How to Install Cost-Effective Attic Barrier Foil

Attic barrier foil is an inexpensive, easy to install material that can drastically reduce your home’s temperature control costs. Attic barrier foil provides a layer of aluminum that blocks radiant heat from escaping your home during the winter through your roof, and stops downward heat gain from raising your home’s temperature during the summer. This can spell big savings for any homeowner. A recent survey in the Southeastern U.S. showed that, on average, the energy bill reduction that comes with installing attic barrier foil will make the foil pay for itself within six or seven years. After that, you will continue to save up to thirteen percent on your annual temperature control costs. This makes barrier foil installation an ideal project for cost conscious homeowners.

Barrier Foil Cutting And Measuring Tips
When installing attic barrier foil, it is a good idea to measure in the attic, and then cut your foil elsewhere. Barrier foil is usually sold in large rolls of up to a hundred square feet, which can be unwieldy to handle in a small area, so in addition to making the job easier, cutting your foil in a large, well-lit room with a flat, even surface rather than in an attic that is likely to be cramped or dark will reduce the likelihood of making an error. Using a measuring tape and a flashlight if necessary, measure the length of your attic roof so that the tape reaches all the way from the peak to the soffit. Then, head downstairs and cut your foil to that measurement. Roll up the pieces of foil that you’ll be using, and bring them upstairs for installation.

Barrier Foil Placement Tips
The most effective placement for attic barrier foil is one that loosely covers the complete underside of your roof. This makes it convenient to use your roof trusses as a guide, so if your attic has visible roof trusses, staple your foil to the bottom side of the highest chord of the trusses found in your attic. If your attic’s interior is finished in a way that hides the roof trusses, you can staple your attic barrier foil to the underside of your roof decking instead.

Barrier Foil Hanging Tips
Because barrier foil is a relatively light material, a staple gun loaded with heavy duty staples will be able to bear the weight of the foil. This means that the easiest method for installing attic barrier foil is stapling the foil, so you won’t even have to take out your hammer to get the job done. It is a good idea to recruit a partner to hold the foil in place while you staple it firmly into place. Start by unrolling one length of foil from the soffit of your attic up towards the peak, leaving a few inches of space free at the very top. Then, start stapling from the top down, attaching a corner of your foil to the first roof truss’s top chord, or it’s equivalent on the underside of your roof decking. Following the edge of your foil, staple all the way down the truss every six to twelve inches. Allowing your foil to drape slightly, staple down the other edge of the foil. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the full area with foil, save for a thin strip of a few exposed inches at the very peak of the roof.

Imperfections? No Problem.
Putting up attic barrier foil is a snap, as you don’t need to worry about making the foil air-tight. Small tears or breaks in the foil won’t significantly reduce your barrier’s effectiveness, so you can cut rough holes for obstructions like trusses and rest assured that you’ll benefit even if your foil isn’t picture-perfect. The fact that attic barrier foil offers a comfortable margin for error makes installation a great beginner’s project.

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