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igupt 12-08-2011 09:17 AM

Blown in Cellulose insulation in pre-exisitng house
Hello everyone.

I had contracted an insulation company (recommended by the energy auditor and builder friend) to insulate my house walls because during the energy audit, my walls showed little or no insulation ( I live in Maine).

The insulation company performed pre-eliminary check to determine the area and gave me the quote. The contract clearly mentions that during insulation (dense packed cellulose insulation), the interior walls may sag and the company will not be liable for it.

However, during pre-discussions, the general condition of house looked good and we didn't expect any issues.

On the day of insulation, the worker drilled holes in the outside walls, and then started the insulation process on north side of the house. When we waalked into the rooms, one wall had blown out of the seam , and the other wall had sagged, and there was cellulose all over the floor.

I had him immediately stop the process and vaccuum the insulation to release the pressure.

On inspection, it was found that my house( it is 50 years old) interior walls are 3/8 of an inch thick. They suspect that thin walls caused this issue.

But then upon further discussion, it turns out that the worker had drilled holes only at the bottom of the exterior walls and not on the top of the exterior walls. When I shared that the process is to drill holes at the bottom and at top, the worker said it was labour intensive and he generally drills holes only at bottom and can insulate the entire wall section between two studs through that one opening.

I saw the 'This Olde House videos' later and see they too mention drilling two holes.

what does this forum advise?
frustrated in Maine

slownsteady 12-08-2011 01:16 PM

Sounds like you have a legitimate grievance. But you'll have to make a strong case, and a lot of noise to get anyone's attention. How does the contract guarantee workmanship?

igupt 12-08-2011 01:48 PM

Thank you for your response slownsteady. I would like to understand what is the correct procedure for insulation? Is my contractor really at fault or what he did is also acceptable practice? Who can confirm the correct procedure?

nealtw 12-08-2011 05:21 PM

Energy Savers: Loose-Fill Insulation

On this site they seem to say, there are two ways of doing it. As in one hole or two holes.
They don,t show anything for 3/8" drywall but I see they don't recomend it for 1/2 drywall when it is 24" on center. That would say to me that there is a weight problem with this stuff and perhaps fiberglass would have been better for your house.
That said, that is why you hired an expert to look at your house and make suggestion on what would be best.
I think he should be held responsible for the repair, if he didn't know better he will from now on.

dleaoh 12-09-2011 08:50 AM

Insulation Installation
The commonly accepted standard methods for installing loose fill insulation in closed walls are the two-hole blow in which holes are drilled about 18 inches from the top and bottom plates, and tubing in which the insulation is blown through a tube inserted in a single hold and withdrawn as the cavity fills. In either case cellulose insulation must be installed at at least 3.0 pcf and fiber glass at 2.2 to 2.5 pcf to prevent settlement.

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