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Old 04-30-2019, 06:53 PM   #1
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Air Sealing and Insulating Attic

I just received an inspection from my gas company for free to check where there might be inefficiencies. The house is a ranch on a basement and was built in 63. From what he can tell the original layer of insulation is all I have in the attic. Anywhere from 3-6 inches he said of old fiber rock. This is not considered sufficient, not to mention any general air gaps in places like around lights, the old attic fan, etc. They offer me a rebate to get an additional 9-12 inches blown in that ends up with me still paying $900. Not bad from what little I know about insulation. I guess my question is, can I rent a machine and blow it in myself? Are there are any tools to detect air sealing gaps/drafts so I can then spray on some expanding/insulating foam on the offending area before putting blow in insulation over it? Thanks for any help you can provide!
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:13 AM   #2
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Re: Air Sealing and Insulating Attic

All doable by DIY...the question is, "Is it worth your time". $900 is pretty darn cheap and could easily approach your cost on the material depending on your square footage.

Sealing top plates and gaps doesn't require any tool, but effort.

Google Air Sealing and Insulation and there are a ton of "How-To" videos and pdfs.
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Old 05-01-2019, 07:29 AM   #3
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Re: Air Sealing and Insulating Attic

Some attics are more of a disaster than others, a quick inspection would tell you whether you want to take it on your self.

The other problem that has to be looked at is soffet and high venting, it becomes more important when you are adding more insulation and closing air leaks.

Do not use flat bottom gables with scissor trusses.
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Old 05-01-2019, 08:20 AM   #4
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Re: Air Sealing and Insulating Attic

One of the differences between DIY and having a crew come in is, you will know what you do. A crew can vary from very careful air sealing to just hitting the easy spots and once buried in that new insulation you won't be able to see the difference, but your heating bills will know.

Digging down to the tops of all walls, especially the outside perimeter, to seal them and install baffles in every rafter bay is important. Then all of the tops of all interior walls. Also, air sealing the rim around the basement ceiling and all penetrations from below. Just air sealing the attic is only half the job, all-be-it an important half.

Look at the rebate to see if it applies to DIY or other companies doing the work that way you can get bids to compare. I always dislike when a company uses a rebate available to all to sell their work.

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Old 05-05-2019, 02:09 PM   #5
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Re: Air Sealing and Insulating Attic

Blown in paper insulation, cellulose, indicates the install is going to be blow the stuff in and no check for air gaps. There may be quick joist bay air baffles near the eave but the install will not be a careful study of how these things should be done. Cellulose blown in is more compact than fiberglass batts. Therefore, it claims that it can block air gaps and you don't have to inspect/seal these gaps. If you can't diy this, I would use the blown in cellulose to do just that, although the quality of air seal will not be as good.

Cellulose disadvantage is not drying out if there is a roof leak and you will not know about the leak until there is a lot of damage. This is because all that insulation will be absorbing the water.

Having said it, these are still better than none. As bud9051 says, advantage of diy is quality of the work.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:50 AM   #6
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I would DIY the air sealing because no contractor is going to give that tedious and time consuming task the attention it deserves. Then u can either DIY the blown in insulation or contract out.
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