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Adding Insulation to finished walls


ferant316's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 2

01-02-18, 10:48 AM   #1  
Adding Insulation to finished walls

Hey everyone, I have a 1891 Cape that has been remodeled. The boiler is a Weil McLain WGO-3 split into two zones for the first and second floor (third floor uses electric heating), wall construction is 2x4" framing, original exterior sheathing & siding covered by tar paper and then vinyl siding. There is existing R13 Insulation throughout the house, with plastic vapor barrier.

Recently it has been extremely cold here in MA (high of 11 degrees over the past 8 days) and the boiler has been unable to satisfy the call for heat on the first floor. We typically leave it set at 60 degrees, however it is struggling to heat even to 53 degrees. Have had two boiler techs in and both assert that the boiler is operating properly, but is unable to heat due to a "lack of insulation". Walls are cold to the touch and draft can be felt around doorways.

Is it possible to add insulation to correct this WITHOUT having to open all the walls? Whether blown in, foam or other possible solutions. Do have a Temperature gun on its way to try and track down any leaks or particular cold spots.

 
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Pilot Dane's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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NC

01-02-18, 11:38 AM   #2  
Didn't you say your walls were already insulated with R13? If that is true then the wall cavities are filled so nothing can be blown in. You have to get rid of what's there to make room for something else.

I would get someone in with a thermal camera or you can buy or rent one. Go through the house on a cold day and leakages and un-insulated areas will clearly stand out. I think working on those trouble areas will be the best bang for the buck.

 
ferant316's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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01-02-18, 12:17 PM   #3  
Thank you, that was my initial thought but after both boiler techs told me to blow in insulation I figured I must have been mistaken and the blown insulation would fill any gaps. I do have the thermal camera coming soon so can look into addressing air leaks.

 
Pilot Dane's Avatar
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01-02-18, 12:44 PM   #4  
I think the camera will be extremely helpful. It makes air leaks around outlets and gaps in the insulation very visible. It's also sort of magical to see the studs and other framing inside the walls.

In my house I found areas where the insulation contractor used R-11 in one area. I also found where some batts had fallen down from the wall of my entry foyer. Luckily that was accessible from the attic to fix.

 
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