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How to effectively insulate walls of 1920's clapboard exterior house?

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  #1  
Old 01-21-08, 04:43 AM
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How to effectively insulate walls of 1920's clapboard exterior house?

I have a 1920's built clapboard house with a very cold kitchen. I am thinking of adding insulation as the radiator only heats this room on the edge of the house to 60 degrees. The walls are quite cold.

Although the house is plaster and lathe, this kitchen wall is drywall, a previous owner must have changed that out and must have not put in insulation.

Question: How can I effectively insulate this large wall? I figure I will make a small opening to confirm there is no insulation first. If there is no insulation I'll take out the wall, add insulation and drywall it closed. But how to effectively do it? I've been told to, once the old drywall is taken out, get foil backed insulation and with the foil faced towards the living space of the house, tack the extension strips of the foil to the studs of the house, then drywall over it. If the insulation is correctly sized for the space between studs, will the insulation seal against the drywall and trap the heat? Also, since this is a clapboard house, should I place another layer of something between the insulation and the inside of the clapboard for outside moisture protection if there is any moisture leakage from the outside? (the outside is in very good shape).

Thank you....

Dave
 
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  #2  
Old 01-22-08, 06:55 AM
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Also need advice on insulating clapboard House

I have an 1895 house from which I have removed all of the plaster and drywall. There is no insulation.

As with Dvarga, I also want to insulate and make sure that I have the proper vapor barriers. (I want to keep the old siding, and not remove and risk destroying it.)

Thanks!

Oldnerd
 
  #3  
Old 01-22-08, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by dvarga View Post
If there is no insulation I'll take out the wall, add insulation and drywall it closed. But how to effectively do it?
Instead of doing all that, have you thought about blown in cellulose for the wall? Much quicker and way better sealing than fiberglass. If its just 1 or 2 walls you can easily drill 1 or 2 2 inch holes in each stud bay midpoint or depending on the blocking and blow in cellulose at 3.5lbs/cubic ft. Use a long fill tube connected to a nozzle so you can snake it in to the top and pull it out as the bay fills up. Does wonders and if you use the fill tube it works even if the wall has some minimal insulation like 1 or 2 inch batts
 

Last edited by d00bs; 01-22-08 at 07:46 AM.
  #4  
Old 01-22-08, 08:04 AM
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blowing in insulation

Well I thought of that originally.

What is on my mind that is a concern is that you have the drywall then the studs then the clapboard of the house. You fill that up with cellulose. Then if there is any water that finds its way up through the clapboard seems, would that not be a problem as it gets into the insulation?

Blowing in certainly would be easier and applicable to many other walls as well.
 
  #5  
Old 01-22-08, 08:53 AM
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You certainly would have the same or worse situation with fiberglass in there. What makes you think that water intrusion will be a problem? Have you found water issues in other walls? You dont have felt paper or anything else there already as a water barrier?
 
  #6  
Old 01-22-08, 11:25 AM
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Clapboard and Rain

Everything I have read (all two) says one has to assume that water will find its way through siding during severe weather.

While I don't know about Dvarga's walls, there is no vapor barrier anywhere in my 1895 house. I am thinking that there may have been a different equation back then when the use of plaster and siding without insulation was the norm. I haven't seen any vapor barrier on the 19th century houses I have taken apart. I don't know when they started using it. Maybe in the 20's?

Here is link that talks more about vapor barriers in walls. http://alcor.concordia.ca/~raojw/crd...nce000008.html

Oldnerd
 
  #7  
Old 01-22-08, 11:48 AM
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The link you cited is not talking about external water intrusion during severe weather, but rather diffusion of moisture from interior conditioned spaces penetrating the wall assemblies over time. I've read that a few coats of paint on walls/ceilings can serve as an effective vapor barrier in many cases.
At any rate he is concerned with external water infiltration and I find it hard to believe that a 1920s built home would have
NO protection from the rain so that it could easily get into the stud bay. If that were the case there might not be any house left to look at after 80 plus years.
 
