October 16, 2010

attic blowing

I'm talking about insulation here, people. Blowing insulation into my parents attic. Sound like your idea of a fun Saturday afternoon? Michael came over to help and we started early in the morning.

Here's the insulation we used. It's made of 85% recycled materials, so it looked like mostly paper pulp. It is also non-toxic and no-itch. It said all this on the side of the bag. It also said, "easy to install" ...

So here is the huge mound of it. 75 bags actually, which all got taken apart and shoved into this thing:

This is the hopper, or blowing machine. It churns the insulation up and blows it pretty forcefully through a super obnoxiously long hose.

My favorite part of this day, was the way we all looked. Which was ridiculous. I loved Dad's knee pads that made his pants look too short. Classic.

We also had to wear bright orange gloves and respirator masks, to keep all the dust out of our lungs. Have you ever had to wear one of these things? First of all, it smells bad. Plus it hurts your nose and makes it difficult to breathe. But we play it safe in the Backes household!

My Mom makes these things look cute. Oh by the way, I should say that it was a beautiful day. We opened the garage doors and let that cool fall breeze come in, which made everything better.

More awesome respirator mask pictures... also check out Dad's sweet headlamp:

Okay so here is what the insulation looks like. Paper pulp, right? I was just so glad that it didn't itch like fiber glass insulation. We ripped open the bags and put the insulation in the blower thing, which blew it through a hose that ran up into the attic.

See Michael all the way down there? He is such a trooper. Later on that day my Dad asked him, "You didn't know when you started dating Jenna that you would have to do stuff like this, did ya?" Luckily, Michael was a good sport - like always. Plus he worked in construction for 5 years before he got his job at Miller Metal. He was a great asset to us that day, and a big help to my Dad.

There were always 2 people in the garage feeding insulation into the blower, and 2 people in the attic. And by "2 people in the attic" - I mean, either Michael or Dad climbing over the rafters and blowing insulation in the tightest spaces ever. This did not help my minor claustrophobia. My role was usually putting insulation in the blower, or sitting there watching the men do all the work, and trying to help by feeding them the hose and moving the light.

Here is Michael blowing insulation by the baffles, which is a new word I learned today. Those white things help keep air moving through the attic.

And here is my Dad. If you think this looks like the worst/least fun thing you've ever seen - you would be right! There was insulation everywhere. You can't see it in the pictures, until I took a picture with flash:

Oh yea, the dust was thick. Thank goodness for those respirator masks!

I was so glad when I took this picture. Look at that fresh, thick layer of insulation. This will really help my parents save money on electric bills, it has to. The layer we added was about 7 or 8 inches thick. It's a beautiful thing.

And then to get all the dust off of us, Dad got out the blower. He has done this before, especially when my sister and I were little. When we played outside all day and got really dirty, Dad would blow off our clothes before we were allowed to come in the house. It does work great, but it's a hysterical process. Of course Dad is so silly, and has to put the blower down my Mom's pants. Just in case.

As I'm typing this, all 4 of us are in the living room. I am the only one awake. Mom and Dad are asleep in their chairs and Michael is laying down on the sofa next to me. What a day!!

One thing I did learn, I am so thankful for my job. Even when I hate it. Dad told me today that there are people who blow attics for a living, even in the 100 degree heat of summer. I am totally exhausted after just one day of it, I can't even imagine. We are so blessed. And now, we are also warm. That layer of insulation is just like adding a couple heavy blankets over your bed in the winter time. Bring on the cold.