Installing Attic Insulation Baffles

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  • 4-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $180-260
What You'll Need
Plastic or polystyrene baffles
Safety goggles
Disposable coveralls (optional)
A dust mask
Staple gun

Putting baffles in your attic is a crucial step in installing attic insulation. Sometimes called rafter vents, baffles provide ventilation and keep the insulation from blocking airflow through your attic. It is a fairly easy process that will make a world of difference in assisting your insulation and keeping your home protected from rot, which can save you a substantial amount of money down the road.

Step 1—Get the Lay of the Land

To begin with, you will need to assess the situation in your attic. These are the questions you should be asking yourself: Is there old insulation that is going to be removed? Are all the rafters exposed, or is there drywall?

Whenever you will be working around any insulation, it is important to wear your safety gear (goggles, gloves, dust mask, and coveralls) to prevent irritation to your skin and eyes. If your roof rafters have been covered over with drywall or plywood, you will have to remove it in order to install the baffles.

Step 2—In the Bay

Pull any existing insulation away from the edges of the attic where you will be putting up the baffles. You will need a baffle for each space between the rafters. Fit each one snuggly in the bay, with the bottom starting where the ceiling joist meets the roof rafter. Staple the edges into place with the staple gun, making sure they are lined up correctly and securely. Be careful of any roofing nails that may be sticking out of the rafters or bay.

Step 3—Replacing the Insulation

After you have installed every baffle, push the existing insulation back into place, or lay your new insulation. Make sure the baffles keep it from butting up against the rafter bays.

An attic needs to be insulated to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. When you have insulation without ventilation, though, humidity and moisture can build up. This can cause all sorts of problems, from mold to decay. For that reason, you should check your baffles yearly for damage, replacing any damaged baffles as you find them.