Attic entry points are small but often overlooked when homeowners decide to insulate their homes. Attic doors insulation can help you save money that would otherwise go to energy bills. Besides, insulating attic doors increases your home comfort.
If you are looking to insulate the access point to your attic the method you select will depend on which type of opening you have. Typically there are three types of entryways into your attic as listed below.
- Pull-Down Stairs
- Knee-Wall Door
Now, let’s have a look at the best attic door insulation for these 3 types of entryways.
Insulation for Attic Pull-Down Stairs
Pull-down stairs are a common form of entry into the attic. You can find the stairs located in different areas of your home such as the garage or porch. Usually, the space where the stairs are fitted is an opening. Once you place back the stairs, the space leaves some gaps just like with doors and windows.
Now, the type of insulation to use depends on the size of the gap. If the gap is less than a half inch, a caulking sealant can insulate it perfectly. If the gap is more than a half inch, then you can use a low expanding spray foam. When using spray foam be keen to prevent warping since it expands very fast which can affect how the stairs open or close.
You also want to make sure the space between the frame and the stair panel has a tight fit. For this, you can use gaskets or weatherstripping.
Another alternative method of insulating the attic pull-down stairs is using a cover box. For this project, you need to find a box and insulate it with rigid foam. The box should be light enough to still facilitate entry and exit from the attic. You should then place the box on the opening to the stairs from the inside of the attic. Make sure the insulated box covers all the space on the opening for better insulation.
Insulation for Attic Hatches
Also known as a scuttle hole, a hatch is a removable part of the ceiling in a home giving access to the attic. The hatch is often found in a hallway or even in a cabinet in one of the bedrooms.
Insulating the hatch can be a DIY project that could only take you a few hours. You need to buy some gaskets, weatherstripping, fiberglass batts, caulk sealant, and a rigid foam box.
The first step is air sealing the hatch via weatherstripping. You can apply weatherstripping either on the inside of the hatch or on the trim. Now, cut the foam board into two pieces making sure the pieces are about ¼ inch smaller than the hatch itself to facilitate opening and closing.
Attach the two pieces of the foam board together before you start insulating. Then, install the fiberglass batts on top of the foam board. Remember to only place enough batts such that the R-value of the hatch is similar to that of the rest of the attic. Finally, you can use a caulk sealant on the edges of the hatch to seal any possible gaps.
Insulation for Attic Knee-Wall Door
A knee-wall door is a partial door often found upstairs in homes that have finished attics. Most knee-wall doors leak air and heat because most builders and homeowners don’t consider insulation.
The first step towards insulating your knee-wall door is weatherstripping it. Next, you want to make sure the door has a latch that holds tightly to the weatherstripping for proper air sealing. Now, attach a rigid foam insulation on the side of the door inside the attic. To fix the rigid foam insulation on the door, you need some screws and a construction adhesive.
When insulating the knee-wall door, consider the recommended R-value depending on the area climate and the insulation within the rest of the attic.
Often, we insulate the attic but forget to do the same for the entryways. Attics have either knee-wall doors, hatches, or pull-down stairs as entry points. Now, depending on the type of entry you have, you need to properly insulate and air seal it for more comfort and lower energy bills.