Weatherizing the home conserves energy and reduces home heating and cooling expenses. The attic is an important area to weatherize because much air can escape through this location. Sealing gaps and cracks between the living area and the attic and adding a layer of insulation prevents temperature extremes in the attic from wasting energy within the home.
You will need:
• Insulating spray foam sealant
• Fire blocking caulk
• Caulk gun
• Insulation with the desired R-value
• Soffit vent baffles
• Weather strip tape
• Staple gun
• Utility knife
• Face mask
• Work gloves
• Protective goggles
Step 1: Electrical boxes anchoring lighting and ceiling fans to the ceilings of the rooms below can be the leakiest spots within an attic. Before purchasing any sealant, check local building codes to determine whether a special sealant rated for draft and fire prevention or a fire blocking caulk is required. Put on the work gloves and protective goggles. Follow attic wiring to each electrical box and spray the appropriate sealant around the box seams and on the spots where the wires go into the box.
Step 2: Electrical wires also travel through framing and into walls below to the top plate, which can leak air. Spray the foam onto the top plate and down the seam where the framing meets drywall.
Step 3: Use the fire blocking caulk to seal the area around the plumbing vent stack.
Step 4: Install baffles on soffit vents to prevent these vents from becoming blocked with insulation. A blocked soffit vent can restrict the circulation of air within the attic, causing mold and other moisture issues. Use the staple gun to attach baffles to the bottom of roof decking between each roof rafter.
Step 5: Put on the face mask. If the attic already contains loose fill insulation, use unfaced fiberglass insulation to provide an additional layer. If it is uninsulated, use paper faced insulation and lay the paper side between joist bays to serve as a moisture retardant. To ensure proper coverage, run the insulation perpendicular to the ceiling joists. Roll out a batt of insulation, ensuring that there are no gaps between the rows. Cut a length by compressing it and using the utility knife to cut it to the correct size.
Step 6: Run the weather strip tape around the perimeter of the frame on the attic opening and then close the hatch or raise the ladder door to close the attic.