Insulating a walk up attic
I live in Buffalo, NY and have a 1920's double with a walk up attic. I currently have no attic insulation. My attic floor prevents me from laying batts without ripping up the entire floor, and cellulose is not an option because of my old wiring. I could blow in fiberglass, and have also considered expanding foam (neither of which is a good option right now because i need to contiune to have access for rewiring). i guess That leaves the underside of the rafters. I was thinking of useing a foil faced R30, because i do have some icedaming issues. I guess my question is what would you all recommend?
Re: Insulating a walk up attic
I'm guessing by old wiring you're implying knob and tube. It would be best to get any wiring done before insulation. Dense packing the floor is your best option, since it air seals well while insulating. Do you intend to make this area livable space at some time? If so, insulation in the rafters is your best solution, but R-30 may be more than your rafters will accept without compressing the fiberglass, which would reduce the R value of that insulation. Fiberglass batts are a very poor air boundry also. I've seen a lot of clients whose homes were insulated with fiberglass to recommended values, but still complained of being cold and high heating bills for this reason. Blown fiberglass is rather expensive compared to cellulose, and foam would be extremely hard to re-wire after installation, possibly resulting in having to use wire molding on the re-wire in places. If you do opt for dense packing the floor, don't forget to also dense pack the walls and steps leading to the attic, as well as possibly backing the door with insulation and an air seal. I'm not sure about New York, but Ohio weatherization standards allow cellulose contact with knob and tube as long as wiring is in good condition, but I don't recommend it.
Originally Posted by mjman4
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