insulating cellar ceiling

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  #1  
Old 01-27-07, 06:37 AM
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insulating cellar ceiling

Hi All,
I have a 1910 colonial, 2 family home. It has lots of charm but little insulation. Two areas that I am able to get to are the cellar ceilings and the attic. I wanted to make the downstairs apt more comfortable for the tenants by adding some insulation to that cellar ceiling. The only problem is, the beams are very far apart. Some of them are 19 inches and others are 22 inches. Standard rolls of insulation will not work. And I cannot roll it the other way (across) because of all the water pipes and wires, etc. Any suggestions??
Also, my attic (unfinished) has some old insulation laid in between the rafters, but it has settled and is almost non-existant in places. It looks like the kind that is just thrown down or blown in. There is no "paper-side". Can I improve this somehow. And does it help to insulate the underside of the roof. Looking up in the attic all I see is wood with nails coming through from putting shingles on I guess. I am thinking there might be lots of heat loss here.
Sorry the post is so long...any help is greatly appreciated.
Jubilant_one
 
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Old 01-27-07, 11:33 AM
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I don't think insulating your basement ceiling will offer any advantages except noise. It may make things a bit quieter but then again, it may not be noticable to warrant an insulation job.

As for your attic, if it's easily accessable, you can re-insulate between the ceiling joists (the attic floor beams) with batt insulation. You wouldn't want to waste insulating between your roof rafters because you're not insulating a "living space". By living space, i mean an area that normally gets heat. I assume your attic doesn't get heat, just the areas below it (thats the reason the insulation is installed between those ceiling joists (attic floor beams).

If i were you, i would re-insulate your attic via the joists where the existing insulation is. Depending upon your location (i live in NY) will determine how much R value you'll need. Most heat loss is through ceilings.
 
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Old 01-27-07, 02:50 PM
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Re: insulation question

Thanks Dregg,
I will look into re-insulating in between the attic beams. Yes, there is no heat up there and I plan to just use it for storage space. I have some planks that I am going to put down to store stuff on. I hope that it helps to keep some heat in.
Susan
 
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Old 01-27-07, 03:08 PM
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Wink

I have some planks that I am going to put down to store stuff on. I hope that it helps to keep some heat in.

This will compress the insulation and you wont get the R -- that you should.

Also dont put any insulation in the attic on top of what you have there that has paper back or a vinyl on it. You need about a R25 where you are in the ceiling.
Like said forget the basement
 
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Old 01-27-07, 09:09 PM
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To clarify what Ed just said, he's saying don't place new insulation with the paper on it over the existing insulation you have up there now. You'll need to buy insulation without a vapor barrier on it.

Not sure of your location and what is called for but like Ed said, if you use planks to cover the beams, you'll compress the insulation thus lowering the R value. To give you an idea, R-19 insulation will fit perfectly between a 2 x 6 beam.

Check out this site for more info. Click on the "About insulation" tab and go to the FAQ section.....lots of info there.

http://www.owenscorning.com/around/insulation/products/pfgi.asp
 
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Old 01-28-07, 06:03 AM
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attic insulation

Thanks for all the help, I will check out the link. But are you guys saying that I won't be able to use any of the attic for storage? And when you put the insulation in between the joists...does it stick up higher than the joists. I am assuming it must be pretty "puffy" for lack of a better word. Another friend told me that I should REMOVE all of the old gray colored stuff that is poured in between the joists...this seems like so much work (itchy work). I would really rather just put better stuff over it if that's ok. Again thanks for all the help!!
Susan
 
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Old 01-28-07, 06:19 AM
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Re: inslulation link

Hi guys,
Now I understand. I went to the insulation page and yes they reccomend the R-25. I guess if I want a space to store stuff I will have to designate an area that will have less insulation. I am assuming that to do it right, you fill inbetween the joists and then you lay another layer across. Wow, that's lots of insulation. I would need a truck to deliver it, this attic is HUGE. I am a little confused about not going too close to the soffits. Honestly, I can see daylight shining through in spots along the edges. I assume this is behind the rakes and soffits. I do have attic vents that in the front and back of the house. Do I still need to stay away from the edges? Seems like this is where all the cold air would come in. Thanks in advance.
Susan
 
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Old 01-28-07, 08:50 AM
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Wink

Do I still need to stay away from the edges? Seems like this is where all the cold air would come in.

For sure the air has to come in there and go out the top
 
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Old 01-28-07, 04:50 PM
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attic insulation

Thanks Ed,
I think I understand now. It will be interesting to see if there is decreased oil usage with increased insulation. Thanks for all the patience and answers!!
Susan
 
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