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Tutorial for Blown in Cellulose?

BGehl's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 36

12-18-07, 06:08 PM   #1  
Tutorial for Blown in Cellulose?

Does any one know of a good step by step tutorial for blown in cellulose? A video of someone doing it would be best . .

I am looking to add about 8" to our attic and was told that it is very important to "hardpack" the cellulose and not to just spray it out there like you would water a garden. I would love to see how it is done before i try it on my own house.

Also, in a previous post i was told that it is ok to pack insulation into the eaves and cut off any circulation between the soffit vents and the ridge vent. When i am in the attic and look down into the eaves, there is only a 2" or 3" gap between the soffit vents and the roof deck. i am concerned that i might not be able to get the hose for the blower all the way down into the eaves to get a good pack. (not to mention it would be nearly impossible to add the Styrofoam vents). any suggestions on what to do here?

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BGehl's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 36

12-19-07, 01:27 PM   #2  
I was doing some more searching on this and found a good resource. in case anyone is looking at this post in the future, there is a relatively good step by step and video at this link http://www.cocooninsulation.com/buil..._documents.asp

I would still be interested in anyone's thougts on what i should do with the eaves.

d00bs's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 195

12-19-07, 02:25 PM   #3  
I certainly wouldnt cut off any existing ventilation if you have soffit vents. If you block them off you have to make super sure you air seal your entire attic from below so that there will be no moisture build up or warm air leakage. Lots of people have sealed attics but generally do this when building a new home not retrofit. The vents will carry this warm moist air away if it exists and help to save your roof in winter.
Why is it so hard to put in the baffles? They are super thin and you dont have to staple all along then entire length to get it to stay up. I found that 3 or 4 staples just keeps it up all the way. Just try one and slide it down. You can even staple 2 together to increase the length. Also you dont have to do every rafter but try every third.
To get a good pack in the others use either the nozzle that usually comes with the machine or you can buy a long 1 1/4 or 2 inch diameter vinyl fill tube and use that to attach to the main hose.

diyplank's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 711

12-19-07, 06:54 PM   #4  
Cellulose settles after it is in place for a while. I did my attic and walls w/ this stuff and I love it!! I would prefer fiberglass but don't wanna tear the lath and plaster off all my walls!!! LOL
If you want 8 in of this stuff I would blow in 10-12in and it will settle to 8!! I was told by a contractor that after about a yr or so the ins. in my walls will settle up to 6in (MAX) below the hole I blew it in at!! Now that being said this stuff gets hung up in walls via elec. cable, nails, screws, etc and leaves pockets of empty space.

Don't close off the soffits. If you do you'll have hell to pay w/ replacing your roof!!!! You need to leave the soffits open so that there is ventilation between them and your ridge vent!! If you have gable end vents and a ridge vent you might be able to get away with closing the soffits. I don't have soffits but I do have gable and ridge vents. Your attic is suppose to be 1-2 deg. warmer than what it is outside in the winter. GOOD LUCK

d00bs's Avatar

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Posts: 195

12-19-07, 08:22 PM   #5  
Just for the record in case any other person new to this reads this thread, settling in attics is well known and a small issue; all you have to do is read the manufacture's site of the cellulose to find out the correct depth to blow in to account for settling. It performs alot better than fiberglass with coverage and stopping air and is less prone to installer error that people usually dont think they are doing with fiberglass but are.
Settling and voids in walls can happen but WONT occur if its done right ie dense packed with a fill tube.

BGehl's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 36

12-20-07, 06:47 AM   #6  
if the baffles are as easy to install as you suggest, then maybe i can give them a try.

But how do i prevent the cellulose from blocking the actual vents in the soffit? it seems that even if i can get the baffles in, when i blown the cellulose down, it would choke off any air that would come up through the vents before it could get to the baffles. . . .

thanks again.

BGehl's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 36

12-25-07, 11:26 AM   #7  
just to provide an update in case anyone is reading this post in the future.

I put the baffles into the eaves pior to blowing in the insulation. The eaves ended up being over 6 foot in length so i had to overlap the ends and staple/duct tape two of them together. However securing them to the eaves was much easier then i antcipated.

Actually blowing in the insulation was much more work than i thought it would be. We ended up using 47 bales, and it took about 10 hours of work. Part of the reason it took so long was the machine we got from the box store did not really blow the insulation the way it was supposed to. i spent a lot of time sitting in our cold attic waiting for something to come up the tube. I also really wanted to have the insulation dense packed. so after blowing in about 8 inches, i would use i piece of plywood to pack the insulation back down to about 5 or 6 inches, then i would top it off. (any feedback on this technique would be appreciated.)

my helpers who were loading the machine had the much harder job. trying to adequately break up the bales so the machine would accpet them proved to be the hardest and dirtiest job. think the machine is designed to do this work, but this one was subpar.

In any case, i think it is well worth the $2500 we saved by doing it ourselves. However, this ended up being one of the harder DIY projects I have undertaken. We were all very dirty, the house was a mess, and i was sore from not being able to stand up for ten hours.

digger doug's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 16

02-20-08, 11:02 AM   #8  
Hello everyone... some ramblings on cellulose

"We ended up using 47 bales, and it took about 10 hours of work"

WE... you had "people"... I was the bale guy on a job,
and there was the owner in the attic, must have been nice
having extra people. But seriously, yes the square plastic
hopper machine is the one to NOT rent. I spent alot of time
pre "chewing" the bale to hot rod the process, to the point
of tripping a breaker. The performance was still dismal.
If you have a choice, obtain the krendl, or the force

Or you could do what I did, build your own machine.
Hint, a craftsman electric leaf blower is rated to grind up
twigs, and has a "continous" duty rating.

But some good things happened:

1. you did save money.
2. you did do something different over christmas holiday.
3. you learned something you never knew before.
4. it was done right, You assured that.

In looking at the bigger truck mounted machines,
these will blow a 30 lb bale (note green fiber at the box
store is 23 lb) in 20-30 seconds.

You also realize that the kid in the truck, loading those
bales, has 20 seconds to fetch another one from
the back of the box, cut the wrapper, and dump
it in. This job is ussually low wage, entry level work,
so sometimes the bag goes up the hose too.

I'll bet your helpers made sure you didn't get any
plastic bags in the attic.

try doing spray on with the glue, there's your next assignment.

Just because you and I don't get paid to do something
doesn't mean we can't do it, or do a good job at it.


Ed Imeduc's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 18,389

02-20-08, 11:39 AM   #9  
Like to add to this post
Just think now that you have the cellulose insulation up there . How much more you have fire proof your home. You can try it. Its how we sold the celloulose over the fiberglass. Take some fiberglass and a small hand torch to it . Yes it dont burn but it melts very fast. Then take a hand full of cellulose in you hand. You can put a penny on it. Take the torch and melt the penny right in you hand. The cellulose will glow and turn black burn not melt or get on fire
I did have picture that showed homes where the roof had burned all the way off. But the flames did not get through the cellulose insulation there in the attic floor.
Its also best to check how many sq ft you are covering per bag to you know that the air shutter is set right.

HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation

Join Date: Jul 2006
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02-20-08, 02:55 PM   #10  
Take the torch and melt the penny right in you hand.


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