Plan Your Attic Insulation Project Carefully
Before you decide on the best way to add insulation to your attic, remember that attic and crawl space work can be extremely difficult and dangerous. Typically, working with an experienced contractor makes the most sense. Experienced contractors possess proper training and equipment required to complete this type of work. As a result, an experienced insulation contractor helps determine:
- Are there any existing moisture problems in the attic such as roof leaks, unvented dryer/bathroom/kitchen exhaust vents, areas of excessive condensation or mold? If so, all moisture problems in the attic require resolution prior to installing attic insulation.
- Has the attic been adequately air sealed? Holes between the house and the attic for chimneys, plumbing, electrical wires, recessed lights, knee walls, uneven ceiling heights, dropped soffits, top plates and attic hatches require sealing PRIOR to adding attic insulation.
- Which type of insulation are you going to use? Most attics are insulated with blown fiberglass, fiberglass batts or blown cellulose. However, insulations such as 1 and 2-part spray foams, Styrofoam boards and Poly-iscocyanurate insulation boards are also commonly used in attics.
- Does your attic need ventilation? It is common for attics to be ventilated so moisture and/or heat in the attic can be vented to the outside. Common attic ventilation strategies include soffit and ridge vents, gable vents, passive roof vents and powered attic vents (PAVs). Together with roof vents, ventilation baffles are often used to make sure outside air has a clear pathway to flow into your attic. All attic insulation projects need to make sure there is sufficient attic ventilation.
- Are there any health and safety problems in your attic, such as old vermiculite insulation, mold, asbestos, trip hazards or electrical hazards? All health and safety problems in attics must be removed before air sealing and insulation work can begin.
- Is there any mechanical equipment in the attic that will need regular maintenance? If so, access to the mechanical equipment must be provided.
- Will any of the attic be used for storage? If so, the storage area must be insulated and air sealed as well.