Is your attic access door insulated?

By
Home Inspector with Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area InterNACHI 10041206

Is your attic access door inside the heated area of your house? Is it insulated? Most attic access doors are merely a piece of plywood or a piece of drywall pulled over the hole. What happens to the "R" value weighted average of your insulation if that small access door is not insulated? It reduces it to practically nothing!

Say your attic is insulated to an R30 value over 95% of the attic area. That small 5% area that is your attic access door allows so much energy loss through that little hole, the whole house is bleeding conditioned air, bleeding energy that is costing you a lot of money, and can reduce that "R" value to almost nothing!

Some contractors cut a small section of fiberglass rolled/batted insulation and lay it over the door. Some don't do it at all! But it is not attached, so somebody goes into the attic, pushes it aside to get up there.

How do you pull that little piece back into place after you pull the door closed? 90% of them don't! It's not so easy either... It should be attached to the door itself.

I would bet that if you go and check yours.... most of you will say it's not insulated.

I'll wait....... well? What sayeth you? If it's not, do yourself a favor and keep that conditioned air where it's supposed to be, the interior of your house.

There are inventive ways to make that a tight, insulated area. There are lots of ways and products available to help with this.

The diagram on the right is one of them. Pull down stairs and hollow core access doors need to be insulated as well. Most people don't think of the doors they went through to get into the attic, they just look at all that pretty insulation and think they got it made. Is your house bleeding??

 

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Posted by

 
 
Fred Hernden 

 

 Superior Home Inspections

 

  505-588-9559

 

 **************************************************************************************

 Albuquerque, Rio Rancho New Mexico and surrounding areas...

 

“My mission is to provide superior quality home inspections to my clients to ensure peace of mind so they can confidently make the largest investment they may ever make!"

                   

Please visit my website at: www.SuperiorHomeInsp.com for details!

                 

 

                                     

 

 

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lynn B. Friedman 01/06/2016 09:14 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 01/16/2016 06:00 PM
  3. Harry F. D'Elia 07/05/2016 02:46 PM
Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
New Mexico
Groups:
Ask the Home Inspector
Bananatude
Sensei Grasshopper
Tags:
home inspection
attic insulation
attic access doors

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,827,338
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Oh, see Pat's comment #15.  Insulation damages over time!  Nuff said.

Jan 06, 2016 11:53 PM #25
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Laura - Different scenario if it's in the attic. Still should be sealed to keep possible fires from spreading into the attic.

Sondra - Should still probably check it or have someone do it for you!

Patricia - If it's in the garage it's not so important other than sealing the door.

Jan 06, 2016 11:53 PM #26
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Greg - There is a lot of things that we have out here outside of Texas...

Olga - There's a lot of products to help with that.... Google

Evelyn - Larry... get on up there and check that :-)

Jan 06, 2016 11:57 PM #27
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Patricia - As Mr Jay states, foam insulation is better (see the diagram in my blog)

Rob - Of course... well said!

Joan - Nope, still works the same 

Jan 07, 2016 12:01 AM #28
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Frank - How much fun is it to pull that piece over?

Sham - True!

Ginny - That's good news!

Jan 07, 2016 12:03 AM #29
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Richie - That's right! 

Jay - Oh, how beautiful.... much better! Thank you Sir!

Jay - You mean like the digram in my blog? That'll work! 

Jay - Oh, never mind 

Jan 07, 2016 12:08 AM #30
Rainer
54,906
Tamara Liggins
Keller Williams Realty, Saint Louis Call Me today at 314.677.6104 - Florissant, MO
Bringing Buyers & Sellers to Homes!

Definitely perfect timing. I'm going through my house and really paying attention to air leakage and heat loss, it's really cold 

I did all my exterior doors, even did the interior doors since there's usually a gap between the doors and flooring. My biggie is the.....ATTIC! I bought a ladder with the intention of going up there but some how that little door scares the bejesus out of me. (I think it scares my hubby too personally) but with reading your post, I have the tools I need and it's now a weekend project maybe the gas company will stop beating on me with the bill then.

Jan 07, 2016 02:43 AM #31
Rainer
89,843
Dana Tapia
Re/Max of Orange Beach - Orange Beach, AL
Gulf Coast Real Estate Professionals

Hi Fred, and yes, my house is bleeding!  I've never given it any thought before, but our door to the attic is just a piece of plywood, exactly what you described in your post.  My husband has a job to do!

Jan 07, 2016 03:24 AM #32
Ambassador
1,488,316
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Hey Fred, 

Our place is newer but you have me thinking - wondering now.  I'm going to check and see if our attic access is insulated or not. 

Debbie ~

Jan 07, 2016 03:49 AM #33
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Tamara - Good for you! I wouldn't do that to the interior doors though, unless your house has vents that allow air flow from room to room or return vents, the air your furnace pushes into the room has to go somewhere.

Dana & Lisa - Unless it's in the garage, then just make sure it's sealed up.

Debbie - John messaged me on LinkedIn, he said he checked and you're good 

Jan 08, 2016 12:10 AM #34
Ambassador
4,297,836
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Fred Hernden it's time to save energy and....money!

I do have a make-shift insulation, not the best, but serves the purpose.

Jan 08, 2016 02:41 PM #35
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Praful - Good man! 

Jan 09, 2016 12:02 AM #36
Rainmaker
5,220,554
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your experience. This is very good information to share with home owners.

Jan 10, 2016 01:59 AM #37
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Thank you Roy! I think I made some people go check!

Jan 10, 2016 11:32 PM #38
Rainmaker
572,839
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Guilty, Fred, but I don't have to get off the sofa to check. Mine is definitely not insulated. Another project for the to-do list!

Jan 11, 2016 12:08 PM #39
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Pat - Ah ha.... I knew you guys were out there...lol, yes, you definitely should get that done soon.

Jan 12, 2016 12:20 AM #40
Rainmaker
3,487,293
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Fred. This is a wonderful post with a real solution included.

Jan 16, 2016 10:39 PM #41
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Sheila - Thank you! It's pretty important too...

Jan 16, 2016 11:12 PM #42
Rainmaker
516,610
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
29 Years of Real Estate Experience!

Interesting article, Fred, and something that I have not put much time into thinking about. Thank you for the education.

Dec 12, 2016 06:19 AM #43
Rainmaker
559,050
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Hi Lisa - Wow, this is a post from this past January, glad you found it! Now go check your attic access door... lol 

Dec 13, 2016 07:04 AM #44
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Rainmaker
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Fred Hernden, CMI

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