Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Attic stair insulation

    I saw a new type of attic stairway cover that worked really great today.
    It is a preformed foam insulation box with a refrigerator magnet seal. I opened the stair and felt absolutely no heat even though it was already way over 100 degrees in the attic. I don't know the brand or any of the particulars about listing or flame spread but it is the best functioning stairway cover I have come across.

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    NHIE Practice Exam
    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    So the intent would be to lift and slide over when accessing the attic?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    What a terrible thing to do. It's about access, and this monster is in the way, surely fragile at the glue line, fragile in general. The cost is never recovered by savings, even if it isn't quickly broken or disposed. Just replace the crummy, leaky ladder with an insulated and gasketed ladder. This cover does nothing to add sealing.

    Please look here.

    The face of an uninsulated door might be five degrees warmer than a surrounding, insulated ceiling. An attic door of R5 will not be sensibly warmer than the surrounding ceiling. Door areas are small, and heat loss or gain is mainly a matter of involved area.

    Last edited by Phillip Norman; 05-25-2012 at 08:54 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Butler View Post
    So the intent would be to lift and slide over when accessing the attic?
    Yes, just slide the cover over to go in the attic and replace it when you go down. Pretty slick and much better than most attempts I have seen. totally out of the way, nothing to step over or around and seals like a refrigerator door when it is in place. Takes about two seconds to position.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Norman View Post
    What a terrible thing to do. It's about access, and this monster is in the way, surely fragile at the glue line, fragile in general. The cost is never recovered by savings, even if it isn't quickly broken or disposed. Just replace the crummy, leaky ladder with an insulated and gasketed ladder. This cover does nothing to add sealing.

    Please look here.
    Not in my opinion, it was easy to use, not fragile, and sealed well.
    The unit sealed well with magnetic gaskets on all sides to the floor of the attic and they had sealed all around the opening. Virtually air tight without a hint of leakage and blocked the heat with the thick foam box (about three inches thick)
    I might not perform as well as a $1000 or so insulated and gasketed stairway but it is a great improvement over the leaking warped units I usually see.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
    Eric Shuman's Avatar
    Eric Shuman Guest

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Not in my opinion, it was easy to use, not fragile, and sealed well.
    The unit sealed well with magnetic gaskets on all sides to the floor of the attic and they had sealed all around the opening. Virtually air tight without a hint of leakage and blocked the heat with the thick foam box (about three inches thick)
    I might not perform as well as a $1000 or so insulated and gasketed stairway but it is a great improvement over the leaking warped units I usually see.
    Jim I saw my first (and only) one of these about a month ago on a remodeled home. I, too, thought it was a great idea. Light weight and easy to remove and like you, I felt no heat come out of the attic when I dropped down the stair assembly, even though it was 90 degrees outside.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    I too feel this is a good product. Proper insulation of an attic often involves over 24" of insulation and this product allows for a good air seal and R-value.
    I can attest to the improved comfort factor acquired with a proper air seal. I sealed a small closet access panel in one of my bedrooms and the room instantly felt warmer.
    When my daughter returned from college this winter she too remarked that her room felt much warmer.
    Don't underestimate the value of air ceiling between ceilings and attics.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Holyoke, Mass.
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    We see these a lot here in Mass. -even have a zipper one and I often suggest they make their own. I also encourage them to not use attics as storage sheds.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    In time, I will complete the captioning of this photo set in order from most recent, for what can be achieved by a person specializing in attic usefulness and energy efficiency.

    My provocative entry in this conversation is in part from seeing around the cover in the third photo, to unsafe conditions with awful insulation. You should want the whole attic to be at least R38, and only need that the hatch or ladder be air tight with a practical R value, say R5. An R38 door cover NOT air tight, where 98% of the attic floor is an R5 trash heap, is not weatherization.

    It is quite weird that Energy Star ratings encourage any stupid covering, but do not recognize and encourage intelligent ladders. Practical attic ladders that should be Energy Star rated would be R3 or greater, just like an Energy Star-rated exterior door.

    My Attic Access business exists in Metro Portland, Oregon. Wouldn't you like to have someone doing business like mine, in your city?

