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Nailbags 03-27-2013 03:54 PM

A major question??
OK this is not a debate nor a what is better then the other. OK This is a major real question I was asked by a home owner to see what could be done for their power bills. I am by no means a energy saving expert I just put insulation in as asked call it good. and when I do that it is caluking all the sides of a stud cavity that meets the sheathing calking the top plates botom plate etc... well I went up in to the attic crawl space the insulation cert says R 49 but on the messuring sticks shows R 19. Can cellulose settle that much in two years? and my next question why is it rock hard? there is no leaks that I can see. it was raining real hard when i was up there. I want to make sure that these people are treated well and wonder if the job was done wrong. Not going argue what is better I just have ligit questions because I have never seen this before.

asinsulation 03-27-2013 04:56 PM

is it all hard? It is possible that without the airsealing being done underneath, the airflow was carrying moisture universally, but it shouldn't effect everything. Also, it wouldn't be able to be blown in if it was in bad shape like that. So there has to be a different issue at hand.

However, I don't see how it could settle from 49-19 without holding some heavy moisture content. Settling from 49 down to 38 or even 30 if it was truly installed poor is possible. But I don't know about that much.

Nailbags 03-27-2013 05:12 PM

Yeah I agree I am thinking they did not get what they paid for It is hard all over.

asinsulation 03-27-2013 05:18 PM

K. First off, I would recommend removal as well. If it is hard, that means it got wet. And I am going to assume you don't know what brand of cellulose it is, but some of those "non-corrosive" properties don't hold up when they get wet. Better to remove and re-install properly, even if it will cost some.

Contact the company that installed first, but I doubt they will do anything being a moisture issue. However, the only way I could imagine the entire field got wet everywhere is if they used a wet spray system, which makes absolutely no sense in an attic other then you get slightly better coverage, but if that were the case there would have been NO settling.

Windows on Wash 03-28-2013 07:33 AM

It will settle out a good bit but not that much.

It also will usually form a bit of hard zone on the top but like asinsulation said is true. If they are moving too much moisture and the stuff was cheap, it will get kernelized like that.

If they really want to track down the losses, do a blower door test with and IR camera and start there. know more than 95% of the auditors out there so once you have the can easily fix it and you will be a hero in the process.

Gary in WA 03-28-2013 02:26 PM

Any settling should have been calculated-in, when installing. The crust has compressed it significantly. Another member, or you (I can't remember- but agree with) posted in answers that cellulose shouldn't be used in coastal areas. Check the venting, especially the exhaust as a constantly high attic relative humidity (over 70%RH) will deposit 50-100+% moisture by weight to the cellulose. As it is a top crust- shows it is taking in moisture from above. There is a small chance it is moisture diffussing through the insulation and drying on top rather than evaporating away to the attic passive ventilation. But diffusion is 1/100 times as large as air leaks to deposit moisture during a heating season. Calculate the attic venting;


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