Things to Know Before Insulating Your Attic
Insulation is simply a temperature barrier, keeping warm and cool air where it’s supposed to be. And the two most important places to have your insulation working correctly is in the walls and the attic.
Old insulation, especially the kind used in home construction before the 1970’s is dangerous to handle without proper protective gear and disposal methods.
So, whereas we don’t recommend that private homeowners tackle insulation projects on their own, we’re happy to share some insider knowledge about what to look for when the job’s done.
How Insulation Contractors Help Make the Process Seamless and the Results Effective
Savvy homeowners can attempt to insulate their attic on their own, but it’s important to avoid making “rookie” mistakes. Even with the best intentions, laying insulation can be done wrong.
Which is why it’s best to call a Phoenix insulation contractor to ensure that your efforts don’t go to waste.
When you decide to call in the pros, here are a few quality checkpoints to look for when the experts complete their work:
- Install Vent Baffles – Soffit vents are particularly prone to blockage when insulation is installed incorrectly. Vent baffles, also called vent chutes, wind baffles, or rafter vents allow air to flow more freely. Don’t worry, they are very easy to install.
- Even Distribution – If you’re opting for blown insulation, there are few things to be aware of before getting started. It’s very easy to unevenly distribute insulation. And, like painting, it’s also very easy to work in the wrong direction. There’s no magic wand to make sure every inch of the attic is evenly covered, but it helps to work inwards toward the hatch so you don’t have to crawl or step on your nice insulation work.
- Leftover Insulation – Old insulation can actually be left in the attic. So long as it’s not too deteriorated. If you choose to remove it, however, make sure to check with the city for proper disposal. Check with the city of Phoenix for rules and regulations regarding disposal of certain types of insulation. If you decide to work with an insulation contractor like Sunrise Mechanical, however, disposal comes as part of the installation service so you don’t have to worry about transporting it yourself.
- All About Batts – It seems counterintuitive, but the paper on the backside of insulation batts is meant to be laid against the drywall. This is to prevent moisture from building up within the insulation. If you’re adding a second layer of insulation to existing layers, make sure to remove the paper backing or purchase batts without paper.
- Ignoring the Hatch – Many homeowners simply leave the hatch uninsulated. But by taking the time to add a small piece of insulation over the board as well as the trim, you can avoid major air leaks.
What kind of insulation works best for Phoenix homes?
The Department of Energy recommends different R-values (thickness or density of insulation) depending on the climate in different parts of the US.
Most of Arizona is in zone 2, which means Phoenix homes need an R-value of around R-30.
But be sure to check with your insulation contractor for a more precise number that considers your existing insulation.