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Discussion Starter #1
I have a roughly 1,000 sq. ft. attic that I want to reinsulate. I am a total novice when it comes to this and am not generally handy so I would appreciate some help. There is old batted insulation on the attic floor. It has eroded down over the years to about an average of 3 or 4 inches below the tops of the floor joists. My first question is, should I remove all of it or leave it in place and put the new insulation on top? There is a paper barrier on the upper side of it.

Secondly, regarding the decision of blown inulsation vs. batting, I think I am leaning towards batting because it's cheaper. Also it seems the batting would be easier to pull off than the blown stuff. Any advice on this?

Next, I've been reading about the importance of air sealing. Does this mean I'm going to have to lift up each section of the existing insulation and check for spots which need sealing?

Here is what the old stuff looks like. Thanks for your help!
 

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#1 Go back and add your location to your profile so someone can help you.
#2 The insulation you have now is up side down.
Vaper barrier goes toward the conditioned surface.
#3 Going to have to seal up any place wires where run through the top plates and around any light or fan penatrations.
#4 Need to add foam or plastic baffles so the new insulation does not cover up the soffit vents.
Blown in would work best.
Buy 10 bags and any of the box stores will let you use the blower for free.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_sealing.hm_improvement_insulation_table
 
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If you decide to use batts, make sure that the side with the vapor barrier is on the bottom, as joecaption mentioned. Buy yourself a one piece Tyvek painters suit and a dust mask and goggles. Tape the ankles and wrists to prevent the fiberglass particles from entering those areas. Fiberglass is nasty stuff and itches like crazy. You also don't want to breath that stuff.
 

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You may want to flip the existing insulation so that the vapor barrier is closest to the conditioned space. While doing that check for any gaps that need sealing. Finally, either do blown in or unfaced batts.
 

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I'm located in New Jersey. I can't believe the old owners had it upside down the whole time. I still don't know if I should get rid of the old stuff or flip it right side up and put it back in under the new insualtion.
 

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I'm located in New Jersey. I can't believe the old owners had it upside down the whole time. I still don't know if I should get rid of the old stuff or flip it right side up and put it back in under the new insualtion.
It depends on the current state of the insulation whether to turn over or remove and replace completely.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry, a correction, the existing insulation actually has a double vapor barrier, so there is paper on the conditioned surface as well add the visible side. Is it counter productive to have a double barrier like this?
 
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