Monday, December 13, 2010

Knox Hill Project: Weekly Update

Work continues and we are working against the end of year time clock to get as much insulation in to take advantage of the Federal tax credit. All of those walls that thieves opened up to steal pipe are being insulated and we are doing blown in on all the ones that were in good shape.

The great thing about those open wall area is you can really seal them. Remember they didn't insulate in 1871 and most houses were build in warm weather so cold air infiltration wasn't on their minds. So the gaps where the board under cladding meet the 2x4 of balloon framing there are  often gaps where cold air can infiltrate. This is your ONLY chance to insulate these areas in this way.

Go around anyplace the 2x4 meets the cladding board and do the spaces between those cladding boards which are tongue and groove, Because they are narrower where they join you can have heat loss. When you are done they should look like this. TIP any place you have a wire or pipe you should use the :'firestop' foam especially designed for those areas. Particularly where the fire stops between the floors are and you mat have gaps from taking out the Laths. The fire stop foam does cost a few bucks more but if you ever have a fire that extra time it provides could save your life!

Because of our wall depth we are using an R-13 insulation and we tape the overlap paper once they are stapled to seal them. IN combination with the foam ceiling we did, it should provide a comfortable house without cold walls.

Another are we are insulating is the duct work. IN addition to the special duct work insulation we are insulating around the register boxes. This is an area most people overlook but if you think about it it is a major source of cold air infiltration. The duct work does between the floors and the area where the duct work comes through the floor you want to foam the edges (with the fire stop foam). This duct came up into the closet then was exposed and turned into the room. Remember we removed the narrow closets and now it is a doorway between the bedroom and the closet/dressing room. So we took extra care to fully insulate around the register box. This is an interior wall but it is next to a brick chimney so you can have 'cold mass transfer. FYI, it is  a good idea to cover the plaster with a tile board material then a layer of fire rated drywall.

With all of our trees you cant see much of the neighborhood from the second floor east side. This view is across our side yard and you can see our neighbors  "native garden" with houses beyond.. Of course when this area was built there were no trees anywhere on these hills as they had been harvested for lumber by the many mills in the city. In fact much of this area was vineyards and farmland.

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