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can an ice storm insulate a house?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Jacktheknife, Jan 27, 2013.

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  1. Jacktheknife

    Jacktheknife Minister of Fire

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    I wasn't sure where to post this...

    I woke up this morning to a house cocooned in ice and significantly warmer that usual. After starting the first fire, the house warmed right up and is holding temp very well. Temperature wise, today is just like yesterday so it's not just warm weather. Thoughts?

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Air leaks have been plugged.

    Matt
    SmokeyTheBear and Jack768 like this.
  3. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    I don't know about keeping it warmer, but I bet it would work really well for warding off the mid summer heat. You just have to figure out a way to hang on to it till the end of July. ;)
    Jack768, mfglickman, milleo and 2 others like this.
  4. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Air is a requirement of insulation. Ice is not an insulator. Snow, on the other hands, is good insulator. I would imagine f your attic vents were iced over your home is holding more heat, but for how long is another story as that warm air is trying to escape.
  5. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Guy I used to work with said during really cold spells in Jackman, ME as a kid, his dad would make him douse windows with water buckets to freeze them over to stop drafts.
  6. 69911e

    69911e Member

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    Ridge vent probably is closed up; huge heat loss there as it asks for drafts in the whole house. This (and closing the soffit vents up)is now considered the proper way to insulate a house now in most areas of the country if a sufficient vapor barrier can be added.
  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Do you have a source for that? It follows my thinking, but I've never seen it published. I'd like to see some articles written on it.


    Matt
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The ice is not insulating the house, it's sealing the house. All homes are leaky sieves. The difference from home to home is in the amount leaked.
  9. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    Not sure about houses but ice can indeed be an insulator. Some fruit trees are sprayed with a water mist so that a thin ice crust will protect fragile buds from colder overnight temps.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Warmer in the house after ice is not surprising at all.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You're right, to a degree. ;) Ice in this case may be sealing and insulating.
  12. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Proper way where? That for sure isn't done here. Roof needs to be same temp as outside. Se
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  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Agreed. Soffit vents that are closed up, are useless.
  14. 69911e

    69911e Member

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    Here is a link:
    http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-149-unvented-roof-assemblies-for-all-climates

    The whole buildingscience.com site has a huge amount of info and studies. It is not for people not open to new ideas. I was VERY skeptical at the info when I first started to read it, upon verification with other sites and a friend who is an efficiency building professional, I decided to build my house without vents and other ideas discussed on the site. I also found most insulation companies provided incorrect information and improper understanding of their own products which would lead to problems utilizing these concepts if all insulation product specs are not verified.
  15. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    That is all well and great, but 95% of homes in existence do NOT have closed cell foam insulation combined with a cathedral ceiling.
    You picked a decent "page or paper" to attempt to prove your point, but sorry to say it is irrelevant to MOST homes.
    Sorry I worked in the field for many years, no article that someone decided to print, is going to change my mind or knowledge from hands on, in the field experience.
    Nice try though.

    Additionally, "Building Science" as they call themselves are also a corporation, based on books, consultation & seminars. Their is an agenda there. Again, I'll stand by my personal experience, before I will go with someones theories on a page.

    Lastly, all shingle manufacturers state right in the warranty wording: Inadequate attic ventilation, as a condition that is NOT covered by the warranty.

    Attached Files:

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  16. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    The Native American tribes from the deep north had the same idea. They just called them igloos. Only difference is that your igloo has a wood frame and all the drafts are sealed with ice...

    KaptJaq
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  17. Butcher

    Butcher Minister of Fire

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    Sorry but I gotta call bull crap on this deal. As someone who has built many structures as a carpenter the websites artical is fine and dandy. BUT! If you build a building in a hermetically sealed enviroment the first thing thats gonna happen is the heating and cooling guys are gonna come on the job site and start drillin holes in that envolope to get fresh air into the house. Then they are going to put in air exchangers and everything that goes along with that kinda crap. It's much cheaper and easier to let natural airflow take it's coarse IMHO. That kinda thinking might be fine and dandy for the folks who watch This Old House but it really isnt cost effective in the real world. Least not in my neck of the woods.
    'sides, just cuz it was on the internet dont make it true.
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  18. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Its not bull crap (but if you think it is I fully understand), they have said for many years if you can totaly seal your house you dont need attic vents, but in the real world it wont happen unless (like mentioned) you have the right insulation and construction procedures, for me I will stick with a vapor barrier and vents to catch what gets past the barrier.
  19. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    We had our home resided a few years back. The guy who did it, took off the old siding and told us none of our window or door had been sealed around, and there was no house wrap. He did all of that and had some additional exterior insulation on that which has a reflective surface on it. Our home heated much better after that.
  20. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Reflective bariers are something I'm interested in. They need an air spacr in front of them to work best though. I'd like one on my roof, but it would require resheathing the roof afterwords. That would make for an expensive job.
  21. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    You have to be careful with foil faced insulation under vinyl siding. More so on the sunny sides of the home, as the foil bakes the back side of the siding and this can be seen when the siding warps & buckles. Especially in the warmer months in direct sunlight.
  22. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, it has been 6 years and so far so good. I'll be sure to keep a eye out for changes, not that I could do anything. But it is good to pass that on to someone who might be doing some residing. We originally had a Masonite siding call Color-lock. It didn't hold its color and it started flaking. So much for the lifetime guarantee. That flaking was not repairable so we replaced it and updated things. Very pleased with the work done. No more climbing to paint.
  23. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    If I remember correctly, Joe L. at Building Science when discussing attic ventilation states that its very hard to beat a standard attic with proper roof ventilation and thermal insulation as long as warm air from the living area is not leaking into it and its not used for HVAC equipment.
    He and others that posit using cold roofs like the one in the article referenced above propose it primarily for use in cathedral ceilings.

    As for shingle warranties that require ventilation, they may be overly conservative and basically outdated. That said, those are the rules you're playing with if you use that product. Of course there a many different roofing materials available and many aren't as "sensitive" to heat as composition shingles.

    The National Roofing Contractors Association (http://www.nrca.net/consumer/attic_ventilation/default.aspx) says this with regard to roof ventilation:
    "It has also been shown ventilation with outside air reduces average attic air temperatures in summer. Research has not verified a significant effect of attic ventilation on the average roof surface temperature. In fact, research results indicate ventilation has less effect on average roof surface temperature than the facing direction of a roof surface or roofing material color."

    My house has cathedral ceilings with poorly installed roof insulation and ventilation. There is no barrier between the vented space below the roof deck and the fiberglass and drywall below. Its leaky and cold. We have beautiful plaster ceiling treatments.
    I plan to remove all roof ventilation and add foam insulation above the existing roof deck along with new decking and a metal roof. Basically doing what is proposed by Building Science and other experts.

    If you or others have experience with this causing problems I'd love to hear about it. I want to do what's best and I value experience as well as research.
    woodgeek likes this.
  24. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    "There is no barrier between the vented space below the roof deck and the fiberglass and drywall below."
    I dont understand that statement, are you talking about a vapor barrier, if so that needs to be on the warm side.
  25. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Currently, this is done using foam or plastic trays that channel air along the bottom side of the roof deck while preventing that air from flowing into the insulation. Many older houses (mine is built in the 1980s) have no such separator. I'm not talking about a vapor barrier.
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