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insulating old old house


trance's Avatar
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NY

10-20-03, 08:54 PM   #1  
insulating old old house

hi all,

asking for opinions here.

I have a very old house (130 years!) and I'm renovating,
including insulating.

parts of the house (the oldest parts simply have wood
siding nailed straight to the studs. no sheathing or
building paper of any kind.

now, of course, i want to put some insulation in there, but
don't want it to get soaked in a hard rain, etc. not to mention
this is significantly changing the dynamic of the wall.

my current hypothesis is that I should put a layer of tar
paper in first, between the studs, then the insulation.

i'm not currently considering removing the siding, as that
would be too much for this house.

I'm sure that, in theory, there shouldn't be any water on the
"wrong side" of the wood, however, it is quite evident, when
looking at the "wrong side" that water has come in before.
the only two places that I now see water on the "wrong side"
are at one window head (gable end, no good overhang and
no flashing at window head) and at the connection between
roof (single story) and wall (two story) both of these points
will get better / some flashing next summer.

I will definately be putting some flashing at the window
heads, etc next summer, however, I still want to protect
the insulation against mold, etc.

anyone want to weigh in on this one?

thanks!

 
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chfite's Avatar
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10-21-03, 06:03 AM   #2  
Installing flashing and such to keep water out of the interior is a good idea, whether or not you insulate. Flashing and caulking are good.

If you are not going to remove the walls, installing tar paper will be a challenge. My inclination is to blow insulation into the walls. I suspect that after 130 years there is enough paint and such on the walls to provide a vapor barrier, anyway.

In any event, there is a foam insulation that can be blown into the walls which will resist water and fill the cavity as well.

Recall that any water that gets under the siding now has a place to drain and air into which to evaporate. If you fill the cavity without resolving the water problem first, the water that intrudes will be trapped. The moist environment is just what mildew and dry rot need to start.

Others will add their perspectives on this.

Hope this helps.

 
trance's Avatar
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10-21-03, 09:36 AM   #3  
i agree 100%, however, blown in insulation isn't the key,
as there is no interior finish on the walls.

I'm not going to remove the siding. the interior (plaster)
is already off. I will be able to get tar paper between
each stud, just not between the stud and siding. I think I can
give a layer (the tar paper) that way, so if water gets in, it
can run down the tar paper before soaking the insulation.


the mold, dry rot, etc is what I want to make sure
does not happen.

thanks all.

 
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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10-21-03, 11:09 AM   #4  
outside walls

I think here Id get the new building wrap we use now on the outside of homes. Would work the same and be a lot easier to cut and fit in there in the studs. Then put the insulation in. ED

 
trance's Avatar
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10-21-03, 02:25 PM   #5  
I can't use tyvek due to the reaction with the cedar siding.

gotta use the old method there.

but it does sound like you agree about putting a barrier between
the insulation and siding, simply between the studs, not
having to remove the siding, correct?

thanks.

 
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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10-22-03, 08:43 AM   #6  
old home

Go for it. You could cut the felt in a roll with an old hand saw to fit in the studs. That way just cut off how long a peice you need for up and down. ED

 
trance's Avatar
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10-22-03, 09:01 AM   #7  
that's a great idea. thanks.

 
resercon's Avatar
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10-22-03, 09:18 AM   #8  
Encapsulated insulation

You do have another choice here and that is use fiberglass insulation that is surrounded with plastic. Manville makes such a product. On side of the insulation is thicker than the other three sides. The thicker side is the vapor barrier which follows the rule of five to one concerning other materials applied with vapor barriers. In other words, any material applied to the outside of a vapor barrier must possess a Perm Rating five times greater than the vapor barrier.

 
Bruce H's Avatar
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10-22-03, 10:21 AM   #9  
resercon:
I used the fiberglass insulation surrounded by plastic on my last project and I seem to remember that the side that faced out was perforated. Don't remember what manufacturer it was; is Manville's product not perforated? It seems to me you wouldn't want a type of product that is perforated on the side that may see moisture.

Bruce

 
resercon's Avatar
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10-22-03, 02:18 PM   #10  
Bruce H

Though it has been a while since I used this product, my understanding is there is no need for the perforation. As such, you point is well taken and I would recommend before the purchase of such a product, one should inquire about the perforation. As far as I am aware and from past experience with type of product, there is no perforation.

 
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