Attic Insulation Recommendations? (photos)

Old 05-10-15, 02:06 PM
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Attic Insulation Recommendations? (photos)

We just bought a 1938 stone house (Nashville, TN), and I've been doing a lot of research on insulation. The house has a finished attic, and there is a knee wall on either side. There's also an attic hatch to access the ceiling above, with a broken gable fan.

They used regular batt insulation for the vertical sides, and for the ground they used this dark brown loose insulation. I can't tell what kind it is, the age, or if it's dirty. It's pretty compressed.

It looks like they did a pretty bad job of insulating. It's at least 10 degrees hotter upstairs! The knee wall doors and ceiling hatch are not insulated at all. There is a lot of missing vertical insulation on the walls. I can't tell if there is proper ventilation with the soffits. Nothing is air sealed that I can tell. The space above the ceiling looks pretty well covered, but it's not enough. I can see the wooden joists on the ground.

So my question is, do I throw all of this loose insulation away? It's gonna be tough trying to move that stuff around and air sealing it. I want to blow some cellulose in there. What would y'all do to improve the insulation of this second story?

Knee wall area:

Notice the brick chimney. Is that ok?

Above ceiling:

Image gallery with more photos:
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Old 05-10-15, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
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Hi drw,
I don't see much value in leaving that ugly stuff up there and a ton of "peace of mind" getting it all removed. I don't know how old it is, but has certainly been there long enough to be contaminated by every rodent that passed through.

Note, I also don't know what it is, but you need to know that it does NOT contain asbestos. Having it tested may be the only way to be sure. If it tests negative, then shovel and bag it and vac the remainder and you will be happy.

Capes with those side attics are a pain, but there is guidance. I will attach some below.
Two Ways to Insulate Attic Kneewalls - Fine Homebuilding Article


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