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5 Tips for Installing Attic Insulation

When looking for remodeling jobs within your home that can give back to you in the form of reduced utility costs and saved money, you’ll be well advised to start by looking up. The attic may not be a part of the house you use that often, except when you need a place to store winter clothes or holiday decorations when not in use, but it’s a crucial piece of your home. You can take the time to install an Energy Smart HVAC system and double-check the seals on all of your windows and doors, but if the attic isn’t insulated a lot of that investment will be wasted. Insulating your attic isn’t an incredibly difficult renovation, and there are plenty of online resources to walk you through that project step by step. But here are five tips to keep in mind that will help your attic insulation installation go off without a hitch.

First of all, start your project by laying pieces of plywood across the floor. An unfinished attic is often just rafters, with the bare ceiling panels underneath. You’ll be moving around the attic repeatedly during the job, often carrying things that impair your line of sight. With the plywood laid out before you even get started you’ll be able to walk around with ease, with no chance of dropping your foot through the floor and into the ceiling below you. That’s the last thing you want, and it will certainly balloon the cost of your project.

The next step before you begin is to bring in sufficient lighting to get the job done. Most attics get by with one or two bare bulbs in the ceiling. Perhaps there’s a small window or two that let in a bit of sunlight, but that’s often not nearly enough to cut through the gloom. Regardless of how you get it done, you’ll want the attic to be brightly lit during your work. This will help you avoid missteps, or accidentally running into a splinter or a bare nail in the wall. You definitely don’t want to be stopping all the time to move a single light source around. But don’t forget to keep the insulation away from your lighting fixtures, to avoid the risk of a fire.

When you start the job, choose the right time of day to work. Your best bet is in the early morning and in the evening. Even without insulation many attics feel like furnaces during the summer, and even in other seasons they can get quite hot in the middle of the day. Since you’re bringing in light you won’t have to rely on daylight to work by, and splitting the job this way will keep you fresh and safe from dehydration or mistakes due to exhaustion and impaired judgement.

Before you bring the materials upstairs, make sure you comb the entire attic for roofing problems. Once you install the insulation these issues will be much more difficult to diagnose, never mind how hard they will be to address. If you notice any water damage, or even a slight sign of moisture handle the problem right away. If the insulation you put in gets wet it won’t be able to do its job. And solving a roofing problem when it is still small will save you money in the long run.

Finally, take the proper safety precautions during the job. That starts with making sure the attic is properly ventilated. Bring up a fan if need be, or open those small windows if you can. You will certainly rely on attic insulation for heating and cooling savings, but you’ll lose all of the benefits if you have a negative reaction and end up in the hospital. Finally, bring safety goggles and a face mask up with you. This will guarantee you don’t get tiny bits of debris in your eyes or mouth. Putting up insulation shouldn’t be dangerous, as long as you are smart about your personal safety.

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