches so that it fits between the studs and joists in your house’s framing. You can add as many layers as you need to achieve the insulation you need. If your attic has standard joist spacing and fewer obstructions, then batts are a more suitable option for you.
Figure how much insulation you need to buy
Measure your attic’s area in square feet, and also determine the R-value you desire. The most optimal range of R-values is R-38-R-49, and with this value and the area of your attic, you can calculate the amount of bags you will need to purchase. The bags of loose-fill cellulose or fiberglass also come with ready information about the amount needed to fit a 1000 sq. foot attic as well as their R-values. If you are using rolls, calculate the number you will need using the length and width of your chosen material.
Stop air and roof leaks
Sealing out gaps in your attic will ensure that your insulation works and that heated or cooled air does not escape. Roof leaks could wet your new insulation, making the entire project useless, so ensure that all the roof leaks and any other potential sources of leaks are removed. Once these are handled, you can get started with the insulation process.
Protective gear is critical in a DIY insulation process, as you are exposed to allergens, chemicals, and other potentially harmful substances. Also, ensure that you keep the air flowing freely in the attic using rafter vents and ensuring that the insulation does not cover the soffits.