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Blown in insulation...

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Jay H, Apr 3, 2008.

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  1. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    If one doesn't have easy access to blown in insulation, how does one retrofit a house with it?

    I live in a log-sided house (half logs, lag bolted to a wood frame) which about 1" cedar paneling on the inside. I am quite sure whatever insulation I have in the exterior walls is old and falling apart. This is from redoing all the insulation i could easily get at in my crawlspace/attic with new fiberglass batts the past year or so. From the age of the insulation that I removed, I can safely assume what's in the walls is probably as old or older. I'd love to be able to use that blown in insulation stuff but can't think of a way to easily get to the walls without cutting the nice cedar panelling.

    However, in my crawlspace, I think the walls go right up to the underside of the roof but since I am on a ranch, no second floor (at least where the exterior walls are), I think there is a small gap in the walls I might be able to get a very small hose into. Would this be a way to get one of those blower things to get into cause I think those tubes are fairly big diameter... There would probably be no way for me to get the old insulation out...

    The only exterior wall where I have drywall is in my bedroom.. and hallway but my living room and dining room area is panelling.


    Jay

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    First thing to do is pop off a piece of paneling to see what's back there. There is a pretty low return on investment for adding more insulation to walls as the walls account for only a small part of the heat loss. If you find even moderate quality insulation in the stud cavity then I wouldn't mess with it and instead focus on airsealing the wiring and plumbing penetrations through the bottom and top plates into the walls.

    I have R-5 fiberglass insulation in my 1963 ranch house's walls. Seriously. It is only about 1.5" thick and foil faced with the R-5 stamped right on it. Not worth the effort to change out but the sinlge pane aluminum framed windows are being replaced this spring.
  3. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    I am guesing my ranch dates back to the 1950s but neither me nor the seller I bought it from has any kind of real proof. Might even be earlier but the earliest houses here date from the 1930s so obviously it can't be older than that.

    I've replaced and added to the insulation in the entire crawlspace upstairs. Sometime in my house's history, somebody converted I think a loft to install 2 cape cod like bedrooms upstairs so I redid the entire insulation in the walls and the floor of the crawlspace behind the two bedrooms. I added a bunch of insulation to the sill plate in my full basement above the concrete foundation and below the main floor. And recently I finished off using Great Stuff (windows) every window in the first floor that I could get at... but I'm running out of places to improve except for the exterior walls. My exterior logs on the log siding isn't in great shape either but that's another project.

    Jay
  4. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    What is behind the logs on the outside? How easy would they be to get a few of them off? Lots of the places that do blown in, or the foam stuff, go in through the outside walls - if you can get the log slabs off easily, they can just inject through the gaps, or if there is sheathing under the logs, drill holes to inject, then put the logs back up to cover the holes...

    Gooserider
  5. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    I agree with highbeam. I have a 1957 ranch with R-7 in the walls. Insulate the attic well and then caulk and next windows if needed. The attic is where most of the heat loss goes...next windows and airgaps. When it is 20 degrees below my wood stove keeps the house at 70 and my walls are 63-65 degrees. That should give you an idea.
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