1902 Victorian

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Insulation Questions

I thought about it some more, and I don't think we'll hire a pro to do the insulation, whether we want to or not. Seems like every bill on the planet came due this month ... insurance, car tags, etc. $200 here, $200 there.

I suggested to Darwin that we don't have to do the whole house at once. We could insulate under the living room (where we spend the most time) and maybe the office (since it's the coldest room in the house).

But I want to do a little more research after reading the comments. As Patricia W. says, there are so many conflicting ideas about what's best.

Patrick says Insulstar spray-in foam is awesome, and I agree it sounds interesting. I like the idea of sealing up all the cracks and eliminating drafts.

But I worry about spraying something permanent under my floors. I think we have no subfloor - just tongue-and-groove pine. I checked under a vent cover, and though I couldn't see well, I felt all that cold, under-house air breathing on my hand.

I'm terrified of doing anything to the house that can't be changed back at some point in the future, if necessary.

So does this foam attach to the wood? Can it affect the wood? What if we needed to replace part of the floor in future? And is this something we could do ourselves?



Ron said...

I agree with your worry doing something that is not reversible. I am a fairly big fan of Rockwool insulation. It was used for a long time in the US until the 50's when the fiberglass marketing machine got going anf then it almost ent the way of the streetcar if it was not for the commercial and industrial uses. In Europe, and some parts of Canada it is still used quite a bit. Rockwool can be blown in like fiberglass or celulose. The difference between rockwool and the others is rockwool has a slightly higher r-value, it is less affected by getting wet, it does not compact as much as the others over time, it is very fire resistant(used in oven doors and such), it is also used for sound insulation, and most of all it is very resistant to mold and mildew. It seems that most towns still has atleast one company that still is blowing in rockwool if you ask them.

6:49 PM  
Kristin said...

Thanks for the tip, Ron.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous said...


Spray in place foam does need something to stick to (this is also what provides some structural rigidity).

As far as being a DIY, there are kits where you can buy the A and B component and a spray gun, but the cost is actually higher than having a pro do it (not to mention having the labor and dealing with the mess that foam can make)...So, I wouldn't do this one on your own.

I gave the impression that we are using foam everywhere--we are not. We used in the exterior walls (after new electrical and plumbing) and the attic roof (which is now an unvented attic and within the conditioned space of the building). We are using the less expensive fiberglass on ALL interior walls--mostly for the purpose of sound deadening properties, but it also compartmentalizes the heat. We will also use fiberglass underneath the second story floor/first floor ceiling. On the first story floor (under the crawl space) we will likely use fiberglass--although rockwool looks interesting.

Nothing says you can't use more than one product for various needs...But again, do your research on this issue, because poor insulation can do more damage to a home than one without it.

Good luck.


12:16 PM  
Jenn said...

One commenter stated that floors give the lowest return on investment, and that is correct - however, the sidewalls of that crawlspace/ cellar/ whatever- you- might- have could benefit from some insulation and perhaps you need to think about the logistics of doing something there.

I'm in a ranshackle mobile home, my solution to cold floors is stacked straw on the *exterior* of the place - over the height of the floor to stop the draft - I'm pretty sure you are looking for something a bit more aesthetic than that.

Styrofoam or foam insulation sheets, cut to fit snug and duct taped at the seams might give you some relief from that floor draft.

3:44 PM  

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