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Old 12-06-2010, 12:16 AM   #1
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


When the house was being built, contracting company claimed their estimate was off, and that they'd be unable to meet original budget given. The job was also extremely behind schedule since the company would often times work on other projects over ours. As a result certain corners were cut, and this one has gone without attention for too long.

My extremely lacking attic insulation. Its extremely drafty in there, going into the attic is worse than going into the garage in the winter, and in the summer my 2nd floor just never gets as cool as my 1st floor despite the HVAC system working harder. In fact, the AC is warm for awhile, most likely due to metal ducting being uninsulated, thus warm as well.

My plans in my mind are as follows.

1- Add 2nd layer of fiberglass insulation
2- Staple a foil radiant barrier to seal in the insulation
3- use some mastic sealant on all ductwork joints, then insulate the metal ducting somehow.

Please let me know if you'd do things differently and why. Here are some pictures to give a better idea of what needs to be done.





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Old 12-06-2010, 07:12 AM   #2
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


Two things are equally important: air sealing and insulation. You seem to lack both...

Air sealing means keeping drafts out of the attic space. That space is cold in winter and doesn't need warm moist air entering it and condensing. Insulation is what keeps in the warm air you've created on the inside. More is better.

First you have to go around with a caulking gun and seal any opening you have around joists and penetrations; then add blown-in insulation to twice what you already have. As that attic becomes colder in winter, you home willl become warmer - and vice versa in winter.

Those ducts should be covered too...

You don't have to "seal in insulation"; it's not going anywhere.

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Old 12-06-2010, 07:34 AM   #3
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


Insulation doesn't need to be sealed.
Don't worry about your attic being cold in the winter. If its more than a couple degrees warmer than outside that is when you have a problem.
Make sure your venting is correct.
From looking at your pics, i'd seal the metal ductwork with foil tape. Install vent baffles between every rafter, and blow insulation all over, make sure you cover all the metal ductwork with insulation.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:53 AM   #4
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


Personally, I would pull that batt insulation out, and have blown in put into its place.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:44 AM   #5
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


I would leave it in, extra insulation can't hurt. Assuming you use the same amount of blown in either way, the batts under it will only help.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:00 AM   #6
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


I'd definitely roll in more batts of insulation. Just be sure you don't close off the air-flow from the eaves into the attic.

I'm not sure where you're located, but I think I'd be looking at R-30 insulation.

I believe I'd also insulate your main HVAC duct-work too.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:08 PM   #7
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


Where are you located to figure the best route? Some reading for you: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...r-all-climates

Gary
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:15 PM   #8
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


I'm located in NYC, thanks for the link, looks like I'll be doing some reading tonight, and hopefully outlining my plans in more detail.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:35 PM   #9
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Poorly Insulated Attic, need advice


You can Batts over Blown, but not the opposite. It defeats the purpose of using Blown insulation, by using Batts on top or under. Only use one or the other.

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