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United State | California

I'd like to insulate the interior walls in my house using a minimally invasive method.

My understanding that is that "blown-in insulation" requires specialized equipment and licensed professionals to do it. Are there alternative insulation solutions I can install myself that are cost-effective and won't require me to tear down the wall?

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Why do you need to insulate your interior walls (if not for sound/fire protection)? –  Steven Jan 8 '13 at 4:03
    
Are the walls insulated now, and with what? Without understanding your reasons, it's very hard to make recommendations, not to mention that this may not even be the solution to your problem. For example - if it feels cold due to drafts, that can better be solved by finding and stopping the drafts (a big draft can completely undermine any insulation -- even if you put in new insulation). Maybe the ceiling or floor is not insulated. Give us some background information at least.. –  gregmac Jan 8 '13 at 5:16
    
I removed the united-states tag. See meta.diy.stackexchange.com/q/649/22. A description of how the wall is constructed would be more useful than knowing where it is. –  Niall C. Jan 8 '13 at 5:52

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Retrofitting walls with insulation as a DIY project isn't really viable if you don't want to tear open the walls.

The options that I am aware of:

  • blown in cellulose (they come in, drill 1 small hole in each stud bay, and then fill the bays with insulation)

  • spray in foam (same general technique as the one above)

  • exterior foam boards (they remove the siding, insulate with foam panels, add new siding)

Alas, none of them are really DIY.

The only DIY method I can think of would be to take down the sheetrock and insulate yourself, but that would be a huge amount of work and likely not save you much much money in the long run.

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Thanks. That's exactly what I needed to know. –  Mike B Jan 8 '13 at 17:57

Try using teflon lamination wall paints. This will provide insulation. They are a bit expensive than the normal paints but is definitely worth the money.

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Can you please provide a link to an example of one of these paints? –  Niall C. Jan 14 '13 at 19:23
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May I mention that all effective insulations are based on trapped air bubbles. From the most expensive "Aerogel" with millions of tiny sealed air bubbles, to the likes of fibreglass and old newspaper products that are full of large open holes that let your heat race through to the cold outside. There is no way that a solid coat of paint a few thousandths of an inch thick can provide any form of insulation. It may bridge a number of small cracks and stop a tiny draft - but, it does not insulate. Sorry! –  Perry Kitsell Jan 15 '13 at 12:06

Keep in mind that heat always moves to cold. You want to keep your expensive heat inside your home. Therefore you should remove your drywall and replace it with sheets of polystyrene or similar closed cell insulation carefully fitted, this closes all the gaps and cracks in a wall Then fit new drywall over - job done. The joy of this process is, you can strip off just as much drywall as you can replace over a typical weekend, you don't have to worry about rain or snow or it getting dark, you merely continue at your own pace, insulating the inside of each outside wall at your own speed. Fitting the insulation on the inside, means you don't have the cost of heating your frame, nor do you waste energy heating the spaces between the sticks. When you add up the amount of wood in a typical wall and look at it as a proportion of that wall you can appreciate just how much heat the wall is conducting to the cold outside air.

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