    Last edited by Phillip Norman; 05-27-2012 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Clarify the vision of attic access as a business. Business in other cities would not be mine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Norman View Post
    In time, I will complete the captioning of this photo set in order from most recent, for what can be achieved by a person specializing in attic usefulness and energy efficiency.

    My provocative entry in this conversation is in part from seeing around the cover in the third photo, to unsafe conditions with awful insulation. You should want the whole attic to be at least R38, and only need that the hatch or ladder be air tight with a practical R value, say R5. An R38 cover NOT air tight on an R5 trash heap, is not weatherization. It is good for no one, including inspectors.

    It is quite weird that Energy Star ratings encourage any stupid covering, but do not recognize and encourage intelligent ladders. Practical attic ladders that should be Energy Star rated would be R3 or greater, just like a practical exterior door.

    My Attic Access business exists in Metro Portland, Oregon. Wouldn't you like to have a Metro Attic Access in your city? Please reply, and encourage this business venture.
    So, you really just commented to be able to post your business link and promote yourself? If you want to advertise, please contact Brian since he is always thankful to have paid sponsors advertise on his site.
    The comments about the general attic insulation may be correct but are not on point, the point of the post was the access cover.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    My replies are on topic. Should a contraption often quite dangerous, be given a band-aid, or is something else an option: a ladder integrated with a well-insulated, thick floor, having an insulated door? I don't understand why attic doors are treated differently from other exterior doors.

    I do move off topic in defending against the notion my post is reproachful for self interest. My work is not profitable, only because of lack of national vision, and I do my small part to correct that vision, for the good of all. Things are different in Sweden where every penetration is a serious matter. In England, lofts are treasures of needed space. We in the USA have odd notions that crude crawl spaces and thoughtless roof debris receptacles are good design. They are not, and I speak up on both topics.

    My photo set should inspire others to fix things in attics, as a business, not just inspect or audit the awful conditions they find. We need not accept those conditions as normal and unchangeable. We need more fixers, honored, trained and well paid. Those fixers must be intelligent businessmen, not desperate, untrained, unsupervised immigrants. Real work is the most honorable. I do real work, and have the rare ability to share my experience for benefit of others.

    Every inspector should have hope of looking into an attic made useful, energy-efficient and safe, by my example. My work is fully documented, and that too should be a lesson to others. An inspector rarely has cause to detect buried, hidden crimes.

    Last edited by Phillip Norman; 05-26-2012 at 06:49 PM. Reason: Clarity requested: Rod Butler "puzzled."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    I am puzzled by this.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    1,078

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Attics in my area are 150+ degrees during 4-5 months of the year. Anything built in the last 15 years is truss construction so there is no clear space to store anything. Even if you could carve out a low area, the trusses are not designed for the additional load of storage. We get 1 inch of snow every third year. Roofs are not designed for a snow load.

    Attics are designed to be useless spaces in my area. An expensive door or ladder/stairs is a waste of money. A cheap and high R-value insulation solution is needed.

    Ownings Corning has a foiled lined bubble pack tent for about $75 that sits over the stairs. Lightweight so can be easily moved. Durable enough so the 2-3 times a year someone goes up in the attic to retrieve suitcases or christmas decorations should last for years.

    Things may be very different in Oregon.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Weird. People in my area go their whole life and have never even seen their attic.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Jim,
    This may have been what you encountered.
    Attic Door & Attic Stair Insulated Cover - Draft Cap @$130 + shipping ($29)

    R11


    Attic Stair Insulation & Insulated Cover For Pull Down Attic Doors


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Attic stair insulation

    Philip,
    We all have our quests in life, though different and sometimes baffling when compared to others.

    What is the cost benefit ratio for the door that you install?
    How long is the payback on heat loss savings on the door?
    How long is the payback on your retrofitting the attic insulation?

    Attics are great places to store the stuff that you really hate. Freeze in the winter and fry in the summer. Though WA may not be that way.

    After 50 years of collecting crap that I now have to start getting rid of, I have come to the point that extra storage just just means hording stuff that you really don't need. Any extra storage is like a black hole which sucks everything into it.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •