my Old Workshop

Attic insulation I – now's the time

Now that the spring warmth has come upon us, you might not be thinking about insulation, but here are two reasons to beef up your attic insulation now. First off, insulation does more than protect you against the cold; it protects you against heat, too. Insulating your attic will do wonders to keep the warmth in your home during the winter and keep you cooler in the summer. Spring is also a good time, because the temperature’s somewhat moderate; you won’t freeze or be stuck in a sauna up there.

Insulation is measured by an R-factor, which measures how much insulation it provides. An R-factor of 40 is good for your attic. (Insulating your attic also eliminates the risk of ice damming in winter, which can cause major damage to your roof and the interior of your house.

We’ll concentrate on fiberglass batts, as they’re inexpensive and are a good bet for most attics with exposed ceiling joists on the attic floor.

If you have no insulation between the joists, then you’ll want faced insulation. These batts have a vapor barrier on one side of the batt to prevent moisture from coming up into the unheated attic and condensing. It should be installed on with the vapor barrier facing down, into the warm part of the house. If you already have some insulation, make sure there’s a vapor barrier under it, and install unfaced insulation on top.

Choose insulation which fits the space between your joists. To estimate the amount of insulation calculate the square footage of the attic. If you’re using R20 insulation, you’ll need to double up to get R40, so double the square footage.

More next time.