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Old 01-10-2010, 04:14 PM   #1
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Freezing Cold Walls


Last year I bought a townhouse and this winter I am finding out how drafty and cold the house is. When I put my hand on inside walls that are exterior walls they are extremely cold to the touch. I am not sure what to do.

I also have drafts coming from underneath baseboard. I've tried everything to fix this. I sprayed "great stuff insulation" and I caulked the gapped between the floor and baseboard but its still freezing cold. I have my heater set at 69 degrees and it is running almost non-stop when it is 30 degrees outside. I put a thermometer down on the floor near the walls and it is reads 57 degrees, and thatís after my insulation jobs. Before it was reading 50 degrees. What else can I do because the walls themselves are ridiculously cold?

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Old 01-10-2010, 04:35 PM   #2
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Freezing Cold Walls


Where are you located ?
Are the walls insulated ?

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Old 01-10-2010, 04:49 PM   #3
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Freezing Cold Walls


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Where are you located ?
Are the walls insulated ?
Northern VA

No Idea
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Freezing Cold Walls


Check for insulation in the wall by removing a receptacle cover plate and looking for it next to the box after turning off power to same.

Be safe, Gary
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:58 PM   #5
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Freezing Cold Walls


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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Check for insulation in the wall by removing a receptacle cover plate and looking for it next to the box after turning off power to same.

Be safe, Gary
At this point I haven't looked yet but I am going to assume there is none. What would you suggest to fix this?
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:22 PM   #6
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Freezing Cold Walls


If there isn't any insulation then the choice is blowing in insulation into the wall (cutting holes)
Or removing the sheetrock & putting in fiberglass or some other insulation
Just make sure you have a stud wall & not all brick
IE just strapping on the brick & sheetrock attached to the strapping
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:30 PM   #7
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Freezing Cold Walls


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
If there isn't any insulation then the choice is blowing in insulation into the wall (cutting holes)
Or removing the sheetrock & putting in fiberglass or some other insulation
Just make sure you have a stud wall & not all brick
IE just strapping on the brick & sheetrock attached to the strapping
How much would blowing in insulation cost? Is it something that a professional has to do or can somebody just above newbie experience do it?
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Old 01-10-2010, 06:50 PM   #8
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Freezing Cold Walls


Blowing insulation can be a DIY effort
I've done a lot of things, but it's not something I would tackle
The machines can be rented at HD...purchase enough insulation & the rental is waived in some areas
If there is any cross blocking in the wall that will block the insulation
My house was built in the 50's & I have run into this in my walls - near corners

Some people have found that the price a Pro charges was not that much more then what it would cost them to do the same
The Pro machines I have been told are also more powerful - so better
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:34 PM   #9
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Freezing Cold Walls


Before you run to the store, check underneath the walls in the basement or crawl space. See if air can travel up the wall cavity from below. (Balloon framed, large mechanical holes, etc.) Go into the attic and look for air holes from wires, pipes, etc. Notice if there is drywall or plywood (should be) on the neighbor's walls and rafters/trusses. Is there any insulation above, and what kind? Is it a two story? Is there a ridge vent or soffit vents?

Be safe, Gary
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:14 PM   #10
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Freezing Cold Walls


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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Before you run to the store, check underneath the walls in the basement or crawl space. See if air can travel up the wall cavity from below. (Balloon framed, large mechanical holes, etc.) Go into the attic and look for air holes from wires, pipes, etc. Notice if there is drywall or plywood (should be) on the neighbor's walls and rafters/trusses. Is there any insulation above, and what kind? Is it a two story? Is there a ridge vent or soffit vents?

Be safe, Gary
No attic and I don't think I can actually get underneath the house, I'll have to check this out. It's a two story.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:37 AM   #11
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Freezing Cold Walls


My vote is uninsulated walls, ditto for my house. First floor has no insulation in the walls but I insulated the heck out of the second story when I remodeled it. Quote to blow in the first floor walls were $1200-1500 on 800sf floor plan. If you DIY don't forget to take off two strips of siding... one at top of wall and one just below window sill height. I'm holding off this winter bc we have alum. siding which is very difficult to take off and reattach without damaging or bending it. I want to re-side with vinyl but have to wait for the temps to come back up. Far easier to blow in insulation while there's no siding on the house!

On a furnace note, do you have enough ducts to push out adequate amounts of warm air? Can you add more? Is the furnace sized properly? Are your return-air registers free and clear and getting enough air to the furnace? Those are all things on the furnace end you can work on.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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Freezing Cold Walls


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Originally Posted by moneymgmt View Post
My vote is uninsulated walls, ditto for my house. First floor has no insulation in the walls but I insulated the heck out of the second story when I remodeled it. Quote to blow in the first floor walls were $1200-1500 on 800sf floor plan. If you DIY don't forget to take off two strips of siding... one at top of wall and one just below window sill height. I'm holding off this winter bc we have alum. siding which is very difficult to take off and reattach without damaging or bending it. I want to re-side with vinyl but have to wait for the temps to come back up. Far easier to blow in insulation while there's no siding on the house!

On a furnace note, do you have enough ducts to push out adequate amounts of warm air? Can you add more? Is the furnace sized properly? Are your return-air registers free and clear and getting enough air to the furnace? Those are all things on the furnace end you can work on.
I have a heat bump and it blows plenty of warm/hot air. I don't think $1200-1500 would be cost effective in my case. It's and investment property and I don't think it would save me more than $15 between December and March and $10 rest of the year. Currently only paying $100 is electric during high periods to begin with.

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