My external 2x4 walls (Philly, PA) are currently open (from the
inside) and I am about to put R13 insulation in them. Are there some
additiona quick-an-easy things that I can do at this point to improve
insulation. I'm thinking some reflective surfaces or something like
that. Any ideas? I would hate to finish the wall only to realize I
could have done something else easily.
Caulk, caulk, caulk. I like Great stuff at this point. If you
can make a room dark- go in on a bright day and look for pinholes. If
you've got some wind- find air leaks with a candle flame.
Your goal is to make each stud cavity a separate dead-air space.
Then I like to use unfaced insulation and cover the entire wall with a
foil barrier. I used to always use a foil faced kraft type paper
about 36 inches wide. Run it horizontally & tape the seams.
Last time I used a foil-faced bubble wrap stuff. It came in 16 & 24
inch widths and overlapped on the studs. It was expensive- but my
theory on insulation is that it pays for itself in both comfort and
And don't forget to use tape around outlets and insulate behind them.
[I use 1"styrofoam behind switches and outlets.] And use those
little pads under switch and outlet covers.
Do not compress the insulation.
Now that walls are open you have options, fiberglass when it gets cold
looses a major amount of R value, maybe 20- 30% below zero, Cellulose
I have read actualy stays the same or gets better, and foam not only
insulates but seals out air infiltration, but there are foams that go
from R3-R7. Ive heard of a cellulose with glue added, you get it wet
and it cures in place and wont settle. Best would be foam, but I would
at least think about a final sheet of the R7 foam with foil radiant
barrier, or some radiant barrler at least, R 13 with air leaking is
not much at all, and im sure at near zero at least the outer portion
of the wall will be cold lowering that R13. An up to date way is Foam
with 2x6 for near R 40.
Totally seal the boards with caulk. Use 50 tubes of caulk if necessary. If
the wall is plank boards, caulk between each board. If plywood, then just
around 2 x 4's where they meet the plywood.
Cold air can come through these cracks and come out through an electrical
outlet. Seal it air tight! Well worth the trouble.
"Aaron Fude" wrote in message
This is actually a stone house so no plywood.
When you guys say "foam" what exactly are you talking about. Can I
find it at Home Depot? A link would be very much appreciated.
Many thanks in advance,
picturing it. Assuming you're undergoing some kind of renovation, your
best bet may be to get an insulation contractor out to tell you what your
You can get rigid foam (polystyrene) panels at the home center. There is
also foam in a can like Cool Whip for small cracks, etc. You can also buy
foam in tanks and spray it. But that's usually not done by DIYers.
Go with a pro.
They used to sell it in 20lb propane tanks at HD or menards but I have
no idea of the R value or if its the stuff that expands alot like
great stuff, id google and call contractors for bids, there are
different types from R 3.5 to R 7.2 per inch so you need to ask
questions and verify what is used.
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