Blow-in Insullation, How?

Based on a Home Depot recommendation, I bought Cocoon Cellulose R-19 Insulation. He said to just open the bag at the place you want it and then just break it up with your hands. (Gloves and knife help)
I then read the web and it says I need a machine to blow this in and it says I should use this for more cavity-type insulation needs.
So:
Should I not use blow-in insulation for my attic floor needs, or is it fine to use? I don't plan on using this space for any type of storage.
Should I only "blow-in" with a machine, or is the home depot guy correct?
Thanks.
--
Galen Boyer

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Use the machine with the blow in stuff. You need to fluff it up for it to work correctly. If just laying insulation in by hand, go with the fiberglass insulation. Many types of insulation require air trapped in the spaces to give their rated R values.
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Hi Galen....
Blowing in is a two person job...one dumping in the insulation and one directing where it goes. Make sure you wear breathing and eye protection. It's a pretty dirty job, but, very easy to install. I think the Home Depot guy was assuming you were blowing in the insulation. I used the blow in method for both of my attics...worked fine...I also covered over my air conditioning duct work which also helped insulate my cold air from attic heat (flexible tubing).
Home Depot rented all of the equipment.
Good Luck...Bob
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Blow it in, figure easily 20% settling in your rating. What is up there now, some houses can experiance constant dust issues going to blown in cellulose. Fiberglass batt wont deteriorate over time or settle as much as old newspapers will.
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Get the blown in fiberglass insulation instead.
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On Sun, 26 Mar 2006, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

The first layer is a mixture of blown in and fiberglass batt. But none of the batts have the vapor retarder (is this called moisture guard as well?) and there also no plastic between the floor and the insulation, blown in or fiberglass.
The second layer of insulation is laying on top of a bunch of free wood planks which are laying perpendicular to the joists, all in very poor condition and some showing signs of a previous fire. This second layer of insulation was seemingly "strewn" in and for some reason the wood wasn't removed (Seems like a total fire hazard to me and my friend I talk about below). I have taken almost all of the second layer off and removed almost all of the wood. (Man, oh man, what a job that is. Sweat under the googles dripping because of the mask blowing into the goggles. About 4 bags of insulation and I'm outside undressing my head and toweling it down)
I had a friend stop up and give me a recommendation. He said I should take it all up and lay down the fiberglass with vapor retarder facing the floor and then a blanket of fiberglass perpendicular to that. I was planning on taking the second layer off no matter what, but this first layer is going to be a killer.
Any recs on a rental commercial vacuum cleaner for things like blown in insulation? Can something like that be rented and is it small enough for one man to handle? If so, I'll go hunting for one.

I'm dreading it, but I think I'm laying down fiberglass after taking up the first layer. Ughh!!!
Thanks.
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Galen Boyer

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Galen Boyer wrote:

Wow. You may need to take up the first layer, but before you do that think about what you have. You didn't mentioned the age of the house or how it is built. Is this an old house? If so, is the ceiling well sealed with oil paint? If you answer yes to either of those, the several layers of paint probably constitute a moisture barrier. If so, you don't need to remove the first layers.
Even if the ceiling paints are not oil,if you have plenty of ventilation in the attic you can get by with no moisture barrier. The whole point of the moisture barrier is to keep the insulation dry and with adequate ventilation it will stay dry even if moisture rises through the ceiling materials.
If you decide you need a moisture barrier consider placing 3 mil plastic down (over the joists with plenty of slack between joists, and replace the original first layer materials filling the cavities to the top of the joists. Consider adding back some (unburned) boards across the joists to make moving around easier; I would put a screw in each end and into the joists so the board doesn't move.
The rest is more or less correct, i.e., lay unfaced fiberglass batts crosswise to the joists. There is no need to throw away any of your insulation materials. Don't forget to provide adequate ventilation in the attic.
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On Mon, 27 Mar 2006, snipped-for-privacy@worldnet.att.net wrote:

It was built in 1860.

Plaster cieling. Some sections have a layer of dry-wall over them.

I'm not sure how to tell if oil paint was ever used.

It doesn't look like there has been an issue with moisture before (I'm looking for mold when I say this), but I don't have a clue as to how old the current insulation is. If it isn't too old, then signs of moisture might not show? My guess is that the current insulation is at least a decade old and probably way more than that.

The reason I'm hesitant to put down boards and screw them in is that I'm then going to lay a second layer. I just have some big boards, about 2 ft by 3 ft and 2 inches thick and I just move those around so I can maneuver the attic.

Hm... Oh well. I just wanted to be able to see what I had in the first place. The second layer was not laid down with any sense of organization and boards were surfacing as I removed the second layer, and

Yeppers.
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Galen Boyer

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Galen Boyer wrote:

That old means it is sealed, oil paint was used for at least a half-century after it was built. Any rebuilds in the last 40 years or so may not be sealed with oil paint. Forget about adding a moisture barrier in the attic floor.
((snipped))
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wrote:

I had blown in insulation done to my basement on Monday. They had some kind of machine, and it took all morning. Then they had to put a fire-resistant coat on top of that.
I'll say one thing for it. I have a student from India staying here who has been complaining about drafts since September. My other tenant and I didn't notice any cold areas. On Wednesday she asked me if I had something done to the house, because she is warm all the time now. So it works. <g>
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