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Insulating Steel Stud Walls


landlord373's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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OH

07-16-08, 11:54 AM   #1  
Insulating Steel Stud Walls

I'm rehabbing a building that is 120 years old. I got all my rough in inspections done and I'm ready to start insulating. The exterior walls are 3 courses of brick I assume to support the load of the three story building. I framed the interior side with 3 5/8 steel studs.

My original plan was to use R13 or R15 unfaced batts and then a 6 mil poly VP. Is that the best route to go? I was at Home Depot today and they only sell R13 with a Kraft face. I was trying to figure out how to make that work for me but not being able to staple them I'm a little concerned about using them. With the Kraft face do I still need a poly VP. I searched through the posts here and some people say the Kraft paper is a VP, some people don't. Couldn't find any real definitive answers. I was also thinking that using the kraft faced batts wouldn't be nearly as tight as the poly and allow the walls to breath a little. Being an old building, allowing the walls to breath a little might not be a bad answer.

Basically what I am asking is with an brick wall with steel stud framing, what is the best insulation and VP solution? I'm sure I can hunt down unfaced batts some where if that is the best route.

The building is in Ohio so I got cold winters and hot/humid summers.

thanks

 
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landlord373's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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07-16-08, 11:57 AM   #2  
One other thing, forgot to ask...

I was planning on doing some sound dampening in some walls. What R value is best for that? I assume you would want unfaced batts for that. Would using faced batts cause any problems in an interior partition wall? For example a bathroom wall.

 
Concretemasonry's Avatar
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07-16-08, 12:37 PM   #3  
Insulating Steel Stud Walls

Regarding your sound pjoject. Stel studs are terrible from a sound isolation standpoint. You have the studs, so sense replacing them. The R-value has no real effect on sound isolation. To fill the interior walls, use Roxall or roock wool - it is far superior to fiberglass, as is everything else.

You can also go to double layers of drywall or a specialized type of drywall. Another very good solution is to use resiliant clips to isolate the drywall from the studs. If you are going from scratch, a 6" wall with a 2x6 plate and 2x4 studs staggered so they fall in the gaps between the studs for the opposite sides.

As you see, I am not a fan of fiberglass since it is advertised as the best, but there are always better products than fiberglass to use for any purpose (including insulation).

Fiberglass is particularly troublesome since it dramatically loses insulation valuae (50%?) with as little as 1/2 to 1% moisture. It does not absorb water, but it can accumulate and hold moisture and will never dry out in place. You can see the possible problems if used where there there can possibly be moisture. - Don't get me going on the up to 33 or 50% reduction ("thermal short circuiting") in the insulating value of a wall with any insulation.

The question about vapor barriers and amount of insulation in a basement will get you many answers and the real answer is different for most basements because of the depth and whether the entire basement is insulated or just partially insulated. A deep basement does not need as much insulation because of the moderating effects of the soil.

Dick

 
landlord373's Avatar
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07-17-08, 09:08 AM   #4  
Just a clarification...the insulation I am referring to is not for a basement project. It is for the exterior and partition walls in the living space of a three family apartment building. The existing exterior walls are brick. I did put up some partition walls in the basement to create some storage closets and a laundry area but I am not going do any insulation in there. The basement is a whole other story as it is an old stone foundation with limited possibilities.

 
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