How to Lay Blanket Insulation in Your Attic - Part 2

An end-on, close-up view of white rolls of fiberglass insulation material.
What You'll Need
Fiberglass blanket insulation
Utility knife
Safety gloves
Safety glasses
Vapor barrier

Blanket insulation is easier to work with than other types of attic insulation and can provide high insulation factors, as measured by the r-value. This article is the second part of a 3-part article on how to install blanket insulation in your attic. In the previous article, we discussed what blanket insulation is and how to work with it safely. This article will discuss how to install blanket insulation using a vapor barrier or shield. The final article talks about dealing with recessed lighting and fixtures. Click to view Part 1 or Part 3.

Step 1 - Installing the Blanket Insulation in the Attic

After you have bought blanket insulation with the appropriate r-value and have the necessary safety gear such as protective eye wear and a breathing apparatus or mask, you are ready to install your insulation. Simply cut away the packaging and roll the strips of insulation out across the attic floor.

Do this process for the entire length of your attic. Tuck the pieces in tightly for the best level of insulation. For insulating your attic walls, you will need a stapler to secure or fasten the insulation as you roll the blanket sheets out. Using the stapler is quick and simple. Just strike the section of framing to discharge the staple and fasten the blanket insulation.

Step 2 - Using a Vapor Barrier

In cases where a lot of moisture has built up in the attic due to sudden climate changes or leaks, you will also need to install a vapor barrier sheet. You will know if you need a vapor barrier if it was recommended to you after an audit of your home's energy efficiency or if you simply notice a musty smell in your attic. The purpose of the vapor barrier is to keep water and moisture from permeating the insulation. If the insulation is exposed to water it will reduce its insulating efficiency, or r-value, and make it less effective.

A vapor barrier can be a plastic sheet that is placed over the insulation and staples in place or a foil-type covering. The second kind also reflects ultra-violet light, which can reduce the effectiveness of the insulation. Make sure to purchase a vapor barrier that is recommended for your home or the region of the country in which you live.

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