Insulation Question... - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > General DIY Discussions

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-10-2010, 12:19 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Question

Insulation Question...


My husband just finished building our house a little over a year ago. It is freezing outside, we are sitting on the couch watching tv when drops of water start falling on me. The water is coming from in the recessed lighting hole. Anyway upon further investigation, we notice there are several water spots on the ceiling throughout the entire house.

He is in the attic right now trying to figure out what is wrong. He is thinking he shouldn't have laid insulation with the paper on it (I forgot what he called it) He thinks the paper is holding moisture in, and the mixture between the warm air in our house and the cold air in the attic makes condensation and it can't evaporate because the paper is holding it in. Is this true? Should we rip all that paper off the insulation in the attic? Does anyone have any other ideas?

Advertisement

superwoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 12:26 AM   #2
Newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Insulation Question...


I also have another question that is sort of related. I have a garden window in my kitchen and now that it has been getting down to 7 degrees at night, the garden window gets pools of water on the bottom... Were we supposed to insulate that thing too? I got tired of wiping it up so I laid some towels on it the other night and it still leaked, but it also froze the towels to the window... I should clarify, it froze the towels to the bottom ledge of the window, not glass.

Advertisement

superwoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 07:02 AM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Wilmington, DE
Posts: 3,118
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Insulation Question...


First, how much insulation in attic?? Vapor barrier always goes to the heated side, and yes it should be there, and you should have at least 12". The best way to cover all the attic and fill gaps is install 6" of faced(vapor barrier) in the joist bays, then 6" of unfaced batts perpendicular to the joists.
Second, it sounds like you have a lot of humidity in the house. Do you have a humidifier, lots of house plants, etc??? Normal humidity inside the house during winter should be about 45-55%. More and you get condensation on walls, windows, etc. Less and you have static electricity problems. At 7deg outside, The walls/ceiling will be cold enough to condense moisture unless well insulated. That includes NO air leaks.
Just Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 08:42 AM   #4
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 14,423
Rewards Points: 2,508
Default

Insulation Question...


Sounds to me, that the house may be too tight. May have to pay to have a environmental engineer come in and assess. If the house was built by your husband, he would know what he did insulation wise. if built by someone else, then it is under warranty, get them in to look at the situation.

Get yourself a Humidistat, that you can have the main sensor in the Living room, and then remote sensors elsewhere, such as a remote spot from the Living Room, Attic, and Basement. Radioshack sells a unit that does Temp & Humidity, that comes with one sensor, but you can purchase extras. I use it in my house, and helps to watch the humidity & temp in attic, basement, and main living area.
gregzoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 10:40 AM   #5
Experienced
 
Jackofall1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Southern Michigan
Posts: 2,822
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Insulation Question...


Vapor barrier yes, barrier to the inside.

Check humidifier operation, sounds like way too much humidity in you place, I would say humidity based on outside temp, but I usually set to roughly 35% during the coldest time of year.

Check, attic venting, attics must breath from eave to either ridge vent or attic vents.

Mark
__________________
When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
Jackofall1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 11:46 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 600
Rewards Points: 512
Default

Insulation Question...


Is that garden window a bay window, then? So it protrudes from the side of the house? It does sound like you are missing insulation around the window casing and/or under the ledge.
operagost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 4,412
Rewards Points: 2,360
Default

Insulation Question...


I had the same problem with the garden window I had. On cold days in the winter, water would pool on the floor of it.

I finally took everything out of it, including the plywood bottom, which came out as handfuls of splintered wood pieces, and found that there was just an aluminum bottom in it. There was no insulation to keep the cold air from reaching the aluminum and causing condensation.

I ended up having to replace mine. You'll definitely want to remedy the situation right away, before everything above the metal that's getting wet turns black with mold. It doesn't take long.
gma2rjc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 04:04 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 1,847
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Insulation Question...


First, where are you? Vapor barrier is probably a BAD idea, depending on where you are. See buildingscience.com for a map. Unless you are in zone 7 or 8 (Frb, AK is zone 8), or very hot and humid, you should probably not have a vapor barrier. I suspect your hubby may not have AIR sealed well enough, and moisture traveling w/ the air has now condensed. Very little moisture permeates a wall via diffusion; the vast majority goes via air movement. Too, you may have too much humidity, to boot, as mentioned. FG batts are NOT the best insulation. In fact, they are the WORST. FB batts do not impede air movement much, and you can never fit them in perfectly tight. Plus, FG losses its R somewhat when it gets cold. You can not have a house too tight, but you can forget to introduce fresh air and exhaust stale, moist air. Exhaust-only systems, w/ passive air inlets; HRVs, etc, take care of that issue. As I see it, you need to do some serious air sealing asap. Canned lights are notorious air leakers. Seal them and any other penetrations into the attic. Ideally, tear down the sheet rock and reinstall it after you seal every possible penetration with gaskets or Tremco-like acoustical caulk. Use the airtight drywall approach when you put the sheet rock back. I know: "That ain't gonna happen". So, air seal to the best of your ability, and spray some cellulose over whatever insulation you have up there to further impede air movement and get a better R value. Keep the humidity below 40%. Good luck, and sorry to hear of the problem.
jklingel is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jklingel For This Useful Post:
concretemasonry (12-11-2010)
Old 12-10-2010, 06:11 PM   #9
MJW
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 938
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Insulation Question...


