Tips on Adding Fiberglass Insulation in Attics

Information provided by North London loft conversion firm Touchstone lofts:

Fiberglass insulation is one of the least expensive and most common insulation products in homes. The materials come in both batt form and in a chopped format that must be blown in using special equipment. When properly installed, both types of fiberglass insulation can help reduce heat loss from homes in the winter. However, there are a few tricks to correctly installing fiberglass insulation. Knowing them can help homeowners ensure their insulation is as effective as possible.

Pay Attention to Detail

Fiberglass batts make excellent insulation material, but only if they provide a solid insulating mass. Batts may need to be cut to size and shape to provide the correct clearance around pipes and wires without creating a space for air to escape. This type of installation requires careful attention to detail. Blown-in fiberglass fills odd spaces more easily but may settle to a lower depth than originally expected, providing less insulative power.

Wear Protective Gear

While fiberglass particles are not known to have serious long-term health effects, they can still be irritating and unpleasant. Ask the Builder suggests wearing a particle respirator when working with fiberglass to cut down on nose and throat irritation. Long-sleeved shirts, long-legged pants, goggles and gloves are also recommended since fiberglass particles can stick to the skin and cause severe itching.

Prevent Mold

While fiberglass is an inorganic material and unlikely to mold on its own, its open structure encourages mold growth if the fiberglass becomes moist, especially if dust and other organic material is present. Mold in fiberglass poses a serious respiratory problem, especially to people with existing sensitivities. Fortunately, keeping the insulation dry by installing it well away from water pipes, fixing all leaks and installing a vapor barrier can help reduce the risk of mold. Install vapor barriers on only one side of the insulation; when installed on both sides, the barriers can actually trap moisture inside.