Dense pack wall insulation in old Victorians and stucco homes

Here's a question for you in two parts:

We do a lot of dense pack wall insulation in these old Victorian homes (most are 70+ years old, some are around 100 years old) and we are worried about the long term effects.  Here's our concern:

  • A lot of these homes were built using balloon framing which means they're drafty.  Like crazy drafty with straight shots through the walls from the attic to the crawlspace/basement.
  • We are in the San Francisco Bay area which means that for the most part, these homes are subjected to pretty damp conditions for considerable portions of the year. 
  • Damp conditions + drafty old homes = homes that are able to give the damp a clear exit path.

Yes, we realize that if it can get out that means it can get in - we get that.  But here's our concern:  these drafty old homes have lasted this long.  Granted, we air seal (as possible) and we install vapor barriers just as often as the dense-pack wall insulation, but if we come in and install dense pack cellulose, do we run the long term risk of moisture issues and causing unintended consequences?  Should we also be installing some form of vapor barrier in the wall?  BPI tells us that the dense-pack cellulose acts as both insulation and air sealing - but, again, what about that moisture aspect? 

The other half of this question applies to dense-pack cellulose installed in stucco homes.  Again, how concerned should we be about long term moisture issues?

We might be being a little paranoid but we just want to be thorough and do our best to really understand all of the consequences of our actions. 

Thanks!

Views: 316

Reply to This

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Griffin Hagle replied to Tom Conlon's discussion Whole House Fans - Love 'Em or Not?
"I was aware of but unfamiliar with them until moving to Southern California in 2012. After seeing…"
1 hour ago
tedkidd commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"David,  I don't think forcing people to do things works out well for anyone.  Any…"
2 hours ago
David Eakin commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
""I believe it is our job to educate the consumer, understand the problems, help them…"
3 hours ago
Profile IconGary Fitzgerald, LOUIS ANDERSON and Jeremy Hargreaves joined Home Energy Pros
3 hours ago
eric anderson replied to Tom Conlon's discussion Whole House Fans - Love 'Em or Not?
"In Connecticut’s climate, I am not in favor of them . Either they are the big old style that…"
4 hours ago
Don Fitchett replied to Brandon Walton's discussion 12 Things Every Home Performance Contractor Should Have on Their Work Truck
"Every little bit helps. :)"
4 hours ago
Tom White commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"Ted, I understand and share your concern about the lack of guidance on the part of the "Home…"
4 hours ago
Mike Kandel added a discussion to the group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
6 hours ago
Mike Kandel posted a discussion
6 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"David,  Please think some of these things through.  If programs suck so much, how can…"
6 hours ago
Hannah Finch posted a blog post

Stump Duncan, Innovate with Colby, and Save on RaterFest! 2014

RaterFest! 2014 Speaker Spotlight!Presenter:  Duncan PrahlTopic: Duck, Ducks, and more Ducts…See More
7 hours ago
David Eakin commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"Consultation and education are all well and good, but we have found that the…"
7 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service