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broke 03-06-2006 01:59 PM

Insulating Exterior Walls
I am in a townhouse, end unit. I'd like to insulate the exterior walls as it gets too cold in here.

Any experience with blowing insulation into the walls?

Wonder if placing another layer of drywall would help also. What about wood paneling?

Also want to insulate against street noise.

Any info, thanks.

broke 03-12-2006 08:47 PM

no one has any experience in this?

Square Eye 03-12-2006 11:29 PM

Another layer of drywall might help reduce noise. Wood paneling will add nothing. If there is NO insulation in your exterior walls, then yeah, you need to do something to rectify that. Blown in insulation seems the way to go. BUT, blown in makes a BIG-TIME mess when you blow in from inside the house. If you are prepared to move everything out of the outside wall rooms and shop vac yourself to death, then you'll be fine. Check your walls for fire breaks before you start. Fire breaks are blocks from stud to stud about half way up from the floor to the ceiling. If you have them, then blow in insulation will be twice as hard to work with. If you have the option to blow in from outside, this is the preferred method. Especially if you have vinyl siding. pop one piece loose all the way around the area to be insulated. Plug the holes with whatever you can find that's solid enough to get a good seal and put the siding back over it. You should be able to rent the machine for half of a day after you get the prep done. Spend a half day closing it all back up. Total estimated time,,1 day to 1 1/2. Ladder work will slow you down if you are insulating an upper level. There have been folks that have just found it easier to pull the drywall off and insulate with fiberglass batts. Consider how much repair will be required and decide wich way to go from there. If you do rip the drywall off, the best noise cancelling material I know of is the old black tar fiber board. Cover the wall with that stuff and then cover that with 1/2" drywall with screws. When I've been involved in commercial jobs with closed session conference rooms, that was the standard architect's noise barrier. Ripping the drywall off also gives you an opportunity to get a vapor barrier in the wall.

Sorry about the wait. If someone else posted after you did in the same department, I may have just not seen you're question. I also *sometimes* try to give someone else a chance to answer the questions. I think all of the regulars recognize me as a long winded know-it-all.,, InspectorD, am I right?

Tom in KY, not a PHD. More like a BSd.

inspectorD 03-13-2006 06:16 AM

The only reason you could be considered long winded is that you type faster.

Slow typers have less BSd to spread around, I need more schoolin!:D

MoJoe 03-13-2006 12:34 PM

Wow, how old is the townhouse? I was under the impression that insulation was required by code in all exterior walls. Are you sure there is nothing there now?

inspectorD 03-18-2006 09:38 AM

Insulation ...
Insulation was not introduced into the energy code until the 70s.

Town house, my suggestion....earplugs. There cheaper.:D
When you sell show it early on sunday mornings.:rolleyes:

broke 04-06-2006 08:00 AM

Thanks everyone.

Sunday is interesting.

The townhouse is 33 years old - 1973. Started as an apartment complex (and should have remained so). I haven't checked inside the wall yet. In the attic there is insulation on the floor. The siding above the attic floor has nothing but siding and studs! What is supposed to be there? certainly more than that and I'm sure the noise comes from there quite a bit also.

Square Eye 04-06-2006 08:15 AM

The walls above the ceiling have very little insulating value. I'll bet that if you go to the wall and pull back the ceiling insulation, you will see the top plate of the wall below. If the attic is vented properly, there isn't much you can do to kill noise up there. Ceiling insulation is the best noise killer there.

milehigh_woodcrafter 04-06-2006 10:02 PM

I'd like to know, are you renting this townhome?

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