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Old 03-27-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
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insulation question


hello,

I want to add a layer of insulation to my attic. I noticed the current insulation has seemed to flattened out a bit. Not sure how. The joists are 2x4. Is it ok to just go perpendicular with the new insulation even though the current insulation is not all the way to the top of the 2x4 joists?

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Old 03-27-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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Moved to Insulation forum.

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Old 03-27-2013, 03:27 PM   #3
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Please go back and add your location to your profile.
Just go to Quick links to edit.
Hard to suggest what insulation you need when you could be anyplace on the planet.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...sulation_table

What's there now for insulation?

Has the attic been air sealed ( sealing up all the holes where wiring, plumbing, ceiling light, fans were installed.

Do you have soffit and ridge vents?
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Please go back and add your location to your profile.
Just go to Quick links to edit.
Hard to suggest what insulation you need when you could be anyplace on the planet.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...sulation_table

What's there now for insulation?

Has the attic been air sealed ( sealing up all the holes where wiring, plumbing, ceiling light, fans were installed.

Do you have soffit and ridge vents?
Yes there is air flow in the attic. Right now its batt insulation.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Please go back and add your location to your profile.
Just go to Quick links to edit.
Hard to suggest what insulation you need when you could be anyplace on the planet.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...sulation_table

What's there now for insulation?

Has the attic been air sealed ( sealing up all the holes where wiring, plumbing, ceiling light, fans were installed.

Do you have soffit and ridge vents?
Im not asking how much I need. I know how much I need. My question is the current batt insulation is not quite at the top level of the floor joists so it alright to add the additional bats perpendicular over what is already there?
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:00 PM   #6
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insulation question


first and foremost, AIRSEAL!

second, no, there would be no purpose to install insulation crossing the rafters if its not going to be in contact with the insulation presently there. There would be an air gap that would essentially kill the r-value of the new insulation. Why not blow in? And exactly how old is this home if the insulation is not filling a 2x4 beam. Regardless of what climate zone you are in, that is no good.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:12 PM   #7
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first and foremost, AIRSEAL!

second, no, there would be no purpose to install insulation crossing the rafters if its not going to be in contact with the insulation presently there. There would be an air gap that would essentially kill the r-value of the new insulation. Why not blow in? And exactly how old is this home if the insulation is not filling a 2x4 beam. Regardless of what climate zone you are in, that is no good.
I can't afford blown in. Can I just go parallel then so its in contact with what is there now? This insulation is in the joists not the rafters. Home is built in 64.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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I see you still have not added where you live, what type insulation you now have now.
Blown in is cheaper then batts.
Any Lowes or HD will let you have the blower for free is you buy at least 10 bags.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
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its only going to work if it is in contact. and i have news for you, my friend, blow in is cheaper.

If you don't have the money to do it the right way, then wait till you do. Trust me, you aren't going to see the improvements you are looking for if you don't address the issue properly. If money is tight, go to home depot, get a $50 spray foam gun and 5 cans of foam and a piece of foamboard and airseal EVERYTHING. That investment will pay itself off over one heating and cooling season, and give you a little comfort till you can properly insulate.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:50 PM   #10
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its only going to work if it is in contact. and i have news for you, my friend, blow in is cheaper.

If you don't have the money to do it the right way, then wait till you do. Trust me, you aren't going to see the improvements you are looking for if you don't address the issue properly. If money is tight, go to home depot, get a $50 spray foam gun and 5 cans of foam and a piece of foamboard and airseal EVERYTHING. That investment will pay itself off over one heating and cooling season, and give you a little comfort till you can properly insulate.
Is it easy to use the machine? What is better cellulose or fiberglass as far as blow in?
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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Cellulose.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:36 PM   #12
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I can't afford blown in. Can I just go parallel then so its in contact with what is there now? This insulation is in the joists not the rafters. Home is built in 64.
Blow in insulation is a lot cheaper than fiberglass rolls or bats! heck, I went to my local lumberyard and bought a dozen or more bales of the treated cellulose stuff and the machine was free to use, took me a couple of hours and it was done.
This is the same insulation that was used in the walls in the 70s here.

Cellulose insulation has an R-value of about 3.5 per inch of thickness, compared to fiberglass batt’s R-value between 3 to 4 per inch.

You don't get the itchy particles in your skin or the hazzardous microscopic GLASS particles in the air that you get from fiberglass.

I bought enough bales to insulate my attic to the height of my waist when standing on the rafters, I calculated about an R100 value.

The machine is nothing much more than a reverse vacuum cleaner with a garbage pail hopper on it, you just dump the bales in the hopper, turn it on and it has a turning set of spikes that break up the somewhat compressed bale and then blows it out thru a hose. You set the thing on the porch and run the hose up into the attic and start blowing while a helper keeps the hopper full.
I did it by MYSELF, only trouble I had was the lousy hose had some damage and it kept plugging up, so I cut the last 5 feet off the damn hose and that solved the problem and they never missed the 5 feet.

As far as cost, here:

http://www.midlandhardware.com/40-SQ..._p_102378.html

40 SQFT Cocoon Brand Cellulose Insulation Atr-19 Green Fiber
Your Price: $9.27
Weight: 19.05 pound(s)


$100 worth, or ten bales/bags will go a long way, I did my attic waist high with about 15 bags as I remember, it was around $100 total.

