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Old 10-23-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Insulation and vapor barrier in a balloon framed house


We are remodeling our 1880's balloon framed one story home. Right now we are working on a bedroom and are tearing out all the layers that have been added to the inside walls. The house orginally had (and still has) beadboard on some walls and shiplap on some walls and on the ceiling. Over those woods was wallpaper, then at some point insulated wallboard was put up with paneling over that and finally sheetrock over that.

During a remodel in the 1990's insulation was blown in the walls (they drilled holes on the outside lap siding to do that). Steel siding (not aluminum) was added over the lap siding. The blown in insulation has settled and only filled the walls about half way.

We will be adding fire stops top and bottom. We don't have a basement. I'm not sure about what type of insulation or vapor barrier to use. I have been reading online and I see that some contractors say if you use a vapor barrier you will be trapping water in the wall. We plan to use batt insulation, as we have the room torn down to the studs. We had done our utility room a few years ago and after adding insulation we stapled plastic to the wall and hung sheet rock over that. Now, I'm afraid that maybe that was the wrong thing to do. The studs are in excellent shape for the age of the house and even though you can see where the roof leaked in places over the years there is little damage. The frame of the house is built completely out of walnut. From what I'm reading since there was no insulation for so many years the house was able to "breath" and therefore dry out. I can't leave it uninsulated, but am now not sure what to do. I don't want to create a moisture problem where there was not one before. We will be cleaning and reinstalling the shiplap on one wall and putting sheet rock on the others. Any advise would be appreciated.

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Old 10-23-2013, 06:11 PM   #2
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Insulation and vapor barrier in a balloon framed house


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Old 10-24-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
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Insulation and vapor barrier in a balloon framed house


We are in NW Arkansas.

Here is one picture that shows the studs, and the old lap siding, which is not wet but looks so, I guess from years of getting wet before the steel siding was added. The house was not wrapped nor was any type of insulation added over the lap siding before the steel siding was put on. I really don't know if they should have done something like that or not but they didn't.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:00 AM   #4
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Insulation and vapor barrier in a balloon framed house


What is your budget and what were you thinking?

Firestops that are well sealed at the top and bottom are a great start.

Putty pads on the back of the outlets are also a great addition.

I like a hybrid insulation approach in this case with a small vent space at the sheathing to allow for drying with some rigid foam and the rest filled with batt insulation but there are a million ways to skin this "cat".
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:19 AM   #5
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Insulation and vapor barrier in a balloon framed house


I don't have a set budget for the insulation, we were thinking batt insulation but can add whatever we'd like. Since we found a solid wood ceiling that we will be keeping and shiplap that we will reuse on one wall, we will be saving money on that front. We have already blown insulation in the attic. Rewiring, windows, and insulation are our largest costs, we think. We found no structural surprises, so we can do what we'd like with insulation. We really want to insulate it good.

Could you explain what you suggest for a vent space and rigid foam? Do you mean behind the insulation? My husband wondered if we should cut foam board and put it behind the batt insulation. I was just worried about moisture, because I read people seal the walls up too much and don't allow for drying out or breathing.....
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:31 PM   #6
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Insulation and vapor barrier in a balloon framed house


A picture of the steel siding would help....

Gary

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