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What Are the Different Types of Attic Hatch Insulation?

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  • Written By: Lori Kilchermann
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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There are several types of attic hatch insulation used to insulate the access door of an attic. From rigid foam to fiberglass batts, attic hatch insulation prevents the heat and cold from entering or exiting the attic space. Blown-in insulation can also be used as attic hatch insulation for an attic that will see little to no use by a homeowner. Often, a combination of two or more insulating materials is used in conjunction to insulate an attic hatch.

When insulating an attic, the typical problem is how to insulate the attic door. There are several varieties of attic hatch insulation types on the market, however, the use of each depends on the frequency of use of the attic door. For the door that will see heavy use, a foam insulating board commonly makes the best attic hatch insulation. This product is not extremely difficult to use and will allow the door to be opened and closed repeatedly without damaging the foam board. The main difficulty in using this type of attic hatch insulation is the amount of foam required to match the insulating value of other types of insulation.

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To insulate an attic door that will see only occasional use, using a combination of foam board and fiberglass batt insulation will typically give good results. The batts can be attached to the foam board to provide an insulation package that will not easily come off of the door when it is opened. The addition of the fiberglass batts to the foam increases the insulating factor of the door hatch greatly as compared to the foam board alone. Other insulation types that work well on an attic door are spray-on cellulose and spray foam insulation products. Both of these require removal of the door to apply, in most circumstances.

For an attic door that will rarely or never be opened, spray-on, expanding-foam insulation is often the best choice. This type of insulation can be sprayed on in a very thick layer while the door is in the open position. When the door is closed, the foam is able to expand to over 100 times its original thickness and will effectively seal all of the gaps around the attic door. This type of attic hatch insulation must be used extremely fast to prevent the door from becoming difficult to close. It is also wise for people to have a bucket of hot water and a cloth available to clean up any foam that seeps through a crack before it cures.

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Drentel
Post 3

@Feryll - I had an insulation salesman come to my house last week and tell me all the types of insulation I needed for my attic. One of the items he wanted to sell me was an attic door cover for an attic door like you wrote about. He said what his company had was state of the art, and he explained why this attic door cover was so much better than all of the other products on the market at this time. Actually, what he was saying sounded good, but he was a salesman, so I was a little skeptical.

Even so, I was considering buying the door cover until he told me the price. He wanted me to

pay several hundred dollars for the just the cover. You can buy these bag covers that have a zipper on them that will work with the pull-down ladder. The bag fits over the opening and the ladder when it is pushed up into the closed position. You unzip the center of the bag and it folds back so you can get into the attic. You can buy these for about $50.
mobilian33
Post 2

I'm not sure what the best type of insulation would be for you to use to cover your attic door, but if you are feeling drafts or you think you are losing heat into the attic then first check to make sure that the there is no air coming from around the door. Most attic doors, especially those in older houses are not sealed well. Some of them never fit well, and some have lost the seal with age.

I bought some of the foam weather stripping from the store and lined the opening where the door fits into the frame. By sealing those cracks, I was able to stop the cool air from entering the lower level of the house, and I kept the warm air below where it belongs. I bet you will be surprised how big of a difference this makes. It also helps during the summer when I am trying to keep the house cool.

Feryll
Post 1

Our house has the attic door with the ladder attached. When I pull the door chain to lower the door the stairs fold down. What is the best type of insulation for this kind of attic door? I need something that is going to fit over the attic entrance and not fall down when the door is opened.

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