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Old 01-08-2010, 10:15 PM   #1
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insulating on top of drywall


Hi,just found this forum and have a quick question about insulating a house.First sorry if this has been asked and answered before.Here goes.My bedroom is really cold,the house was built in the early to mid fifties.After removing a very small section a drywall I could see that there is really no insulation in the walls,maybe a foil paper vapor barrior,but that is it.To cut down on the mess and speed things up I was thinking of building a 2x4 frame in front of the exterior walls and adding 3.5 batting between the new studs,then covering with new drywall.Do you think this is a good idea to help keep the rooms warmer? Are there any drawbacks to leaving the old walls up and building in front of them? Or should I bite the bullet and tear everything out and start over[I really don't like the sound of that].Thank you for your input,
Nelson

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Old 01-08-2010, 10:18 PM   #2
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insulating on top of drywall


You want to build totally new walls, insulate THEN add drywall instead of simply taking the old drywall off ??

Take the old drywall off, inspect wiring for any needed upgrades
Also check the sheathing & studs & look for any issues
Seal any drafts while you are at it with caulk

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Old 01-08-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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It will be faster and cleaner to build onto the old walls.I know I will lose about 4 in. on each side of the room,2 walls.The tear out of the old drywall is messy,dusty.Just wondering if there will be any issues with my idea.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:51 PM   #4
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insulating on top of drywall


Tear off the old drywall, remove the foil vapor barrier and insulate to whatever level you chose. If you want to get more insulation into the cavity and then add 2x2s to each stud to give you more insulation capacity and then add the insulation and a properly located vapor barrier. Either way, you will have to put on drywall, but will have a chance to extend the electrical boxes and window jambs, if necessary.

Just a question, why just worry about one bedroom that is separated by uninsulated walls with the same old exterior walls.

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Old 01-08-2010, 11:06 PM   #5
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Building the extra wall is a hack job, don't do it
DIY is also DIR - Do It Right
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
It will be faster and cleaner to build onto the old walls.I know I will lose about 4 in. on each side of the room,2 walls.The tear out of the old drywall is messy,dusty.
Ayuh,... I seriously Doubt there'll be any less dust,+ debris caused by cobbing together a bubblegum repair, Vs. doing it Right...
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:22 AM   #7
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The other guys have addressed the "do it right" issue and, although I agree, I'd rather address the question about insulation/vapour retarder/air movement - and leave the "mess' questionto the poster as only he would know that.

Well, there are no "insulation" issues; you are slowing down the transfer of energy through the wall so the more insulation the better. But you can't really take one issue out of context like that because one affects the other. So you may be OK to add insulation but what effect does that have on say air movement?

Well, you may be cutting down on the leaks by doing that, and that's a good thing, but it's all relative. Go ahead. See insulation above. No conflicts there.

But 'vapour retarder' might give you an issue. By leaving both vapour retarders (the one that's already there and the new drywall, you create a zone that restricts the flow of vapour, albeit a little. That creates a higher humidity zone between them and could result in mould growth if high- enough RH% is reached there.

As a contractor, I would point that out to the HO and let them decide but knowing the potential for mess, I'd also point out the protocols we have to use in the water damage industry to not only do things righ but cleanly and tidily - plus return the site to 'before-event' status, even better in most cases.

But that's just us...
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:07 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your input.I get the DIY and also DIR.I did have a concern about trapping air between the 2 walls,causing perhaps a condensation issue.Now if I remove the old drywall and expose the brick wall should I use the batt insulation? I have heard that the solid foam is a better insulator.Also if using batt insulation that is faced then there would be no need to add a plastic vapor barrior over this product,yes?Once again thanks for the info.This site is great.
Nelson
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:46 PM   #9
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Hmmm. Well, removing the old drywall will expose something, probably the outside wall, but I don't think you should see "brick".

Up here in any case, brick is just a veneer, a coating around the outside of the houses. If you take apart, drill down a wall from the inside, you'll first see some sort of wooden sheathing and studs or may be black asphalt paper or both but you'll only see parts of the brick - not just a solid brick wall. Let me know if you see that or anything different if you can.

