Much of a house's heat is lost through the attic, so it is particularly important to ensure this space is properly insulated. A DIY attic insulation project should start with an assessment of what insulation is already present, as well as what type of insulation will be most appropriate for the space. Fiberglass insulation is the most common in many homes, but it is not the only option and may not be the best for a particular space. When choosing insulation for a DIY attic insulation project, it is important to choose materials with a high R-value.
The R-value essentially measures the insulating properties of a material. A high R-value means more heat will be retained; a low R-value means the material is not as efficient at storing heat. While materials that have a high R-value are likely to be more expensive, the project will have a much longer lasting impact with the high R-value materials, and the money saved in heating costs will more than make up for the purchase price.
If the DIY attic insulation is fiberglass, it is important to work with the proper safety equipment. Fiberglass can be very dangerous if is inhaled, so ventilation will be important. Most attic spaces do not have adequate insulation, so the installer will need to wear an air mask to filter out the fiberglass. Eye protection should also be worn, as should gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants. A hat can help keep the fiberglass out of the installer's hair as well. The installer will need to wash his or her hands thoroughly after working with the fiberglass insulation as well.
It is a good idea to buy fiberglass insulation with a paper backing. This helps prevent fiberglass particles from circulating through the attic space. During the DIY attic insulation, it will be necessary to inspect pipes in the attic space as well. These pipes may need to be insulated where they run through the ceiling as well as the floor of the attic into the house. Research various insulation options for joints and connecting points. Before installing any insulation, it is important to inspect wires and other components; wiring is a common target for rats, mice, and other rodents, and installing insulation over damaged wires can become a fire hazard. Replace any damaged wires before laying down insulation in the attic space.