Modern cellulose insulation is made of recycled newspaper with a fire retardant applied. It came into general use in the US during the 1970’s when heating efficiency became a greater concern because of sharp increases in fuel costs. We have recommended cellulose for this DIY project because it is safer and easier to install than rolled or blown fiberglass. It is also a more environmentally-friendly choice, as cellulose insulation is often made from recycled materials and is less toxic. It is also less expensive than other types of insulation.
If you discover that your attic has no insulation, you will need to seal any gaps or cracks in your ceiling with caulk or foam. The best way to maneuver around your attic without damaging your ceiling is by using pieces of plywood as a surface by straddling it across your ceiling joists. From your plywood surface, you should be able to reach any area in your attic – just slide the pieces around as needed. Next, you will need to install ventilation chutes underneath the eaves in your attic. The eaves are the area of your attic where the roof framing meets an outside wall. Ventilation chutes are generally composed of styrofoam and can be purchased at your local hardware store. Again, using your plywood platform, get to the eave area of your attic and use a staple gun to attach a ventilation chute between each section of roof framing. Make sure that the outer edge of the vent extends outside to ensure that air can flow through the vent. Next, you’ll need to install barriers around any heat sources. Heat sources include furnace flues, chimneys and any recessed lights that emerge through the ceiling. Never install cellulose overtop of these features because it could be a potential fire hazard. Install a barrier around them with sheet metal flashing and caulk. Leave at least three inches between the heat source and the flashing. Finally, take stock of any exposed wiring that you see. If you notice anything suspect, you may want to call the Honey Do Service, Inc. and have one of our craftsmen check it out for you.Measure Your
Now you need to get the length and width dimensions of your attic to determine the square footage of your attic. If you have existing insulation, determine how many inches (on average) are between the insulation and the top of the ceiling joists. Once you’ve got your data, head to the hardware store. At your local hardware store, you can approach an associate or take a look at the insulation section to determine how many bags of cellulose insulation you will need. Many of the insulation products have information printed on the packaging that will give you the data that you need. You will also need to purchase a few disposable dust masks and arrange for renting the blowing equipment.
You have now accumulated all the necessary materials. If possible, you may want to recruit a helper to speed up the process. This way, one person can be in the attic with the hose distributing the insulation while one person is beneath the attic entryway loading the cellulose into the blowing unit. If not, you can bring the blower up with you and run extension cords or else you will be spending a lot of time going back and forth. Once you are blowing the insulation, try to work in an orderly fashion, from the farthest point back to the attic entryway. Begin at the eaves and work back toward the center. Pan back and forth with the hose and fill between the joists to the desired depth. The goal is to have a nice, evenly distributed layer throughout the attic space. You’ll need to keep the hose moving to avoid overfills. You can use your hand as a baffle over the hose opening to control the stream. If you do overfill some areas, use a rake or broom to spread the cellulose accordingly. Once you are approaching the area near the entryway, you will want to remove the plywood you’ve been using as a surface and finish the rest by standing on your entryway steps or on a ladder. Be sure to wear your mask at all times and to work out a communication system with your partner (if you have one). Once you’re finished, return your blower and enjoy a warmer home!