  #8  
Old 01-22-08, 05:23 PM
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insulation

I should open up the wall, make a little hole and see if there is only clapboard or there is some layment under the clapboard.

If there is layment, and a few clapboard were replaced last year, and I got a new paintjob, then maybe I could blow insulation in those spaces, provided that there are no electrical sockets in there. I believe all of the knob and tube have been replaced in the house.
 
  #9  
Old 01-22-08, 08:21 PM
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Rotting Clapboard.

On the 1895 house I am working on, the clapboard at the bottom, wall studs at the bottom, and the plate are rotten in various places. Since it is all at the bottom of the walls, I wonder if over the years, moisture got in from outside and settled down at the bottom keeping it damp for long periods.
 
  #10  
Old 01-23-08, 12:02 PM
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Insulating old house

I cannot figure out about posting, just replying, so I hope this isn't what they call "hijacking", It does go with the original question, but I unfortunately dont' have any answers, just more questions. If I should post to another subject let me know how it's done, if this is ok, any answers would be very appreciated.

I've been trying to find some answers via internet research and this seems like a good place to get specific answers and help. I've been trying to research insulating an old house and I have many questions and few answers. The information I've found seems kind of sketchy and not really geared to older houses. For instance it might show a person stapling a plastic vapor barrier, It's difficult to drive a nail through 100 year old oak, much less staple it.

I have a DIY book about weather proofing, which explains how to remove the clapboard and make holes to blow in insulation, but in the next paragraph it says that it has to have a moisture barrier. How on earth could that happen?

It also tells how to insulate from the inside, but my house is around 100 years old and has really nice plaster walls, I don't want to tear them down and replace them with wallboard, even if I could, to put in insulation and a vapor barrier. Another thought, with blown in insulation, suppose you want to rewire, what then?

This house is not drafty, or maybe I'm used to lower temperatures, but do you all think that insulating the walls is even necessary with old plaster walls, they seem lots more comfortable than the new house I once had with wallboard.

Anyway, my plan is to insulate the attic floor first, as it only has about 3 inches of what I take to be ground up gray looking paper. The attic has no floor, other than nailed down and randomly placed boards and some old doors. toward the edge of the sides the floor (ceiling) gives way to a 4 ft or so drop to what I think is the soffit on the outside, how are you supposed to insulate this to provide for moisture release and also keep out the air and cold? I think one site described nailing a baffle thing down there, how could you reach down there to nail anything?

I was thinking if I can figure out how to put the blanket/batts insulation down, that I might use the paper stuff to put down the attic steps, by removing a step or two and dumping it there. I've read that this is a big cold spot. Is this a good idea, or messy fire risk?

Some books show insulation up to the top of the joist (or whatever the boards on the floor are called), then other insulation laid across that, it looks very snug, but where do you keep your stuff? Every year I think I should at least tackle the attic, but when I see all the junk up there, I give up and think that the junk alone must have some insulating properties; and although its junk, It's my junk and I want to keep it. Is there any benefit from insulating half an attic?

In any event, I was thinking that I should start in the attic, then insulate the floor of the unheated and uninsulated 5x14 back porch, which has the washing machine on it. When its really cold I have to leave the kitchen door open so that the washer doesn't freeze (it has before). Does anyone know if you can put a drop light or something or maybe wound up heating strips or whatever they are called in the washer when it's in the teens to keep it from freezing, without burning down the house?

Anyway, this is the order I thought should be followed: first the attic floor, then the back porch, then around the windows and any other cracks, then the attic walls, then basement (1/2 dirt, 1/2 concrete) ceiling. Then, if it still seems necessary, and I can find out how to do it, the walls of the house. Does this seem logical?

Well, as you can see I'm not very knowledgeable about this whole process, but I really need to stop procrastinating and start doing. I've designated this my "this year's vacation project", I've been putting it off for far too long.

Anyway if anyone is kind enough to wade through all these questions and have any suggestions, I will be very grateful.

Thank you in advance.

Dorothy
 
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