Purchased 1969 House - Misc Questions


Old 05-07-05, 02:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: WA
Posts: 117
Purchased 1969 House - Misc Questions

We recently purchased a house in the Seattle (WA) area that was stick-built in 1969. The attic is built with 2x6's, 18" on center.

The insulation hasn't been updated since built.

I found a paper stapled near the entrance that says: Insulation level, "R11" - Added 15 bags over 1286 sq feet, 5/23/1969. Listed are other R values based on insulation depth. R13 = 4 3/4, R9 = 3 1/2, etc. It appears to be blown in fibreglass. Deeper inside almost looks pink, though the visible parts are yellowed/brownish. No backing on the insulation, just the ceiling wallboard between each 2x6.

The insulation up there is severely compressed, down to an inch, and even less in various places. The home inspector mentioned this, and we had planned on blowing in more.

However, I was up there today and saw a few things he didn't mention.

First -- the bathroom vent vents directly into the attic. I imagine this isn't the best situation. We're having the roof redone in a few weeks, and will add a vent to connect this.

Second, we may have a MOUSE problem. There are mouse droppings ALL over the place up there. All (that I saw) were crusty and 'old', but I have no idea if there is an entire mouse family living up there or what. This is something I would like to resolve prior to putting in new insulation.
Any way to confirm for sure whether or not mice are up there? Just place a few traps and see if they catch anything?

Finally, if we choose to do the insulation ourselves, should the old insulation be removed first? Or should we just blow / roll in insulation on top of it?
If we do remove it, assuming some has degraded, any idea how many cubic feet of insulation we're talking about up there? '15 bags', originally covered 1286 sq ft to a depth of something like 4 inches.

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Old 05-07-05, 03:59 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: WA
Posts: 117
An additional question --

Most, if not all of the electrical wires (old romex, 2 wires + ground) are run through the attic. A very few run on top of the 2x6's, on top of the insulation.
Most are run through the centers of the attic 2x6's, 'through' the insulation.

I know we're not supposed to compress the insulation, so how do you deal with wires? Cut the bats and squish it onto either side? Or if possible, can you get enough slack in the wires (one row at a time) and feed the insulation 'under' the wires? Would this compress it too much?
Old 05-10-05, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 197
Attic insul.

If the joists are really 18'' on center, your choice of insulation will be

limited to blown-in. The rolled insul. only comes in widths for 16'' and 24''

centers. If the old insul. is loaded with mouse poop, I would consider

getting it out of there, taking all necessary personal precautions against

inhaling the residue. Take the dimensions of your attic with you to your

favorite home improvement store and they should be able to whip up all

the numbers for you, like how many bags , how much money, etc. Find

out what their policy is about renting an insul. blower, while you're at it.

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