So lets assume you see like in my house a mess of drywall on the floor, but wooden studs and black paper attached to it. I know there's bricks but I don't see them from here. In that case, you're asking how to insulate that space, solve the insulation game, solve the vapour retarder game and solve the air movement game - all at once? or step-by-step.

To solve all 3 games at once, spray-foam with a DIY kit for about $1 per board-foot. Otherwise, put in fibreglass batts to full, then drywall, the 2 coats of paint. That will solve all 3 games - bot as well as foam, but it will make things better.

That is not a complete answer because I don't know the construction of your walls nor where exactly in NY you are. You may need more of a vapour retarder for instance...
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:13 PM   #10
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Well that might change everything
Are you saying there isn't ANY wall cavity?
You do not have a stud wall ?
Maybe just furring strips against the brick & the drywall attached to the furring strips ?

Any pic of where you removed the drywall ?

If its an old building in New York brick may be the only wall material
There are plenty of old buildings like that in Boston
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:34 PM   #11
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Along these same lines - if a room was finished with drywall and a drop ceiling and the walls were not insulated, is there a product that can be inserted down from above? (Short of taking small wads of fiberglass and jamming them down like loading gunpowder. )
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Well that might change everything
Are you saying there isn't ANY wall cavity?
You do not have a stud wall ?
Maybe just furring strips against the brick & the drywall attached to the furring strips ?

Any pic of where you removed the drywall ?

If its an old building in New York brick may be the only wall material
There are plenty of old buildings like that in Boston
That is exactly it,furring strips against the brick,block wall.The house is located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx,New York.On my block there are 5 houses that were built by the same builder.The builder actually lived in the first house he constructed then built the other 4.My neighbor lives in the last house that was made.When I mentioned to him that I felt the house had no insulation in the walls,he confirmed that.He said he paid EXTRA back in 1955 to have the outside walls built with 2x4s not with furring strips,and have insulation added to the walls.My house came with a finished basement,albiet with wood paneling.I removed a section of the panel and found only the furring strips and a vapor barrior that was kraft paper on one side and foiled back on the other.I refinished the basement using the hard pink foam boards in between the furring strips,then added 3 mil plastic sheating.Foamed in all the gaps and added the drywall.There wasn't any furniture or stuff in the way.Plus we don't use the downstairs that often.But for upstairs I need for the rooms to be as warm as possible.I want to start in my bedroom then work my way around the house,kids rooms,living room,dining room.So I need the BEST method of insulating.From the replys it looks like I'll have to tear down the old.Also should I just attach the new 2x4s to the old furring strips? They are attached to the block using I guess concrete nails,very sturdy.Did they have nail guns in the 50s because these things are in the block in such a way that I don't think someone with a hammer did it!Or just build a 2x4 wall and anchor it to the floor and ceiling.Keep the suggestions coming because it is cold here right now.Maybe not North Dakota cold,but cold none the less.
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Old 01-09-2010, 04:56 PM   #13
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Oh, I see: a solid brick wall!

Well in that case, you have no other real option than to make a 2x4 studded wall on the inside, and doing away with the furring wall altogether since the space between the furring and the brick is not enough to put anything that has much of an R-Value...

IMO leaving that space between the existing old wall and the brick just creates an air movement space that doesn;t do any good. Chimney effect and all that...but I just don't know if I would put fibreglass batts against brick, as brick in porous to some extent.

Again, I come back to foam. Take the old wall down, leave the furring strips if you want, build a 2x4 studded wall, spray-foam 2" thick, giving R14 or so, then drywall+paint. This would be 'best'...

Or get 2'x4' XPS (extruded polystyrene panels), 1"-to 2" thick, and stick them against the wall, tape them together seal them off, then studded wall with fibreglass batts inside, then drywall+paint. This would be 'better'...
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:20 PM   #14
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The thing about spray foam is I don't think it is a DYI item.I have seen some shows on tv where they always bring in a company to do the spray foam.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:10 AM   #15
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You'll see DIY kits at your local big box store. Tigerfoam etc are all name brands of small kits -from 20 sqft to 600 sqft, but it's messy.

Then, go the fibreglass route...

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