After completing a large home renovation project that included an addition to my home in Denver, I learned a lot about insulation. I had heard that blown in insulation performs better than Batt insulation because it covers the joists completely and doesn’t leave any open areas. Here are some suggestions if you are considering doing this yourself.
First of all blown in insulation is better than Batts because it does seal better when installed properly. The first step before you begin installing your insulation is to measure the attic and begin the planning phase. Most building codes will require an insulation with a value of R-30 or R-49. You should consult a professional Denver insulation company to find out the code requirement for your area. Now that you know the square footage of your attic and the R value requirement for your home, you can look at the chart on the back of your bag of insulation to determine how much you’ll need.
Now there are some materials and tools needed:
- Cardboard Baffles
- Duct Tape
- Staple Gun & Staples
- Utility Knife
- Safety Goggles
- Dust Mask
- Insulation Blowing Machine (You can rent this from a local store in your area)
You’ll need to prepare the attic before you begin. You want to make sure you are wearing a long sleeve shirt to protect your arms, safety goggles and a dust mask. If you have any recessed lights in your attic, you’ll need to install flashing around them and leave at least 4″ from the flashing to the light. With the utility knife you can cut the flashing to the correct size and then form it into a cylinder shape and secure the edge with duct tape. Place this over the recessed lighting, making sure that you still have a 4″ open area to allow the heat to escape. You’ll want to follow the same process for any vented kitchen and bathroom fans in the attic area.
The next step will be to install the baffles. The baffles are installed where the ceiling joists intersect with the roof rafters. You will secure these with your staple gun. You’ll also want to install the baffles over the vents and make sure they are high enough so that the vents will not be covered by the insulation.
The next step is going to be creating a dam wall around the attic access hole. This can be done by cutting a few extra cardboard baffles into lengths that will be about 4″ above the level of insulation you plan to install. You can adhere them with staples just as you did around the vents.
Now you’re ready to install the blown in attic insulation. To make it easier, you may want to have someone outside helping you load the insulation blowing machine. A quick tip I learned the hard way…. add a cup of water per bag of insulation and spread it over the top after the machine is loaded. This will help to minimize the static electricity when you’re running the machine and the insulation will lay down more evenly. Your helper can also help manage the hose so you don’t trip over it while running the machine.
Blown in insulation isn’t hard to install but it is messy and not something everyone wants to tackle. If you prefer to hire a blown in insulation Denver contractor the cost isn’t as much as you might think, they will clean up after themselves and guarantee their work. Good luck with your insulation project!