Precautions for Insulating your Attic Yourself
Are you planning to upgrade your home’s insulation yourself? It is always recommended to get this job done by a professional. But if you think you can do it without any help, it is important to take a few precautions. This guide will provide you with valuable tips for how to be careful when insulating your home, especially the attic.
You may choose any type of insulation for your home. It can be:
- Rigid boards
- Loose fill materials
- Spray foam
- Or any other poured in material
Before you start the project, make sure to read all the printed precautions.
Always wear recommended clothing for protecting your skin or eyes from coming in contact with the material. Gloves, protective and durable glasses, dust respirators and long-sleeved shirt are a must have (Because professionals will have all the industry-standard clothing, it will however be better to seek the services of a professional insulating company).
You should never pack the insulation around electric fixtures, wires, motors and heat-generating equipment with your bare hands. Besides, heat-generating units shouldn’t be covered with any materials. As a standard, it is required to keep thermal insulation at least 3 inches away from such equipment. If the electrical fixture is not allowed to be kept in an air-tight environment, you shouldn’t take the risk of insulating around it. If you do, it could increase the risk of fire.
Get Electricians Help
If you are not an electrician yourself, it is recommended to get the help of one to check all the wires and electrical equipment. They can check the existing insulation around the wiring to determine if they have degraded. In many case, the wires may be overloaded. You don’t want to add thermal insulation around wires as this could cause them to overheat. If you have an old house, it can be difficult to insulate around the old wiring systems of knob and tube wiring. You will again be dealing with fire safety concerns.
The attic vents shouldn’t be covered with insulation. Attics need to be properly ventilated (besides being insulated). If you close the vents, it will cause excessive overheating during summer and cause build up of humidity.
Batts and Rolls Insulation
This is the easiest type of insulation that you could perform on your attic. But it comes with its own set of shortcomings and challenges. If you don’t install them the right way you will be leaving many gaps for leaks.
- If you have unfinished attic floors, you should install it starting from the perimeter and move towards the door.
- If it is a newly constructed home, place the vapor retarder face down. But if you live in areas with high humidity, it is recommended to choose unfaced batt.
When you install batts over old insulation, you should use only unfaced batts. If you don’t have any insulation within the attic, the insulation should be installed between the joists. The access door or trap should also be insulated properly. This is one of the more difficult tasks, but make sure not to leave the door un-insulated.
Attic Insulation is a relatively difficult task even if you will be using simple batts. There are a lot of things that you cannot handle on your own. So it will be best to seek the help of professionals.