Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: North Candlewood On: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:23 pm

Provide there is not knob and tube?

Air Sealing first!!!
http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/ ... -your-home
This done with a blower door
then
Dense Packed Cellulose, http://www.nationalfiber.com/myths.htm this group has probably the best product on the market in the northeast. There would be no need to fire-block (dense pack would cover that) or tear anything out unless it were to found unstable to dense pack against. If you then loose fill the attic you'd be golden!

As for moisture is your basement wet ? Here lies the foundation to moisture troubles in a home.

Moisture info http://www.nationalfiber.com/techLibMoisture.htm

Without getting into passive house or net zero building techniques, this is a pretty simple project you look to do.

Airsealing will net you large gains in comfort.
North Candlewood
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:48 pm

This is the BEST tool I've used for insulating with cans of spray foam. The pro stuff is very different than the pre-pack cans. Stop, start, push it in place once it skins, adjustable size- even like a caulk!

http://www.homedepot.com/p/GREAT-STUFF-PRO-14-Foam-Dispensing-Gun-230409/202892513

Image

Order the pro stuff by the case (over $50) and free shipping. The yield is significantly more.

I'd definitely start by sealing the top and bottom of the wall cavities. Air is a decent insulator, but an open channel allows the air to move = DRAFT!

As another poster said SEAL THE AIR LEAKS FIRST!

Hope this helps
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: Sting On: Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:08 pm

gut it

spray foam it

replace everything else
done
Sting
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:08 am

rberq wrote:By coincidence, I found that very idea this morning, except they used a special fabric rather than poly.


Yes, the mesh fabric would be better than poly since you wouldn't have to worry about the effect of the vapor barrier the poly created.

rberq wrote:If your house is like mine, there IS no ventilation from the eaves. Cellulose is blown into the roof cavity to completely fill it bottom to top.


our ventilation goes from eaves to ridge vent so we need to keep that air channel open at the eave.
titleist1
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: Freddy On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:01 am

You've been given lot's of good tips and ideas. In my mind the most important one was: If you use blow in cellulose, hire a pro with good credentials and good insurance. I know one person that hired a fly by night & they did over $100,000 damage to a $140 house. They blew it in so tight that it bowed all the inside walls.... I'm talking the sheet rock bowed inward over an inch between studs in places. Every room was effected. I saw this personally. I personally laid a straight edge across the walls. Also, two closet walls were blown apart and they filled the entire closets with cellulose....one of them the door was jar & the bedroom had bushels and bushels of cellulose on the floor. It was bizarre and surreal. Every single wall was gutted to do the repair.

That being said..... that was the very first job (perhaps the last?) that those idiots did. They had no insurance, but homeowners insurance did kick in.

I do have great faith in cellulose.
Freddy
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: scottybk On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:35 am

Thanks very much for all the tips.

My plan now when spring comes is to start by tearing out all the downstairs sheetrock on the walls. The common wall between me and the other side of the duplex I am going to use Roxul for soundproofing and probably 2 layers of drywall on it.

The sheathing on the outside of the house is planks that I believe are butt-jointed. I'd like too use the spray foam to seal all the spaces between the planks, and also caulk/air seal very well. I plan on replacing the window casings/trim anyway, and I am going to foam all those old weight pockets next to the windows since they're a major draft source. I think for cost reasons I'll use the R13 faced batts for the stud cavities.

I've heard its a good idea to roll builder's felt/tar paper inside the stud cavities too before adding the fiberglass batts. An old timer told me to cut the tar paper strips about 24 in wide, then "tuck" & press it in, and staple it up inside the 16 inch stud cavities so it forms like a "U" shape inside the cavity. Its insurance against moisture problems and also helps air seal.

I'll also of course re-do all the wiring and throw in some extra outlets, etc while the walls are open. I have a bunch of outlets that were installed with those blue "wing boxes" that have gotten loose and cracked the drywall around the outlets over the years. I want to make sure all the new outlet boxes are nailed directly to studs, or else use 2/4 "nailers" between the studs etc to support the electrical outlet boxes.

BTW does that foam gun use the regular Great Stuff cans you can buy at HD? My house is small enough where I almost think I could possible foam all the walls with those cans for maybe $300, which would be 60 cans @ $5 a can. Is this an insane idea?
scottybk
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:52 am

Regarding the cans of spray foam...I think Greg used Tiger foam purchased on line, but i may not be remembering that correctly. It is in this thread below somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.

My current huge project

Also, regarding the exterior planks...one of the more experienced builders here will have better knowledge, but i thought i had seen some experienced folks say that foaming directly to them sealing their cracks is not a great idea. The airflow around them keeps them from trapping moisture and rotting. You may want to check out the finehomebuilding forum to get some experienced guys opinions.
titleist1
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:05 pm

titleist1 wrote:Regarding the cans of spray foam...I think Greg used Tiger foam purchased on line, but i may not be remembering that correctly. It is in this thread below somewhere, but I haven't found it yet.

