Archive for the ‘Attic Insulation Project’ Category

After clearing enough space to get the insulation portion of the project started I decided to do a “clean as you go” routine.  My goal was to get this attic re-insulated during the winter.  Who wants to be working in an attic in July?  I stocked up on the supplies needed to get this going and plans to just purchase as I go.  My supplies include a respirator, safety goggles, rafter vents and insulation.  The rafter vents will allow air to flow from the soffit to the peak keeping the boards of the roof dry.  These have no “R” value which is the heat retention value by which all insulation is graded.  The new insulation will be applied over this.  I started with an R38 but it was too thick so I continued with R30.  Also, it depends on the age of your home for sizing.  Most box stores offer 16″ and 24″.  Word to the wise, measure before you buy!

The main supplies needed: rafter vents, insulation, respirator, safety goggles, staple gun and staples!

So, starting on the North side of the roof which suffered the most damage from moisture build-up I cleared out the eaves under 4 rafters and pulled down the old insulation along with lots of dust, nails, pieces of shingles, etc.

Rafters with old insulation. When it was pulled down it was damp and even had ice crystals – not good!

The rafter vents are stapled to the boards and then the insulation is slid into place to retain some of the heat.  The rafter vent product holds the insulation layer away from the boards allowing air to circulate from the soffit to the peak.

Rafter vent installed in one rafter and the next rafter is empty. All those floaty bits are dust and fiberglass making the respirator the best investment!

Normally, an attic would simply be an insulation of the floor and be done with it.  This attic has an open staircase leading to it making the rafter insulation necessary.   In addition to the respirator and safety goggles it is also advisable to have long pants and long sleeves to keep the fiberglass away from your skin.

This is 4 rafters down and 2 drying out. I am only insulating up to this point for now so I can figure out how I will deal with the peak.

Progress was slowed a bit while waiting for the boards to completely dry before putting up the new insulation.  But this gives me more time to merge and purge!  So far, I got rid of one trunk that was completely rotted out along with countless bags of junk, books, and items that no longer have a purpose.  As I indicated on my last post pertaining to this attic project, I have donated what I could to charity.  There have been some neat discoveries… old toys, a cast iron skillet that is doll sized… and even an antique bed pan!  Obviously some discoveries were more interesting than others.


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The beauty of my home is that it has always been inhabited by members of my family.  The downside is that the attic of my home is filled with items from every generation who ever lived here.  There are seven steamer trunks (filled), boxes and boxes of decorations, books, and furniture.  Most of the recent “crap” is mine… starting with childhood and right up to present day.

The problem is… the insulation installed by my father is inappropriate due to holding moisture against the roof boards causing rot.  It simply has to be replaced with newer insulation which allows for air flow.  This is an easy project which can be done by any homeowner or contractor.  However, in order to get to the insulation I first have to clean out the junk blocking it.  The clean out has to allow for access as well as room to store, cut and work with the new insulation.

Over the last year I have been slowly digging and purging items… and feel that I am starting to make some discernible headway… say 10% complete.  Now, you might ask, “Is the attic really that big?”  No, it is just that full of “stuff”.  However, as best I am able, I always judge each item before simply tossing it.  I use a 4 pile system; Charity, Trash, Keepers, and Family.  If an item could serve another then I put it in the Charity pile and be sure it is donated.  When purging on this scale keep in mind if you haven’t had a use for it in 3+ years… you probably don’t need to keep storing it.

As for the Charity pile, each month I get cards from several different organizations that reach out and are willing to schedule pickups for clothing, household goods and books.  Please consider this during your fall and spring cleaning projects!  The clothing and household items should be clean and serviceable and books should not be musty.

One week’s donation… this was an exceptional haul!

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