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Old 03-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #13
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Definately cellulose. The fiberglass gets more footage per bag, for a little more money, but more r-value in the cellulose.

3.7 per inch as opposed to 3.2, and only high 2's for the batts.

They have the chart right on the bags you purchase as to how many you need to get to a certain r-value per 1000 sq ft.

On a side note, if 15 bags did your entire attic waste high, you must have an extremely small attic.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:23 PM   #14
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Definately cellulose. The fiberglass gets more footage per bag, for a little more money, but more r-value in the cellulose.

3.7 per inch as opposed to 3.2, and only high 2's for the batts.

They have the chart right on the bags you purchase as to how many you need to get to a certain r-value per 1000 sq ft.

On a side note, if 15 bags did your entire attic waste high, you must have an extremely small attic.
I think the bags were larger 12 years ago than what's sold today, they were big, and I am guessing it was 15 bags, I remember the total cost wasn't much more than $100, it could have been more bags than 15 but @ $5 a bag it could have been 20 bags.
There already was some cellulose insulation in the attic to begin with, I'm thinking about a foot deep.

I have a 1000 sq ft house but the center section I converted to a cathedral ceiling, so there's no attic there, but the attic is over a 12x24 section and a 12x12 section roughly.
The cathedral ceiling has about 10" of celotex board and an air space, and @ 7.1/inch R value that section is around R 75.

I personally don't trust fiberglass insulation, ESPECIALLY the stuff blown in! It's made out of spun GLASS fibers, and even though Johns-Manvill, Owens-Corning etc all claim their stuff is "safe" and that the glass breaks down in the lungs when inhailed, as we all know glass is almost forever, it doesn't rust, rot, corrode, catch fire or "go away" and is impervious to household cleaners, chemicals, solvents, and about the only thing that does much to it is sulphuric acid and even then it's over a long period of time.

The fiberglass manufacturing industry includes many of the same corporations which created the asbestos tragedy, except now these corporations are larger and operate in many countries. Despite recent bankruptcies, the fiberglass manufacturers retain much wealth, in the form of factories, brand names and distribution channels. Their long fingers reach into universities and medical centers, where their money pays for " research" on the safety of their products.
This "research" may sound scientific, but always determines the product cannot be proven hazardous.



Here's a few cases involving fiberglass, every one of them another reason to AVOID fiberglass- ESPECIALLY blown-in loose fill stuff, if it's loose it gets in the air every time you open the attic door or the wind blows hard.

The Branstetter family of Ft. Myers, Florida, had an air conditioning system that was so leaky, the air handler unit became literally packed full of fiberglass. The daughter, now 15, is diagnosed with respiratory disease.

The Branstetters settled their fiberglass injury case. Although the settlement was for $125,000, much of that will go to the attorney and the family still has a sick daughter and a contaminated house. "How do you figure I won?" asks Cheryl Branstetter.

Lilly Brown became sick while working at a Children's Center in a posh Palm Springs, California, suburb. A poorly designed and haphazardly installed heating and air conditioning system spewed fiberglass around the building. The case was settled for $825,000.

The Markel family suffered greatly because their air conditioner, immersed in an attic full of fiberglass, spread the tiny fibers all over their home. The family's two boys, ages 4 and 6, appear to have permanent respiratory disease.

The Glass family (not their real name) bought a new house in the Southwest and became sick soon after. You can probably guess the reason why.


http://www.sustainableenterprises.com/fin/victims.htm


While many see the benefits of insulating our houses with fiberglass, some are worried fiberglass can cause various health problems -- it's capable of causing immediate skin irritation, and some researchers fear inhaling fiberglass particles could cause cancer.

If you've ever come in contact with fiberglass, you already know what it can do to your skin. The tiny fibers of glass from insulation wool can irritate your skin and eyes If you experience too much contact with fiberglass, it can cause what's called irritant, contact dermatitis

or inflammation of the skin. Breathing in fibers can also increase the difficulty of breathing. Is that the extent of the trouble fiberglass can cause, or are there more serious health effects?

It also has some worried that the fibers from fiberglass are just as dangerous as asbestos -- it's sometimes referred to negatively as "man-made asbestos" or the asbestos of the 20th century. Research on fiberglass inhalation has come to various conclusions. A study in 1970 on rats stated that "fibrous glass of small diameter is a potent carcinogen" [source: Consumer Law].

Last edited by RWolff; 03-27-2013 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:22 PM   #15
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to Rwolf,
I am just going to toss this out because California has cellulose dust or wood dust now on their Prop 65. http://www.rx4cleanairllc.com/uncate...lediction.html
this is to be fair. Not enough testing or studies over long term real world exposure to cellulose insulation has been done. Cellulose when made in the paper mills not when the insulation is made. but when the wood fibers are made in to paper. this is just some of the chemicals that are present in the paper that are not removed when it is turned in to insulation. this is the link http://www.paperonweb.com/chemical.htm The Borites are inert and safe but the other chemicals that linger from the original pulp process stays in it and may cause problems. Just saying over 40 years of strict testing of fiber glass, and almost zero testing of long term cellulose. it is just something to think about. Still is a good insulation when done right.
Oh and as for a carcinogen Fiberglass is not listed on Prop 65 except for the binders that have formaldehyde. so your claim is not factual.


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