LESLIE: Everybody loves their stuff and now Beverly in New York is looking for someplace to store some extra items; like the attic. How can we help you?
BEVERLY: Yes, I have blown-in insulation in my attic and I want to know if I can put a floor on top of that blown-in insulation.
TOM: Probably not, Beverly. The insulation is probably much higher than the floor joist; am I correct?
BEVERLY: Yes, yes. Way above.
TOM: Yeah, you see, you can’t do that because what happens is the insulation insulates by trapping air. And if you compress it by sort of squishing it down by trying to put a floor on it, you’re basically going to render it ineffective. And if you try to squish it too much, you’ll actually push the drywall off the ceiling below.
Probably the best thing for you to do here is – do you have an attic stair that goes up into one area where you want to store?
BEVERLY: Yes. Yes, I have …
TOM: Alright, so what I would do is this. I would try to push away the insulation in that immediate area – maybe make it a little thicker on the other areas of the attic – so you’re sort of carving out a small space around the opening that you could use for storage. And then use that for storage but understand that you’re not going to have as much insulation ability there as you would in other parts of the attic. But just reserve a little bit of an area around that opening for your storage; but don’t compress the insulation because if you do, it’s not going to work out so well.
LESLIE: Well, because then the weight of the plywood is sitting on the joist rather than on the insulation overall.
BEVERLY: Oh, fine. Oh, thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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