What Does it Mean to Air Seal an Attic?

November 15, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Home ownership can bring a feeling of pride and a whole new meaning to responsibility. One of biggest responsibilities is home maintenance. You have to make sure your furnace is properly inspected every year, the faucets aren’t dripping, and there’s no mold in the basement. These and other preventive measures can keep your house healthy and energy-efficient.

One of the most important things you can do is air sealing, and one of the most important areas of the house to tend to is the attic. You can lose quite a bit of heated air through the attic, and in the summer, heat can radiate into your living space via the attic. Air sealing (and insulating) can go a long way toward eliminating this two-fold problem. Wondering what it takes to air seal an attic?

  • Attic inspection: The best way to find leaks is with the use of either a blower door or a fog machine. If you are unable to rent either of these at your local home-improvement store, use your senses to spot the trouble areas. Look for discolored or dirty insulation. As the air moves through the leak and past the insulation, it will carry dust and other debris into the insulation. Use your hands to feel for air movement.
  • Sealing small leaks: For smaller air leaks in the floor, walls and around windows and vents, use caulk to create a seal. Air leaks around light fixtures can be temporarily blocked with caulk, but you may have to remove and replace the entire fixture if the leaks are extreme.
  • Repairing large holes: You may find large holes in the attic that cannot be repaired with caulk. Use drywall, plywood or sheet metal to patch these large holes.
  • Access-point weatherstripping: Oftentimes the access points are not properly insulated or weatherstripped. To add weatherstripping and insulation to a hatch, start by gluing or otherwise fastening several layers of stiff foam to the attic side of the hatch. Then add weatherstripping all around the rim.

For more information on how to air seal an attic and other energy-saving tips contact Ross & Witmer. We serve homeowners throughout the Charlotte area.

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