But first, a warning: Y'all, I really do not know what I am doing. I suspect that people who read this blog do so just for the entertainment value of watching me get into one mess right after another, so when somebody asks me a question about house stuff it really throws me off guard. I'm probably not really the person you should ask about house stuff. If you see a glow in the sky and you're not sure if it's the setting sun or a big-ass fire, if you're bleeding and you can't figure out how to stop it, if you think you smell natural gas in your all-electric house, if somebody in the same room with you is flopping around on the floor like a crappie--in any of those situations, ask me. I'll know just what to do. House stuff, not so much. What works for me may not work for you. A thousand other people probably have a better idea. Every situation is different. Your results may vary. I will not be held responsible if you hurt yourself, someone else, or your house because you followed my dumb advice.
So, that's out of the way. Let's dive right in the deep waters.
"Unfaced" means that it doesn't have a backing of paper or plastic on either side of it. It's just a big roll of fiberglass batting.
Apparently there is a giant debate about faced versus unfaced insulation. When I asked the guy at the hardware store about it, he said, "Ask ten different people about it, you'll get ten different opinions." His opinion is that you should use faced insulation if you're putting it next to an exterior surface, like a wall or a roof. The faced (paper) part goes to the interior side of the installation. He says you should use unfaced insulation if you're adding it to already existing insulation, like in an attic, or if you're using it next to an interior surface.
Now wait just a cotton-pickin' minute here. He says you should use faced insulation next to a roof, but I used unfaced. Why did I do that? Well, because Mare thinks that faced insulation traps moisture and doesn't let the house "breathe". I have some reservations about Mare's opinion but he's fairly passionate about it, and since he threatened not to help me with various things, I bought unfaced insulation. Time will tell if Mare's right or the guy at the hardware store is. (That's kinda scary.)
Installing it by myself kicked my butt. It's not really the installation that's hard, it's all the climbing up and down the ladder. Here's the most important piece of advice I have: Read the instructions on the insulation and follow them. (Sounds simple, but I overlook this sometimes.) You really do need to wear long pants, long sleeves, gloves, real shoes, eye protection and at least a mask if not a respirator. Also, the size of that cheese wheel next to the dryer ain't nothin' compared to how big it is when you rip off the plastic wrap. Drag the insulation where you want it before you remove the plastic. Then roll it out as much as you can and let it get all nice and fluffy. Insulation is really easy to cut with a utility knife if you use a piece of scrap lumber as a straight edge to mash it down with. You can mash the insulation while you're cutting it, but after that try not to. I cut the insulation into pieces about 3 feet long or so because that size was the easiest to "feed" through the furring strips in my ceiling without either smashing it or tearing it when I pulled it through. I just butted the pieces right up next to each other as I went along. The whole thing took me a little over three hours for a room that's 11 feet by 14 feet. When I finished, I washed my fiberglass-furred clothes all by themselves and ran the rinse-and-spin cycle twice just to be sure all the fiberglass was gone off the clothes and out of my washer.
And that, my friends, is the total of my meager knowledge about insulation.