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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default cold cold bedrooms

    I bought a 1950 semi-attached two family brick house about 5 yrs ago. Winter months I the upstairs apartment outer walls (walls facing the street and yard) were sweating/ weeping and it got infested with mold. The walls were cold to touch , its gets really cold regardless of how high heat is turned up and drafty during the winter periods. I was told that I needed to do the point work; that it was weak and water was sipping through the joints between the bricks. I did the point work and the problems still persist and the walls sweat when the apt is being lived in.

    Another problem is that one could hear the noise and vibration coming from the neighbors and from the bottom floor apt.

    I have a feeling the insulation on the walls have deteriorated or none existent (though I was able to feel and pull out a pink foam insulation from a small hole on the wall. One could feel the air coming in around the windows. My questions are:

    1. Am I right itís the insulation?
    2. What can I do to fix the noise, vibration and cold?
    3. Will insulating alone the walls fix the problems mentioned?
    4. If so, what kind of insulation can be used for brick homes?
    5. Should it be blown or sprayed on?
    6. Should I replace the windows, have them refitted or just insulated around them?

    Desperate for solution.

    P.S.
    I saw a tripod like equipment used in fixing creaking floors, what is it called? And what kind of nails are those long nails that can be snapped off after they are driven into the floor?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    near St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: cold cold bedrooms

    The screws you are looking for are called Counter Snap. Here's a link:
    http://www.yourhomeourproducts.com/store/ccp0-prodshow/UHP-3136.html

    Another brand is Squeak-No-More:
    http://www.mcfeelys.com/product/SNM-3320/Squeek-No-More-Hardwood-Floor-Kit-w25-Screws


    As far as your cold wall... it sure sounds like there is no insulation or poor insulation. The moisture could be water getting in from the outside or condensation from moist air condensing on the walls from the inside. If the walls only sweat when the apartment is being lived in then it sounds like condensation. Since you can't see through the walls you could cut an exploratory hole to get a peak inside the walls to find out for sure what you have for insulation.

    Insulating the walls well will help a lot but it would help even more to seal up anywhere you can where air is leaking in. The spray foam in a can is good for that. And do like Tom Silva did on a recent episode of Ask This Old House and put a shot of spray foam behind the electrical boxes to help seal those. When you open up the walls to insulate you can check for signs of leaking. You should fix all leaks before insulating. And if you have mold in the walls you should take care of that before insulating.

    As far as what kind of insulation to use - itís a matter of preference and budget. Spray foam is really good but it is also expensive. But insulating better will pay you back every heating and cooling season. Closed cell foam (polyurethane) has a very high R value and is impermeable to water. Icynene (open cell foam) is also very good but has a lower R value.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: cold cold bedrooms

    Rather than water leakage, I suspect you have condensation. When warm moist air hits a cold wall it condenses. It sounds like you have inadequate insulation or an open wall that is allowing air flow from outside or the attic. Foam insulation would probably be best if you have a wall cavity.

    The Tool and screws you ask about is called "Squeek-No-More" and can be found at most hardware store. One if for through carpet on one is for no carpet Here's an ****** source http://www.mcfeelys.com/search/Squeek+No+More

    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 03-06-2009 at 10:57 PM.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    near St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: cold cold bedrooms

    Hey Jack,

    They even have these snap-off screws for deck boards.

    Sherry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: cold cold bedrooms

    Howdy,
    Do you have a humidifier on your furnace? It could be adding too much humidity. Bathrooms exhaust fans to exterior? Used when showers taken?
    Attic insullation amount? Are the attic vents open? Basement/ crawlspace dry? Vented?
    If the attic has fiberglass isnullation check areas above interior walls to see if any openings in the stud walls as fiberglass allows air movement literally chimneying threw interior walls into the attic. If openings consider adding spray foam insullation to seal the openings. Spray foam is is closed cell and does not allow air threw it. Write back with more information.

    Insuation: Fiberglass looses its inssulation value when wet(walls sweating means wet insullation).
    To add more consider adding blown in cellouse small bore holes into walls are easliy patched. To add fiberglass the walls must be opened and fiberglass installed way more expense and work.

    Leaks around windows, consider adding storm windows to exterior or interior. But first try adding to the retarding of air= insullation around the windows

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: cold cold bedrooms

    Hi, consider having the roof inspected to see if wear seperation at the edge of the roof allowing water to run down the wall. Is ther an soffit, eve , overhang - roof extend out past the wall a foot or two? Can you post a picture or two and post to show what the windows interior and exterior look like? Caulking around windows exterior trim is always the first and least expensive way to keep the heat in around windows. One can cut away around the window but that is last resort not first. You could add storm windows to exterior or interior. And be of mind that the windows glass has very little insullation value itself so spnding a bundle around them is not the best choice. There is now after market window film that you apply to inside of the window glass that will help keep the heat in an it is Cheap and easy to install. Available at lowes, home depot etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: cold cold bedrooms

    Probably the best bet at this point is to bite the bullet and have an infrared survey done. This will show where you are loosing heat. Proper weather stripping of the windows will help. You say it is a brick house but apparently you have framed walls with insulation but you don't mention if the walls are plaster or drywall. Because of the age it could be either. If it is drywall and you've had a mold problem gutting, applying a moisture barrier, and proper insulation my be your only option. Closed cell foam insulation would provide the moisture barrier, insulation, and noise deadening you want.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: cold cold bedrooms

    Thanks a lot Serry for your suggestions and tips

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