My current huge project

Also, regarding the exterior planks...one of the more experienced builders here will have better knowledge, but i thought i had seen some experienced folks say that foaming directly to them sealing their cracks is not a great idea. The airflow around them keeps them from trapping moisture and rotting. You may want to check out the finehomebuilding forum to get some experienced guys opinions.

I was reading a little on that yesterday. What I gathered is that the new technique uses about 1 inch of closed cell foam (goes on like paint and swells to 1 inch) on the boards, then the person can use either open cell, or used trimmed fiberglass bats to finish filling the void. They claim it stops the moisture.
SWPaDon
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: rberq On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:36 pm

scottybk wrote:… sheathing on the outside of the house is planks that I believe are butt-jointed. I'd like to use the spray foam to seal all the spaces between the planks, and also caulk/air seal very well … I've heard it’s a good idea to roll builder's felt/tar paper inside the stud cavities too before adding the fiberglass batts … insurance against moisture problems

Do some more research before you do that kind of sealing. Don’t forget moisture comes from the inside of your house in some seasons, and you don’t want to trap it inside the wall cavities. You especially don’t want to trap it against the cold outside sheathing where it will condense and run down as water inside your walls. I am no expert, so don’t take my word for it, but I believe that is why Typar/Tyvek is used on the OUTSIDE of sheathing, because it blocks wind but allows moisture to migrate out through it.
rberq
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: Penn507 On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:45 pm

I have an old brick home. Built in 1865 that is balloon frame. I used Perlite in the outside walls,in the attic I drilled holes in the top plate above every stud cavity , cut the corner off the bag and poured it in. It pours like sugar so any small gaps or holes will need to be chalked , like around duplex, light switches, trim work ,ect.... Which only helps find more infiltration air leaks. Just make sure your done with your wiring and work in the walls. My interior walls were in good shape , so i drilled holes in my spare time. Had a Chinese fire drill to get the bags in attic and after that it took one day to insulate my entire house with no remaining signs of construction. I left a few bags in the attic to top off if anything settled but never had too.
Penn507
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: J F Graham On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:41 pm

Spray foam is really the only way to go. Seals drafts, high R value, vapor barrier; will pay for itself in the long run. A good friend / contractor is in process of exact same project. As we are both contractors we discussed the options in depth, with his old house. As we are both 60, and been around the horn a bit, we decided closed cell foam was the only logical way to go. It's like comparing the benefits of burning wood to the benefits of burning coal. There is no comparison. Also you mentioned double 1/2 inch rock between units. It's been some time, but the last time we rocked between two units, double 5/8 fire code was required. Food for thought.
Jim
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: CoalisCoolxWarm On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:04 pm

The spray gun uses the Pro cans, different formulation. A little higher price, higher yield and often substantially more useable. They don't have them in the stores here, but ordering and shipping free to the house.

The gun/cans are for sealing and voids, but not on the scale of filling all your cavities.

How tight do you want your house?

I am remodeling our old farmhouse here. Tearing off the drywall, adding/repairing any fiberglass, adding outlets and adding 2" foamboard over the studs, OSB over that, then drywall or TnG over the OSB.

The wood on the inside helps keep the house from getting damp, absorbing and releasing moisture as a type of balance.

The foam is enough of a thermal break to prevent in-cavity condensation. Less than that would actually still allow condensation inside the walls here. I believe they referred to it as "thermal barrier" but I don't recall exactly the term.

I had to brind the electrical boxes out to meet the new thickness, will have to retrim all the windows to match and cut the baseboard hydronic and move them inward and replumb (ugh!), which is the part that caught me this winter not being ready and using our backup hot air hand fed furnace.
CoalisCoolxWarm
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: macklj On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:09 pm

Just a thought, those old ceiling tiles could contain asbestos. At work we are told that if it isn't glass, wood, or metal assume that it could contain asbestos.
macklj
 
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Re: Opinion on insulation in balloon-frame house

PostBy: CapeCoaler On: Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:37 pm

Use the metal Strips to sound proof that common wall...
http://soundproofing.org/infopages/channel.htm
One of my customers uses the sound mats when they do renos in the condos...
Spray foam closed cell is the best for the envelope...
will seal it nice but now you need HRV to exaust your stale indoor air...
And keep the heat loss to a minimum...
The issue with rot on the outside wall is the depth of foam and where the condensation point is...
Properly done that point is not within the layer of sheathing but with in the layer of CLOSED cell insulation...
no moisture can travel within the closed cell no moisture issue...
The foam board on the inside of the house can lead to issues...
Again depends on where you live...
Fine homebuilding has several discussions/stories on this insulation situation...
CapeCoaler
 
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