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: 351

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.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Linda Wigington replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Chris Another faster option in the interim could be to post a You-Tube video on how to use the…"
5 hours ago
Linda Wigington replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Ted -  That is why the 1000 Home Challenge has two options for determining a project's…"
5 hours ago
Empower Efficiency added 2 discussions to the group Job Board
5 hours ago
tedkidd replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Immediate verifiable won't work, this has been improved over 20 years..."
5 hours ago
Linda Wigington replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Ted -  It is important to clarify that the OPTION B 1000 Home Challenge allowance comes out to…"
6 hours ago
Linda Wigington replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"I agree Chris - that is where we need to end up. It may be possible to have the threshold…"
6 hours ago
Linda Wigington replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Just logged on and discovered Chris beat me to the response - Thanks Chris!  Here is my answer…"
6 hours ago
Chris Stratton replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Weigh in - Honorable Mention? 2nd Base? Half-Way There? 50% Better? On the Path? in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"Hi Linda, I'd vote transitioning the verification spreadsheet to a website would help…"
7 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service