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Old 08-31-2010, 02:07 PM   #1
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Air-sealing attic at masonry walls

I have a 60 year old 2-story brick house with wooden gable ends in the attic in Eastern PA (Philly suburbs). The exterior walls are plaster skim on 3/4" cement lathe board attached to the exterior walls with 3/4" furring strips and no insulation.

This fall, I'm planning on blowing cellulose into the attic to bring it to R-38, and before I do that, I understand that I need to seal the air leaks to the attic.

On the gable ends of the house, the tops of the walls are simply open - the lathe board sticks a few inches up into the attic past the finish ceiling and I can look right down the wall cavity (such as it is) for the entire length of the house. Needless to say, those walls are COLD in the winter (so are the others, to be fair).

Should I seal the top of this with foam/backer rods, leave it open because this chimney effect is vital to moisture management, or attempt to get as much cellulose down the wall as I can from above?

If I shouldn't seal it, what's the best way to protect the opening when I blow in the insulation?

Additionally, I have a bathroom opened up on the ground floor that has one of these exterior walls. Does it make sense to put 3/4" insulation board (R 3-4.5) between the furring strips, or is it a waste of time and money?
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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Brick clad background:

Cellulose dense packing:

You’ll like this one:

The air leaks:

Balanced ventilation:

Are there any knee walls/attic upstairs?
Is there any sheathing on the outside studs to hold the insulation as you need the air space at brick/wall.

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Last edited by Gary in WA; 09-02-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:38 PM   #3
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this is going to be a pain in the butt!!!!!
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