Attic Insulation - Mistakes to Avoid

A roll of pink, fiberglass insulation and related tools in front of an unfinished wall.

Attic insulation can reduce the energy consumption in your home, thus saving you money on your energy bills, and you can save even more money by completing these projects yourself. The only problem with a do-it-yourself approach is making sure you do it right. Here are some mistakes to avoid so that the work runs smoothly.

Not Preparing

Do not proceed with a do-it-yourself, attic-insulation project without properly preparing for the job. If there is no method to secure the ladder that leads to the attic, get someone to hold it for you. Clear the area of any items stored in the space. If you have no attic floor, lay boards across the joists so that the working area is more stable.

Consider the lighting in the attic and whether it is sufficient to allow you to see what you are doing. If additional lighting is required, put this in place by temporarily hanging a work light from the rafters.

Choosing the Wrong Insulation

Do not assume that just any type of insulation will be suitable for use in your attic. Loose-fill insulation would not be the best option in an attic that comprises of a whole house fan or has joists that are not high enough to contain it. Further measures will be needed to make it more suitable and effective.

If you are worried about your insulation being displaced by a fan, use blanket insulation rather than loose-fill. If necessary, increase the height of the joists by affixing additional beams to them at a sufficient height to hold the insulation in place.

Guessing How Much You Need

Don’t make the mistake of guessing how much insulation material that you need for your do-it-yourself attic-insulation project; you may be surprised how inaccurate this method can be. Use a tape measure to get the correct dimensions of the area that you need to cover and purchase a corresponding amount of insulation.

Leaving Gaps

Don’t overlook holes and spaces in the attic floor, or ignore other fixtures because they seem insignificant. Leaving gaps will make the insulation less effective, so smaller areas need to be filled with caulk before you add the insulation.

Incorrectly Using a Moisture Barrier

Disregarding the fitting instructions supplied with your new attic insulation materials can result in costly and frustrating mistakes. Having this kind of insulation in your attic floor can cause moisture to become trapped, which will eventually degrade the insulating material.

Insulating Over Recessed Lights

Be careful if your attic has recessed lights. Covering these can result in too much heat being generated and create a fire risk. Leave a gap of at least three inches around any recessed lights.