+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default wall insulation in old home?

    Hi All,

    The house in question is circa 1920, stucco exterior with lathe and plaster in interior (no insulation). I will be insulating the subfloor and attic (any suggestions for a good material to use?).

    The main question I have is should I bother with cavity fill insulation for the walls. What are your thoughts: too risky, too difficult, not effective? If you think it is a worthy task, what would be a good cavity fill material? Install from exterior or interior? What about wiring in the walls, will those be problematic?

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    ScKaSx
    Last edited by ScKaSx; 02-05-2009 at 03:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    i guess question number 1 is what climate do you live in? if you're insulating the floors and attic, it's semi pointless to not do the walls also. with plaster and lathe walls you might be better off insulating from the outside with blown in insulation. second question would be what's the condition of the interior walls and the what's the makeup of the exterior of the house. if the exterior is vinyl siding, then it's a no brainer to do it from the outside, any holes they drill will be done behind the vinyl siding and never be seen. if the interior walls are not super delicate, like many are, and are pretty smoothly finished then the interior would work, you would just have to touch up over all the holes and repaint and you should have a good match to the old walls. if the interior walls are in "so-so" shape then patching and painting will probably be alot more noticable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    if the exterior is vinyl siding, then it's a no brainer to do it from the outside, any holes they drill will be done behind the vinyl siding and never be seen.
    The house in question is circa 1920, stucco exterior with lathe and plaster in interior (no insulation)
    I believe there should also be a vapor barrier between the outside wall and the insulation, otherwise mold could grow in the insulation. My guess if the stucco is original there isn't a vapor barrier underneath. Ideally there should be a vapor barrier between the siding and the house. Otherwise if you remove the interior walls you can put the barrier in the wall.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    I wasn't planning on either the outside or inside walls coming off and I do worry about the lack of vapor barrier.

    what do you guys think about polystrene beads? This cavity wall insulation has a higher conductivity than the more traditional insulation, but from what I hear it is water resistant. Is this worth a try? Anyone with experience with this?

    Cheers,
    ScKaSx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    Beads are a PAIN in the butt. You will fight with them till you move out of the house. Not to Minchin the next to nothing R-Value. We used to blow beads in to cement blocks on commercial work and there are still remnants of them floating around. Injection foam can be used in the walls, highest R-Value for a retro fit, and it won’t settle. It can be injected through a hole as little as ¾” or up to a 3” hole, depending on the wall conditions. As for the vapor barrier it would be nice to have one, but what are you going to do. This foam is injected in homes every day since 1966, and not hade a problem with out a vapor barrier or knob and tube wiring. Since it is 40% open cell, it can breathe, and is fire retardant.

    www.Injectionfoam.com
    JB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    We have a 1920's home with plaster walls. Our insulation contractor blew in insulation into the exterior walls up to the attic. His theory was to encapsulate the house and not insulate a space we would not live in. He created a barrier around the rooms and left the attice uninsulated. He even built foam covers for the doors and crawlspaces so that when they were closed no air could seep from the cold areas to the warm. He built pockets with fabric and blew the insulation into the walls like putting a coat on them. House is warm and tight and much more comfortable than before.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    455

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    His theory was to encapsulate the house and not insulate a space we would not live in. He created a barrier around the rooms and left the attice uninsulated.

    House is warm and tight and much more comfortable than before.
    Huh??? No insulation in the attic?
    Imagine how much more warm , tight and comfortable your house would be with insulation in the attic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    Not sure how our house would be warmer by insulating a space we don't use? He has the house sealed off from the attic so we are only insulating those spaces we use.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Coventry, RI
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    [quote=tluther;48978] His theory was to encapsulate the house and not insulate a space we would not live in. He created a barrier around the rooms and left the Attic uninsulated. quote]

    I'm guessing from the description that the attic was insulated by insulating the ceiling joists and not the rafter bays themselves. Normal attic insulation is done between or between and over the ceiling joists instead of between the rafter bays.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: wall insulation in old home?

    There is only insulation in the floors of the attic to keep the rooms below warm and the walls that are joined to the house. There is zero insulation in the roof rafters of the attic or the outside walls. He went above each upstairs room and insulated the ceilings above them. We are keeping the living areas of the house warm and not insulating areas we do not live in. The only area we are re-thinking is the side of the attic where we have now installed a central air blower. It gets a little toasty in there during the summer and we don't want to over-work the blower.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •