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Old 07-12-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


When insulation is covering all the studs, what is the easiest way to walk in an attic? Should I bring sheets of plywood and lay them down across the work area and path way? or is there a method I'm just not thinking of. I'm thinking of just wearing gloves then feeling through the insulation for the studs then keep walking that way.

Also do attics have tons of spider webs and stuff, or is it fairly clean up there? I'm not scared of much, but spider webs do bother me, just the feeling of them and what not. I suppose this varies from region to region though. This is a house that has a spider problem but from poping my head in and looking around with a flashlight I did not spot any obvious webs, just one really long one which a broom would take care of easily.

Lastly, what kind of setup do I need if I want to install pot lights? I would imagine those get pretty hot. Do I need to put some kind of barrier and heat sink and put the insulation around but not on top?

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Old 07-12-2009, 08:15 PM   #2
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


I put plywood or boards across the joists & leave them for future use
Older attics are usually dusty, dirty, have cob webs & possibly other bugs - wasps, bees, ants etc

Are you putting the pot lights in the attic?
Or in the ceiling below?
IC rated can have contact with insulation

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Old 07-12-2009, 08:57 PM   #3
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Thousands of us have stepped through the ceiling sheet rock! Join the crowd and it won't be a problem in the future. Just kidding. Use a 1 x12 or a pice of 1/2 ply wood--- don't do like I did and use a piece of left over siding---it fails every time.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:14 PM   #4
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Also don't do as I did...step on the end of the board that was between joists! The other end of the board went up and my let went down through the ceiling.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:20 PM   #5
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


"feeling through the insulation for the studs then keep walking that way." You really are Red Squirrel!!! I usually take a mini lawn/leaf rake up, much lighter than a broom, for the big ones. Works well on slowly sweeping the insul. aside to walk on the ceiling joists, too. Plan this for the day's end as you will be worthless afterward. Carry two lights, one mini in your pocket to use when- the other's battery goes out-- someone unplugs your drop light. Tie a bandanna around above your eyes and a dust mask over mouth. Take a couple of those light sabers in your pic. for the bigger critters and more lighting. Be safe, G
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:49 PM   #6
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


If you're worried about spiders, set off a bug bomb or two the day before you go up there to work.

My attic was very clean and bug-free. Except for the 8 little Yellow Jacket nests I found. Luckily the little fellas had moved out.

Some attics also have bats living in them.

If you're going to lay boards down to walk on, don't crush the insulation as it loses R-value when it's compressed.

Have fun! I spent about 2 months working up in my attic last winter (I work kinda slow). The last night I was up there, I was trying to carry a lot of stuff in both arms/hands on my way out. Trying to save myself a trip back across the trusses. I lost my balance and started falling. One foot landed on the drywall between two trusses and I heard a crack as I regained my balance.

I stood still for a minute to see if anyone downstairs noticed. They didn't.

Now there's a thin crack in the hallway ceiling that looks like a 3' long pencil mark.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:51 PM   #7
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Clark Griswald, huh?
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:03 PM   #8
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Thanks for the replies, I'll see if I got some wood left lying around and go that method. I think I do have some plywood, I can at least bring that to the main work area, and just be careful for the rest. If I see myself going in there often I might install some permanent lights as well.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:09 PM   #9
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Quote:
Clark Griswald, huh?
You could say that!

Red Squirrel, there are some bowl-shaped covers you can buy to put over the recessed light fixtures in the attic. They keep the insulation away from the light.

Last edited by gma2rjc; 07-12-2009 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:32 PM   #10
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gma2rjc View Post
You could say that!

Red Squirrel, there are some bowl-shaped covers you can buy to put over the recessed light fixtures in the attic. They keep the insulation away from the light.
Good to know, or I may look into the ones that say they are insulation safe. Are these really in fact safe?
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:45 AM   #11
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Good to know, or I may look into the ones that say they are insulation safe. Are these really in fact safe?
Yes, they are safe for use with blown as well as batt insulation. Just make sure you select an IC rated fixture. Here's a couple of examples:

http://www.cooperlighting.com/specfi.../ADV042490.pdf

http://www.cooperlighting.com/specfi..._specsheet.pdf

You'll notice both fixtures are IC rated and designed specifically for use in contact with insulation. Not only is the housing rated, but the fixtures are also fitted with a thermal protector that deactivates the fixture if it overheats.


And here is the installation guide:

http://www.cooperlighting.com/specfi...es/701405A.PDF
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:57 PM   #12
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Any special trick to walking in attics?


Thanks for the info.

I went inside today, and it was not that bad at all. I realize it would be trouble to bring wood, a flash light, and broom to kill off any webs, all at once so instead I just stayed in crawling position with a broom stick in each hand so it can sit on top of the studs and I would make sure to set my knees on the studs, using the trusses as a guide to where the studs are. Did not fall through or come close.

Surprisingly very clean in there. Only a few minor webs nothing really bad enough to creep me. This is good news as I may decide to go in the other attic (this house is split and has two attics) and put light fixtures in the bedrooms, in the future.

I cleaned out most of the mold which is what my main goal was. All with gloves and cartridge mask. Only thing missing was a hazmat suit. :p

For those curious this is the result:

http://gal.redsquirrel.me/?level=picture&id=478

After inspecting from the top, realized most of the mold was contained just above the vapor barrier so it was easier to work from below the attic. Glad I went though as one piece below the vent was quite nasty, all black and I would have missed it.

Just one of many little gems you find in a newly purchased house.

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