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DIY Blown-in Insulation Installation

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright, well Jeff in Alabama might be facing a very chilly situation soon with no insulation in the outside walls.

    What happened? How’d this happen?

    JEFF: Well, the house was built in the early 50s and apparently it was just never built with any in there. I discovered it while doing some electrical work. And I’ve heard that blown-in insulation is the right answer for this problem but I can’t figure out how to start and stop the blowing machine fast enough to get more insulation in the walls than in the living room. (Tom laughs)

    LESLIE: You’re doing it yourself?

    JEFF: Yes, ma’am.

    TOM: Well, you know, I’ll tell you what. Congratulations, Jeff, for trying it yourself. I probably wouldn’t try that myself. I mean I think if you do that everyday, you get pretty good at the timing on that. Because, you’re right; when you use blown-in insulation, you need to get enough in to do the job but not so much in that it leaks out all over the place. There’s also an art to how much pressure that you want that insulation to be packed into the walls. If you don’t put enough, it settles and then you end up with cold spaces at the top of the wall bays within a year or two; and if you put too much, you could actually lift the wallboard off of the walls. So I can’t give you the magic solution on how to do it yourself; just to say that I recognize that it’s a tricky job and that those are the two extremes that you’re trying to work within.

    Now have you been able to get any advice from the people that apparently rented you the gear?

    JEFF: No. Unfortunately, the guys at the store there, their attitude is, “Well, here’s the machine. Here’s the insulation. Good luck.”

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices, chuckles) And when they stop laughing …

    TOM: (overlapping voices, chuckling) Yeah. And they giggle as he walks out the door. (chuckles)

    JEFF: Exactly. If the credit card clears, they’re happy enough with that.

    TOM: (chuckles) Well, I’ll tell you what. It sounds to me like if you’re getting it all over the place, you’re probably towards the end of having maybe too much in there. But hopefully practice makes perfect and it gets neater as the job goes along. OK, Jeff?

    JEFF: Alright, thanks. I appreciate it.

    TOM: Thanks for calling The Money Pit.

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