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Old 12-24-2016, 10:31 AM   #1
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Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


Hi All,

Need a bit of help please - basically I have a ~40 year old home and I just worked to overhaul the attic.
Before, it had 2 layers of mouse-chewed R7 fibreglass batts in the joint channels with a layer of R20 fibreglass batts on top laid across the opposite direction.
I removed all of the old fibreglass batts myself to save on the cost.
The roof also has pretty bad ice-damning issues so I removed the soffits and cut open all of the channels because previously there were only 2 or 3 vented spots and the fibreglass batts were blocking them anyways, so the roof basically had 0 ventilation before.

Anyways, decided to pay the 'pros' to install the styrofoam vent baffle channels and to spray in blown Cellulose R60. Paid them $2100 CDN to do so (1700 sq.ft attic).

My questions are as follows:
1. They only installed a styrofoam vent baffle in every 2nd or 3rd channel, the rest they just blocked with fibreglass batt - is this enough ventilation?
2. I requested and paid specifically for R60 blown-in cellulose - does the picture look like they mixed cellulose with blow-in fibreglass as well? it kind of does to me, but I'm not sure....
3. The job doesn't look like it was done very perfectly - the height of the insulation is pretty uneven in areas, like hills, some areas are 12" deep, other areas 16"-18" deep. I understand because of the design of the attic it is difficult to move around in but these are supposed to be the pros.

Thanks for any advice/help you're able to offer. Trying to decide if I should dispute a bit with the company. And if it's not enough venting and if they mixed cellulose with fibreglass I will definitely be making a big issue out of it.

Last edited by Opo; 12-24-2016 at 10:44 AM. Reason: added in sq.ft information
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


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Old 12-24-2016, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


https://www.dropbox.com/s/9ftych1og8..._4161.JPG?dl=0
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:37 AM   #4
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


https://www.dropbox.com/home/Photos?...w=IMG_4160.JPG

sorry so many separate posts, the forum system isn't letting me upload to my album yet because my activation email hasn't come through yet.
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Old 12-24-2016, 10:43 AM   #5
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


images attached in this post finally
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:27 AM   #6
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


I don't even try to help posters with pictures as I can't do it either.
Anyway, my opinion is the same as yours, doesn't look like the cellulose I have seen but does look a lot like fiberglass, with a flake or two of cellulose added. Using cellulose improves the air sealing from the house below. Fiberglass insulation will NOT reduce air leakage.

Since you opened all of the rafter channels they should have installed baffles in all of them. No excuse, just lazy. Each channel is needed to keep that area of the roof cool. Those channels are not there to just to deliver the air to the attic above.

IMO, they need to remove all of the wrong insulation they installed, add the rest of the baffles, and then add the required amount of cellulose. They will refuse of course so the alternative would be to add the extra baffles they omitted and then add another 4 to 6" of cellulose on top of what is there.

Bad job,
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Old 12-24-2016, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


I have to agree with Bud.
what do mean by "Paid them $2100 CDN"?
I'm sure you don't mean Content Delivery Network.


was R-60 cellulose specified in a written contract? Seems to me if its in writing maybe you could try Small Claims Court. I'm pretty sure $2100 is within small claims limits in all 50 states.
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Old 12-24-2016, 01:42 PM   #8
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Sorry guys $2100 CDN means Canadian dollars so about $1550 in USD$ For 1700 sq.ft attic

I have a copy of the invoice which specifies R60 cellulose and to include venting/blocking it says.

Thanks for the help, I have initiated the dispute with the company and just awaiting to see how they respond now
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:05 PM   #9
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Opo View Post
Sorry guys $2100 CDN means Canadian dollars
I should have guessed that since I'm just 50 minutes from Windsor. Shame on me.
Do you folks have some sort of Canadian version of "small claims court"?
That is where you go in minus lawyers and plead your case in front of a judge/arbitrator.
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Old 12-24-2016, 02:27 PM   #10
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We do yes but I've never needed to use it before so I have to do some research.

The company that did the job is a big company though so ideally I will be able to get a resolution out of them by just continuing to escalate the situation with their staff if needed.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:11 AM   #11
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


Good luck and merry Christmas.
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Old 12-26-2016, 01:23 AM   #12
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


that's not cellulose.

the material doesn't matter much, what does matter is air sealing, depth to get the correct r-value, and baffles.

they still should have given you what you payed for.

I suspect that in this day and age you pretty much have to babysit contractors to make sure they do the work as quoted.

Doesn't matter how many good reviews there are or how big the company is.



Quote:
Anyway, my opinion is the same as yours, doesn't look like the cellulose I have seen but does look a lot like fiberglass, with a flake or two of cellulose added. Using cellulose improves the air sealing from the house below. Fiberglass insulation will NOT reduce air leakage.
There are only two forms of insulation that effectively stop air leakage:

1. Dense pack cellulose in walls

2. Foam

Loose fill insulation doesn't cut leakage one bit.

When insulating an attic of an old house, air sealing must be done first.

The effective r-value of insulation with air moving through it is zero.
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:51 AM   #13
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


With all of the effort the op put into preparing the attic we can only hope he also did some air sealing. But having specified cellulose as opposed to fiberglass insulation then that is what he should have gotten. I agree that relying on the cellulose to air seal would not be good, but 18", give or take a bit (R-60), of cellulose will definitely slow any air movement in or through it more than a similar amount of fiberglass. Quoting Dr. Bailes:
"Cellulose will slow it down a lot more than fiberglass, but you still can't think of it as an air barrier."
http://www.energyvanguard.com/blog/3...p-Infiltration

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Old 12-26-2016, 07:02 PM   #14
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


I agree, air sealing will help stop ice dams; http://www.extension.umn.edu/environ...ams/index.html

Tips on air sealing after they remove the FG mix; http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...wWATQw&cad=rja

Every single bay has to be vented to wash the whole roof, as said.
FG, especially a low density one (most common type for blown-in; best return for the money to company), has inherent convective loops to reduce the R-value further, add some cellulose over the top to stop them;http://web.ornl.gov/info/reports/1994/3445603820925.pdf Hence --why they make FG furnace filters, not cellulose ones....

http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/insulation.html

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Old 12-29-2016, 05:47 PM   #15
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Re: Quality Attic Insulation Job? - Cellulose Mixed w/ Fiberglass?


Hi Guys,

I did do some air-sealing with canned spray foam before they blew in the cellulose-fibre glass mix.
Unfortunately I don't think I did as thorough of a job as I should have, does every single top plate of a wall need to be filled? every single light fixture? etc. etc.
I tried the link you provided but it says error 403 permission denied, do you have a different one that shows how to properly do air sealing?

Also, I have to ask: if air-sealing is so critically important why did none of the 3 insulation companies I had contacted to quote my house even mention it? Also, all my research online about air-sealing, nobody ever mentions vapour barrier, and doesn't the vapour barrier take care of the majority of the air-sealing?

Anyways, perhaps if we get the link situation figured out the info you've provided will help me wrap my head around it.

Also, in other news - the company has responded to my email and they are sending their sales/quote guy out to my house on the 2nd even though it is technically a holiday to check out the job that their guys did. He said on the phone he wants to come to a resolution on it, so we'll see how cooperative he is when he shows up on Monday.... the crappy part is 3 days after he's here to check it out, I am leaving for 2 weeks on a business trip out-of-Country so preferably I have to negotiate with them to get them to come back and fix the messed up job nearly a month after they originally did it.......should be fun.
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