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Old 09-22-2015, 02:37 PM   #1
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Old Drywall & Insulation "Issue"


I own a 1906 Victorian. In the rear of the unfinished attic there's a large finished room I'm converting to an office. This room is open studs on the exterior and is insulated entirely in whole newspapers form the late 30's and early 40's.

In putting in a baseboard heater I found that the exterior facing wall (the wall that faces outside with windows in it) also has said newspapers between the studs.

I'm worried about cutting up the drywall to remove and replace the insulation because of asbestos concerns. The room was built in at least the 30's.

So how do I deal with the insulation in that wall? Leave it alone? Tear it out?

Any ideas would be really appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2015, 09:21 PM   #2
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You can have the drywall sampled and tested for asbestos. Hopefully someone familiar with this will tell you how to get this done. If you don't have anyway, new insulation would probably be a good idea. If you do have asbestos, well, the newspapers worked since the 40s...
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:21 PM   #3
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1906 tells me balloon wall constrution.
All that old newspaper needs to go. Nothing but a fire hazzard.
Walls need to be fire blocked.
Hard to tell how much or what type insulation, venting you need because no location is mentioned this website may help.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...sulation_table
Drywall has no asbestos.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:51 PM   #4
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They used newspaper back then because that's what they had and it was better than nothing (barely). New insulation would be about 100 times better.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:59 PM   #5
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You sure it's drywall & not old plasterboard?

Yes, drywall can contain asbestos

check these guys out for testing.

http://www.prolabinc.com/asbestos-test-kits.asp
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
1906 tells me balloon wall constrution.
All that old newspaper needs to go. Nothing but a fire hazzard.
Walls need to be fire blocked.
Hard to tell how much or what type insulation, venting you need because no location is mentioned this website may help.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?...sulation_table
Drywall has no asbestos.
Fire is certainly one of my top concerns, thus the question.

I'm in Minneapolis. I'll do as great an R roll insulation as can fit in the cavity.

But some drywall did have asbestos.
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
You sure it's drywall & not old plasterboard?

Yes, drywall can contain asbestos

check these guys out for testing.

http://www.prolabinc.com/asbestos-test-kits.asp
I'm 90% it's drywall. Feels like it. Looks like it. Cuts like it.
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Old 09-23-2015, 02:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
They used newspaper back then because that's what they had and it was better than nothing (barely). New insulation would be about 100 times better.
Anything from Hay, Straw, Newspapers, Walnut Shells. You name it, they used it. The newspapers that people pull from walls, they usually end up getting them flattened out, so that they can be placed in a book. Especially if there is something of interest on the pages from that time period.

I highly doubt that Horse Hair plaster will have any Asbestos.



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Old 09-23-2015, 03:41 AM   #9
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Anything from Hay, Straw, Newspapers, Walnut Shells. You name it, they used it. The newspapers that people pull from walls, they usually end up getting them flattened out, so that they can be placed in a book. Especially if there is something of interest on the pages from that time period.

I highly doubt that Horse Hair plaster will have any Asbestos.
It's not plaster. It's drywall. If it's from the 40's or before it's likely gypsum, correct?

I thought it was widely recognized that both drywall and gypsum contained asbestos/.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Drywall has no asbestos.
Old drywall (it has been available since the 30s, possibly earlier) DID contain asbestos, or at least the joint compound did.
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jrdamien View Post
I'm 90% it's drywall. Feels like it. Looks like it. Cuts like it.
It's what was called gypsum board, essentially an early form of drywall. It definitely existed in the 30s and 40s.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:23 PM   #12
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The piece that was already removed had no markings on the rear of it.

Last edited by jrdamien; 09-23-2015 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 09-25-2015, 01:36 AM   #13
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Just good ole fashion Drywall that used to have the heavier paper. Before that stuff, you had "Gyprock". It was 18"x48" sections, that had two layers, the boards had holes in them, so that they would hold the Plaster coat.

I have it in my house, and when I gutted our Bathroom and took down a wall in our Kitchen. It turns into a huge dusty mess. Also good for dulling Multi-Tool blades and Dremel roto-zip bits. Inside corners would be Metal Lathe to help keep the corners solid.



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Old 09-25-2015, 02:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Just good ole fashion Drywall that used to have the heavier paper. Before that stuff, you had "Gyprock". It was 18"x48" sections, that had two layers, the boards had holes in them, so that they would hold the Plaster coat.

I have it in my house, and when I gutted our Bathroom and took down a wall in our Kitchen. It turns into a huge dusty mess. Also good for dulling Multi-Tool blades and Dremel roto-zip bits. Inside corners would be Metal Lathe to help keep the corners solid.
Well it came out easy enough. Not very dusty, actually, but I scored it and tore it down by hand.

No metal corners at all, just taped.

The paper insulation, though...what a tremendous pain in the ass. It's all whole papers, stapled together, bound in kraft paper and nailed to the studs with a board over everything.
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdamien View Post
Fire is certainly one of my top concerns, thus the question.

I'm in Minneapolis. I'll do as great an R roll insulation as can fit in the cavity.

But some drywall did have asbestos.
Remember DO NOT compress the insulation as this will cut down on the effectiveness.
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