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All You Need to Know About Blown-In Insulation

Spray Foam InsulationIf you find yourself paying out of your eyeballs on heating and cooling costs each year, you may want to consider adding insulation to your attic. Insulation does exactly what it sounds like. It forms a barrier between outside air temperatures and the ambient air within your home. If you are lacking insulation, then in the summer the hot air in your attic is heating up your cooled inside air, and in the winter the warm air inside is losing heat to cooler attic air. While insulation does come in blanket like rolls that can be laid out in your attic, an easier more efficient method is using blown-in insulation.

What Is Blown-In Insulation?

Glad you asked. Blown-in insulation is a method and type of insulation that allows installation via a blower. Small particles of material can be deployed in tiny nooks and crannies, as well as open areas, but more on that in a minute. Blown-in insulation comes in three major varieties.

  • Fiberglass used to be a common option. It is a material made from sand that is spun into fibers. It does require more material as it tends to settle more.
  • Cellulose is the most popular insulation used today. It is made from treated recycled paper, but must be guarded against excessive moisture.
  • Mineral wool is made from rock fibers. It offers the most natural fire resistance, but is also the most costly.

Each of these materials are sold in bags at your local hardware store.

How Do You Install It?

As discussed before, blown-in insulation is simply blown into the desired space. However, before installing you will want to inspect your current attic insulation. Caution: Some older homes may have used insulation containing asbestos. If you suspect your attic contains asbestos, call a professional for testing and removal. Otherwise, inspect your attic for matted down, wet, or rotting insulation. Pull this old material.

Look online for recommended R-value for your zip code. Now calculate the required remaining R-value based on square footage. The blown-in insulation will have its R-value displayed on the bag. You should be able to determine how many bags you will need, but it never hurts to buy extras that you can return once the job is finished.

Next, seal up any leaks in your attic. Look around pipes, studs, and joists for voids and gaps. Use an expanding foam sealant to fill these spaces. It is worthless to add any amount of insulation to an unsealed attic. Ensure adequate ventilation in your attic. Vents should be vented to the exterior of your home, not within your attic. Additionally, vents should not be crumpled or crushed as this may allow excessive heat and moisture to buildup within your attic.

Finally, it’s time to blow in that insulation. You will need to use a blower you can rent from your hardware store. This part gets noisy and messy so prep your home with tarps, and use eye and ear protection on yourself. Hoses will run from the blower up into your attic where you will fill edges and cracks first, followed by the open spaces between beams and joists.

A well-insulated attic can save you money and there is no simpler way than adding blown-in insulation. If it seems like too much to tackle on your own or perhaps you just want some advice, contact the pros at Paradigm Roofing at (972)-542-7774 today.

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