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Insulation Question

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Haston, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. Haston

    Haston Member

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    We have our two main (second floor) bedrooms undercut by an open air loggia with a tongue and groove ceiling. While looking to add to the existing insulation, I have discovered that the idiots who did the construction in 1985 (a poorly executed remodel) installed the insulation upside down-- that is, with the paper side facing down. Do I have to tear down the ceiling and pull this upside down insulation or can I get away with stapling a layer of R-14 foil-bubble-foil vapor barrier sheeting to the existing tongue and groove ceiling and then add a new ceiling over the new "foil" layer?

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  2. Haston

    Haston Member

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    From what I have gleaned from other sources, this is a no-brainer. The ceiling should be ripped down and the insulation replaced, as all it is doing now is trapping moisture and fostering mold. Vents should have been installed as well and they weren't. H
  3. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    Question: By "down", do you mean the paper is toward the inside of the house, or outside? Any VB should be on the inside, though I don't know if the paper on insulation is really much of a VB. (We use plastic sheeting for that reason.) First: Do you have any water/mold problems as is? Any dripping in the spring when the (if there is any) condensate thaws and drips? Yes, you should have INCHES of ventilation over the top (outside) of the insulation.
  4. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    jklingel has it right. Paper faces the inside.
  5. Haston

    Haston Member

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    Sorry if the original post was not clear. Yes, it appears that the paper side is facing away from the living space-- that is, toward the ground, as both bedrooms are undercut by open space. So the insulation, such as it is, is actually "floor" insulation, if that makes sense. In looking at the issue further, though, I am beginning to suspect that there is paper on both sides of the insulation, as I do not see any evidence of mositure in an area where I cut away a portion of the loggia ceiling. My plan now is to add foam to the existing ceiling, then add a new ceiling to that. First I will cut some ventilation holes and confirm that there is a vaopr barrier on both sides of the insulation. Thanks for the input. I'm glad that there does not appear to be a moisture or mold problem. I still need to address how to make both rooms warmer. H.
  6. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Drafts are key.
  7. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    I am confident that a VB on both sides of the 'glass is trouble. IF, in fact, the outer VB is working, you will get vapor trapped between the two VBs. Any VB will leak some, because neither it nor we (any installers) are perfect. Trapped vapor will condense. If there is no visible water damage or wet 'glass, and you've had this for years, then maybe you don't have to worry. Maybe neither VB is really a VB. If there is any indication of water and you can get rid of that outer VB, or perforate it, I'd do so. Good luck; these things are messy.
  8. Haston

    Haston Member

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    Thanks so much for the input. I've been out of town for a death in the family, but this issue has been at the back of my mind. I'll let you know how it turns out. H.
  9. James04

    James04 Member

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    Haston,

    Vapor barrier is installed on the outside of the conditioned space if you are in a warm humid climate. Were you will be cooling the living space a majority of the time. What state are you in?

    James
  10. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    James: That is interesting. Never heard of that, but never lived in a hot, humid place, either. Do houses tend to rot a little faster there? Surely there must be SOME water trapped in the wall. No? I've been reading lately where they are installing VB on the outside of basement walls in cold places, in certain instances, too. Makes a person appreciate a cave....
  11. ilmbg

    ilmbg New Member

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    burning chunk- I have been in touch with SEVERAL insulation companies (national), and local insulation companies in Austin, Texas in the past 2 months- I have specifically asked about the VB on different products- ALL of them have said the VB should be next to the warm sideof the house WHEN IT IS BEING HEATED WITH MECHANICAL HEAT- IE. FURNACE- that means that it faces towards the living areas. Austin is a hot/humid climate. Did you mistakenly think that it faced the hot-outside, such as in the summer? The only one that does not have a VB is the sprayed on. Also, I have been told by all of them to NOT have a vented attic area in this climate. That sort of has me scared- will look into that more.
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