If you want to improve the insulation in your attic, but you're on a tight budget, then fiberglass batts may be the best way to go. Fiberglass batts come in standard sheets that fit between the joists in your attic. While you can install the batts yourself, you may want to hire an Edmonton insulation contractor to do it because the fiberglass can cause respiratory irritation. Plus, making sure every nook and cranny is covered can be a labor intensive job. If you are determined to make this a DIY job, here's what you need to know about installing fiberglass insulation.
Check Old Insulation First
You can add new batts over old ones as long as the old ones are in good shape. First, ensure the old batts are still nice and fluffy. If they are compressed and worn down, it's best to pull them out and start over with new insulating material. Also, if you've had an attic leak, the old insulation may be ruined if it got wet. Fiberglass loses its insulating qualities when it is wet. It can also grow mold. If the old insulation is wet, damp, or moldy, pull it out before you put in new batts.
Fill Gaps And Cracks
One big drawback of using fiberglass batts is that they are rigid. That makes it difficult to close all the gaps and unusual shapes in your attic. Blown in insulation is better suited for an attic with irregular shapes, but it is more expensive. One thing you can do is buy cans of spray foam insulation and work your way around the attic sealing up all the gaps and cracks you see. You can also cut small pieces off the batts to fill in larger gaps. You want to fill in all these small places before you put in the batts or they will be too difficult to see, and your attic won't be as well insulated as you think it is.
Install The Batts
To install the batts, you should start at a far corner of the attic and work towards the door. Push the batts between the floor joists. The fit should be snug, with no gaps between the sides of the batts and the wood joists. Be very careful not to step on the batts or compress them in any way while you put them in. The batts need to be fluffy to provide the best insulation. You can stack the batts as high as you want, but if you have a short attic, be careful you leave enough space between the insulation and the roof for air circulation. Although it may seem like you'd get the best results if you stuff your attic full of insulation, you'll actually wind up with problems such as ice dams on your roof if you do.
If you decide to install fiberglass insulation yourself, be sure to wear protective gear. Fiberglass makes your skin itch, so you should make sure your skin is covered with old clothes you can throw away. You should also wear a respirator so you don't inhale the fiberglass fibers. You may also want to wear goggles to protect your eyes. Keep in mind, to get the best results, you need to seal all the air leaks, which can be tricky with fiberglass. Therefore, it might be worth the extra expense to let a contractor install the batts, so you know the job is done right and you don't waste money on insulation that doesn't work as well as it should.