If you’re serious about making your home more comfortable, you’ll want to add insulation throughout your house. When you do, chances are you’ll run into some wiring, plumbing or air ducts. DON’T PANIC! We won’t let these obstacles defeat you. Here are the tools you may need as you insulate around objects. First let’s talk electrical. When you come across wiring as you’re insulating, you’ll want to simply split your insulation. Place the split insulation on both sides of the wiring so it’s nested inside the insulation. If you run into a junction box, measure it and then cut the same size piece out of the insulation. Place the cutout of insulation around the junction box and insert the rest of the insulation in the cavity as usual. Make sure you’re extra careful insulating around objects that give off heat. DO NOT cover or touch these sources with insulation unless the fixture is IC-rated, which will be clearly marked on the fixture. If it’s not IC-rated, you’ll want to install a baffle
so air can flow, made with cardboard, rigid foam or sheet metal. Code requires at least three inches of space between insulation and any heat-generating source. Let’s move on to plumbing. Insulation can keep pipes closer to indoor temperature and reduce the risk of freezing and bursting, so make sure you insulate properly. For pipes, all you need to do is place your insulation between the pipe and the exterior wall. You may need to compress the insulation so you can slide it between the pipe and the outside wall. NEVER place insulation over pipes.
The pipe should still be visible when you’re finished. Finally, air ducts. You’ll want to insulate around air ducts to hold in heat or cold air. Leakage is one of the main ways ducts lose that air. Just insulating them does nothing to stop this. So before you insulate, seal the air ducts with either mastic or foil tape. This next part is really simple – place cut pieces of insulation beside and around the air ducts to fill the cavity. That’s it. Obstructions can’t stop you. Ready to master other insulation projects? Watch another JM insulation video to find out how.