Outer Wall Insulation


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Old 02-20-15, 10:08 AM
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Outer Wall Insulation

I have a side attic with soffets, so air gets in / out. One of the walls in the attic is for my master bathroom. The pipes in that wall froze. There is some insulation on that wall. I'm thinking it needs to be better insulated. I'm unsure the best approach / product to use. Attached is a picture of the area and you can see the yellow insulation. the pipes are just behind that insulation. That little attic was very cold this AM. Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 10:22 AM
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Welcome to the forums! Everything in that area will freeze, regardless of the insulation. Basically you have an outside wall, and special precautions need to be taken. I would have the supply lines, at least wrapped in foam pipe wrap, if not supplied with lengths of heat tape on a thermocube to come on when it approaches freezing in that area.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 11:09 AM
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Hi. Thanks for your reply. So are you saying that it's not worth it for me to put up sheet rock or similar on that wall? In other words, don't bother doing anything else to the wall? Thanks.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 11:14 AM
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Is the floor under that space insulated as well?

If your intention is to keep that area warmer, you should add rafter vents between the rafters, insulate with batt or ridgid foam insulation, and install a vapur barrier. The will keep the heat in and the cold out, protecting your pipes as well. This is especially true if the floor there is not insulated as all that cold air will be sucking the heat from the ceiling below.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 11:44 AM
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Hi. The floor is either not insulated, or not insulated well. I don't know for sure. The floor has typically been cooler.

What type of skilled person do you recommend I call to do this type of work? A general carpeneter? This is very unfamiliar territory to me.

Thanks again / I really appreciate it.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 01:03 PM
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Well, assuming the space under that floor is part of your living area, it most certainly should be insulated based on the design of that attic crawl space. That space is currently acting just like the attic space above the rooms on your second floor. You must have insulation and vapour barrier between all conditioned and non-conditioned spaces.

Since you have an issue with pipes freezing, the proper solution is what I described in the previous post. It depends on your skill level whether or not it is a do it yourself job or not.

I am assuming from the picture that this is the second floor and the area at the bottoms of the rafters on the left is the soffit area of the house. If that is the case, you need to have airflow through that soffit area. This is typically done now a days with vinyl or aluminium vented soffit. If it is solid wood, you will need to at a minimum drill holes in the soffit and install vents there. Once that is done, styrofoam vents go between your rafters right down to the vents in your soffits. This provides about a two inch air gap between the bottom of your roof sheathing and your insulation. The air gap is essential to long shingle life on the roof. Next use a batt insulation, whatever size will fit in the space left, probably R20 or R32. Then use a minimum 6mil vapour barrier over the insulation stapled to the rafters. Be sure to use sheathing tape or acoustical sealant to seal off any gaps in the vapour barrier, such as where it meets the floor. You could also gyproc it after, but that would only be necessary to protect the vapour barrier from getting damaged.

Any experianced carpenter should be able to do the job without issue.
 
 

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