Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Insulating a 100 year old home with blown-in cellulose

While renovating a 102 year old home in Collingwood we discovered that the upstairs of the home had virtually no insulation in the outside walls. There was a little blown-in cellulose insulation that had been added some years ago to the attic but there was nothing in the outside walls.

Normally when you find this the simplest thing to do is to remove all the lath and plaster off the outside walls and then either batt the walls with fibreglass insulation or since the wall cavity is 2x4 then (if the budget permits) we spray foam it all to maximize your R-value. But his century old home was built so well that it had wire lath and plaster on the outside walls (extremely hard to remove) and 1x6 t&g on the inside and outside of the 2x4 walls. So it wasn’t possible to demolish the interior of the walls without affecting the structural integrity of the home.

We opted to drill holes in the outside walls every four feet vertically in the outside walls and into every stud cavity. Once the holes were drilled then the insulators used blown- in loose cellulose to fell the exterior walls.

Using blown-in cellulose is a very efficient and cost effective way to fill wall cavities that you can’t see into. Blown-in cellulose is a loose product that will settle itself behind electrical wires, around blocking and into small spaces that regular insulation would not fit into.

There is a chance that some spots might get missed but the overall effect is that you will have a much more comfortable home to heat and enjoy in the winter.

The attic also received blown-in loose cellulose to help stop heat loss on top of the existing older material.

The best thing to do when you think you are lacking insulation or suspect that you have no insulation at all is to call either a general contractor or an insulation contractor to have a look and give you some options on how to remedy the situation.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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