Our operation, Rising Sun Energy Services, insulates a lot of walls using cellulose blown in through 2" holes. As simple as a tapered 2" plug might be, we've been having a very hard time sourcing a reliable size. There are no local lumber yards, suppliers, or vendors in the Berkeley area that carries them, so we purchase from two distributors who routinely sell us the same plugs...that usually come in variations in size. Sometimes the plugs are too big and won't fit into the holes, and other times they are two small and won't snug into a hole.

Simple, yes, but the lack of consistency is a very real problem for us. Does anyone recommend a product, manufacturer, or type of plug for sheetrock, plaster-and-lathe, or wood exteriors?

Dan Antonioli

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Hi Dan,

Search "Maine wood craft products".  From golf tees to tooth picks, there are wide variety of manufacturers up here.  Even the Easter Eggs at the White House were made in Maine.  Shameful plug for our local economy.

Bud

Have you tried J&R products? I use them for wood and plastic plugs..... www.jrproductsinc.com

I also get mine form J&R products online.  They have them for pine, foam and cedar

Just a comment: I hear from people about how they don't like how their walls look after the walls have been insulated with blown-in insulation—the hole stands out. A plug is a small thing but could go a long long way toward having satisfied customers.

I may be mis-reading into the above comments, but it sounds like some of the comments are referring to direct drilling and plugging through the existing siding. I can not even remember the last time we did not remove the siding before blowing the cavity. Yes we use plugs of what ever is needed to seal the drill holes, but then the siding is replaced. The exception is stucco where we generally use a foam plug recessed and patched. In this case the color of the stucco patch may not match the existing color, but it will take a careful look to see where we drilled after new paint is applied.

Interior we use foam plugs recessed and built up with mud/plaster. Never no we were there after paint.

To get back on comment-------------if you are leaving visible holes in a client's home you are doing yourself and the insulation business a disservice.

 

Hi Ed,

I was thinking in particular of one homeowner who decided to have her walls insulated from the inside to save the expense of renting scaffolding. She was very unhappy with the patch.

I was also thinking about a study done in Europe to determine what keeps people from having retrofit work done on their homes. The number one reason why they didn't? Dirt, noise, inconvenience.

Have you had any problems with the foam plugs? I just got some samples from J&R Products yesterday and the foam plugs looks promising, though I'm concerned that they make for a weak patch. They fit more easily, yes, but they aren't as solid as a wood connection. 

Rising Sun Energy Services offers heavily subsidized energy upgrade measures to moderate-income homes. We drill, fill, and patch and offer "patch paining" if the homeowner wants it. Evidence of patching is rarely an issue with homeowners who got up to 75% off the cost of the work, or got all of it for free!

Dan

For sheetrock, we use a keyhole saw bit and drill out the 2" hole.  We then reinsert the plug and patch.

Any work done poorly will produce unhappy clients.  Drill a hole with a hole saw in reverse and use a dust shield.  If you do not have one, spray shaving cream over the hole to be and drill away.  The dust is all collected in the shaving cream.  And this too is easy to clean since the dust turns it into a paste.  No dust.  Now set the plugs 1/8" in beyond the surface.  Use 20 minute hot mud  (dry compound mixed with water) and fill the hole flush.  No sanding is needed for final coat.  Use 45 minute mud next and apply a coat over this one.  Perfect patches and no return trips to finish.  (unless painting is included in your bid)

Hello Dan.  We carry  Pine Plugs in the 2" size.  Our non-profit's weatherization crews use with no issues of sizing.  You can order online or call me.

Tracy

1-800-989-6686

Hey Dan, FYI. Several years ago we transitioned all our crews to 1 1/4" id hose with 2 9/16" drilled holes. It increased production by approx 30 percent. In the majority of cases we install all dense pack form the exterior. Removing required siding, drill holes through sheathing, plug holes with 2 9/16" plugs, reinstall siding. Crews are trained on siding removal for clapboard, vinyl, aluminum, and transite. In your case, you may want to train crews on stucco drill and patch. Much less disruption to our clients and minimal cleaning. In the last two years our crews completed almost 70,000 homes in NY using this method in most cases....Matt

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