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NancyNGA 11-14-2011 08:54 PM

Your experiences with blown in exterior wall insulation (from the inside)?
Only one contractor in our town will blow cellulose insulation into the walls from the inside of the house if the house is occupied. They simply refuse because they say it is too messy. The one contractor that will do it says they will drop plastic down from the ceiling approx 5-6 feet out from the walls.

Since I can't get a second estimate I'll have to assume he is reasonable. But I'm starting to get cold feet.

Is it really such an awful experience?:eek: Or are they just over-reacting to previous complaints?

I'd really like to hear about your experiences---good or bad.

[The way I originally figured it, there is dust all over everything anyway because I've been rewiring the house from the attic. And almost every room needs repainted anyway. Besides my motto has always been If you can't write your name in it, it doesn't need dusting.:wink:]

Windows on Wash 11-14-2011 10:30 PM

It is a dusty process. Be prepared to do some house cleaning.

creeper 11-15-2011 05:43 AM

Its odd that no one else wants the job. I don't see the big deal at all. I had a company install it in my attic. The access hatch is in the master closet. The clothes were moved out of the way. The hose ran from the attic, through the room and into the bathroom and out the window. I recall only a bit of dust on the closet floor when they were done.
I have a backsplit so there is another attic and its hatch is in the garage. Obviously, the guys weren't as careful in there, but again only a bit of debris that took a few minutes to tidy. I was very impressed with how short the whole process was.
Even if your installler is not as meticulous os my guys were, I would proceed because it is soo worth it.

Call other companys that aren't local, maybe you can get a ballpark quote, and then factor in travel time. Or if the quote is better and you want the local guy tell him to adjust his price.

Windows on Wash 11-15-2011 06:44 AM

Dense packing is a bit more of a process and does wind up creating more dust.

I also find it is interesting that only one company will do it.

NancyNGA 11-15-2011 07:12 AM

There are only three contractors in the area. It is a big job with little to show afterwards except dust and a lot of holes in the walls. People can be pretty nasty so I'm guessing they probably have had a lot of complaints in the past and don't want to deal with it.

The contractor wants $3600. There would be 1620 sq ft of outside wall area, 1350 if you take out 16 large windows. I think it's probably reasonable. These fellows were very good with another job they did for me long ago.

I'm not really sure it will do that much good. I have a heat pump and it just doesn't cut it with electric coils for emergency heat in the winter. The only other option for me would be to go back to natural gas as auxiliary heat and that would be really inefficient. The reason I don't do it from the outside is that I have asbestos shingles and none of them will touch those, and it would cost a fortune to have them removed. I'd take them off myself but the house is 3 stories high in the back.

(Just arguing out loud with myself here, sorry.)

I'm going to go ahead and set it up today.

mnp13 11-15-2011 09:45 AM

I had it done in my last house. They did most of it from the outside, but some could only be accessed from the rooms themselves. They drilled holes about 1.5 inches in diameter, blew the stuff in, then patched the holes. It really was not all that messy. The machine was outside the house, the hose is the only thing that was inside. You have dust from the drilling, and a little from the cellulose, but nothing you can't pick up in 30 seconds with a shop vac.

I did not cover anything with plastic, and don't remember any major issues.

user1007 11-15-2011 10:29 AM

Why can't you do it from the outside? Siding issue or something? No matter I guess. It is a mess but no reason it cannot work from the inside. A wall is a wall. As suggested, plan on clean-up and then more clean-up. It is like drywall dust and gets places you cannot imagine.

Make sure you turn your HVAC system off and even then, switch out the filters a short time after the dust settles. No reason to blow the dust wherever the HVAC system reaches.

I suspect one issue keeping others from wanting to do it from the inside is liability for furnishings, your Ming Vase collection and all that might be hurt by the hoses and so forth. The contractors may not have the insurance and bonding to work indoors or cover interior damage should something go wrong. You should double check to make sure you do, or the contractor that has agreed to do the work does, by the way.

mnp13 11-15-2011 09:10 PM


The contractors may not have the insurance and bonding to work indoors or cover interior damage should something go wrong
Then they shouldn't be in the house... or outside of the house. A LOT can go wrong. Like if they are in the attic and fall through the floor to the room below.


Why can't you do it from the outside?
At my last house, the windows came up to the underside of the soffits, so there wasn't any way to get to the top 24 inches of wall over the windows upstairs.

NancyNGA 12-07-2011 05:53 PM


It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. They covered everything in plastic and cleaned up really well before they left. It still left a fine coat of dust on everything, but there was already dust on everything from replacing the K&T wiring, so I needed to dust anyway.

They did a good job as far as I can tell. One room had 1"x6" tongue and groove walls and they pounded wood plugs in the holes and even sanded them flat to the wall. They used styrofoam plugs for the plaster walls and plastic cap like things for the one outdoor wall on the porch which I'm going to cover in vinyl. They didn't turn off the HVAC but I remembered, thanks to you guys.

The only bad thing was the diesel fumes from the truck engine, which I guess powered the blower. The house seemed to suck up the fumes through the open windows like a vacuum and made you light-headed and kinda nauseous. It was hard getting the fumes out.

Sorry for being so long-winded. Just thought someone who is considering this might be interested in some simple details.

user1007 12-07-2011 07:30 PM

Glad it worked out for you but sorry the exhaust from the vehicle got to you. Hope things are better and the stench from the diesel is dissipating. Sounds like the contractor did things right.

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