The following is a suggested list of tools and materials you will want to have on-site when you do attic fills and dense pack.
Extending Ladder: The folding and extending aluminum ladders are great! They take up less room in your truck/trailer. The Little Giants, Werner and Gorilla are perfect. Make sure you can reach 12 feet. Sometimes those attic accesses are placed in higher ceilings.
Moving Blankets: Carry a couple of moving blankets to protect the window jams if you are pulling hose into an upper level.
50 feet of Rope: Helps pull hose into upper stories. Some contractors will use their electric cords. That is unwise and can cause breakage/shorts in the cords.
Head Lamp or Utility Light: Either lighting source is a preference. Some contractors like to illuminate the entire attic with a strong utility light. That requires another extension cord run and takes a couple more minutes for setup and tear down. I prefer the head lamp. They are inexpensive, LED lights and are very brilliant, allowing you to view a wide area where you are working. They don’t require any extra set-up time.
N95 masks: There are dust and nuisance masks, then there are N95 masks. Dust and nuisance masks fail sooner during the job, especially in hot attics. N95 masks are rated to prevent fiberglass particles from entering your mouth and lungs. They are available with a breathing valve that allows your moisture-laden breath to flow out and not compromise your mask during your job. These masks are VERY important and should not be considered an option. I was not provided the proper masks and developed Minor COPD condition in my lungs.
Attic Rulers: These are stapled into place on the rafters. Place the rulers so that the measurements can be seen from the attic access. Placing one in each corner of the attic and one close to the access hole.
Hammer-style Stapler & Staples: These staple hammers work better than the squeeze staplers. You can carry them in your back pocket as you crawl through the attic system.
Duct Tape: Many insulators do not use hose clamps on every connection joint of their hoses. They will use one initially at the machine because the pressure is too great to hold the hose to the machine output. However, use them to connect your hoses. Here are two reasons why duct tape is preferred.
- Firstly, duct tape will protect the baseboard trim, corners and window frames in the house as your hose is pulled through.
- Secondly if there was a plug it is a lot faster to meeting with him at the knife to cut productive moves are you separate the hose where the joint.
Nut Driver: Hose clamps are tightened and loosened by a helix screw. That screw can be turned with either a screwdriver or nut driver. A hex nut driver is far easier to use as screw driver blades easily slip as the clamp is tightened or loosened.
Electric Cables: Use good, 12-gauge electric cables. Do not use more than 100 feet long. Longer than 100 feet causes electrical friction which will degrade your electric blowers sooner.
Basic socket wrench set: The Cool Machine brand of insulation machine can be torn down, fixed and rebuilt on site with a simple socket wrench set.
Utility knife: Whatever knife you choose to use, make sure you secure it to your hopper so that it will not drop in.
Voltage Meter: Cool Machines provides a voltage meter with each new machine purchase. This is helpful for troubleshooting electrical issues if they arise.
Drill and Hole Saw: This is for drilling into walls for dense pack fills, also called “drill and fill.” Here are some recommended hole saw sizes:
- 2″ dense pack hose: 3″ hole saw
- 1-5″ dense pack hose: 2 1/4″ hole saw
- 1-25″ dense pack hose: 2″ hole saw
Broom, Dustpan and Plastic Garbage Bags: Keep the floor of your truck and trailer clean. DO NOT sweep up the floor and dump the material into your machine. Too many foreign objects can end up on the floor.
Wet/Dry Vacuum: This is a great tool to carry with you. This will allow you to clean out your machine AND just in case you dumped a pile of insulation in a house, this will be great to have for those clean-ups.
Materials You May Need
Sometimes there are things that arise that you did not anticipate for when you chose the materials for your job. Here are some items to always keep in your truck/trailer so that you can do a proper job.
- Attic Rafter Vents
- Recessed Light Covers
- R-30 Fiberglass Batt: cover attic access