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Contractor blowing cellulose in walls, says don't need plugs...

Contractor blowing cellulose in walls, says don't need plugs...

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  #1  
Old 11-21-11, 08:43 AM
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Contractor blowing cellulose in walls, says don't need plugs...

1948 house, wood siding with aluminum over the top of that. Interior is drywall. I hired a company to remove one row of the aluminum siding, drill a 2" hole and blow in cellulose in each wall cavity and the put the same aluminum siding back on. I was surprised to see they are not plugging the hole at all, just leaving it open and putting the aluminum siding back on. They say they don't need plugs because the insulation makes it tight enough

Should they be using wall plugs? I would think there is going to be air penetration, water penetration and bug penetration.

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-21-11, 09:03 AM
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I'm no expert but I'd insist that they patch the hole up for all the reasons you mention and also to help keep insects out.

I can't think of any reason why not filling the hole would be a good idea...
 
  #3  
Old 11-21-11, 09:08 AM
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I'd want it plugged too. What does your contract say?
 
  #4  
Old 11-21-11, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I'd want it plugged too. What does your contract say?
The contract just says "blow in insulation side walls". I assumed it was part of it. About half the house is done and they are working on the rest now. I am waiting for the boss to get here so I can talk to him about it.
 
  #5  
Old 11-21-11, 09:33 AM
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I don't think I'd want holes in my wall - inside or outside. I don't believe the siding is going to keep moisture away from those holes.
 
  #6  
Old 11-21-11, 12:56 PM
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they are saying that they have done 5000 houses like this... (seems high) and that because it is high density cellulose it does not allow air penetration.
 
  #7  
Old 11-21-11, 02:00 PM
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What about moisture? House wrap or tar paper is always [or should be] installed behind the siding. One of it's functions is to keep moisture off of the plywood. It might not be a concern where there is a decent overhang but on a gable wall it could become a big concern.
 
  #8  
Old 11-21-11, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
What about moisture? House wrap or tar paper is always [or should be] installed behind the siding. One of it's functions is to keep moisture off of the plywood. It might not be a concern where there is a decent overhang but on a gable wall it could become a big concern.
there is a vapor barrier type paper behind the aluminum siding.
 
  #9  
Old 11-21-11, 02:04 PM
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I have no clue as to standard practice...but it seems like it wouldn't take 5 min to at least put a bead of caulk around the hole and slap a piece of plastic sheet over it.

I'd want it done...or something similar.
 
  #10  
Old 11-21-11, 03:02 PM
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If the wood is board siding, the gaps due to drying far exceed the leakage area of those new holes. If it is plywood, then it is supposed to help as an air barrier, in which case the holes obviously should be patched.

Cellulose is indeed more dense, but it is not perfect. You had wood walls with out holes and that is what you should end up with.

In addition to this concern, are they blowing under windows and checking for small cavities to be sure they get a 100% fill? A good infrared inspection after they are done should also be part of the job.

Bud
 
  #11  
Old 11-21-11, 03:06 PM
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They don't do infrared inspections. They did above and below windows.

The siding is aluminum and the original siding under that is wood siding, not plywood.
 
  #12  
Old 11-21-11, 04:52 PM
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If the old wood siding was clapboard over studs, rather leaky. If clapboards over boards, better, but still leaky. But the question is probably mute as I have never seen the holes left not plugged. They are just doing a poor job because it is faster and cheaper for them. No IR says they don't want to find any problems. In their business they should either reuse the old plug that comes out or have a box full to match the holes they drill. $50 in time and materials to do the job right while the siding is off. $200 to do it after the siding is back on.

Bud
 
  #13  
Old 11-21-11, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
If the old wood siding was clapboard over studs, rather leaky. If clapboards over boards, better, but still leaky. But the question is probably mute as I have never seen the holes left not plugged. They are just doing a poor job because it is faster and cheaper for them. No IR says they don't want to find any problems. In their business they should either reuse the old plug that comes out or have a box full to match the holes they drill. $50 in time and materials to do the job right while the siding is off. $200 to do it after the siding is back on.

Bud
I totally agree. I had 120 feet of wall to do. They did 67 feet of it with no plugs. The remaining 53 feet will be done by another company that uses plugs. The no-plugs company was pretty pissed when I canceled the job.
 
  #14  
Old 11-22-11, 06:10 AM
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Sounds like you did the right thing - it sounds like it was an unpleasant experience - sorry.
 
  #15  
Old 11-22-11, 01:41 PM
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I agree with the last poster, You probably did the right thing getting the 1st contractor off the job.

In Michigan I had a house built in 1910, no insulation at all when I bought it. 1st floor was brick, second floor wood shingles over wood planking.

We had cellulose pumped in the walls and Attic, for the 2nd floor the contractor removed a shingle, drilled his hole with a hole saw, then when he was done replugged the hole with a plug, caulking (sprayed foam) around the the hole, then re-attached the shingle. He also (even then 18 years ago) did a IR scan with me along side of him to view he did not miss any areas.

That was some of the best $$ we spent on that house. Heating bill went down by 1/3, house was warmer feeling & eliminated the drafts.

When it comes to contractors, ask questions, expect good / solid answers. If a contractors replys with a "we just don't do it that way" or "this is the way we always have done it" simpy does not cut it. Go with your gut if something does not seem correct, get another contractor.
 
  #16  
Old 11-22-11, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by mike-the-diy'er View Post

When it comes to contractors, ask questions, expect good / solid answers. If a contractors replys with a "we just don't do it that way" or "this is the way we always have done it" simpy does not cut it. Go with your gut if something does not seem correct, get another contractor.
Good advice. I have only been a home owner for 5 years so I haven't had too many contractors. I am getting the hang of tossing the bad ones, but this one didn't seem to bad when I hired him. I can say that if you call 5 places for estimates usually only 2 call back. That is my experience in Iowa City. Lots of very unreliable contractors.
 
  #17  
Old 11-22-11, 04:06 PM
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One of the problems with finding a good contractor is the good ones are always very busy and the bad one have extra time to call people back. Not always, but the logic is a concern.

Bud
 
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