my Old Workshop

Attic insulation II – more tips

Last time, we talked about the benefits of making sure your attic’s well insulated. You stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and you prevent ice damming. You’ve picked up your insulation and now you’re ready to get going.

Make sure you have the right tools, a sharp utility knife, a long straightedge, a stick to push the insulation into hard to reach places, and a board to kneel on and stand on and keep you from falling into the room below.

Dress in some cool clothes, put on some work gloves, a hat, safety glasses and a dust mask, and you’re set.

Here’s how to cut your insulation. The easiest way is to lay the insulation on a board, hold your straightedge down firmly on the insulation, and cut along the straightedge.

Push insulation under the eaves with your stick, but make sure you don’t block off ventilated soffits, which provide needed air circulation in the attic.

Then begin laying batts between the joists. When you encounter pipes or beams, fit the batts snugly around the obstruction, cutting small sections of insulation as necessary. But if you come across light fixtures, fan motors or vents, install a barrier a few inches either side of the fixture, to keep the insulation away from the light or motor and causing it to overheat. That can be dangerous.

To add a second layer of unfaced insulation, lay it perpendicular to the rest. This also closes up any gaps.

Finally, make sure your attic is ventilated through roof vents, soffit vents or gable vents.