How does it feel when you have to deal with consistent heat loss from your attic after you spent thousands of dollars on its insulation? It sucks!
Whether you are very good with assessing the energy efficiency of your home or not, exceptionally high energy bills are something we all dread. And it must be! Not only because we have to pay the money but because it is ultimately increasing in the entropy of our universe. Okay, let’s not go into the vastness of the universe and shift our focus back to your home (well, isn’t that your universe!) and its insulation.
A lot of homeowners do understand the importance of insulation so when they seek to get their home insulated, there are two main options. Either you do it on your own or hire professional insulation companies in Tigard OR to do it for you. In any case, adequate preparation is imperative!
Here is a brief guide about the key prep steps to follow before attic insulation.
Clean And Organize
Once you are done with the home energy efficiency assessment and have made the decision to install or replace the home insulation, it’s time to clean. More often than not, the attic needs a session of cleaning and organizing. Take this as an opportunity to purge those old holiday decorations that you haven’t displayed in years, and also get those family photos archived properly (otherwise, store it elsewhere for the while). You have to make the area accessible. Eliminate as much dust and debris as possible.
Inspect The Attic
After the mess removal, you have got enough space to inspect the attic thoroughly. Wear personal safety equipment to avoid any kind of injuries. Examine the walls and joints. Look for any signs of water damage. The most common signs are warped wood planks, peeling paint, and water stains. And if you smell something stale in the air, find the moldy patches and fix them. Mold indicates that there has been a roof leak that needs fixing before you insulate it.
When you have fixed the leaks, take proper measurements. As you have to purchase the insulation materials, you must know the exact dimensions of your attic. Note down the details and keep them with you while you are hunting for the right kind of insulation material.
Seal Off Air Leaks
If you want to make the most out of your investment, it is essential to seal off air leaks. If you have a walk-up attic door, add weather strips around the frame and install a door sweep on the base of the door to fill in the air gap.
Cover the exhaust fans with boxes and caulk seal them. Seal the openings between the chimney and the collar or wood framing with fire-resistant sealant. Take a walk around your attic and see if any potential air leak points need fixing. They vary for every house.
Choose The Right Kind Of Insulation Material
There are several kinds of insulation materials available out there. You have to choose one that works for your needs and requirements. The three most commonly used are fiberglass, blown-in cellulose insulation, and spray foam. Spray foam is the best option of three owing it its cost efficiency, noise reduction, and pest resistance.
Weigh in the factors such as R-value, ease of installation, and area that needs to be covered before checking the costs of it. You can always consult a professional for reliable advice.
Budge is a limiting factor for a lot of homeowners but keep in mind that you are not doing to insulate it every other day! And the cost efficiency should be calculated properly instead of comparing the upfront costs only.
Direct All Air Vents To Exterior
Verify that all of the air vents are directed to the exterior. The exhaust fans must not direct air inside the attic as it can result in mold growth over time.
Protect The Fixtures
There should always be a three-inch gap between the light fixtures and insulation. It’s important to protect your house from fire hazards. The wires should also be carefully covered and protected. Create wooden boxes around the fixtures before you start the installation process.
Make Sure The Plumbing Is Taken Care Of
If there are any kinds of plumbing pipes are passing through the attic, and they generally are, they could be an issue. That’s because they can contribute to air moisture and that does not mix well with the insulation materials.
The Final Words
It is no secret that any mistakes in the attic insulation can cost you a lot of money and inconvenience. If you are living in an old home the expenses can multiply and so are the risks of doing it. Make sure you are taking care of them when you are doing it on your own. For those who hire a professional company for residential attic insulation, confirm their professional competence. Hire a legally compliant and experienced company and you will not have to get through every step of it. They can take care of it!