We were approached by a neighbor a few weeks ago, letting us know there is a utility rebate program for installing extra attic insulation. Basically you can have more insulation installed, if you're in an older home, and be completely reimbursed by the electric and gas companies. That sounded great, and we opted for an extra amount on top of the reimbursed amount. The estimator went up in our attic and said, "What in the world?!" Now, I'm not big on home maintenance, so I'd never looked in the attic even though we've lived here almost four years. Up I climbed, and she showed me how someone had randomly thrown down chunks of wall insulation on top of the blown fiberglass insulation. They were chunks of all sizes, scattered around, not very evenly. She called the installer, who said it needed to be removed before the new insulation was installed.
Well, a couple weeks later they finally scheduled an installation date, and I procrastinated getting in the attic until the night before. My dad always said he hated the pink fiberglass insulation, and now I know why! I tied my hair back in a towel, wrapped a rag around my face, wore my dad's old flannel shirt, and put on gardening gloves. I climbed up and promptly panicked, since I haven't been in an attic in at least 15 years. It was pretty dark and I was scared to death that I'd misstep and fall through the ceiling.
I started throwing down pieces of foam for Nathan to haul out, and realized the task was much bigger than I'd realized. Nathan called the installer, in hopes they would remove it, but got no answer. He disappeared for a minute and I climbed deeper into the attic, throwing chunks down, until a big one got stuck. I threw the next one to dislodge it, and it just piled on top. I yelled for Nathan to move them....no response. After a few minutes of calling out in a pathetic voice, I really started to panic. I was overheated in my adorable outfit and getting dizzy. I inched my way back to the opening, pried everything out of the way, and started bellowing for Nathan, half in tears. I couldn't climb down, because the foam was blocking the ladder. He finally heard me and moved everything, and I came down and had a ridiculous panicked cry-fest.
I took off the rag over my face to cool down, and went back to work. Nathan finally reached the installer, who said the foam didn't actually need to be removed. What can you do at that point but laugh and chalk it up as another "fun" homeowner experience? I had grit in my teeth and was coughing up fiberglass. Here's a picture of me looking as miserable as I possibly could. :)
On the bright side, I think I can see the benefit of the new insulation already! We're in that in-between phase of weather, where it cools down at night, but if you run the heat at night, it gets too hot during the day. Normally we're a bit chilly in the morning, but the house hasn't been getting cold at night. I'm totally giving the insulation the credit! I sure hope next winter's heating bill shows the difference too!!