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Old 09-28-2010, 11:44 PM   #1
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Cellulose Insulation Questions


I live in NE Ohio. I have a rental property that I have gutted. The house had a fire and damage repaired, but I tore out all of the lathe and plaster. I plan on drywalling next week. The house previously had blown in insulation so the holes are already drilled in the siding. The house is balloon construction built approximate 1910. My questions are:

1. Do I hange plastic and tuck tape the opening around the electrical boxes and light boxes? I have read that you do not use blow in insulation around light fixture boxes and plastic electrical boxes.

2. Do I hang the drywall or do the insulating first? The plastic should hold the insulation in but may bow out affecting the drywall finish.

3. I am doing the attic area as well, as what other issues do I need to worry about?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:28 PM   #2
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I had cellulose insulation blown into my house and have found it to be effective. However, bat insulation is superior because a vapor barrier can be installed over it and a vapor barrier installed behind the electrical boxes.

I would think that some sort of blocking should be placed in the stud cavities in a balloon framed building also.

In my house, I was lucky that the plaster lath has a aluminum foil backing that serves as a vapor barrier. Without this, I would have had to paint the exterior walls with an acrilic paint, to form a vapor barrier.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:20 PM   #3
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If you are removing the plaster and lathe from the inside, go with regular bat insulation. As mentioned, it is the better way to go in the long run. Also, make sure and add fire blocking in the balloon framing since you have the interior walls off.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:10 AM   #4
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First off, study up on insulation types. If by "batt" people are referring to the ubiquitous fiberglass, then BS: it is one of the worst insulation materials on the market. Read Gary's comments in this thread, above: http://www.diychatroom.com/f19/insul...remodel-82615/ He echos everything I read about fiberglass. I put it in my house in 1980, but never again will I touch that itchy, less-than-great insulation. They make cellulose, rock wool, and cotton (treated w/ borates) batts that are far better material. As for your vapor barrier, NE Ohio may be a bad place for a VB. The airtight drywall approach (ADA) may be your best bet. I don't have links handy, but Google for maps of places where VBs are recommended; usually it is Zone 7 and 8, like up here. They are finding it much better to have a wall that can breathe in both directions in moderate climates. Places like buildscience.com and greenbuildingadvisor.com are good places to start reading. My vote is to go w/ cellulose if at all possible. Good luck researching. j
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:11 AM   #5
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Here is my reply to your other thread you started in the "Remodeling" section.

On your exterior studs make sure all the nails are pulled on the surface or driven in flush. They just blow the insulation into the stud cavities then with a vibrating tool smooth the insulation down flush with the front of the studs. You must have your sheet rock in place on the ceiling so they can blow it in from topside. If you are having any insulation blown in any interior walls there must be sheet rock or what ever wall covering you are using, in place so there will be a stop for the insulation other wise it will just blow through the walls.

I do disagree on the fiberglass batts being the best insulation as it for sure is not.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #6
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Fibreglass is not the best insulation thats agreed. I always use Roxul when batt insulation is required. ( http://www.roxul.com/ )

Cellulose has a better R value than fibreglass and its about the same as Roxul.
The problem with cellulose is that its hard to tell when the cavity is completely filled.

North-eastern Ohio is near where I live and I believe it would would be a serious mistake to omit this in our neck of the woods.

A vapor barrier or retarder is vital component of exterior walls. It controls vapor transmission and helps prevent condensation from forming inside the walls and ceilings of your home. Vapor barriers/retarders are particularly important in Canada, and in US states that experience winter temperatures below freezing.

Last edited by Wildie; 09-30-2010 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 03:25 PM   #7
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If you have the lath and plaster removed, have someone spray a wet cellulose and then cut it off even with the joists. Put in the blocking where necessary and stuff in some insulation where the spray will not go. You might want to put a little saran wrap or poly over the electrical outlets. When sprayed and cut off, run 6 mil poly over the interior of the wall for a good vapor barrier.

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Old 09-30-2010, 07:48 PM   #8
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Ok, I am going with cellulose. The holes are already in the exterior walls so that cuts down alot of the work. I will install the drywall first then do the blow in insulation. I plan on starting the drywall on Monday. Hopefully finish in a week, I will being doing most of the work alone with a drywall lift and sidewalls with the help of a friend.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:05 PM   #9
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I NE Ohio is not zone 7 or 8, I'd be careful w/ that VB. They used to be "standard normal", but they are not any more. The ADA is recommended much more often. If you do use poly for a VB, make dang sure your exterior wall is very breathable; that'll be the only way for vapor to escape the wall. On your elect outlets; you can replace them w/ ones made nice and tight, and they have a lip for gooing up w/ something like Tremco acoustical goo (lip may even have a gasket). Pain to replace, but then you'll avoid cellulose getting in, and vapor getting through and into your wall. Blaze away!
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1eagertolearn View Post
. I will install the drywall first then do the blow in insulation.
No No No, what these guys are talking about is wet blown cellulose you apply from the inside before the drywall goes up. Don't use those holes that were used for dry cellulose. Dry cellulose has it's place but is inferior to wet blown because it will settle and not fill well. Use wet blown before the drywall goes up.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
No No No, what these guys are talking about is wet blown cellulose you apply from the inside before the drywall goes up. Don't use those holes that were used for dry cellulose. Dry cellulose has it's place but is inferior to wet blown because it will settle and not fill well. Use wet blown before the drywall goes up.
jogr is correct, you do not want to try to blow the insulation in from the outside through the holes. Contact an insulation company and ask them what they recommend, you will see that they must be able to blow the insulation from inside into the cavity between the outside wall studs before any sheet rock is installed. The holes were drilled and used to install a different kind of insulation back a few years ago.
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:29 PM   #12
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On the money! http://www.cellulose.org/HomeOwners/...orBarriers.php

Depends on the siding and location: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ecommendations

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...vapor-barriers

Gary
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