No insulation

Old 11-26-00, 08:34 AM
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We recently discovered this house built in 1957 has NO insulation. Do we have any recourse and against whom? Can insulation be installed to already existing walls? Help and thanks.
Old 11-26-00, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
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The house was built almost 45 years ago. Things in the building industry have changed more than just a little in the past 45 years. And recourse against whom? The builder? Chances are he is no longer with us. Forget that road.

To insulate your existing walls (and probably the attic needs some attention too), contact an insulation contractor and have cellulose blown into each wall cavity and an additional layer blown into the attic. It will require that you patch over the plugs he will put in the walls (either inside or outside), but that is nothing compared to what it would take to remove enough wallcovering to install fiberglass in the walls yourself!
Old 11-28-00, 12:37 PM
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Stop the litigation

You probably had a home inspection as part of the sale. Did you tag along with the inspector? Did you read the report? Either way, it should indicate the insulation level.

Yes, you can insulate after the fact. The attic is easy and any able bodied person should be able to complete the task in a weekend. If you have a crawl space, the floors can be insulated in a weekend.

The walls can be insulated but are much more work. You could pull off the sheetrock and insulate but that is way too messy and not the best method. Follow the previous post and have it blown in by a professional. Have them quote insulating the attic and crawlspace at the same time. Probably about the same cost as you doing the work yourself since they will already be onsite doing the walls.

Remember that insulation is only part of the story. Be sure to use foam-in-a-can and fill all the holes in the attic and crawl space where utilities pass into the framing. Then install foam inserts behind all switch, outlet, cable, and phone wall plates. Couple of bucks for a package of foam outlet box inserts. $30-$50 for the whole house. Foam-in-a-can about $5 a can. Maybe 2-3 cans for an entire house. This will stop air infilteration which you know as drafts around your ankles.

Next get some chalk and seal around all the doors and windows on the outside. Then put up some storm windows and doors. Both of these will help with air infilteration. The storm windows will also raise the R value of your leaky single pane windows from 1 to 2. Of course you should repair or replace all the putty around the glass and seal with a fresh coat of paint before you put up the storm windows. Stops that air infilteration.

Don't forget the all important vapor barrier. Put plastic between the living space and the insulation. Keeps the mositure in the house and out of the insulation where it grows mildew and rots the wood.

If you have a crawl space, put plastic on the ground. If you see water droplets on the underside of the plastic after a few days, its doing its job. If you see lakes, rivers, streams, or ponds, then you need to change the grade around your foundation and correct your gutter system.

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