Monday, November 8, 2010

We've Got Bats in the Belfry!

Some people would say we have bats in the belfry for rehabilitating our old house, but those aren't the bats of which I speak.  Our sanity aside, the bat (I think just one) is in our attic.  

We spent the weekend on our ongoing task of replacing the old, dirty, blown-in fiberglass insulation in our attic.  Suited up against the dust and fiberglass pieces that can cause itchiness if touched and respiratory problems if inhaled, we have a system where one of us crawls into the depths of the attic corners and fills plastic kitty-litter containers with the insulation and hands it back to the other for disposal in a trash bag.  Once most of the insulation has been removed, a Shop Vac is used to get rid of the remaining pieces and accumulated dust.  We clean out as many of the cavities as we can before back and knees protest too much then fill smaller holes with spray insulation foam and the cavities with fiberglass bats (not flying bats!).  

There's a blog posting for another time about the environmental pros and cons of different types of insulation, but I'll be perfectly honest - we got a quote for spray foam and decided that we'd go with fiberglass for now.  Our attic space will one day be an amazing room.  It has a dormer for light and is essentially a big square space with high ceilings throughout most of it and plenty of place for storage where knee walls will be placed one day.  Today, however, it is just the attic and if we can improve the energy efficiency up there, that will lower our heating bills.  One day, when we turn that into a room in the house, we will want to spray foam the ceiling/roof and we can easily remove the fiberglass bats if we so choose.

We are almost done with replacing the attic insulation and I was admiring our work, thinking about what a great space the attic will be one day, mentally constructing the knees walls and all the storage they will provide, calculating how long it will take to finish the job, congratulating ourselves on not having signs of creatures in the attic, and measuring and cutting the insulation to be installed when...I thought I saw something.  Daylight savings time started on Sunday, so it was starting to get dark outside, though it was plenty light in the attic from our shop lights, so I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.  

Then frrrrrrr...whiz...ack!  It was a bat.  Circling the center of the attic where I was cutting the insulation.  I was out of there so fast that I was halfway down the attic ladder when I realized that I ought to turn around or I'd end up on my face in the hallway!  My poor husband was still up there, stuck in the far corner of the attic and I stopped to think..."Gosh, I hope he isn't stuck back there!"  Well, down he came soon after and we abandoned ship for the night.  We'll wait for a sunny day to go back up and finish the insulation! 

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