Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Making Our Home a Home Sweet Home: Part 7 – Implementing the Plan

Phase 1 - Put a lid on it

We have a short, but fairly large space in our attic.  There was a sorry excuse for insulation, three inches of rock wool, compressed and shifted around by critters, over the 70-year life of the home.  There were a couple of options on the table.  We could blow in a bunch of fiberglass insulation in the spaces without flooring, and then build up a bunch of rigid board insulation on the floor, and lay a new layer of plywood on top of that to retain storage.  All fine and good, in theory, but it’s already a short space, and to get a reasonable amount of insulation in there, we’d have taken up a lot of headspace, and therefore reduced storage space as well.  I did not want to change the space, and it actually would have been a fair amount of mess, noise and labor to get all the material in there to insulate the floor.  So, I elected to spray the roof deck with open cell foam. 

That has not only helped stabilize temperatures throughout the house, it has eliminated the dread of going up into 140 degree heat to find the high chair, or the next set of clothes, for the baby in the house.  And while we had to move our stored items, either out or into the center of the space for workers to get around, we didn’t have to take it all out (as we would have with the floor option), and we got to move most of it back (it was also an excuse to get rid of junk!).  Plus, it eliminated the need to depend on a fan, or wind, or other air circulation to “cool” our attic in the summertime.  Now that the space is defined as within thermal envelope, it simplifies its use, and makes it easier to manage the space.  We don’t have to worry at all about air leaks through the ceiling anymore, because there’s an insulated lid at the roof.

Top Photo: Attic before
Bottom Photo: Attic after
Next item: ERV. Stay tuned!

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