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Adding Insulation #7227197 07/17/18 06:27 PM
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Wilhunt Offline OP
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We have a 25 year old home and feel we need to add insulation in the attic. For those in the business what would you recommend? Thought about the spray foam or a barrier to go between rafters.

Thanks!

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7227454 07/17/18 10:17 PM
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we added 8-9" of blown in insulation at our last house, rented the hopper and did it all myself. I have given thought to adding the barrier between the rafters on our current home, but haven't done too much research.

whatever you do, be sure to do it during the coolest part of the day or wait until winter.


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

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Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7227462 07/17/18 10:22 PM
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Don't know about a old house but built our first 18 months ago with spray foam and (1) 3 ton ac/electric heat (1650 sq. ft.) and it was a mind blower on cost on electricity and comfort. Just finished up our permanent house (2850sq. ft.) and done the same with foam. Excellent results on keeping it cool. If you can get it in the walls and ceilings/roof you won't regret the foam. Save you a ton over the long haul on utilities.

Our other place we had built and lived in for 10 years had the blown in top and fiberglass insulation in walls and it wasn't even close on comfort in this heat.

Last edited by glens; 07/17/18 10:23 PM.
Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7227465 07/17/18 10:24 PM
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PMK thanks for your comment. If you were guessing how thick was the insulation before added the 8" to 9".

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7227470 07/17/18 10:29 PM
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Glens, seems the spray foam may be the way to go. Can you spray it on the existing insulation as well as the ceiling?

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7227471 07/17/18 10:30 PM
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From an HVAC point of view. If you foam and If you have GAS fired furnace located in attic, combustion air and proper venting could require special attention.

I have worked in attics silver radiant barrier covering decking and roof rafters that was effective. But the attic had about 12 inches of insulation as well.

Just based on my experience in foamed homes. Homes foamed during construction are very effective. Homes foamed later with only underside of roof foamed were hit and miss.

New constucted foamed homes also have foamed walls, voids filled, high end windows and doors, high end HVAC system and are air tight.

Personally, I live in an older home, storm doors and extra duct insulation and extra attic insulation have been my choice. Upgraded windows are next.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7227477 07/17/18 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Wilhunt
Glens, seems the spray foam may be the way to go. Can you spray it on the existing insulation as well as the ceiling?


The existing homes I have worked in.....The existing insulation is removed. The underside of roof is foamed and attic is air tight.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7227492 07/17/18 10:50 PM
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Radiant Barriers: A Solution in Search of a Problem

Read more: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blog...m#ixzz5LYTLDD5P

up


"My grandfather told me that there are two kinds of people: those who work and those who take the credit. He also told me to try to be in the first group since there was much less competition."
Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7228114 07/18/18 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted By: Wilhunt
PMK thanks for your comment. If you were guessing how thick was the insulation before added the 8" to 9".
guessing 4-6" originally, enough to cover the 2x4 or 2x6 runners barely. The extra 8-9" made a huge difference.

FWIW, it was some kind of fiber looking stuff, like paper mulch that was treated with a fire retardant and I also believe it had some Boric acid (or something similar) that really put a damper on scorpions which was a very welcome addition. It could be done by one person but two was SO much easier than climbing back and forth from the attic to feed the hopper.


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

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Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7229040 07/19/18 03:29 AM
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Is there such a thing as too much insulation in the attic?

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Cleric] #7229402 07/19/18 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Cleric
Is there such a thing as too much insulation in the attic?

yes ... it can build up weight and cause the sheet rock to sag between ceiling joists


"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."

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Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7231183 07/21/18 01:25 AM
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If you are considering spray foam, here is the temp of our spray foamed attic at 2:00 today. It was about 105 outside. A traditional attic will run 135+ degrees. Even if your HVAC unit is in a closet in the house, the duct is still in a super hot environment. If your unit is in the attic it is all working real hard.


Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7232219 07/22/18 02:36 PM
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I was told that you should not use foam unless the house was built for it?
Was told the old insulation loses it's ability to insulate as it ages?
Was also told the old insulation is removed even if you plan to add new insulation? Lazyjack mentioned removing the old before adding foam. Would you do that if your going to add blown in fiberglass or cellulose?

Thanks.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7232295 07/22/18 04:04 PM
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I don't agree with a house being "built for foam." House plans aren't necessarily drawn with foam in mind. They can be insulated with either.

