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Old 12-05-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
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Insulating behind a finished wall?


I bought a house recently and now that winter is coming I'm realizing that a couple of rooms the old owner built as add ons are lacking insulation.

One upstairs bedroom doesn't appear insulated at all, neither is the attic. This room is bone chilling cold and almost impossible to heat.

A basement room likewise doesn't appear to have any insulation in the walls and the walls are cold to the touch.

What can I do to insulate behind these finished walls? Is there something I can inject into the walls between the studs or something?

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Old 12-05-2009, 07:14 PM   #2
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Insulating behind a finished wall?


you can blow in loose fill insulation or use an expanding foam. i personally would hire someone to do it. estimates to do my whole house came in between 2000 and 3500 depending on which system is being used.

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Old 12-06-2009, 03:06 AM   #3
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Insulating behind a finished wall?


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Originally Posted by cellophane View Post
you can blow in loose fill insulation or use an expanding foam. i personally would hire someone to do it. estimates to do my whole house came in between 2000 and 3500 depending on which system is being used.
You can rent the equipment and buy the loose fill material (you don't want to mess with the foam yourself) and DIY but you will come out cheaper having someone come out and do it for you. Somehow you have to drill holes in the walls, usually the exterior ones, and patch them all up.

It may be a little tough to get someone out for a small job though so offer to piggyback onto another project and be somewhat patient?

You can do the attic yourself without much trouble though if you want. At least lay in some batts or rolls of the highest R value insulation you can up there. Or rent the equipment and blow it in as thick as you can afford.

Years ago the power companies in California got sued and settled by offering quietly to provide zilch interest loans to those of us with antique homes (another term for built with no insulation, thermal glass, etc.) who asked for insulation assistance. I think I paid 1-2 percent to have my 3000 sf house done. The company that did it drilled tons of holes in the house but patched the stucco so perfectly you could never tell.

You might ask if there are similar quiet programs availed in your area?

The impact on my energy bill and the comfort level in the house was nothing short of amazing so I gladly would have written a check. I think there are some tax credits floating around for improving the energy efficiency of your home too?

Not sure what to advise for your basement without knowing its construction. Where are you located by the way? What kind of heating do you use?

Last edited by user1007; 12-06-2009 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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Insulating behind a finished wall?


Thanks for your reply, it makes a lot of sense. I am having the siding redone on the house in a couple of months so I can have the contractor insulate the upstairs room when he removes the rotted exterior, glad to hear that it's an exterior not interior issue :-)

As for the basement, the concerning room has one wall that is half above grade butting up to a crawlspace. I live in Oregon so it's damp and cool but rarely cold or extremely hot.

As for the attic if I buy rolls of insulation the main part I want to insulate the most used to be the covering of a patio but was converted living space in 1978. There's no ceiling joists so whatever approach I take will not allow me to directly stand where I'm laying the insulation.

There is a single light fixture right in the middle of this portion, so my assumption is I will need to block off around that to prevent fire and then roll out insulation.

In the rest of the attic there's two ceilings. During the reconstruction 30 years ago the owner dropped a drywall ceiling about 8 inches below the original plaster ceiling. I think as a result the attic has an air pocket running throughout and I can't get to it with insulation but I could put insulation on the top level in between the joists.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:52 PM   #5
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Insulating behind a finished wall?


Insulated Concrete Forms, or ICF, is a building system made from concrete that can prove unmatched energy efficiency, toughness and comfort compared to other more traditional methods of construction. ICF technology has mostly been used in residential construction, but recently, the use of Insulated Concrete Forms has gained popularity...
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