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Old 01-05-2015, 10:18 PM   #1
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Attic Insulation How to?

I have just moved into a 3.5 yr old home(Rev Ranch) in Kansas. I was recently exploring in the attic that is above the garage(1/2) and living area(1/2). The part of the attic that is above the living area is blown in white insulation with a bit of rolled insulation as well.

I have checked the NAIMA that states that I should have a minimum of R-38 for my area. How do I know the current level that I presently have in my attic? Is the white blown in insulation typically a certain R value? How deep should the insulation be?

Is it in my best interests to go ahead and blow in(or use batts) to insulate the 1/2 part of the attic, that is above the garage, as well? If so, what steps should I do to prepare the attic before putting in the additional insulation(i.e. add or check to make sure there is baffle chutes over the soffit vents), use expanding spray around ceiling fans, recessed lighting boxes etc? These and/or what other things should I consider to prepare the attic?

Any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:54 AM   #2
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Blown in fiberglass is about 3.2-3.4 per inch. The reality is that is performs at a lesser rate in real world conditions. It is subject to convection and wind washing which will lower its R-Value (realized) significantly.

If the ceiling drywall will hold it, I would blow some cellulose over the top once you have completed an air sealing of the attic floor. Be sure the ventilation pathways are kept intact and you seal off all the bypasses.

There are a ton of good threads on here about air sealing and they will show you pictures and go into great detail about your other questions (chutes, soffits, lights, etc.).

Building Science Corporation has a ton of good information on air sealing as well.

You can insulate over the garage if you like and it will keep the garage closer to inside temperature if you do any work in there.
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