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attic insulation

7 years ago

We bought our house a few months ago; it was built in the 70's. The insulation in the attic is laughable. It appears to be the original insulation and average thickness is approximately 2 inches. I can see drywall in some spots. I'd like to add insulation at some point this year and am seeking advice.

First off, batts or blown in? I know I could do either myself, as the local hardware stores will provide the blower for free if enough insulation is purchased. We plan to have a new roof put on in the next 5 years or so, and I'm wondering which will pose less of a hassle when the crew installs soffit vents (we have gable vents only). Should I install soffit vent baffles while I'm up there in anticipation of having the soffit vents installed?

Second, cellulose or fiberglass (if we decide on blown in). My concern with the fiberglass is that it has been classified as a suspected carcinogen. Obviously once it is in place in the attic there is little to disturb and the risk is minimized. On the other hand, I've read that the cellulose, while treated with fire retardants, does pose a fire risk. We have aluminum wiring, which does pose an increased risk of fire. I plan to inspect all connections and fixing if there aren't done with co-al approved connectors. The other thing about cellulose is I've heard it settles more than fiberglass, thus decreasing the R value. True?

Third, I would like to have a bit of storage space up there. Is it possible to build a raised platform to provide room for the insulation underneath?

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