Posts Tagged ‘insulation’

Insulation Dude Gives Me the Lowdown on Attic Insulation

Jan 21, 2009 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

baffle1 Insulation Dude Gives Me the Lowdown on Attic InsulationSo the guy from Eco Foam concluded that I needed vent chutes around the attic perimeter and a layer of R-30 blown-in cellulose (about 9 inches) in both attic areas on top of the existing insulation. The vent chutes will allow for better cold air intake and overall circulation. This made sense to me considering my initial hypothesis that there was insulation obstructing the soffit vents. For some reason I couldn’t visualize what the baffle/vent chute would look like or how it would be installed so I did a quick scan of the web and found a couple things.

A little animated tutorial on insulating an attic. Mentions baffle installation a couple times…now I get it!

Itchy’s Do It Yourself Home Insulation provides a quick overview of installing baffles/vent chutes in both new construction and in an existing attic. He had a couple of great lines in the article that made me chuckle because it sounded like he was talking about me: “Installing the baffles [in an existing attic] is the same [as doing so in a new home] but it is a slower process and may require a certain amount of cussing to get the job done. But, that’s OK because nobody can hear you in the attic anyway.”

I can say with absolute certainty that based on the pitch of my roof and the amount of space it provides near the end of the eaves, there is not a chance that I’d get up in there and do this install on my own. About a year ago I installed some rolled insulation up there and that was miserable enough. Balancing on rafters and dripping sweat behind an air mask for an extended period of time didn’t instill loving memories of my attic.

Which leads me to another thing mentioned by the insulation guy. He explained how rolled fiberglass insulation isn’t as effective as blown cellulose. Basically, the R-value of fiberglass insulation¬† decreases as the temperature decreases and because there are many openings and gaps in rolled insulation, air can blow through it, which negatively affects its ability to insulate. On the other hand, blown cellulose holds its R-value as the temperature drops, it doesn’t have the gaps like the rolled stuff because as it settles, it fills the voids, creating a more tightly sealed attic. AND it’s a recycled product AAAANND it’s cheaper than the rolled fiberglass.

So there you have it. $1378 will get me 9 inches of blown insulation and a bunch of vent chutes.¬† Not sure how that compares to other parts of the U.S., but around here that’s not too bad.

Ice Buildup Continues to Persist. Need Insulation Now!

Jan 19, 2009 |  by  |  Craftsman Archives  |  Share

dsc077172 Ice Buildup Continues to Persist. Need Insulation Now!It’s the dead of winter here in Michigan and the frigid arctic temperatures and constant snowfall are once again wrecking havoc on the eaves on the southeast corner of my house. That’s the corner where the 1926 portion of my house meets the 1977 portion. I like to call it my little arctic hell. Every year for the past five years it’s the same old story. Snow falls, snow melts, snow freezes and my home begins to look like Superman’s fortress of solitude. The ice buildup is a sure sign of inefficient heating which is naturally a cost and environmental concern but those cold, sharp ice shards are a physical hazard as well, especially for the kids.

Turns out there are a few things I can do to alleviate the problem. Obviously, insulation is a key factor and as it turns out just a year ago I added rolled insulation to the 1926 attic though admittedly I had a very difficult time getting insulation into the eave area. I tried using a long metal rod to gently push the insulation into the crevase but not being an insulation expert, I think I may have compacted it a little much, which as you probably know, means the insulation along the eave was essentially rendered worthless. Another thing we did was cut soffit vents into the 1926 eaves. Previously, there were none installed so doing this was supposed to add greatly to the air circulation. I personally think the vents aren’t working properly because they’re covered with insulation. Real good, right? Sometimes I find no joy in home improvement, especially coming in as an amateur.

Bottom line is I have a guy coming out today from Eco Foam to evaluate my situation and let me know what type of insulation will be most effective. I’m not looking for them to insulate my entire attic space so hopefully, it won’t be a major expense. We’ll see. Stayed tuned in for the update later tonight.