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Calmeier 10-28-2008 05:48 PM

Insulation of interior walls around fire place ODD
I have an L shaped house, single story, with hipped roofs, 6 in 12 slope. Built roughly 1975. A large brick fire place was built in the corner of a main room such that fireplace is at the inside of the L (minimal head room in attic) Walls backing up to the fire place are walls of closets.

Problem: the builder left a good 18" plus of space between back of fire place and walls (good), but there is NO insulation on these sheet rock walls. The half inch sheet rock in the closets is warm/hot in the summer and cold in the winter. To date, for insulation, we simply make a point of stacking towels and storage boxes on closet shelves.

I have read two sources that indicate the air space or void around the fire place is suppose to sealed where it enters the attic using "tin" galvanized metal to bridge from ceiling to brick with orange fire sealant where it touches the brick. This would be a very difficult retrofit in the above attic because of attic head space ( 3 ft to 8inches) and walls would still be uninsulated.

I have contemplated cutting out squares of sheet rock in the closet walls to gain access for installing bat insulation (foil backed??) between the studs, but are there even some code/safety questions about doing this?? Any suggestions about how to tackle this problem? I do not favor putting foam insulation sheets on the interior walls of my closets.

I live in an area without a formal building inspection program or inspector to check with. I don't mind working with and paying a contractor, but I have not been impressed with much of the local residential construction.

In would like to resolve this problem before more insulation is blown into the attic (and potentially into the fireplace void), but that is another story.



Ron6519 10-29-2008 05:45 PM

Open all the inside walls that are cold and insulate them. You can use kraft faced, Foil faced or unfaced and cover it with 6 mil plastic.

ScottieBaseball 01-02-2009 03:55 PM

I've got a similar problem. Centered in an exterior wall is my brick fireplace. I tore down the existing wood paneling last night to find more paneling behind it, but behind that? Nothing. There's no drywall or insulation behind the paneling. It looks like it was nailed directly to the studs. Through a hole in the paneling just above the mantle I can see all the way to the exterior framing of the "chimney".

I haven't taken down the surprise paneling yet but from what I can feel there's no insulation anywhere along that wall. I'm going to hang drywall in place of the paneling and I'd like to put insulation up as well, but I'm not sure how close I can insulate to the fireplace. Is there a specific distance, insulation type, etc. relative to insulating around the fireplace?

concretemasonry 01-02-2009 04:04 PM

Have you been able to find any facts the fiberglass is good as far as providing increased fire protection?

There are far better materials that do not spend as much on advertising. Look at rock wool or cellulose and also check with your insurance company since you have no other local assistance and they have a good history of fireplaces with tin chimneys.

Wildie 01-02-2009 07:36 PM

ROXUL insulation is fire rated! Its made from spun rock!

mattewrc 01-31-2010 05:59 PM

I have the same problem as ScottieBaseball. Does anyone have any advice on what to do?

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