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Old 10-07-2014, 02:48 AM   #1
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What's the best way to insulate an exterior celing?


Hey Everyone,

I'm brand new here the family and I are planning to move into a house we bought in a forest in Hungary, just a bit outside Budapest. It's a wooden house and it's very comfy, but some of the construction is a bit shoddy.

There's one room where the external ceiling is just a thin piece of plastic. It's intended as a greenhouse area so I guess that's to allow sunlight in. But that piece of plastic also lets all the warm out during the winter! It costs a fortune to heat the house.

There are 4-inch wooden joists below the plastic that's what the plastic is glued to.

I asked a local handyman and he said we should install sheets of glass wool between the joists and simply put a layer of decorative paneling over that. This would be relatively easy to do but is it really the most effective way to add insulation?

I'd like to know whether or not glass wool is a good choice of insulating material, especially considering there's only 4 inches of space. Should we consider alternative insulating materials?

Also, what about adding layers of foil or some kind of thin material to boost the insulation? I'm not sure if that's a usual practice or not, but it seems to make sense.

And finally, is the 4 inch space enough? The handyman said it's plenty.

So I'm looking for a little confirmation and guidance on the best way forward.

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:02 AM   #2
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You could strap each joist with 2" thick strips and get 6" insulation.

If there's room of course.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:06 AM   #3
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4" isn't technically enough but anything will be better than what you have now.

Make sure whatever you clad the interior with is air tight or you will have moisture/condensation issues.
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
4" isn't technically enough but anything will be better than what you have now.
That's good info. As 123pugsy said, it would be easy to add strips to the joints and increase the space to 6" or even 8" or more.

What's the optimum amount of space for the insulation?

Quote:
Make sure whatever you clad the interior with is air tight or you will have moisture/condensation issues.
What material should be used to clad the interior in this way?
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:29 AM   #5
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Going to have to go over the top side with something. No way is just plastic going to work.
Depends on the pitch of the roof and what's locally available as far as what will work.
How much insulation is needed depends on what the local temperature ranges are. This is mostly a US based site so not likely someone here will know what's needed exactly in Hungry.
Also going to need a 6 mil. plastic vapor barrier once the insulation goes up.
If the room is weather tight and enclosed you could use sheetrock, Tonged and grooved wood, plywood, T-111 siding, ECT.
I'd stay away from paneling unless it was sheet rocked first and adhesive was used as well as fasteners. Main reason, it's to thin.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:47 PM   #6
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No, do not install an interior vapor barrier; your plastic sheeting roof is already one, so that would be trapping insulation and wood between two vapor barriers; not a good idea.

Inserting glass wool between the joists should work fine, combined with a ceiling material of some sort like drywall or whatever people use for ceilings in Hungary. You should also put a very thick layer of glass wool or some other insulation over the top of the plastic, and then cover that with a real roof material using whatever methods are the most common there. The reason for the extra insulation over the plastic is twofold:

1. Gives you continuous coverage to mitigate the thermal bridging from the roof joists
2. Raises the temperature of the plastic, which reduces its potential to become a condensation surface for moist air
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:04 PM   #7
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Want to clear up what you mean by "There's one room where the external ceiling is just a thin piece of plastic"
Without all the info and some pictures where all stuck guessing.
I'm picturing something like 6 mil. plastic.
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