Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I noticed my attic blown in insulation is rather thin on one side. Rather than buying enough to cover the whole area, I was thinking of just pushing or brooming the blown in insulation toward the soffit to fill it to the top of the joists, and then laying some batts into the cleared space.

Is there any reason I shouldn't do that?

EDIT: Please note: Adding more blown in insulation is NOT an option and I wish people would quit mentioning it. I KNOW the differences. I want to know if there are any TECHNICAL REASONS why I don't want to do this ONLY!

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

The recommendations for R-values in attics has increased. Since your insulation doesn't come up to the top of the framing I'm guessing where it's not low it only comes up to the top of the framing. That means even if you had the insulation to the top of 2x6 joists you'd be below the new minimum recommendation.

Blowing insulation is usually easier and cheaper than laying batts. You may even find someone to do it for you for less than the cost to buy batts.

If you're going to the trouble I think you might as well consider adding enough insulation to meet the new recommended minimum. Then just add more blown in insulation. You'll save a lot of time compared to sweeping the old and then spending all that time on your knees in an attic cutting and installing batts. Probably save money to and get a more energy efficient attic.

You can rent a blower and I think if you buy a certain number of bags some of the big box stores will include the blower rental for free.

I'm looking into blowing in insulation over my existing batts because it's going to be cheaper than adding an additional layer of rolls.

Update: You didn't indicate the size of your attic or how many square feet you have that needs added insulation.

If you only have a small area to do such that renting a blower is cost prohibitive (less than 10 bags so no free blower rental) or a PITA you can always apply the blown in insulation without a blower. It's easy to break up by hand and sprinkle it over the area then rake it smooth. You can also drop chunks of the insulation into a clean, empty trash can (maybe 5 gallon bucket if you can't get trash can up in attic) and break/fluff it up with a paddle mixer on a drill then pour it out into the area.

Either way I look at it, adding more loose fill seems to save steps, time and money.

share|improve this answer
    
In no way does this answer my question. –  Rob Dec 15 '13 at 19:24
    
@Rob The last question was "Is there any reason I shouldn't do that?" I think my answer is a valid reason not to do what he suggested. It's cheaper and easier to add more blown in insulation. –  OrganicLawnDIY Dec 15 '13 at 19:26
    
I'm asking if there's a reason why I don't want to sweep it aside and add batts, not whether I should add more insulation or a different type. –  Rob Dec 15 '13 at 20:14
    
You don't have to add more if you don't want to but I think it's a good idea. I updated my answer to account for a smaller job. Unless you left something else out I don't see any benefit to sweeping the existing insulation off to the side and replacing it with batts. Only downsides. Is there any reason you're contemplating doing this instead of just adding more loose fill to what you have? –  OrganicLawnDIY Dec 15 '13 at 20:28
    
OK. I guess not everyone sees spending more time, money and effort than necessary as downsides. Sorry I couldn't help more. Good luck. –  OrganicLawnDIY Dec 15 '13 at 20:46

Cellulose (the typical, but not the only, blown in) is much less air-permeable than fiberglass. Some tests even show it works without a vapor barrier, though I certainly put one in anyway on my project using it. It also has an R-value that increases in the cold, and no seams.

Fibreglass batts are considerably more air-permeable, have seams, and have an R-value that reduces with cold temperatures - which is not great if insulating to reduce heating costs.

So: doing what you describe is both possible and better than doing nothing, but inferior to (and probably more expensive than) blowing in more cellulose. If you have a near-religious objection to more blown in, by all means level out the blown-in and add fibreglass batts, rather than not adding anything. If, (as seems unlikely from your comments) you'd like the best insulation job for your money, consider adding more blown in.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.