1947 Cape Cod Attic Insulation Advice Needed

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by lordoftheflies, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Location:
    NY
    Well, I'm tired now! And it was especially humid today.

    I made a small hexagonal hole in the joint compound lid, used a home depot bucket, went to town with a mixing bit. Worked out really well. I was surprised how tired I got just holding the damn drill!

    I used about 2.5 bags (30lbs each) of the all-borate insulation and went past the joists a little bit so I'm guessing I'm at around r-30. It took 4 trips with the big 30 gallon garbage can I used to transport the fluffed up cellulose. I used an ice scraper with a nice brush on one end to smooth out the cellulose.

    Finished framing the wall, used some scrap pieces of the purple drywall (want not waste not!) and got as far as putting the mesh tape on. I used some leftover R-15 Roxul Thermal batts and used a scrap piece of strapping as a support across the front wall.

    Now, I'm starving as I haven't eaten all day and it's time for a double whopper with cheese!

    Thanks for the advice as always Dana.

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  2. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Location:
    NY
  3. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Two coats of Easy Sand 90 done.

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  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    01609
    Looks like it's about time to crack into another case o' root-beer or something! :)

    You may be pleased to know that I spent most of yesterday correcting insulation faults in my cathedralized ceiling to mitigate against the chronic ice-damming problem, after the person I lent it to a year back returned my insulation blower. I had forgotten to grab the Flir One from the lab to make it easy, but since it would have been a 2-hr round trip to pick it up I did the next-best thing, and was able to spot the bigger voids in the parts I was less certain of using a pistol-grip IR thermometer. In yesterday's bright sun the shingles were measuring 130-135F, and the ceiling temps were warm enough in the less-insulated bays to make it pretty obvious where the biggest voids were. It was registering temps in the low-to mid-90s in the bays that needed it rather than the high 70s/low 80s in the adjacent bays.

    I'm sure there are still other spots that would benefit from packing 0ut, but with the overcast/rain of today and no IR cam to work with, probing with the thermometer wasn't going to cut it, so I took the day off (it is Labor Day, after all. :))
     
  5. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

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    Location:
    NY
    I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel but I'm not there yet. I need to get the other built-in drawer kneewall cleaned up exactly like I did this one. Then I can finally finish the bathroom. :D Plus I still have to figure out how to fix the window area on the wall that was almost 2" out of plumb without a table saw. That will be....fun. But at least I'm getting some taping practice in on the kneewall drywall first before tackling the bathroom. Gonna make sure I get some nice, flat joints in the bathroom to save me some headache when tiling.
     
  6. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NY
    Ripped out the other built in drawers today. Was rather surprised that I managed to do this side in one day. Got everything done except for the joist insulation because there was one spot with some mold. I sprayed some Concrobium on it so I'm letting that dry before I fill again with insulation. The boss has requested an open shoe rack in that space and will not let me just close it up. Lmfao.

    Opened it up and saw half the insulation on the floor again. Smh.

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    More mouse poop but not as much as the other side.

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    There was also a paper bag filled with empty coffee cups.

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  7. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Location:
    NY
    New insulation in.

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    Rockwool R-15 Comfort Batt on the exterior walls.

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    Since I had one piece of the R-19 left I used it and filled the other spaces with the Rockwool.

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    Mold spot.

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  8. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

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    Location:
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    I think it's time for a dumpster! 15 yard 2 ton should arrive tomorrow. Cost me $450 goddamn it.

    Also on this side there was no blocking at the wall so I installed the 2" XPS foam board that I had leftover and spray foamed as well.

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    All taped up and sealed.

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  9. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

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    Location:
    NY
    Insulated. Woot.

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    And in other news I got my dumpster and filled that up before the rain. Yee haw. Haven't seen that part of the driveway......in 2 years.....

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  10. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

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    Location:
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  11. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    Location:
    01609
    NOW is it time to break out the root beer? :)
     
  12. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    NY
    Never celebrate too early! Don't hatch the chickens that haven't been laid yet! Hahahaha.

