Before we had our high tech tools, how did we know if there was insulation in the walls? What were the methods?

How funny that I can use a camera but than can't figure out how was it done in the past without drilling holes on the wall and than you had to patch it? That doesn't seem like a cost effective way to bid a job. Or is it another rule of thumb? Like In So. Cal houses built before the 70's we can assume that there is no wall insulation. I am sure on the East Coast that insulation is a MUST. 

Views: 92

Replies to This Discussion

Well I just simply pop the cover off a few light switches & electrical outlets & shined a light in there. If I didn't see anything I would take a bent coat hanger & use it to fish around in there some.

 

Generally if we are remodeling a house / gutting  a room to the studs I will add in new insulation anyways due to new electrical, plumbing, etc... & the old insulation is probably shot. The only surprise I had was the 1879 remodel we did where it was fully packed with a wool type insulation that stayed in place & was still in great shape.

A crocheting hook used at an electrical outlet on an exterior wall can reveal the presence or lack of insulation.

Common practice in the Minneapolis area for the past 20 years has been to drill a 2” hole in a closet on an outside wall and snap a plastic plug into the hole after verifying the insulation level.  This would be done for any home built before about 1970.  It is possible for a wall to look insulated using the IR and have only 1.5 inches of insulation in the wall.  In our climate it is cost effective to dense pack cellulose into a wall that has an existing 1.5” insulation batt.  Sometimes on homes build before 1920, the walls will have no insulation but have back-plaster.  Back-plaster is an additional layer of plaster that was installed in the center of the wall cavity, making it more much expensive to insulate.  The IR is a great tool but it has limitations.

In reply to probing around ext. wall outlets, the problem is that batt insulation is usually installed poorly. By only probing in these locations you run the risk of determining that no existing insul. is in the wall because it was cut out too big around the box. The other error is compacted insul. around the box because it was not cut at all.

I would agree that the best practice is to drill inspection holes in the closet of an exterior wall and plug them. Of course this is dependent on H/O approval.

RSS

Discussion Forum

Moisture/Mold on rim joist;

Started by John Shillito. Last reply by John Nicholas Jan 10. 6 Replies

Radon - Passive Systems

Started by Sean Lintow Sr. Last reply by Bryan Gabriel Jan 5. 5 Replies

Vented Soffit! DO or DON'T?

Started by Daniel Baur-McGuire. Last reply by Daniel Baur-McGuire Nov 15, 2016. 13 Replies

Water Saver or Gimmick?

Started by Sean Lintow Sr. Last reply by Bob Blanchette Oct 23, 2016. 18 Replies

Duct Testing - is a change in order?

Started by Sean Lintow Sr. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr Aug 6, 2015. 20 Replies

Groups

Latest Activity

Victor Rols Lindsay commented on Diane Chojnowski's event Better Buildings Peer Exchange Call: Home Improvement Catalyst: Keeping the Ball Rolling with Homeowners by Delivering More Value
"Hi Diane, Unfortunately some of us are unable to partake in this webinar/ forum. Is there a…"
9 hours ago
Ken Summers replied to Gregory Cisco's discussion Abandoning under-slab HVAC ductwork which fills with groundwater seasonally.
"My largest concern is moisture. I have seen mold forming on interior walls in the heating season…"
13 hours ago
Seth Romme replied to Sonja Persram's discussion Energy Savings Guarantee for single family dwellings in cold climate??
"Hi Sonja We provide home energy optimization services and provide a 5-year heating and cooling…"
14 hours ago
Lindsay Bachman posted events
16 hours ago
Derrick Koehn's video was featured

How Technology and Innovation Are Making Outdoor Wood Burning Stoves More Efficient and Environmentally Friendly

Introduction Since ancient times, wood burning has been used for heating in some capacity or other. Although, of late, wood stoves are thought of more as a decorative appliance than a heat source, in truth wood heat is still one of the most…
17 hours ago
Efficiency First California's blog post was featured
17 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski's event was featured
Thumbnail

Better Buildings Peer Exchange Call: Home Improvement Catalyst: Keeping the Ball Rolling with Homeowners by Delivering More Value at Eastern Time

September 21, 2017 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Thursday, September 21 1-2:30pm Eastern TimePlease join this Peer Exchange call to…See More
17 hours ago
Diane Chojnowski posted an event
Thumbnail

Better Buildings Peer Exchange Call: Home Improvement Catalyst: Keeping the Ball Rolling with Homeowners by Delivering More Value at Eastern Time

September 21, 2017 from 1pm to 2:30pm
Thursday, September 21 1-2:30pm Eastern TimePlease join this Peer Exchange call to…See More
17 hours ago

Photos

Loading…
  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service