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Old 01-13-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Insulation over Attic Walkway


Hey everyone-

My attic is currently filled with blown-in insulation and is unfinished. I'm going to be doing a few projects that will require that I get up in and move around freely in the attic. The depth of the blown in insulation makes it kind of time consuming to find the joists for footing and since I want to be able to move quickly/efficiently (w/o putting my foot through the 2nd floor ceiling), I plan on installing some planking to guarantee a solid walking surface. When I'm done, I'd like to leave the planking intact in the event that I need to get around up there in the future (it will be secured to the joists).

In terms of insulation, what says the pros? Should I insulate as well as possible below the walkway (it will likely be no more than 12" wide) and then install batts on top of it? My thinking w.r.t. using batts over re-distributing the blown in insulation is two fold. First, it would provide a visual cue as to where the walkway is. Second, it would be easier to pick the batts and move them to the side (and then replace them when done) as opposed to raking/re-raking the loose insulation. Of course to make this work, I'd probably need to build retaining walls on either side of the walk to keep the loose insulation off.

On the other hand, I don't plan on spending every other day in the attic so perhaps I should just plan to cover the walk with the loose-fill insulation and deal with the minor inconvenience of moving it for those few times that I'll need to access the attic.

Ah well, feel free to share your feelings.

Jim

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Old 01-13-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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Insulation over Attic Walkway


My AC unit is at the far end of the attic from the access hatch [at least the one thats useable] so a walkway is almost a must have.

I added onto the top of the joists with some 2x4's to give some added room for insulation and then put the walkway across that. Did the same around the air handler so its easier so get at for service. You could either do that or a combination of that and the edges you described to hold the blown in at bay.

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Old 01-13-2008, 01:39 PM   #3
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Insulation over Attic Walkway


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Originally Posted by Sammy View Post
My AC unit is at the far end of the attic from the access hatch [at least the one thats useable] so a walkway is almost a must have.

I added onto the top of the joists with some 2x4's to give some added room for insulation and then put the walkway across that. Did the same around the air handler so its easier so get at for service. You could either do that or a combination of that and the edges you described to hold the blown in at bay.
Sammy-

Thanks! I too have an air handler in my attic which is yet another reason for the walk. Mine is relatively close to the access hatch but you do need a way to get to it as well as an area to work from.

From what you said, am I correct in understanding that the 2x4's were layed on their edges perpendicular to the joists to act as stringers for the walkway? Is your walkway left uncovered?

Thanks again,
Jimmy
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:34 PM   #4
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Insulation over Attic Walkway


You could run the 2x4's perpindicular to the joist for the full run. I had to go 35 feet or so though to the AC unit.

I stacked an 18 inch long peice of 2x4 parallel on top of the joist and used some scraps of 1x3's one on each opposing sides to tie them to the joists, then laid 3/4 plywood 12-14 inches wide along the top and screwed the plywood in place.

Main reason I did this versus one long run is some AC ducts crossed the path so my walkway is actually in shorter sections and I just step over the ductwork.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:13 AM   #5
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Insulation over Attic Walkway


BigJimmy,

What did you end up doing about your attic walkway? Iím also looking to add a walkway in my attic. The attic is truss construction, and there is about 12 inches of blown-in insulation completely covering the base of the trusses.

However, Iím looking for a solution that provides enough height for the walkway that I donít have to disturb insulation to use it. That means I need to elevate it about 10 inches above the top of the 2x4s that form the base of the trusses. I also have pipes in the attic from the sprinkler system, so I want to be sure the walkway is above the pipes so I donít run the risk of stepping on, or kicking a pipe. Is it possible to raise a walkway about 10 inches without adding too much weight and not violate any building/safety codes? For reference, Iím in the Los Angeles, CA area.

The builder did leave some random narrow boards nailed to the base of some trusses, but these arenít much help. In fact, the boards are dangerous since any insulation that is on them can be slippery underfoot. See the photo below for reference - the orange pipe is part of the sprinkler system.
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