Tips for Adding Attic Insulation to Your Home

If you're tired of shivering in your home when the weather turns cold, it's probably time to install new insulation into your attic and walls. While you'll probably need to hire a contractor to blow insulation in your walls, you can install attic insulation yourself if you have basic home improvement skills. Here are a few tips that may help.

Choose Your Insulation Material

Blankets and blow-in insulation are easy to use if you want to install the insulation yourself. The blankets come in standard sizes that you can unroll on the attic floor. You'll need to cut them to fit around vents, pipes, and anything else that gets in the way, but for the most part, you can simply unroll the insulation and leave it in place. Blankets work well if you have a flat and uniform space in your attic so you don't have to do much cutting.

The other choice is loose insulation that you blow into your attic with a blower. This is the ideal choice if your attic has an unusual shape or a lot of obstructions in the way. It's also a good choice if your attic is very small and you don't have enough room to stand up and position the blankets.

Prepare the Attic

Be sure to prep the attic before you install new insulation to make sure the new insulation stays nice and dry. If you have any roof leaks, be sure to fix them and remove any insulation that is damp or moldy. It's okay to place new insulation on top of old insulation as long as the old insulation is in fairly good shape. If you use your attic for a storage space and it has a plywood floor, you should consider removing the stored items and ripping up the floor. That way, you can get more insulation in your attic and your house will stay warmer.

In addition to making sure your attic is dry, you'll want to ensure there will be adequate ventilation in it once the insulation is in place. To do this, you can buy foam baffles at a home improvement store and place them along the walls and ceiling if necessary. They allow air to circulate behind them so you won't have to worry about leaving a space between the insulation and your walls.

Also, before you put in the blanket or loose insulation, be sure to seal all the cracks, vents, and pipes with spray foam insulation from a can. Check for air leaks around windows and other openings, and seal any you find with caulk or the spray foam.

Once your attic is prepped, you can install the insulation of your choice. Work from the walls towards the center of the room near the door. When you're finished with the floor, add some insulation to the door too. You can do this by taping a piece of blanket insulation or foam insulation board to the back of the door. Then seal the door with weatherstripping so no cold air can leak through the cracks. If your home still seems too cold after you've added insulation in your attic, check other areas of your home, such as the exterior walls, crawlspace, basement, and even the floors in your home. By insulating these areas also, you'll make your home even more energy efficient.

If you find the task overwhelming, consider contacting a local insulation specialist, such as B & B Cowie Insulation Ltd.