The insulation only loses its insulation value if it has settled. And that does happen with real old insulation, especially with rock wool.

Insulation contractors vacuum out the old before installing the spray foam. I'm not sure about the science there, but something to do with trapped moisture, etc.

If I was simply wanting more insulation I doubt if I would remove the old unless it was that real old rock wool. If you have some blown fiberglass that hasn't settled then you could simply add some if you wanted to.

When our office was remodeled just the activity in the attic caused the ancient rock wool to find its way into the conditioned space before they vacuumed it out. It itched pretty badly. I imagine we were breathing it in during that remodel. However this office has tongue and grooved ceiling material. You probably wouldn't experience that with sheet rock.

They did vacuum out the old rock wool before going back with blown fiberglass. This office would have been done with spray foam, but there was something about the attic configuration that caused them to use fiberglass. This is a real old historical looking building.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7232458 07/22/18 08:32 PM
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Danny thanks for the information. The insulation here is 25 - 30 years old I assumed it was fibreglass. Guess I need to see what it is for sure and then go from there.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7234234 07/24/18 05:24 PM
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Just to be clear with my comment.

Home foamed during construction will have no voids in walls.

Existing homes with just roof foamed still have voids in walls. An example is an exterior door header. With convention contruction, that area is poorly insulated. Corners are also weak spots.

I am not saying not to foam, you just need to have real expectations.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: DannyB] #7234262 07/24/18 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: DannyB

If you are considering spray foam, here is the temp of our spray foamed attic at 2:00 today. It was about 105 outside. A traditional attic will run 135+ degrees. Even if your HVAC unit is in a closet in the house, the duct is still in a super hot environment. If your unit is in the attic it is all working real hard.




I may start a heated discussion, but the reason your attic is 80 degrees is you air conditoner passively cools your attic. Think about setting an empty Yeti cooler in the sun. Couple days, the temp inside the cooler will be high than ambient due to holding solar gain overnight.

I am not saying foaming the entire house is not a worthy expense. Just food for thought.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7235399 07/25/18 08:09 PM
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We just moved into our new house this past January. The house was totally foamed. Energy savings have been good. I am on the same thought though that I may be losing cooling into the attic, directly or indirectly. I believe we will be doing the same in the winter time. We will probably be heating the attic. Seriously thinking of blowing insulation into the attic over the exposed sheetrock.



Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7235578 07/25/18 11:26 PM
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I have not seen an insulated ceilings and foamed roof. I certainly would advocate insulating the cieling in a foamed home with out some research. It should be no different than insulating an interior wall.

But, with an airtight attic. Any moisture trapped under the insulation in attic could pose a mold issue. Foamed homes, which are considered to be air tight, require a dampered outdoor air duct and control to introduce fresh air into home.

Current industry standard is non insulated ceiling and "passive" climate control of attic.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7235673 07/26/18 12:58 AM
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We have decided on having blown in insulation at this time, on top of the existing insulation. Will give a report later.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7285204 09/13/18 02:07 AM
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The follow up, we did have the insulation blown in. It did help but the a/c could not maintain the set temp. after 3:30 in the afternoon. I reached out to fellow THF member Lazyjack. He walked me thru a few steps on what to check which included removing top panel of air handler. After removing the panel I took pictures of the wiring and sent those pictures to Lazyjack. He called me back and told me he could tell they had the air handler running on "low speed". The unit has 3 speeds, we got the a/c repair guys back and had them change the speed to "medium". They thought it came from the factory set on "high", not so. Thanks to our man Lazyjack all is well now and is working properly.

Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7285214 09/13/18 02:13 AM
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cheers


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Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7285275 09/13/18 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted By: Wilhunt
The follow up, we did have the insulation blown in. It did help but the a/c could not maintain the set temp. after 3:30 in the afternoon. I reached out to fellow THF member Lazyjack. He walked me thru a few steps on what to check which included removing top panel of air handler. After removing the panel I took pictures of the wiring and sent those pictures to Lazyjack. He called me back and told me he could tell they had the air handler running on "low speed". The unit has 3 speeds, we got the a/c repair guys back and had them change the speed to "medium". They thought it came from the factory set on "high", not so. Thanks to our man Lazyjack all is well now and is working properly.
THF comes through again.


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Re: Adding Insulation [Re: Wilhunt] #7285303 09/13/18 03:53 AM
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