    I was going to frame the knee wall but then was too feckered so I showered and decided to take the kids to the diner.
     
  13. Edward P

    Edward P New Member

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    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Old Bridge NJ
    I just have to bump this thread because it is amazing. But on a side note since this was done last year have you seen any difference in your heating and cooling?
     
  14. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Location:
    NY
    Hi. Thanks for the kind words.

    I noticed an Immediate difference the day I finished the install. A few days later I slept with the windows open and no ac for the first time in the summer since we moved in in 2006.

    When you walk up the stairs no longer are we not in the face with a wall of heat, as if you were walking from an air conditioned space to the outdoors.

    We have Mitsubishi electric heat pumps and our usage was down about 20%. We supplement on super cold days with a fireplace. Last winter was very mild though here in NY and I think we really only had one big snow storm where the snow persisted on the ground.

    I sheetrocked most of the bathroom and have not finished yet. I got sidetracked by getting into procuring wood from local tree service companies and processing it into firewood (90% by hand with a mail, sledge, and wedges).

    I think doing the attic and all the crawl space was immeasurably awesome. I like that I used the all-borate version so that any insects that do make their way into the attic via the gable vents don't stay. I'm also glad I decided to go to the maximum r-60 amount of insulation.

    I can't thank @Dana enough for his invaluable help, knowledge and guidance as I would not have been able to do it myself. That said this forum is fantastic and I've learned so much about all sorts of things I never would have learned otherwise.
     
  15. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

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    Location:
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    Just the other day my neighbor, who has the exact same house and the exact same problems with the heat escaping in the winter and just baking the upstairs in the summer, had a discussion about temps. I told him downstairs was 76 without ac and upstairs was 77. He said downstairs was 71 with AC and 900 upstairs.....WITH AC. These post war capes we own were built so hastily and shoddily and whoever installed the central air systems (retrofitted by them cutting out base plates in the 2x4 walls) only installed one zone. Regardless of zones though is the problem of no air sealing in the attic and a pathetic amount (2.5") of useless insulation in the attics.
     
  16. Edward P

    Edward P New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Old Bridge NJ
    I'm currently running into the same issue bought an 1960 expanded cape house last year in new jersey and it is only has one zone so the first floor remain cools but the second floor cooks during the summer and gets chilly during the winter.

    I have yet to gain access to the "attic" as there is no entrance from within the home and from outside only way in is the gable vent which is only 16" x 12" so i doubt I will be able to fit through there. As my house is an expanded cape I am not sure how much room i would have up there to move around.

    Any suggestions before I cut an access hole?
     
  17. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

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    Location:
    NY
    There is no other way than to tape the doors to your upper floor, find a "joist" which in my case was a 2x4, cut a hole in the hallway ceiling, get a proper high quality mask, and get up there with a ladder.

    I already know you have no air sealing and an insufficient amount of insulation. I could not stand in the attic so imagine spending days up there in mid summer pulling out all the old insulation either kneeling or sitting.

    I did have the advantage of an open ceiling in the bathroom since I gutted it but I also cannot express what a huge difference it has made to the comfort of the upper floors. Literally kicking myself for not dealing with it earlier.
     
  18. lordoftheflies

    lordoftheflies Active Member

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    Oh and don't forget about the crawl space either. You have little short access doors in each bedroom, right? Any built in dressers like me?
     
  19. Edward P

    Edward P New Member

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    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Old Bridge NJ

    That is the plan, thankfully I have lots of n95 masks due to work and this covid situation. Now I just need to get the wife's permission.
     
  20. Edward P

    Edward P New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2020
    Location:
    Old Bridge NJ
    Yes we have doors in each room accessing the crawl space, sadly no built-ins which would serve more purpose. Last summer I took up the plywood in the crawlspace as I needed to install pot lights and run romex there was insulation but it was pretty thin. As for the walls in there it was just a slim layer of compressed r13 i believe. The exterior walls are 2x6 so i was planning on doing the same insulation as you.

    The images are from the old owners thankfully the rooms were repainted.
     

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