A building permit and inspections would give you the info needed. If it is done incorrectly, then the inspector would have caught it at the insulation inspection.
MJW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 08:11 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 238
Rewards Points: 150
Default

Insulation Question...


Are you having wet spots around the ceiling everywhere or just by the can lights??? can lights get hot and if the are exposed to cold air in the attic they maybe just be forming condensation on the housing??
organick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-10-2010, 09:34 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 1,847
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Insulation Question...


Quote:
Originally Posted by organick View Post
can lights get hot and if the are exposed to cold air in the attic they maybe just be forming condensation on the housing??
Condensation forms when moist air hits colder objects, however. I suspect the moisture had condensed and frozen, and the can lights warmed it. Or, the cold lights(when off) just got wet and enough accumulated that it started dripping. Just guesses, 'cause we ain't there to see. Whatever happens, air has to be stopped; that is the source of the water. Tough deal, and I hope it works out well. j
jklingel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 08:02 AM   #12
Member
 
ccarlisle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,889
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Insulation Question...


Scary...

Husband "builds'' a house - but messes up water infiltration issues. Husband "knows" how to build, - but wants to tear the paper off faced insulation..?



And now, wife wants us to intervene - rather than deal with the husband...

Look, I can think of three easy possibilites why you have water dripping on your head - but trying to explain all that to someone who supposedly 'built' his own house has very predicatable outcomes that a lot of people don't have time for, including me.

I can tell you that finding the source of a water leak involves sleuth work from a knowledgeable contractor who can diagnose and find the causes using the proper tool of the trade. Don't treat the symptoms - treat the causes.

See, a house is a 'system' of inter-related components: plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof, structure etc that combine to keep you warm and dry. A house that doesn't do that has to be examined with all these things in mind, sort of like medicine - where you have to treat the patient not just the disease.

In one thread a while back, the same thing happened and one guy suggested painting on Zinsser's BIN sealant to seal the ceiling from penetrating water...another guy blamed the non-use of moisture-resistant drywall. Yeah right...

I wouldn't suggest/do anything for you until I had a complete (including infrared photos) inspection done of everything above your head: plumbing, roof, sheathing, insulation, ventilation, vapour barrier - inside and outside under snow load or under rainfall. This would take about half a day but be worth the $500 charged.
__________________
“The average American woman is about 25 pounds heavier than she was in 1960...Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately 1 in 3 Americans,”
ccarlisle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 02:27 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 1,847
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Insulation Question...


Jeez, carlisle, he maybe f'd up a bit, but I don't think verbally eviscerating the cat for trying is of much use. Lots of people build to save some money, and mistakes happen. He/they will learn, and even if they have to take the whole lid off and do it right, they'll still be way ahead. Besides, what more of a bonding experience could a couple ask for? "Honey, could you balance this sheet rock on your head while I start screwing in the other end?" It'll be great! Besides that, who wants to hire some lame butt contractor who does not know stink from apple butter, and end up w/ the same mess, or worse? Contractors are far from perfect, too, and any of us on here have seen some pretty sad excuses for "professionals". Life don't come w/ many guarantees. j
jklingel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 04:11 PM   #14
Member
 
ccarlisle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 1,889
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Insulation Question...


Nope. May not be useful to him, but plenty useful to others. Quit blathering yourself and call a spade a spade.
__________________
“The average American woman is about 25 pounds heavier than she was in 1960...Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately 1 in 3 Americans,”
ccarlisle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2010, 05:47 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 1,847
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Insulation Question...


As the joke about the construction workers outside the convent goes, the head nun finally says to the foreman: "I don't mind your workers calling a spade a spade, but a MF'ing shovel is different." You can tell people what they did wrong and offer help w/out non-surgically removing their gonads. Help is usually better received that way; that was my point.

Advertisement

jklingel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
insulation , water


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Garage insulation question trojanman1 Building & Construction 7 09-16-2009 03:51 PM
Question about Insulation russstar Roofing/Siding 13 08-21-2009 11:10 AM
rafter insulation question Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD Building & Construction 7 08-02-2009 09:19 AM
Insulation Question skavang13 Building & Construction 3 11-16-2008 06:08 PM
Insulation question..... v12357 Building & Construction 5 09-14-2008 09:04 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts