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Dense pack and old homes?

800 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  GibsonGM

1860 cape farmhouse here (again)...I've been on before, looking for ways to build my 2nd floor into a living space (currently unfinished, post n beam). Been talking to a reputable insulation/renovation/efficiency contractor, and we've come up with a way to make some big improvements in our now-uninsulated house. My earlier thoughts on how to do it were wrong :wink2: I looked thru the FLIR camera...yeah, it needs it!

His proposal is to dense pack my exterior walls (accessible thru 2nd floor knee wall). Then, I can frame in my 2nd floor, and he'll come back and pack the outside of them, too, with loose-pack on the new ceiling. Gable end vents above to round it out. Making a continuous insulation blanket throughout most of the house.

Wondered if anyone has done this, and what the results were? I know enough to be dangerous, would like to hear what others who have done this found after the job was over.

I am worried about moist interior can I get my interior to be "30% humidity" etc etc, when normally it is about 40-50%? My fieldstone foundation is spray foamed, altho I have parts of the house with crawlspaces, so #1 would be to poly them (vapor barrier), I critical is the humidity level?


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What are the interior and exterior walls like (i.e. Construction layers)?

You are right to be concerned. This can create major issues.
I was on here a couple weeks back, we talked a bit. The way I wanted to do it would result in frost in the attic, most likely.

walls: Post and beam frame, plaster/lath, air space, sheating boards, tar paper, original claps, insulative foil blanket, asbestos tile exterior.

My understanding is that dense packing the walls removes most worry about vapor migration (no vapor barrier behind plaster, of course)? Then, would frame in 2nd floor WITH vapor barrier, sheetrock, and also dense pack THOSE walls, with loose pack on new ceiling ("attic floor"). Gable vents. So, continuous dense pack sill to attic...

I know i have to improve my under-house stuff...partial concrete, but crawlspace area that needs poly. Fieldstone foundation is spray foamed. I can get it *good*, but not 30%, LOL! I had a 1989 home w/crawl, and it was consistently 50% under there, with no harm. I am not opposed to keeping a dehumidifier down there set to 60%...
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