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Old 08-18-2014, 09:22 PM   #1
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Another 100 year old house insulation question

I was hoping someone could help me figure out how to most effectively insulate my old house ceilings that are beadboard and plank.

The previous owner only threw paper backed fiberglass batt insulation down between the ceiling joists. However, there is no air barrier, like you have with sheetrock, so I am not sure the insulation is doing much good.

When I started researching this, I think I came up with more questions than answers. For instance, how do you create an air barrier without creating a vapor barrier? Do you want a vapor barrier? What about attic venting? Currently, the attic is not vented with a metal roof. I was thinking I probably need to at least add some gable vents. I really don't want to put any sort of venting through the metal roof, in fear of creating leaks. The area is southeast Texas, where we have hot, humid summers. Another convoluting factor - I have read that you shouldn't use blown-in insulation with plank or bead board ceiling because you risk it migrating down to the living area over time.

The best I have come up with is to remove the batt, lay down some foam board between the ceiling joists (possibly sealing between the foam board and ceiling joists with spray foam?), then lay the insulation back down. However, I am not sure if this is violating the rules for create a vapor barrier on the wrong side of the insulation (seems like most things I have read say to put the foam board/air dam on the hot/humid side of the insulation).

Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-18-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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Pictures and location of the home are going to help here Joseph.
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:41 AM   #3
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Google "insulation zone map" for the suggested minimum amounts of insulation you should have.
If they installed that insulation with the paper side down I'd just leave it and go over it with blown in insulation if you need more.
Attic needs to be air sealed before adding more insulation.
Air sealing is nothing more then sealing up any gaps around any wiring, plumbing or ceiling fixtures with expanding foam.
In order for a gable vent to work you also need soffit vents.
When posting in forums, letting us know your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions
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