Attic Insulation Preparation – How to Prepare an Attic for Insulation

Attic insulation can save you big money in the long run on your energy bills if attic insulation preparation is part of the process. There are three major reasons why you should be very careful to adequately prepare your attic before insulation. Firstly, properly removing old insulation and sealing air leaks will ensure that your insulation will do its job as intended. Secondly, allowing for proper ventilation ensures that there is a route for moisture to escape, avoiding water damage. Thirdly, properly treating lighting and electrical wires makes sure that you avoid any potential fire hazards. Let’s take a look at the most important steps you need to make in preparing your attic before insulation, with special attention to each of these three points.

The most important thing you can do to ensure that your attic insulation will save you as much as possible in energy bills is to properly seal off air leaks. There are a variety of different key areas in your attic that you are going to want to make sure are properly sealed. Let’s run through several of these now. For the walk-up attic door, you should add weather strips around the frame, install a door sweep on the base and add insulation to the back of the door. Similarly, with the pull-down stairs, you should weatherstrip the frame and add an insulated cover that can be removed when needed. If you have exhaust fans in your attic you are going to want to cover these with a box and then use caulking to completely seal that box. If you have a chimney in your attic make sure to check that there are no openings between the chimney and the collar or wood framing – if there are gaps, seal these with fire-rated sealant. These areas are the main ones that you are going to want to check to make sure your attic will be properly sealed.

Next, you are going to want to make sure that there is proper ventilation. Ventilation in your attic makes sure that moisture, as well as ice dams, do not build up. This is very important, as both moisture and ice dams can seriously damage your roof and walls. With the correct attic ventilation, a balance of air taken in and then exhausted is achieved. Normally, it is recommended that soffit vents and ventilation chutes be used in order to achieve the best attic ventilation system.

Finally, when preparing for attic insulation you also want to be safety minded, and by all means, avoid any type of fire hazard. The most common fire hazards are those created by mishandling lighting systems and electrical wiring. Make sure to properly cover all can lights and keep insulation about three inches removed from recessed lighting. Never place insulation on top of standard lighting fixtures. Also, be sure to check for any exposed electrical wiring in your attic. If you find any, make sure to fix them before insulation.

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