• February

    5

    2020
  • 26
  • 0

Top 10 Things to Think About Before Insulating Your Attic!

In a cold climate, keeping your home warm in winter can get expensive. Installing proper insulation is the simplest way to keep your heating bill down during this season. The Department of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can shave 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill. And it works the opposite way for warm climates; in summer, it helps stabilize your house’s indoor temps to keep cooling needs in check. Here are the Top 10 Things to Think About Before Insulating Your Attic to start saving money NOW!

What to Think About Before Insulating Your Attic

1) Stop using your attic for storage! Kopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

1) Stop using your attic for storage!

If the floor of your attic is covered in plywood, you can’t add enough insulation beneath it to do the job sufficiently.

2) Choosing Insulation Type & Material From concept to completion, we provide full remodeling services. Whether you are renovating existing space or you want to add a completely new addition, Kopp Construction has the staff and crew to meet your needs. We can provide in-house design and plans for you, or we are happy to work with your Architect or Designer, or we can recommend one for you.

2) Choosing Insulation Type & Material

You have 2 choices for Type of Insulation: Loose-Fill or Blanket Insulation.

Loose-fill is where you can pour the fill in place and spread it manually, but the process is more work to install and the results won’t be nearly as good. Works best for Attics with irregular joist spacing, lots of obstructions, existing insulation to be topped off, and limited headroom.

Blanket insulation is a flexible material often packaged in rolls that come in various thicknesses and standard widths. They may come with a paper or foil facing that acts as a vapor barrier. You can add one or more layers to achieve the desired level of insulation. Works best for attics with standard joist spacing, few obstruction, and sufficient headroom.

Your Material Options for Loose Fill:
Fiberglass is made of recycled glass or sand that’s melted and spun into fibers. It is lighter in weight than cellulose or mineral wool. Also, it will settle more than, so you’ve got to put in a thicker layer to get the protection you need. It has an R-value per inch of 2.2-2.7.

Cellulose is made of fibers from recycled post-consumer paper that are treated for insect and fire resistance. Note that it can rot and grow moldy if exposed to moisture. It has an R-value per inch of 3.2-3.8.

Mineral wool is made of fibers from rock or recycled slag from blast furnaces. It cost more than other loose fill but offers natural fire resistance. It has an R-value per inch of 3.0-3.3.

Your Material Options for Blanket Insulation:

Fiberglass is made of recycled glass or sand that’s melted and spun into fibers. It is commonly used and inexpensive, but fibers can irritate the lungs and skin. It’s less effective at blocking airflow than the other materials. It has an R-value per inch of 2.9-4.3.

Cellulose is made of fibers from recycled post-consumer paper that are treated for insect and fire resistance. It won’t irritate the lungs or skin, but the product is made by a limited number of manufacturers. It has an R-value per inch of 3.7-3.8.

Mineral wool is made of fibers from rock or recycled slag from blast furnaces. It cost more than other loose fill but offers natural fire resistance. It has an R-value per inch of 3.0-3.3.

Cotton is made of fibers from recycled denim cloth. It will block airflow and sound but is more expensive than the others. It has an R-value per inch of 3.7-3.8.

3) SIZE UP YOUR EXISTING INSULATIONKopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

3) Size Up Your Existing Insulation

Get up in your attic to see what kind of insulation you already have and how deep it is. You will want to pull up and dispose of any material that’s compressed, water stained, or moldy—it’s useless. Owners of houses built before 1990 take note: If you see any grainy, and shiny flecks, it may be vermiculite that has asbestos. Get it tested, and call in a pro to remove it safely.

4) Determine Your Target R-value Kopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

4) Determine Your Target R-value

The Department of Energy recommends these minimum R-values for unfinished attics:
-Hot Climates R-30
-Temperate Climates R-38
-Cold Climates R-49

Kopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

5) How Much to Buy

Measure your attic’s square footage. For loose-fill, read labels, each bag lists the required depths for a range of R-values and the number of bags needed to cover 1,000 square feet at the depths listed on the label.

6) The #1 Prep Step Seal Air LeaksKopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

6) The #1 Prep Step: Seal Air Leaks

Gaps in the attic or between the lower floors and the attic will let heated air escape making any insulation you add virtually useless. You will want to check and seal leaks around attic windows, pipes, wires, exhaust fans, ducts, chimneys, flues. Other prep steps would be to fix roof leaks, box out light fixtures, and direct all exhaust fans and vent to the exterior.

7) Preserve The Attic’s Airflow

Covering up the soffit vents with loose-fill or batts, which can happen if you stuff insulation along the eaves, is a huge no-no. The airflow from the soffits to the ridge vent keeps the roof cool. For the same reason, insulation shouldn’t touch the roof’s underside as well.

8) Vapor Barrier Is Needed Kopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

8) Vapor Barrier Is Needed

Some batts come with a paper or foil facing that can act as a vapor barrier, you may want to consider using a 6-mil polyethylene sheeting can help to prevent moisture from seeping into insulation for better protection. Whether using loose-fill or batts, put the vapor barrier closest to the warm side of your installation, where hot, moist air would get in.

9) Protect Access Spots Kopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

9) Protect Access Spots

– Attic hatch or door: You will want to affix rigid foam insulation to the attic side of the hatch or door and weatherstripping around the perimeter.
– Pull-down stairs: You will want to use a zippered, insulated tent to keep the enclosure draft-free

10) Insulate a Finished Attic Kopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.

10) Insulate a Finished Attic

If your attic is already finished, it is most likely only partially insulated. There are two basic ways to insulate a finished attic.
-If only the living space will be insulated, wrap the insulation around the room’s walls and ceiling and then continue along the floor of the non-living space.
– If you want to keep the area behind the sidewalls from freezing in winter, apply insulation from the roofline all the way down to the floor.
To provide ventilation in a roof that is insulated, install special rafter vents. They allow air to move behind the insulation, so the roof stays nice and cold while the room inside is insulated against the cold.
Make sure the eave vents at the bottom of the rafter and the ridge vent or other vents at the top are free of obstructions so air can move freely.

Need Help or have questions about Top 10 Things to Think About Before Insulating Your Attic!

Contact Us online at or give Us a call at 1 (503) 3357-8810. From concept to completion, we provide full remodeling services. Let’s Build It!

Kopp Construction: General Contractor - Portland, OR Metro Area. We are a Custom Home Builder offering new home construction, remodeling, additions, and more. Services include Custom Home Construction, Design Work & Plans, Custom Remodeling, Repairs, Additions, Commercial Building, and more.Kurt Kopp is a dedicated professional with a commitment to excellence. He is a master builder of over 35 years of experience that strives to deliver the h

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