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Here are some helpful hints on working with foam and fiber glass insulation, and the tools you'll need to do the job right.

Basic Tools

Foam and fiber glass insulation are easy to use and require very few tools. Most projects require:
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge or 2 x 4 (for scoring and/or cutting insulation)
  • Lightweight, squeeze-type stapler (if installing faced fiber glass insulation or polyethylene vapor barrier)
  • Putty knife or wood shim for pushing insulation around doors and windows.
Special Equipment

Special insulation jobs require special equipment. The following items might come in handy when you insulate:
  • Portable work light for working in an attic or crawlspace
  • Boards or sheets of plywood (provide a safe place to sit or kneel in an unfinished attic and a surface on which to score and/or cut)
  • Pole or rake (for pushing fiber glass insulation into out-of-the-way places in attics)
  • Insulation supports (for holding the insulation up under floors)
Protective Gear

Some fiber glass insulation materials may be dusty or irritate the skin. Many insulation jobs are done in confined areas such as attics or crawlspaces. Therefore, the following protective gear is strongly recommended:
  • Work gloves
  • Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt (cover cuffs with glove wristbands)
  • OSHA-approved safety glasses
  • 3M 8710 or 9900 disposable dust respirator
  • Long pants
  • Hat or cap
General Installation Tips

For fiber glass insulation:
  • Leave fiber glass insulation in its wrapper until you're ready to use it. Packaged insulation is highly compressed and expands greatly when the wrapper is opened.
  • Use continuous rolls in floors because of longer joist spans.
  • To cut insulation, lay it on a board with the kraft or foil facing down, if applicable. Lay a yardstick (or 2 x 4) over the area of insulation to be cut. Press your straight edge down hard and cut with a utility knife, using straight edge as a guide.
For foam insulation:
  • Foam insulation is easily cut or scored with a sharp knife.
  • Seal joints and openings with BILD-R-TAPE® construction tape.
  • Although foam insulation is durable and moisture resistant, use care in handling and storing to ensure proper performance and maximum installation efficiency.
 
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