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attic insulation questions, and should i remove the old first?

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  #1  
Old 02-16-11, 02:04 PM
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attic insulation questions, and should i remove the old first?

i am working on adding some insulation to the attic.
the house was built in 1928, has a combination of new and knob and tube wiring. the insulation looks original and is filthy and covered with debris.
last spring i had a new roof installed and when removing the old (2 layers of composite and the original shingle) a lot fell in. my original thought was to remove it all and start fresh, after a couple of hours, 5 bags of waste and hardly a dent made i decided trying a different angle might keep me sanerÖ
iíve attached photos so you can see what i am up against. is it best to remove what is there? is cleaning the roofing debris necessary? can i just install batting over the top?
i have confirmed with an electrician that the knob and tube is in good working order so that isnít an issue.
itís not a space i use, only going up there to adjust, repair or check for varmints...
thanks for your help.

-stephanie

trying without success to load a photo.. link here to see what i am up against. and here and here and here
 

Last edited by stephaniesykes; 02-16-11 at 02:15 PM. Reason: photos didn't load... trying again
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  #2  
Old 02-16-11, 08:35 PM
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Location: New England
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Hi stephanie, and welcome to the forum. Pictures sure do the trick, what a mess!

Two issues, one, I couldn't sleep with all of that junk buried up there. I know some will do it, usually with blown-in insulation, but I object to just sweeping things under a rug. Besides, leaving it up there will do far more harm than good, rodent dropping, urine, and untold years of dust and whatever. Technically, when insulation is installed it is supposed to be in contact with the layers below. Any air gaps will promote air circulation and excess heat loss.

Second would be the K&T wiring and any other wiring that looks questionable. You might have to post a question and picture over for the electrical group to comment, but I wouldn't bury it and there may be code/safety issues in doing so. Actually, I would have it all replaced, especially if everything is removed and cleaned up. At least get an estimate. Also, take pictures before the new insulation goes back in for reference as to what is there, hopefully after all of the old stuff is removed. And be sure to ware a good mask.

Is there an end wall where some vinyl siding can be pulled back and a chute installed to just throw everything into a dumpster?

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 02-17-11, 05:07 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: PA
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while cleaning the attic is a terrible job, i think you should make the effort and do it. my attic had 15 years of stuff in it, for some insane reason i liked to keep the boxes stuff came in this included even 2 treadmill boxes. after the warranty period is up, all that stuff should have been trashed. Plus i had much other stuff that was waste, i rented a 20 yard dumpster for under 300 bucks and got 90% of the attic totally empty (plus other difficult to toss things thruout the house). it feels GREAT looking at it today. plus i found countless evidence of rodent etc and i know thats because i contributed to a happy home for them.

g/l
 
  #4  
Old 02-17-11, 05:27 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
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You need to get rid of that knob and tube before insulating. Check out: Knob and tube wiring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia There is a bit of info of the disadvantages of knob and tube wiring. I think you should get rid of all your knob and tube because of the potential hazards. It wasn't designed to handle the electrical loads we have today.
 
  #5  
Old 03-19-11, 09:52 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
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Hi, I have a house built in 1975 with rock wool loose insulation and fiberglass batt insulation. R-value of insulation ranges from zero in spots to about R-19. R-30 is recommendation for our zone in the US. We have 8 recessed lights and tweo bathroom heaters/fans. I need advice on what to do to bring the insulation up to R-30. DUst through the recessed lights is a concern.
Do we just add more layers of insulation or do we remove the old insulation and add R-30 batts? I prefer batts as they do not fly around like loose insulation. I saw recessed light covers sold at Amazon. These are smartcaps aby Owens nd tenmat covers. I was told that this will help prevent heat loss through the rrecessed lights and prevent insulation contact with non-IC rated recessed lights of which we have 5.
One contractor said that they can install tubes around the non-IC lights and polyurethane the heaters/fan. Is this the way to go? Is there no way that we can use TenMats or Smartcaps without leading to too much heat by the fluorescent bulbs which I was told would lead to their shutting off. Is this true of IC lights only ? or does this apply to non-IC lights also. Please advise. Thank you very much.
 
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