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Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:43 PM   #1
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Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


Hi
old but inactive member here
recently moved to a house built in 1935. Appears to be balloon framed but when I sight up the bays that are open in the basement I can see some blocking but how far up is in question.
What would be the best way to insulate the exterior walls without creating moisture problems (peeling exterior paint)
Wall construction is 2x4 framing, What appears to be rocklathe with plaster and probably 15 coats of paint on the interior. 1x6 sheathing and 1x8 bevel siding.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #2
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


Hey Rich - long time no see

The best way is not to at this moment - scope the walls and look for any signs of moisture / bulk water events & possibly install a few sensors to detect any - go through some big storms & confirm you don't have any issues

If there are any moisture issues you will need to correct them first (of course)

At this time you can probably look into drilling holes & dense packing cellulose or rock wool in the cavities

as for the exterior portion - how much of a gap is there between the 1x6's & did they use tar paper

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


I'd suggest do any moisture control first, then air seal and recheck moisture, then insulate.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


New windows
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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New windows
This isn't an easy call by any stretch.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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New windows
Got to love that sarcasm font though it can sometimes be pretty hard to tell from the regular font, especially when coupled with CAS (Clueless Advice Syndrome)
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:41 PM   #7
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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Originally Posted by SLSTech View Post
Hey Rich - long time no see

The best way is not to at this moment - scope the walls and look for any signs of moisture / bulk water events & possibly install a few sensors to detect any - go through some big storms & confirm you don't have any issues

If there are any moisture issues you will need to correct them first (of course)

At this time you can probably look into drilling holes & dense packing cellulose or rock wool in the cavities

as for the exterior portion - how much of a gap is there between the 1x6's & did they use tar paper
No moisture issues I know of
Sheathing is not diagonal and butted fairly tight from what I can see in the attic. Felt use is unknown but siding is tighter than a ticks butt.
I do agree with having a scope done if for nothing else to identify where blocking is in the walls.
The utility co here will pay up to $2000 for insulating.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #8
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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I do agree with having a scope done if for nothing else to identify where blocking is in the walls.
I use a thermal imager for this.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:51 PM   #9
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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I use a thermal imager for this.
I will grant you that a IR camera can detect items like that but one big issue is it can't see inside the cavity (i.e. easily miss one). Now as for confirming that the cavities are completly filled
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:22 PM   #10
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


I have just stripped the interior plaster & lathe, insulated, and sheetrocked.

Once I did this and discovered that the sheathing was on the interior of the walls. I stripped all the sheathing, insulated, sheetrocked, then stripped the exterior and sheathed it with osb, wrap, then vinyl.

Another time, I discovered that the stud cavities had been plastered with mortar from the inside. I was only able to get r-11 in these cavities and was always afraid all the sheetrock would pop off at once, sounding like a machine gun when it happened.

I left the plaster and stripped the siding once, then blew in cellulose, wrapped the sheathing, and re-sided with vinyl.

I guess if you like the plaster and the siding, then your only choice is to drill holes and blow in.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:41 PM   #11
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


Miss blocking? Let in braces on the shady side are likely to be missed, and any place there are multiple cables that will mess up the blow in are always missed.

Never can tell what's been dropped down into the wall from the attic, and some of that stuff can be missed. Doesn't work that great from the outside on vinyl over clapboards, either. Picked up a tape splice in a wall once.

Handy for the things it's handy for, and pretty fast for mapping out framing.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:52 PM   #12
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


airseal first, and then insulate with cellulose...you will see a HUGE return on this alone.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:35 PM   #13
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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airseal first, and then insulate with cellulose...you will see a HUGE return on this alone.
SLS mentioned rock wool as well. It's a good choice for some situations.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:51 AM   #14
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
Miss blocking?
Where is the hammer bash for ones self - I was thinking you were talking about moisture intrusion not mapping the framming - sorry my bad
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #15
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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Where is the hammer bash for ones self - I was thinking you were talking about moisture intrusion not mapping the framming - sorry my bad
LOL, yes, it's unreliable for moisture, and doesn't indicate any history when you do find moisture. I used it once to double check a tear out after a fire someone else was doing, spotted a ceiling that needed to go, but it was WET fiberglass and hadn't really started popping tape yet.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:33 PM   #16
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


I would reccommend uning aminoplast foam, also known as UFFI in Europe( urea formaldehyde foam insulation). When installed correctly, it is safe, non-toxic, and works around wires and pipes. It is also possible to install when bracing or blocking are used. Core Foam insulation is one brand, and the one I use. If you are in Canada, forget it! It is illegal due to the foemaldehyde content, go with cellulose and hope for the best.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:23 PM   #17
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


Im in a similar position, remodeling an 1830's, pot and beam house. We have gutter everything and found brick lined walls. I'm not sure if I should remove the brick and use foam, or build new sub interior walls set up against the original framing. I've seen good results using ~inch of foam and filling the remaining cavity with cellulos or FG.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:55 PM   #18
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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Im in a similar position, remodeling an 1830's, pot and beam house. We have gutter everything and found brick lined walls. I'm not sure if I should remove the brick and use foam, or build new sub interior walls set up against the original framing. I've seen good results using ~inch of foam and filling the remaining cavity with cellulos or FG.

Any thoughts?
Brick lined? As in brick exterior, gap, and then framing? If so the only option is Closed Cell foam... but you might need to be careful on possible spalling issues (from BSC). As for FG or cellulose on top - no issues as long as the foam was sprayed thick enough

Quote:
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I would reccommend uning aminoplast foam, also known as UFFI in Europe( urea formaldehyde foam insulation). When installed correctly, it is safe, non-toxic, and works around wires and pipes. It is also possible to install when bracing or blocking are used. Core Foam insulation is one brand, and the one I use. If you are in Canada, forget it! It is illegal due to the foemaldehyde content, go with cellulose and hope for the best.
Umm - even if one ignores the "formaldehyde" part I am still hearing about shrinkage issues with those products a few years down the line
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:32 PM   #19
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


[QUOTE=SLSTech;1726196]Brick lined? As in brick exterior, gap, and then framing? If so the only option is Closed Cell foam... but you might need to be careful on possible spalling issues (from BSC). As for FG or cellulose on top - no issues as long as the foam was sprayed thick enough



/QUOTE]

No ballon framed, brick exterior on one side, ship lap siding/sheathing (both acting as one) on two sides and solid block walls on the rear. This house has been added onto more ways than Sundays. Mid western corn fields don't have this much cob..job's

Got a foam price around 8k, for the first floor walls, open catherdral ceilings, and two crawl space (floor joist). Nothing on the first floor ceilings

The second floor is finished and the attic has about 16" of fiberglass over top of 6" cellulous. Not addressing that at this time... Full basement, rock foundation, which is surprisingly dry
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:45 PM   #20
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Re: Insulating Balloon Framed 1935 House


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Brick lined? As in brick exterior, gap, and then framing?
His building is old enough it could have brick infill IN the walls. Would have been something like post and beam frame with brick infill, plaster on the inside, board sheathing (with tar paper that's probably degraded beyond words), and clapboards. Don;t know unti he says...

My understanding is the brick primarily kept vermin in the walls from being a problem, but it also decreases air infiltration and adds a pretty good thermal mass - handy in wood fireplace times.

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