Friday, December 3, 2010

3rd Floor Insulation Prep!

For the last 6 weeks, we've been prepping the 3rd floor and the attic above the 3rd floor for insulation.

After the walls came down this summer, we needed to clean out everything.  And I mean everything.  Let's put it this way: my house is 120 years old and over the course of it's life, not all the residents on the 3rd floor were human (Ahem!).  Of course NOW, we keep a strict 100% human household (until someday, when we get a dog).  However, when we bought the house, we inherited the vacant homes of these previous non-human residents.  The giant overhanging eaves of my foursquare house were packed with pine needles (from that darn tree!), leaves, torn magazines, shredded fabric, and about 1 million walnut shells.  And, guess who cleaned out every single eave where the nests remained?  Me.

And, I am proud to say that my 3rd floor/attic is totally clean.  SO clean that years from now, when these rooms are dry walled, decorated, and occupied, I will know that every single one of our eaves has been vacuumed.  It's a great feeling!  But, let's move on...

Once the 3rd floor/attic was completely cleaned, we needed to prep the space for insulation.  First, we removed about a thousand nails (previously used to hang the plaster lath)...



Then, we removed ancient knob and tube wiring...

goodbye knob & tube wiring!


Next, we needed to put a subfloor down in the attic.  This attic space is about 3 feet high and allows the air to vent out through the top of the house.  My husband cut each piece of wood to size, and installed the attic flooring.  Later, we placed insulation on top of this floor to "cap off" the house and keep our precious heat INSIDE.






So, to recap: we've removed nails, removed knob and tube wiring, and installed an attic floor.  The next step in prepping for insulation was roof baffling.  Roof baffles, or "rafter vents" are used in an attic to properly vent the roof and prevent moisture from becoming trapped (causing rot).  Baffling is the least expensive way to protect the life of your roof.  Basically, roof baffles allow your roof to "breathe".  Because we had the space down to the studs, we took advantage of this opportunity and completely ventilated our roof.



A very helpful illustration, showing us how the air flows up from the eaves, through the baffling and then exits through the top of the roof.  You can see how the baffling works as a protective layer between the roof and the insulation.


We bought about 120 baffles from Lowes...



And, began to install them.  One by one...





a shot of one dormer window... 
you can see that we also used blue polystyrene insulation board on the sides of the dormer windows to help insulate the room.  The space on these walls was too shallow for general insulation.  We filled the gaps with insulation spray foam.


rows of roof baffling reaching through the new attic flooring
(sorry for the bad iPhone pic)


working late into the night
(another iPhone picture, sorry for the blurriness)



When we finished installing the roof baffling, we began the next phase: insulation
And not a moment too soon, freezing temperatures were right around the corner.
 
 
my husband, stapling the lower corners of insulation near the corners of the 3rd floor.
 
 
We used John Manville Kraft-Faced Fiberglass Insulation for the entire space.  We liked how easy it was to handle and install.  It's perfect for external walls and has good sound buffering qualities.  We were able to buy sheets that fit perfectly between the studs, so that made things easy.  Most of all, it keeps the future bedrooms warm and quiet.  A MAJOR DIFFERENCE.
 

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6 comments:

In the Tweeds said...

WOW! What a feat! Mike Holmes would be proud. :)

Kelly Galvin Robson said...

Oh my gosh, what a compliment! Thank you! I LOVE Mike Holmes. :)

xx
Kelly

Nichole@40daysof said...

My comment was also going to be in the Mike Holmes vein. Too funny!

Gina said...

How did you know how to do all of that? I'm very impressed!

Fifi Flowers said...

I would love to make my attic into a room!

Project Shannon said...

OMG - you two are such rockstars. I can't believe you are doing this all on your own. Nice job.

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