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Old 06-10-2015, 03:23 PM   #1
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Question on insulating this space


Hi All...We are renovating our home which is a cape built in 1952. It has a reverse gable on the front which lends to a lot of interesting enclosed areas. At the moment we are working on finishing up insulation in prep for sheetrock. The challenge I have is this space that you can see in the pictures (basically everything behind the studs), which adjoins a bedroom and will be eventually sealed off with sheetrock to make a shelf area in that same bedroom.

Basically it is a little area created by the start of a valley rafter, the stairs, and the main rafters. Since it's brick and block construction I was worried that cold air could creep in from many places. I had started by insulating the backs of all interior walls exposed to this space. The crew who insulated the attic (R38) also closed up the upper joists and rafters of this space, and laid some batts along the front. I foamed any exposed blocks I could find and plan to lay a batt over that area as I can still feel cooler air coming in to the space. I also plan to close off the open end (the little triangle) as the open area behind the kneewall extends to the end of the house for 20+ more feet and is only insulated at the kneewall itself.

While the area has a lot of insulation now, and has conditioned space directly below, the house itself always tends to be very drafty in unheated spaces. I am debating the need to insulate the remaining open kneewall and sidewall areas before I sheetrock (in which case I would leave that open triangle uninsulated). The insulator has warned me that doing this may be inviting moisture issues. I have a range of batts of all sizes as well as a lot of left over certainteed membrain at my disposal, so I have some options of materials. If there is an ideal way to go here I can buy/do what is needed, just want to have the best possible result. Thanks for any advice!




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Old 06-12-2015, 07:45 AM   #2
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I would be more concerned with just getting some conditioned air circulation in there to see if you could get the air moving.

Any way to have a vent in that wall. That stagnate air will create an issue if it can't vent and the roof/attic isn't functioning as vented right now.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:33 PM   #3
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It's always possible but at the same time I would also be worried about colder air migrating in to that space through a vent. I'm not so much concerned that no air will get into that space (it is not airtight by any means ) as I am keeping it out of the finished room.

My original goal was to just leave it open and insulate any room that adjoined it
However the fiberglass crew pretty much ended up sealing it all off. They said that unless I wanted to insulate the rim joists as well it was the best I could do. I just really worry that this wall in the pic (the uninsulated studs on the flat and kneewall )will be really cold come winter
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:38 AM   #4
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If the roof isn't vented, you can just clad those roof rafters with rigid foam prior to drywalling.
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Old 06-14-2015, 02:09 PM   #5
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You did it perfectly. Just drywall the dead space. It won't get any colder than a closet.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:21 AM   #6
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Thanks Barry.. hoping that's the case Worst case I guess I could wait until winter and bust my way back in if it ends up too cold (there are ways in that don't require breaking down walls... not pretty but they work)

@ Windows... the fiberglass crew did put baffles in before they did the rafters, and I was planning to do a ridge vent at some point in the future. I know that this won't vent this particular space itself. What would the rigid get me that the fiberglass wouldn't except maybe for better air sealing?
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:09 AM   #7
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Better air sealing is all and a bit more R-Value in the framing to eliminate some cold spots.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:28 AM   #8
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Who ever insulated that which is there needs to be informed how to install that type of insulation. The flaps were manufactured at the roll edges for a vapor barrier and they are to be stapled to the stud edges and not the stud face which also compresses the insulation.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:48 PM   #9
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Yeah for some reason everyone inset staples here (Southern CT). Supposedly there was an issue where a crew face stapled and was sued. Makes no sense to me either... I always face staple myself. Passed inspection with flying colors though.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windows on Wash View Post
Better air sealing is all and a bit more R-Value in the framing to eliminate some cold spots.
Thanks Windows. I have some lying around so if I get time I can bang them in.

As far as the little triangle area where the dormer wall starts (to the right of the mass of foam), I just shoved some more FG in there (non kraft faced) since I'm sure there will be some colder air coming through those eves. Still open though so let me know if you think it should remain exposed.
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Old 06-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giansean View Post
Yeah for some reason everyone inset staples here (Southern CT). Supposedly there was an issue where a crew face stapled and was sued. Makes no sense to me either... I always face staple myself. Passed inspection with flying colors though.
The reason is that dry wallers like to GLUE and screw the drywall. Face-stapling doesn't allow them to glue.

Even so, the kraft paper over the face of the studs is hardly an issue. Many contractors are using staple-free batts which do not have a flange that goes over the stud.

Any measurable compression is not happening when you staple on the inside.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Who ever insulated that which is there needs to be informed how to install that type of insulation. The flaps were manufactured at the roll edges for a vapor barrier and they are to be stapled to the stud edges and not the stud face which also compresses the insulation.
No worries the way it was stapled...unless it bumps against a local code. Insulation manufacturers give instructions to staple either on face of inside of stud. While I personally prefer stapling to the face because it seems easier, inside is fine also.

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Old 06-16-2015, 09:44 PM   #13
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The flaps are not there for a vapor barrier but to support the insulation in vertical installation. They can be stapled either way as the wood studs are not very vapor/air permeable. Inset stapling does, however, give a reduction in R-value- depending on the gaps/density, pp. 45-47; http://www.buildingscienceconsulting...Measure_Up.pdf

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Old 06-16-2015, 10:46 PM   #14
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Here is the picture that you cited.


Here is a more full description elsewhere. This kind of gap would require extremely poor installation. One would have to really work at compressing that fiberglass batt to make a continuous gap.

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Old 06-16-2015, 11:15 PM   #15
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Let them satisfy dry wallers on your building but it won't be done that way on mine. They have to live with it for a couple of days but the building suffers the remainder of its life.
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