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ponch37300 02-24-2008 05:50 PM

blown in insulation?
 
Can i install blown in insulation by hand? By that i mean i would like to put some in my attic that is 3 stories up and don't really want to run the machine all the way up there. Can this insulation be applied by "throwing" it by hand or is it only installed with the machine? Thanks for your help.

joasis 02-24-2008 05:58 PM

The insulation is packaged in a compressed block, and one of the functions of the insulation machine is to loosen and "fluff" the product before it is blown at about 4 psi for application. Our machine has the capability to run 400 feet of hose, and most rental or "freebie" machines from the box stores are small, like a Force 1, that you could carry up close, since your method would be taking the bags of cellulose up there anyway. BTW, 3 inches isn't much...try for at least 8 to 12 inches for the best results.

ponch37300 02-24-2008 07:36 PM

Attic is 3 stories up. I have r-19 batts now and would like to blow some extra on top of the batts. Thanks i just wasn at HD and looked at there machine and it has a 100' hose with it. what happens to al the insulation in the hose when you get done? Does the machine push the insulation that is in the hose out or do you just lose all that insulation? Thanks

joasis 02-25-2008 05:09 AM

As the hopper empties, the insulation is blown out, nothing left in the hose.

ponch37300 02-25-2008 04:23 PM

Thanks joasis

redline 02-25-2008 05:34 PM

How many bags do you need to install?

ponch37300 02-25-2008 05:50 PM

Not to many. I haven't figured it out yet but i all ready have r-19 in the ceiling and want to add about another 6" of blown in. I thought blown in would be nice to get in all the corners and nooks better than another layer of batt insulation. The area is only about 6 ft wide by 18 ft long.

redline 02-25-2008 06:06 PM

6 X 18 = 108

108 / 40 = 2.7 bags @ R-19 if the bags cover 40 square feet.

It looks like you may only need 3 bags at R-19 (six additional inches)

You could buy one bag and place 1/4 of the bag in a clean plastic trash can. Attach a paint mixer to your cordless drill and then use the drill/mixer
to "loosen" up the cellulose. Then install the fluffed up insulation into the areas in the attic that you want more insulation. Continue to put 1/4 of a bag into your trash can and mix away. It will take longer then if you had a blower but you only need a few bags for this small area.

If you find that there are large chunks then you can break them up before you install it.

Wear a mask to keep from breathing the fibers.

How cold of a climate do you live in?

Some areas may need up to R-45.

Taipans 02-25-2008 09:35 PM

I don't mean to Hijack but is there ever "to much" insulation blown into an attic? This seems to be a great idea, would love to just jam it full! :)

joasis 02-25-2008 10:18 PM

We are doing a lot more insulation jobs where we add 12 inches or more since the weight is not a major factor...and we have done some at 16+. There is a point that it is overkill.

john442 02-26-2008 12:06 AM

You could blow it into a bag/garbage can, then carry that up there and just dump it out, but you gotta use the machine to decompress it. Just don't tear the bag, that stuffs messy, it'd be like cutting open a goose down pillow ha!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taipans (Post 101763)
I don't mean to Hijack but is there ever "to much" insulation blown into an attic? This seems to be a great idea, would love to just jam it full! :)

that would be nice, but don't forget about ventilation... and god forbid you have to chase a wire up there... you'd need scuba gear!

IREnergy 02-29-2008 09:00 AM

Re: Blown in insulation
 
Before you add any more insulation, you need to airseal that attic from the living space. Insulation does not stop air infiltration! See my website for more information on that. When you are ready to add more insulation, the chain suppliers usually have free use of a blowing machine with the purchase of cellulose bales. I don't think you will be able to get the correct density of the material by simply fluffing it into place. It is good practice to add premade styrofoam baffles (or make your own out of cardboard) at the eaves, assuming you have soffit vents. This will allow you to get as much material as possible to the edges of the roof while allowing soffit ventilation.

Hope this was helpful.

ps. use this handy tool to determine the correct insulation R-Values for your climate zone http://www.ornl.gov/~roofs/Zip/ZipHome.html

redline 02-29-2008 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Taipans (Post 101763)
I don't mean to Hijack but is there ever "to much" insulation blown into an attic? This seems to be a great idea, would love to just jam it full! :)


How much R-value do you have in your walls near the attic?

If you have a substantial higher R-value in the attic compared to the walls then the heat will "spill" out the walls as the attic insulation will block it. Heat will seek the least resistance passage.

IREnergy 02-29-2008 09:12 AM

Heat "spilling up from walls"
 
One more good reason for airsealing. That's easy to take care of at the gable ends but pert near impossible to do at the eaves once the roof deck is on! It can be done with foam but you'll need a nice long extension tube and be willing to shoehorn yourself into the eave spaces!:)

Taipans 02-29-2008 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redline (Post 102927)
How much R-value do you have in your walls near the attic?

If you have a substantial higher R-value in the attic compared to the walls then the heat will "spill" out the walls as the attic insulation will block it. Heat will seek the least resistance passage.

I don't know honestly. :(

The builder told me I had R30 attic insulation.


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