Insulating an Attic
LESLIE: Well, Manny in New York is dealing with an insulation situation. Tell us what’s going on.
MANNY: Basically, in my attic I have insulation on the floor of the attic …
MANNY: … but I don’t have insulation on the roof of the attic.
TOM: Well, you wouldn’t want to put it …
LESLIE: Well, you don’t want it there.
TOM: No, you don’t want to put it there. You only want to insulate – I’m presuming your attic is not a finished living space, correct?
MANNY: That is correct.
TOM: Alright, so you want the insulation to be only on what you’re calling the attic floor; the space between the attic, which is unfinished, and the floor below which is finished or, as we call in the business, conditioned versus unconditioned. The attic is unconditioned space. You don’t want to put attic insulation up into the rafters because, first of all, you don’t want to trap heat in the attic and, secondly, if you put insulation in between the rafters you will absolutely fry your roof shingles because they will overheat and you’ll find that a roof that would typically last 20 years starts to last about 10. So if you want to warm up your house, Manny, what I would do – and you’re in the New York area, so I would put 15 to 20 inches of unfaced fiberglass insulation across that attic floor. It’ll be thicker than the ceiling joists that you have right now and that’s OK; don’t compress it. You won’t be able to use that space for storage or if you do need storage, just sort of carve out one little area where you have less insulation than the rest.
LESLIE: Well, and you want to sort of fill up to the top of the joists, you know, with the insulation going in between and then you want to go across it over the top, correct?
TOM: Yep, like you’re making a pie crust.
TOM: Only I could tie insulation and baking together. (chuckles)
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) (chuckling) To food. (Manny chuckles)
TOM: Manny, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.