Frequent Misconceptions about Rolled Insulation Installs

Jason Hunt

If all of the DIY tasks homeowners can do, insulation installation is usually the one that they will try to tackle on their own. However, even though installing rolled insulation looks like it must be a fairly simple task, there is a lot of room to make mistakes. Before you tackle an insulation installation job in your own home, it is best to make sure you know a few of the misconceptions that could lead you to make some pretty costly mistakes.

Misconception: Installing more layers of rolled insulation is always better.

Rolled insulation (also called batted insulation) is designed to be most efficient when it is not compressed or compacted. If you install more than one layer in walls, under your floors, or overhead, it will require you to compress the material to get it in place, which is not good.

Misconception: It really doesn't matter how you put the insulation in, as long as you cover the space.

When you are installing batted insulation, it is crucial that you follow the manufacturer's instructions. Most rolled insulation has a paper backing on one side that acts as a final barrier, and therefore, it should be facing toward you when you put it in place. Not installing the insulation the right way can leave you with results that are not as efficient as they should be.

Misconception: Safety gear is really not that important—it's just insulation.

It may seem like a simple process involving simple materials, but insulation installation is a lot more risky than what a lot of people realize. Rolled insulation is typically made with fiberglass, which means it has tiny shred of real glass in the material. These tiny bits of glass can cause microscopic abrasions in the skin and get in your eyes and possibly your airway. Wearing safety goggles, gloves, and even a mask is important during the project.

Misconception: Tiny gaps in the insulation really don't matter that much.

When you are in the process of rolling a sheet of insulation into place and find that it is just slightly short, it is easy to assume that a small gap left uncovered will not be such a big deal. However, just one small gap can allow in enough outside air and moisture to make installing the insulation at all almost a waste of time.

The bottom line is, insulation projects often turn out to be more complicated than you expect. It is always a good idea to talk to a professional contractor, either about installing the insulation for you or just to get advice.