Insulating Your Attic: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to easily install attic insulation with this step-by-step guide. Find out what materials you need and how to measure energy efficiency.

Insulating Your Attic: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding insulation to the attic floor is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep your home warm and comfortable. To do so, you'll need to lift the plywood floor and place a new layer of insulation on top of any existing material. When installing fiberglass insulation, make sure to place the paper or aluminum vapor barrier facing the living area of the house, as this will prevent condensation from occurring. It can be tricky to insulate an unfinished attic from corner to corner.

Open-cell foam made of polyurethane is an option for attics that is applied in spray form to open frames of walls and ceilings. However, excessive insulation costs can be prohibitive for many homeowners on a budget. To check the energy efficiency of your home, measure the thickness of the fiberglass insulation in the attic. To prevent the burst insulation from falling through the opening of the attic hatch, make a 2 × 12 barrier around the perimeter of the hatch. Your assistant can insert the insulation material that has fallen into the hopper while you place the hose in the attic.

All insulation can be installed along the ceiling line and up to the floor before the space is covered with drywall. If you are applying an additional layer of fiberglass insulation to the attic, place uncoated insulation on top of the existing insulation to prevent moisture from being trapped between the layers. A practical tip is to use uncoated insulation near flues and chimneys, or if you are going to add new insulation to increase the density and R-value of the insulation you already have in the attic. The purpose of this insulation is to keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter. When installing loose padding in an unfinished attic, fill the space between beams with insulating material, starting with walls and slowly moving back to the center of the room or attic entrance. Installers who spray rigid foam are more likely to use it to penetrate small, hard-to-reach areas of the attic, which are often difficult to access with blocks.

Pulp installers should plan to add 20% more material than usual to compensate for natural sedimentation. Insulating your attic doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a few simple steps and some basic materials, you can easily install attic insulation and enjoy a more comfortable home all year round.