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Old 06-17-2010, 11:31 PM   #1
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Insulation and Radiant Barrier


I have already fallen in love with this forum.

House: Two story with a finished basement; heat pump for heat/cool and backup propane

Issue: Second floor has three rooms that a really cold in winter and really hot in summer (actually the only rooms on the 2nd floor which match the main floor are the two middle rooms)

Insulation:Prior owner removed batting and replaced with blown in insulation in 1/2 of the attic. The blown in insulation was really cheap (from deduction- it has more or less turned to sand.)

would it be absurd to:

1) Have all of the blown in insulation sucked out by a pro (estimated cost was $700 to $900
2) caulk all areas of the ceiling ($100) (I would caulk)
3) replace with two layers of insulation ($2,800. Area should be R-60; 43 rolls of unfaced and 77 rolls of faced R-30) (this is a very rough estimate on size) I would install
4) install a radiant barrier (I have only read reviews, I don't know cost and validity of the product, does anyone have experience with this)

I am interested in thoughts.

Thanks

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Old 06-18-2010, 06:29 AM   #2
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Insulation and Radiant Barrier


Quote:
Originally Posted by Titans View Post
I have already fallen in love with this forum.

House: Two story with a finished basement; heat pump for heat/cool and backup propane

Issue: Second floor has three rooms that a really cold in winter and really hot in summer (actually the only rooms on the 2nd floor which match the main floor are the two middle rooms)

Insulation:Prior owner removed batting and replaced with blown in insulation in 1/2 of the attic. The blown in insulation was really cheap (from deduction- it has more or less turned to sand.)

would it be absurd to:

1) Have all of the blown in insulation sucked out by a pro (estimated cost was $700 to $900
2) caulk all areas of the ceiling ($100) (I would caulk)
3) replace with two layers of insulation ($2,800. Area should be R-60; 43 rolls of unfaced and 77 rolls of faced R-30) (this is a very rough estimate on size) I would install
4) install a radiant barrier (I have only read reviews, I don't know cost and validity of the product, does anyone have experience with this)

I am interested in thoughts.

Thanks
Where are you located? TN, maybe?

What is the old insulation? Perlite? I'm not familiar with anything that would turn to sand.

Removing it and air sealing would probably be worth the money.

I'd go with blown cellulose rather than fiberglass batts. Probably more DIY friendly and will perform better.

Never used radiant barriers. I like the concept.

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Old 06-18-2010, 06:53 AM   #3
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Insulation and Radiant Barrier


Thank you for the response.

I am in Southwest Ohio...so good guess with Tennessee (or maybe the Titans gave it away).

Old Insulation - I do not know what it is. It has not entirely turned to sand, I went up there to measure what I got and when I pulled back the blown in, much of it had deterioriated to sandlike (slightly thicker than sand particles) substance, the top stuff was very small white/grey particles as you went deeper the particles were smaller. (There is only 4 to 5 inches of this blown in stuff).

I am just not a fan of the blown in stuff.

Here is the other issue, the prior owner started to finish off the attic and stopped when he moved. The master bedroom has extremely high ceiling that protrudes into the attic. The prior owner apparently removed all of the insulation that went around the one wall and put paneling against it. This is the same area where he stopped with the blown in stuff and it switches to batting. This is one of the rooms which is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter than the rest of the house.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:03 AM   #4
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Insulation and Radiant Barrier


Quote:
Originally Posted by Titans View Post
Thank you for the response.

I am in Southwest Ohio...so good guess with Tennessee (or maybe the Titans gave it away).

Old Insulation - I do not know what it is. It has not entirely turned to sand, I went up there to measure what I got and when I pulled back the blown in, much of it had deterioriated to sandlike (slightly thicker than sand particles) substance, the top stuff was very small white/grey particles as you went deeper the particles were smaller. (There is only 4 to 5 inches of this blown in stuff).

I am just not a fan of the blown in stuff.

Here is the other issue, the prior owner started to finish off the attic and stopped when he moved. The master bedroom has extremely high ceiling that protrudes into the attic. The prior owner apparently removed all of the insulation that went around the one wall and put paneling against it. This is the same area where he stopped with the blown in stuff and it switches to batting. This is one of the rooms which is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter than the rest of the house.
All blown in insulation is not created equal and it's also not the only answer. But, f/g batts allow air movement where they meet framing and each other. Proper detailing can greatly reduce this issue, but being itchy in a hot, tight attic usually doesn't promote the best installation practices.

A blown in product and a batt product with the same R values will give different results. There will typically be less air movement through the blown-in product resulting in less heat transfer.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:47 AM   #5
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Insulation and Radiant Barrier


How old is the current blown in insulation and could it contain vermiculite?

Here is a thread on that.

Removing vermiculite

Likely not an issue for you but never hurts to ask the question.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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Insulation and Radiant Barrier


I am pretty certain it does not contain the "bad" vermiculiate as the house was built in 1994 and the homeowner who redid the stuff did in early 2000s.

Thanks for the concern, though and heads up.

I will post a photo as I'd like to know what it is.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:46 AM   #7
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Insulation and Radiant Barrier


Definitely install rad. barrier foil....not the spray on stuff that can be watered down and isn't as good at keeping heat out. This will keep heat from entering attic, which will help keep ducts cooler and help w/upstairs rooms. Make sure you're attic ventilation is adequate (ie. install ridge vent if you have continuous ridge run).
http://www.atticfoil.com

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