A few weeks ago we had our annual termite inspection. For the first time ever, the inspector wanted to look in our attic for signs of damage. He brought in a telescoping ladder, which he used to access the attic through the hole in ceiling of my closet. Coincidence? It turns out not. The company now also installs insulation.
He gave us information about the benefits of increasing the amount of insulation in the attic. It turns out the U.S. Department of Energy now recommends an R-value almost double what we have now (which is in the form of pink fiberglass bats). We got some additional estimates, then decided to let the pest control company do the project. The installers came last week and blew an additional layer of cellulose insulation over our existing stuff.
The crew of two arrived right on time. After I showed them the access they got to work. First they attached a long tarp to the attic entrance that hung down to the floor like a tent. Next, they ran a flexible hose from the closet through the master bathroom, out the window, and down to the ground behind the garage. They got a large metal hopper out of their truck, set it up on the grass, and attached the hose to it. After they'd finished with the setup, both installers donned white jumpsuits and dust masks. One went up into the attic, and one stayed outside. He turned on the hopper motor and started dumping in bags of insulation. It blew up to the attic, where the other installer used the hose to spray the insulation into every corner of the attic.
Since all the mechanical equipment was outside, I barely noticed the work being done, except for a "thump" from the attic now and then. It took about an hour for them to finish the job. They disconnected the hose from the hopper, rolled it up, and put everything away. They did a great job of cleaning up; there was no evidence in the closet or bathroom.
The salesperson told us that most people notice a difference in the temperature of their upper level with additional insulation. Today was the first big test. This afternoon the temperature was close to 100 degrees. Before, you could feel things get hotter as you walked up the steps to the second floor. Today it was just as comfortable as the main level!
I love it when stories have a happy ending.