DIY for air sealing your attic
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DIY for air sealing your attic

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Robert Busch

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DIY for air sealing your attic
« on: August 16, 2017, 06:06:30 AM »
The Department of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can shave 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill. You can improve comfort and save money and energy by sealing gaps in the openings and installing an insulating cover box on your attic stairs. Even though attic hatches can be a source of huge air leaks and radiant heat loss, they are rarely fixed. An attic hatch is usually present in a closet or hallway where the 'home people' can see it daily. Yet...

An attic hatch can look perfect and have finished trim and paint and still be a giant heat sink. In the winter, heat and warm air will escape through it and in the summer it will radiate heat down into the house. You can either DIY the sealing process or consult a home renovation service in your locality.

The first step in insulating an attic hatch is to air seal the finished trim and enclose the attic hatch. Carefully pull down the finish trim. Set aside the trim and, using caulk for smaller gaps which are less than 1/4' or use foam sealant for larger ones, seal the gap between the attic hatch framing and the rough cut drywall. Now, carefully apply a bead of caulk on the inside and outside edges of the trim, and reattach it.

The second step is to air seal the hatch perimeter. The plywood hatch rests on a small wood strip lip. You can use a compression bulb weather strip according to the standard air sealing. This can also be beefed up to a sealing gasket like the ones used on the refrigerator door. Gaskets are more durable and produce a tighter seal.

Next step is to cut foam board to 1/2"" less than the size of the hatch on each side. For a more green way, you can use foil-faced polyiso as a rigid foam option. Then, apply a bead of foam-compatible glue to it and attach it to the plywood hatch. Wash, rinse and repeat until you have added at least 4 inches of foam. Preferably you can use 8+ inches of foam. And now for fasteners, add a handle and several hook-and-eye fasteners so that when the hatch is forcefully pulled down it tightly compress the gasket.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 05:59:29 AM by Robert Busch »

Katherines

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Re: DIY for air sealing your attic
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 09:33:17 AM »
This information is very helpful to me.

Emmanuel

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Re: DIY for air sealing your attic
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 06:29:19 AM »
Your feedback is very good and makes it easier to understand.

 

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