Attic insulation in disarray

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Old 02-02-15, 07:47 PM
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Attic insulation in disarray

New home owner here. We've been in the house for about four months and my attic is causing me a bit of anxiety.

The insulation is all over the place. There is both blown in loose insulation and batt insulation on top of that. In some places the paper back of the batt is facing down and in other places it is facing up. Some places it's stacked on top of itself.

I don't know much about insulation but I know this can't be good. Is the paper a vapor barrier?

We have standard joists but lots of electrical, heating and ventilation running through there. What should I be doing here? Any information would be helpful. Thank you for your time!


Some photos of the chaos:

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Old 02-02-15, 10:33 PM
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Yes the paper is a vapor barrier.
You never install faced insulation over the top of any other insulation.
Vapor barrier goes toward the condition surface. (ceiling)
I would have done the whole thing with blown in.
This chart will give you an idea of the minimum R value you should have in your area.
Recommended Levels of Insulation : ENERGY STAR
As important as the insulation is the venting.
Never block the soffit vents with insulation.
Done right the temperature in the attic should be close to the outside temp.
 
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Old 02-03-15, 03:33 AM
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Yes a mess and with insulation neatness counts. What Joe said plus, before you re-install everything be sure all possible air sealing has been done. Leaks carry moisture into the attic and waste energy.

That looks like osb that is being used as a flooring to store stuff. It can act like a vapor barrier and provide a condensing surface. Plus, it limits the depth of insulation.

Also, air seal any heating or ac ducts up there and be sure they are well insulated.

Any recessed light should be "air tight and insulated contact" (AT, IC) rated.

If you bury any electrical or other components, hank a marker from the ceiling to say what is down there.
Bud

http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf
 
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Old 02-03-15, 11:22 AM
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Thank you, lots of information here. That PDF looks great, I'll read through.

It sounds like a major mistake that there is paper backed insulation at all over top of the blown in. Is it ok to remove the paper back and have that placed over top of the blown in? Or is the thing to do really just remove all the bats altogether? I could remove the bats and just use more blown in insulation, correct? With blown in, do I just fill to the top of the joists?

You are correct, there is some OSB that was up there for storage. I can remove that all together. Would it be appropriate to use Attic Dek (Attic Dek, Metro Products Attic Dek) up there to still achieve some storage?

Thanks so much.
 
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Old 02-03-15, 03:14 PM
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You can reinstall the batts without the facing.

If you must have a floored section you can use white pine 1"x 8",10",12" for a floor deck. Space the boards out so they are not tight and can ventilate. The solid lumber has a much better capacity to deal with water vapor issues and not lead to condensation issues unless you are running extreme levels of humidity and have a long duration cold spell.
 
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Old 02-03-15, 04:54 PM
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I have never seen the attic dek product, but it does look open enough to not be a problem. Boards as suggested can also work, however, with either, you cannot cover then 100% with stuff.

Not sure how deep your joists are, but if only 2x6 then the insulation should be more than 5.5" (r-19). Covering the joists with extra insulation also reduces the thermal bridging of the joist itself. Check your regional minimum attic insulation requirement, I'm guessing r-38, which would be about 6" above the current insulation. Air seal, air seal, air seal!!!

Note, if you want more depth and the dek, consider 2x6's running the other direction. Also, build a box around your attic opening to keep the new insulation from falling out.

Any place you can reuse that fiberglass "neatly" would be fine. Then cover all with a nice layer of new blown-in. The new blown-in will resolve much of the neatness issues with the old.

Baffles out by the soffits, assuming you have some and they are vented. Some baffles have tails that protect the end of the insulation from the incoming air, needed especially if there is a layer of fiberglass at the bottom.

Bud
 
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