Top Insulation Mistakes Homeowners Make In The Attic

Properly insulating your attic will reduce your home’s overall energy usage while protecting it from mold and mildew. And best of all, it’s a project that any homeowner can do themselves without hiring a professional contractor. All it takes is some basic materials from your local home improvement store and a little bit of physical labor. Once your attic is properly insulated, you’ll likely notice a savings on your monthly utility bills. However, you’ll want to avoid making these common mistakes when insulating your attic.

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Well-insulated attic: photo by whitenuckled.

Mistake #1) Covering Lights

If there are lights in your attic, make sure you leave a minimum of four inches in between them and the insulation. Some homeowners throw out insulation while paying little-to-no attention to light sources. Covering lights with traditional fiberglass or blown cellulose insulation, though, is a serious fire hazard. If the insulation gets hot enough, it can catch fire, turning your attic into a blistering fireball.

Mistake #2) Covering Vents

A second mistake is covering vents with insulation. Most attics contain vents which allow cool air to enter during the winter. I know what you’re thinking: why would I want cold air to enter during the winter? Well, this cool air helps counteract the hot and humid air produced inside your home. Allowing your attic to catch all of this hot air will encourage the growth of mold and mildew.

The bottom line is that you need to keep the vents open and free of obstruction (including insulation) in order to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Mistake #3) Not Filling Gaps

If you haven’t done so already, perform a visual inspection of your attic to identify insulation gaps. Typically builders leave small gaps around pipe fittings, electrical work, etc. Gaps less than an inch side can have a serious impact on your home’s energy usage, especially during the summer and winter months.¬†Once you’ve identified the gaps, go back and fill them in with insulation.

Mistake #4) Not Securing Insulation Properly

A fourth mistake that we’re going to talk about involves not securing the insulation properly. Over time insulation can absorb moisture from the air, and this additional weight may cause it to fall or roll over. Whether you’re installing insulation in the attic, basement, crawlspace or anywhere else inside your home, make sure it’s secured.

There are several different ways to secure insulation to a wall or floor, but nothing beats bailing wire and a staple gun.

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