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home inspection shows inadequate attic insulation, add to old or start new?

Brian Auerbach's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3

01-06-14, 10:43 AM   #1  
home inspection shows inadequate attic insulation, add to old or start new?

buying a home built in 1941. All things considered, the fact that was evidence of some common mold on the attic sheathing (mostly or all dormant) seems about as good as could be hoped for.

All the same, once I own it, I want to remedy the issue.

Aside from the obvious, spray the mold, clean the attic vents, ect.

I was advised to improve the insulation, its filled maybe half of the joist depth.

Should I just buy bags of insulation and lay it on top? or remove it all and fill it fresh? Obviously theres time, money, mess to removing it; but if its worth it, Ill do it.


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Concretemasonry's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 6,125

01-06-14, 12:07 PM   #2  
Improve the ventilation of the attic area to make it similar to the outside temperatures - Soffit vents and some roof vents(box or ridge).

This will reduce the moisture and condensation on the roof sheathing.

Pilot Dane's Avatar
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01-06-14, 12:15 PM   #3  
You did not say the size of your attic to insulate but I would check with local insulating contractors for a price to blow in fiberglass insulation. For medium to larger homes I can hire it done cheaper than I can buy the materials. For a smaller attic check your local home center which may have the blowing machine available for use free when you purchase the insulation.

Bud9051's Avatar

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01-06-14, 12:18 PM   #4  
I can't say your old insulation is nasty, but it has had 72 years of bugs and rodents to get that way. Plus, doubtful it is as hardy as when new. There is another detail, most moisture enters the attic through a host of small leaks (some big one too) and they all need to be sealed before the all new insulation is added. I'll attach a good link on air sealing. The nice thing about the sealing is it further reduces the heat loss.

Between air sealing, proper baffles to protect the insulation from vented air, and quality new insulation, you will enjoy the results.


Brian Auerbach's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
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01-06-14, 12:47 PM   #5  
I appreciate the info. its a modest home of 2000sqft. not sure of the exact attic sqft, I guess I could naively assume its approx 1000sqft. no tight spaces, other than the access hole.

There are ridge vents, and whatever you'd call cross vents that are on the face of the house. inspector suggested that the ridge vents may have been added after the fact, perhaps since the mold originated and thus why its largely dormant now?). Roof is ~10 years old No obvious signs of major leaks as far as visible water damage. The seal on the waste vent pipe was in need of replacement however.

joecaption1's Avatar
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01-06-14, 12:55 PM   #6  
Here's something to give you an idea of what was suppose to be up there.
Recommended Levels of Insulation : ENERGY STAR

stickshift's Avatar
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01-07-14, 11:02 AM   #7  
Sounds like there's not much insulation there now so I would be looking at moving it out so you can air seal and then insulate again.

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