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StormStrikes 04-25-2010 02:17 PM

Insulation Questions for Rooms and Attic
Hello all.

Im currently remodeling our bedroom and we (me and the wife) decided to just go for it all and do all we could while we were doing the work and insulate everything we could, update the electrical, resurface the hardwood floors and so on.

One of the things we are really focused on is energy efficiency. I realize things have to breathe some but beyond that I want to insulate to the max, LOL.

We have the bedroom walls tore down (drywall is down, insulation is out). I have not yet tore down the ceiling drywall, been debating on whether or not to do that, but the recent desire from the wife to add recessed lighting may motivate me to just pull that down as well and install the lighting, even though I know I could use the remodel can lights.

Ive got the wiring in for the receptacles (old wiring was 14/2 and one circuit breaker turned off lights and recept's to all three bedrooms and the recept's were ungrounded two prong type) using 12/2 with a ground. there were only two outlets in the room and we have now increased that to 5. With an additional recessed recept to be added on its own circuit for the wall mounted LCD TV.

Anyway, on to the point. The house is a brick exterior house, with what I can only call (dont know the technical name) some kind of fiber board between the brick and the wall framing (2 x 4).

I live in Oklahoma, and I have one roll (will get more) of R13 insulation with the vapor barrier, plastic wrapped fiberglass. Im wondering, do I need to put up a vapor barrier before I install the insulation even though it has its own vapor barrier?

I wanted more than R13 but could not find any R19 locally with a vapor barrier (we only have a Lowes locally, no Home Depot or any other home supply store). I wanted to use nothing but rigid foam insulation but Im not sure how practical that is. Is there anything else I can do to further insulate while I have the walls down?

With regards to attic insulation. I went up in the attic and it looks like there is patches of new insulation here and there with reflectix laid over the top of that. Predominantly there is what appears to be loose fill insulation, very old looking that doesnt even reach to the level of the rafters, maybe 2.5" thick if that and what new insulation is up there has been laid over the top of it.

In re-insulating the attic, do I need to go ahead and pull out all that old insulation? That stuff looks nasty and is super super dusty. My thoughts/plans were to just go ahead and take it all out, lay down two layers of insulation and put reflectix back over that. Any thoughts?

Okay, I'll stop there, sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any help and advice.

Cork-Guy 04-25-2010 03:08 PM

I got one question; are you doing all this yourself or are you outsourcing the work? If you're removing the walls and insulation yourself I hope you're using the proper precautions to prevent issues with asbestos. What is your zipcode? I'll see exactly what type of insulation you'll need to reach max efficiency without going overboard.

StormStrikes 04-25-2010 03:14 PM

Yeah, doing it all myself and to be honest I never even considered there would be asbestos in the house. It was built in the late 50's. Now I wonder if the loose fill insulation in the attic is asbestos.

My zip code is 74006.

Cork-Guy 04-25-2010 05:25 PM


Originally Posted by StormStrikes (Post 44122)
Yeah, doing it all myself and to be honest I never even considered there would be asbestos in the house. It was built in the late 50's. Now I wonder if the loose fill insulation in the attic is asbestos.

My zip code is 74006.

1950's... I'd be very worried about asbestos actually; I've provided some information on asbestos and this should be your PRIMARY concern before moving forward at all... especially if you're doing this yourself and you have a family in your household.

Asbestos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Asbestos in Your Home | Asbestos | US EPA "Houses built between 1930 and 1950 may have asbestos as insulation."
Asbestos | US EPA
Safety and Health Topics: Asbestos

StormStrikes 04-25-2010 08:43 PM

Okay, I think thats pretty wise advice. I had not considered the possibility. I searched and found they have asbestos testing kits available that are not expensive so I will see about getting one of those and if it turns out positive I'll put everything on hold until I can get everything professionally removed.

StormStrikes 04-25-2010 09:03 PM

I thought I would add that I dont think the wall insulation is made of asbestos unless it was known to be dyed pink. The only thing that has me concerned now is the loose fill insulation in the attic. The wall board was made by United States Gypsum Company and doesnt look to be 'old', though that is nothing conclusive by no means, just simply doesnt look like it was the original wall board put up.

I'll get my hands on a testing kit and go from there.

AtticCare 09-07-2010 02:54 PM

Don't worry about asbestos unless you are turning it into a dust. People are just WAY too worried about it. If your ceiling is sealed, it doesn't matter what is in your attic, just blow over it, that 2.5 free inches of insulation. If you go with can lights, get SEALED can lights, or your insulation won't do any good, leaky can lights can be like open windows, and anybody can tell you even R-60 doesn't matter if a window is open. Insulated wall makes up 5-10% of the avg envelope, don't worry about r-value so much in your walls, even at R-60, they still are only 5-10% of the insulation package. Ceiling insulation does over 70% of the insulating work. So put 70%+ focus on the ceiling.

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