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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    San Jose, CA
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    Default Walking around in insulated attic

    Ok, I admit even I think this is a really stupid question... but I need to ask it anyway! My attic currently has 6" rafters and 6" of cellulose insulation. Walking around up there to do maintenance is easy because you can see the rafters to walk on. However, in a few weeks I will be blowing in about another 6-8" of cellulose over top. With the extra material, how do you walk around?! In particular, is there some trick to finding the rafters to walk on? Obviously if I had to, I could get around by just kicking the cellulose out of place temporarily, but I am hoping there are some pros on here who can give tips and experience! Is there something I can do before (like build an elaborate system of structure on top of the existing rafters) to make my life a little easier later? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    2,360

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Its common to build walkways from 1x4's spaces an inch or so apart, then mark the walkways with something that sticks above the insulation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    San Jose, CA
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    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonRemodeler View Post
    Its common to build walkways from 1x4's spaces an inch or so apart, then mark the walkways with something that sticks above the insulation.
    Interesting. So I guess in that case you walk on (and compress) 6" of cellulose, but it keeps you from falling through the ceiling?!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southern Ontario Canada
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    38

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Cut some 4x8 plywood in 2 foot sections and lay them on the joists making a walkway. If you miss and fall through the ceiling below don't fret you will only fall until you hit your groin on the 2x6. Unless you are 16" wide. Ouch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southern Ontario Canada
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    38

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Compressing a few inches of blown in will not be seen on your heating/cooling invoice. Besides what is the cost of a hospital bill, not including the self inflicted pain and suffering compared to a few cents, dollars in utility costs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    13

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernCanuck View Post
    Compressing a few inches of blown in will not be seen on your heating/cooling invoice. Besides what is the cost of a hospital bill, not including the self inflicted pain and suffering compared to a few cents, dollars in utility costs.
    Haha, You are right about that one! Putting cheap plywood structure under the new insulation makes sense and is a lot cheaper than the 2x6 structure I was debating building on top of the existing rafters! I just need to be sure I mark the edges of the plywood...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southern Ontario Canada
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Lay the plywood on top of the 2x6's not below. How can you put it below? Walk where you can see the plywood. Being 2 feet wide you can tack them onto the 2x6's. The 2 foot wide ply will over hang your floor/ceiling joists by 4" on each side of the joists assuming they are on 16" on centre. If 24" on centre even better secured.

    What I am saying is, ceiling, insulation, plywood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    San Jose, CA
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    13

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernCanuck View Post
    Lay the plywood on top of the 2x6's not below. How can you put it below? Walk where you can see the plywood. Being 2 feet wide you can tack them onto the 2x6's. The 2 foot wide ply will over hang your floor/ceiling joists by 4" on each side of the joists assuming they are on 16" on centre. If 24" on centre even better secured.

    What I am saying is, ceiling, insulation, plywood.
    Hm, but what I am saying I will have is: ceiling, 6" insulation, then 6" more insulation. And the rafter are only 6". So what I think I am hearing people say to do is to put structure (plywood, 1x4s, etc) on top of the 6" rafter first, then blow in the 6" more. I'll have to walk on top of the new 6" insulation and compress it, but at least there is structure below to hold me. Am I reading this all right?!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    2,360

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    You can walk on the fiberglass OR you can use the white blown in Johnsmanville that never compacts. Its like walking through fluffy snow. Shuffle along the plywood and it falls back into place. You can always rake it back into place if you'd like.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,381

    Default Re: Walking around in insulated attic

    Run a pair of 2x6's perpendicular to the joists and 2' apart. The put a 2' wide x8' long 3/4" plywood on top of that. One sheet of plywood and 4 8' 2x6's will get you 16' of runway.

    Put down the 2x6's first, then fill between with the added insulation, then cap the 2x6's with the plywood.

    You can skip one joist span every 8' so that 16' runway can be two 8' runways with a 16" to 24" gap to step over.

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