HELP with insulating old attic

    I am doing the best I can so please do not tell me to just move. I cannot afford to do so. What I need to know from someone that really knows is that where I am living is a very small apartment (it is a very very old house that has been converted into 3 apartments.) The landlord refuses to put any insualtion in the attic hence my gas bill is high even though it is just me and I am truly very conservative. And being that the house is so very old, the wiring is exposed in the attic and I was wanting to know what would be the best and safest and most econonomical way for me to insulate the attic myself to hold down the costs of heating and cooling? Only helpful answers please as I am single and on salary therefore it does not matter how many long hours I work I make the same pay and I only have me and I am an older lady. So please be helpful and serious.

    +1  Views: 2063 Answers: 9 Posted: 10 years ago

    9 Answers

    Living on a fixed income is tough enough. I use Styrofoam sheet for insulation. I get it for free from the trash bins around appliance and furniture stores with the owners permission. I picked up enough Styrofoam in 1/2 inch thick sheets and large peices to cover my ceilings and walls. Styrofoam sheet stock can be purchased at building supply houses that is 1"x 48"x 96" for about $10.00 US per sheet. I prefer "free" as it gets me out of the house. Styrofoam does not burn well. I enjoyed installing it since it is pretty clean to work with. Flamable glues will destroy Styrofoam. Water based glues like Elmer's work fairly well but it necessary to use screws or pins to hold a sheet in place while it dries. There is probably some glues that will work with it by now. As a DIY job, installing Styrofoam on inside walls and ceiling was pretty easy. Panels or wall paper can go on over it nicely. I haven't tried blowing sticky paper pulp over the surface yet. But I am looking foward to that. My heating cost has continued to decline with this progress.

    of course on the other hand Darci you could always fill it up with knobbheads


    I do not know about that lol is knobbheads flammable I would think so .....

    Hi Darci
    It's a diificult one when you are on a budget but please do not listen to anyone who suggests you put anything like news paper etc up there. What ever you put up there must be flame retardent. I would suggest you go to somewhere like a builders merchant and flutter your eyelids and ask if they have any damaged rolls of fibre glass or aluminimum backed foam. Generally they can't sell this so will be more than happy to sell it to you at cost or at a loss. get what you can then try somewhere else. believe me Darci you will get it. the exposed wiring should be covered with thin rubber mats at the very least for your safety. Please, please, please do not go up there on your own. get a friend or neighbour to help you. When you get the fibreglass rolls put as much up there as you can but wear long sleaves, gloves and goggles because it will make you itch like mad if it gets into your skin. so on that note the aluminimumn backed foam would be best. Good luck.


    Rushie thanks so very very much for your most helpful info and best answer to help me. Thank you again for all the pointers and info. Darci

    Darci , do you live in the UK if so I will pass on the details of the Energy Saving trust who will come out and asses your property ,give you a quote for the work to be done at a fraction of the price it normally costs, as the trust is a non profitable organisation.


    No sorry live in Alabama but thank you.

    Darci, I'm just a do it youself-er. I would put at least 6 inches of fiberglass unfaced insulation of any brand up there. 12"would be best but you would have to cover it twice. I'm not sure insulation comes that thick. No need to glue, nail etc. All you do is lay it down inbetween the joists which should be 16 inches apart. Fiberglass comeS in 16" and 24". As far as putting plastic over the wiring as someone mentioned, I'm not sure why that would be neceassary, but I'm not a professional. Hope that helps.


    Thank you encourager that info helps me a lot also just I want to do it where it will be safe since this is a very old house and old wiring and all. Thank you again I really appreciate all the good info people are giving me it helps point me in the right direction. Thanks again.

    I think that you should review your lease agreement and hopefully you can find something that requires your landlord to put in something that will help you...most states have laws prtecting tenants saying that any nessity like that is the landlords finacial responsiblity. hope that i helped in some way

    i think ur landlord as to pay 4 that as there is something about a energy saving report as to b done to any property that is rented i think

    use fiberglass at least R38 it comes in 8 foot batsif the wireing isnt bare youwont have a problem

    You will find B&Q and Wickes selling rolls of insulation for ?1 each.You could easily insulate the whole loft for about ?30-?40, depending on depth.
    The Gov says the recommended minimum depth is 270mm (11" to you and me!).This means usually 4" between the joists and the rest cross bonded across the joists. Makes it bloody difficult to see where you are treading, so be carefull.
    Long sleeves and a mask are good ideas.
    B&Q were doing a deal a while ago that they would supply and fit loft insulation cheaper than it could be brought in the shops! Now the price has dropped substantially I doubt they still hgave the same offer on.
    The Gov is subsidising insulation, thats why its so cheap.
    Good luck and don't fall through the bedroom ceiling.


    Shotgunsid: Thank you for the good answer and info. I do appreciate when someone takes something serious when one is asking a serious question. Thank you again for the good advice.


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