When you hear the word insulation, what vision pops into your head? Is it big, fluffy, pink or yellow rolls that look like cotton candy? That is batten insulation, and while it's a widely used form of home insulation, that's not what this article is about. Instead, this article is about blow-in insulation.
Blow-in attic insulation is a loose-fill material made from cellulose, fiberglass, and other materials. It is thick, dense, and lumpy with the consistency of a down feather pillow. It easily fits in tight areas like walls or in between wires and ducts.
As the name implies, the installation process for this insulation involves blowing the fibers throughout the space with a large hose and an electric blower. Typically, this is done by beginning with a large block of material and feeding it into the machine, filling any areas that require insulation.
Like any form of insulation, this material keeps air from entering and exiting your home. But there's more to blow-in insulation than that.
Additional benefits include:
With experienced insulation contractors and the proper equipment, the installation is a quick and straightforward process.
Many factors influence the lifespan of this form of insulation. Any moisture that creeps into the attic could damage the material. However, it could last between 20 to 30 years with proper installation. Over time, this soft material will begin to settle, but it is possible to simply add more, increasing its efficiency again.
Even though an insulation contractor will be completing the work, there are still a few things you can do before they arrive:
To get the most out of your insulation installation, seal any cracks or holes in the structure of your home. A good quality caulk and durable 2x4 boards can create a proper seal but ensure you don't eliminate all fresh air access. Your attic still needs some ventilation to provide you with a healthy living environment.
If your attic is used primarily for storage, remove as much clutter as possible. Take a walk through the area if you recently purchased the home, too. Look for anything that may have been left behind by the previous owners. Inspect the electrical wiring, ductwork, and any lighting for signs they may need repairs.
Make the necessary repairs or hire another contractor to complete the work before your scheduled insulation installation day.
Blow-in insulation contractors will usually send a two-person crew, at minimum. One person feeds the insulation into the machine and controls the air mixture. At the same time, the other person sprays the hose throughout the attic. Typically, the crew will start near the back of the attic and work towards the exit.
Proper blow-in insulation provides excellent protection for your home during any season. It's an investment, but you will see a return in your energy bills throughout the life of the insulation.