How to Seal Attic Air Leaks
Many people are mistaken in their thinking that their walls and ceilings are solid and sealed. This, in fact, may not always be true. The truth is, your insulated attic space is prone to having air leaks through openings you may not expect such as:
- Openings around pipes
- Openings around light fixtures
Believe it or not, the air leaking in and out of your attic may be costing you a lot of money on your energy bills. Close to 30% of your home’s heat and conditioned air per month is lost due to these dreaded attic air leaks. Over the course of a year, this percentage can add up to you paying a significant amount of money on your heating and cooling bills. With this in mind, consider fixing air leaks in your attic as soon as possible to avoid losing your hard earned cash.
Where do Attic Air Leaks Occur?
When standing under your attic, look at the ceiling and check where your light fixtures and fans are located. Usually, air leaks occur in these spaces. Lights and fans require electricity to function, therefore holes are cut into your ceiling’s drywall. These cutouts can leak small amounts of air if they are not sealed properly. To seal small leaks, you can fill them with at-home products such as caulk, based on the size of the gap you’re trying to fill.
Be on the lookout for other things that penetrate the ceilings of your home such as:
- A variety of pipes
- Attic access
Best Ways to Seal Your Attic
If you are considering sealing your attic as a DIY project, make sure you have the right materials and think about your safety. Energy Star provides an excellent list of project instructions including proper safety equipment, materials, and safety considerations.
When looking for safety equipment for your attic insulation project, think about things such as:
- Safety glasses
- Protective masks
- Head protection
- Stable footing (footwear, boards for walking, etc.)
When considering proper materials and tools for your attic insulation project, think about things such as:
- Tools (knife, scissors, tape measure, etc.)
- Types of attic insulation:
- Silicone/acrylic caulk (usually used for small attic air leaks)
- Expanding spray foam (generally used for larger attic air leaks)
- High-temperature caulk (for use around chimney)
- Fiberglass batts (for use around stud cavities, knee walls)
Keep in Mind
If you live in an older house, (10-15 years old plus) your attic may contain harmful material such as asbestos. Because of this, a DIY project inside of your attic can be hazardous for your health. Consider:
- Keep hydrated
- Minimize the number of times you visit your attic (to the best of your ability)
- Keep your work area well-lit
- Avoid working in sweltering weather
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Nails in the floor, low-hanging beams, etc.
- Wear proper clothing (leave as little skin exposed as possible)
- Walk on sturdy beams and joists, not your drywall
Attic Insulation Contractors
At REenergizeCO, we encourage you to exercise safety when going into your attic. It can be a place full of hazards, and we deeply care about your safety. If you decide that your leaky attic is too much to handle and want a professional to take care of it, give us a call and we will send our LEED and BPI Certified home performance professionals to help. We can perform a home energy audit at your residence and diagnose for the following:
- Underperforming or leaking windows and doors
- Air flow allocation to each room throughout the house
- Wall and attic insulation performance and depth
- Air sealing detection to ensure that the interior walls of the house are performing at a high level
Once the house is correctly diagnosed, you can choose a professional like us at REenergizeCO to perform the fundamental improvements, reduce the amount of energy lost, and increase the overall of comfort in your home.