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Old 12-02-2010, 03:22 PM   #1
dvs
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Plugging ceiling air leaks before insulating attic?


I am in Seattle and we clearly need more insulation in our attic. We currently have 60-yr old loose fill that's about 3 inches thick.

I've been given some advice about plugging air leaks before adding insulation. Reason given is that it's important to stop the warm, moist air that's in our house from getting into the attic once we have 18-24 inches of insulation. Apparently once we have all the insulation, the moist air that's currently escaping through the 3 inches of fluff we have now will suddenly get trapped in the new insulation and lead to much mold growth.

I'd hire a company to plug the holes, which will be pretty expensive.

Any thoughts?

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Old 12-02-2010, 04:43 PM   #2
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Plugging ceiling air leaks before insulating attic?


3M expanding foam in a can (draft seal stuff) at HDepot. Make sure it is fire rated and not touching any electrical pot lamp fixtures if you have them. They need proper clearance from any insulation or they overheat/catch fire.

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Old 12-02-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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Plugging ceiling air leaks before insulating attic?


Always benefits you to seal any air leaks you can. Helps to keep your humidity in check.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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Plugging ceiling air leaks before insulating attic?


I'm sure there is some benefit...I am just trying to quantify that benefit. It will either be expensive for someone else to do or a lengthy project for me to do. So, if it improves my efficiency by 5%, it's not going to be worth it.

On the other hand, if it prevents mold and rot from entering my attic, it's probably worth it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:14 PM   #5
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Plugging ceiling air leaks before insulating attic?


How is the humidity in your house?

Sealing could be 5%, or 25%, depending n how much leakage you have.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:44 PM   #6
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Plugging ceiling air leaks before insulating attic?


The sealing stops heated air from creating ice dams: http://bct.nrc.umass.edu/index.php/p...ting-ice-dams/

The attic ventilation removes any heated air from below, required in our location per Code: (below you near Tacoma). http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf1999/tenwo99a.pdf

A few guides on air sealing: http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Pr...s/Step-By-Step
http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/residential/p...ap4.cfm?attr=4

Gary

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