Insulation of older attic space


Old 06-29-01, 08:24 PM
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I would like to insulate my attic myself. I have a 1950s raised ranch, and the attic space is aprox. 400 sq. ft.. This is a walk-in attic space with entry door off the 2nd floor hallway.

The current status:

No insulation in between roof rafters. Had roof done recently and now have several roof vents along with 2 gable vents. There is wood plank board floor throughout the attic, and a unknown amount (both in thickness and distrbuition) of "wool" type insulation between attic wood board flooring and ceiling below. A bedroom and bathroom share walls with this attic space, and have very old paper faced roll insulation in the stud cavities, but the paper faces the attic area, (which I think may be incorrect).

Questions regarding my project:

Please tell me I don't have to pull up those floor boards!

#1. I know blowing in or rolling out insulation between the attic floor boards and ceiling below would be most effective, but can I just roll out the insulation over the attic floor? (I don't plan on using this attic space.) How bad is the efficency loss if this is done?

#2. Should I used faced or un-faced if I roll it out over the attic floor boards?

#3. Should I do anything to the exsisting insulation that is on the attic walls (to bedroom and bathroom)?

#4 Again, this is a walk-in attic space with entry door off the 2nd floor hallway. Should I attempt to insulate the door somehow? (How?)

Wow, lots of questions, hope they are easy answers.

Thanks for your time and thoughts, Steve
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Old 07-03-01, 07:16 PM
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If your absolutely sure you wont ever want to use that space..Then insulate the floor with R-30 unfaced fiberglass batts..and the existing wall insulation should be paper to the interior wall (paper not visable from attic)...

If you have access I would check the R-value, is it is less than R-13, if so I would change it to either R-13 or R-15..

as for insulating the door if your not going to use the door then just drape unfaced insulation but attaching it above the door and letting it drape down over it... this way if you ever want into that space it will move out of the way..

good luck

Old 07-04-01, 07:22 AM
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My Two Cents

Hello Steve and Welcome to the Do It Yourself Web Site.

By not removing the flooring boards prior to adding insulation to save time and your labor work, would be like eating soup with a fork. Lots of activity, little accomplishment.

Thinking you'll never use that space could be short sighted. As time goes on, there could become a time when additional storage space is needed. Covering the floor boards would reneder it useless.

Simply covering as you intended would not provide much in the way of insulating either. The air space below the boards would trap heat and or worse yet moisture in rare cases.

In my opinion, if the project is worth doing and you want to obtain the best possible results for the time, cost and labor, removing the flooring boards prior to adding the insulation is the best method.

Mark the boards first, then remove them all. Or remove half of them, still using the numbering system to get them back in exactly the same location, add the required insulation as suggested by insulman, then reinstall the boards using sheet rock/wall board or other type of thin wood screws.

If the job is worth doing, it's doing it correctly that counts also. Therefore, lift the boards.

Add a light too. battery powered is fine and maybe consider a smoke detector also. Changing batteries yearly shouldn't be any problem with the easy access...

When the full project is completed, relax and have a BEER!

Tom_Bartco Enterprises
Energy Conservation Consultant & Natural Gas Appliance Diagnostics Technician.
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