Insulation is any material used to slow the transmission of heat or reduce the transmission of sound. Typical materials include fiberglass, foam, blown cellulose, and reflective foil. This should not be confused with weather stripping.

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How can I measure the r-value of a wall?

What is a reproducible test to measure the r-value of an exterior wall? Or even a specific spot on a specific wall? It needn't produce an absolutely certain result, but a good estimate with known ...
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1answer
4k views

Can a new ceiling be build directly onto an old one

I would like to build a new ceiling on to an old slightly sagging and poorly finished ceiling (peeling paint and no joint plaster used). I see this way as more convenient and less messy than ripping ...
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3answers
20k views

Should I install a vapour barrier if I'm using rigid foam insulation?

I'm re-insulating a room in my house from the inside. I've read that polyisocyanurate (polyiso) rigid foam insulation is the best R-value, so I plan on using that. Details: The house was built in ...
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2answers
4k views

How should I use heat tape?

I've been considering using heat tape this year, to protect my pipes from freezing. Are there any suggestions for the proper use or installation of heat tape, or pros/cons?
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1answer
900 views

Why am I getting condensation on the first floor joists of my new build?

We're building a new house in New Hampshire. We insulated the 1st floor joists with batting last winter so the minimal amount of heat we had in the basement to prevent the foundation from cracking ...
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1answer
1k views

How can I reduce heat transfer around my window unit air conditioners?

I have three old window units in my house and they function as my A/C. I am concerned about the amount of heat seeping into the house and cool air leaking out around the A/C units themselves. They're ...
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1answer
1k views

Easiest/Cheapest way to improve insulation of a room

I have a home office, which has 2.5 walls that border the outside of the house, and a floor that is over the garage. It's a nasty combination. It gets quite hot during the part of the day where the ...
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2answers
236 views

Should I think about insulating a cheap conservatory? if so how do I do it?

I made an offer on a house today that had a cheap upvc conservitory on the back on the house. The conservatory had a cheap plastic sloping roof on that leaked a little, the walls are very thin, and ...
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2answers
269 views

Check heating pipes for thermal leaks

I would like to check basic thermal leaks of the house heating system (and perhaps the house thermal insulation as well). As the professional services or equipment (thermocamera) are very expensive, I ...
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2answers
142 views

Is it difficult to work around cellulose installation?

I am a new house owner since July of 2014. I bought a 50 year old house with good bones and a great opportunity to flip it. My attic has a pathetic R5 insulation at the moment. Being a young home ...
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2answers
245 views

What can I fill a trench around my house with to avoid creating a drainage issue?

I am planning out my footing insulation job. Right now it's a pretty standard floating slab-on-grade with footings extending down a few feet, and the footings are uninsulated. A ring of concrete was, ...
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2answers
1k views

Adding insulation to exterior wall; remove stucco cladding, or add on top of it?

I have an exterior stucco wall that's not in super great condition. The outermost-layer was applied very badly and is flaking off, so doing a patch job or yet another layer seems like a bad idea ...
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2answers
848 views

How should I insulate this basement wall?

I've been doing a lot of reading. I live in Maryland, not particularly cold. We have an 8 foot ceiling in the basement which is poured concrete built in 1973. Only about a foot is above grade. I've ...
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2answers
139 views

spray foam personal protection

I have a closet in the master bedroom of my home that is on an exterior wall. Unfortunately there's no insulation on the back wall of the closet and so a lot of heat escapes. We keep the closet door ...
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2answers
158 views

How can I get the maximum light while avoiding heat from a window?

I have a west facing window. How can I get max light while avoid any heat coming from it?
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1answer
225 views

How should I mount external hardware to a Greenboard/EPS exterior wall?

The external cladding of my house is rendered NRG Greenboard (an EPS product). What is the best way to mount simple external hardware (specifcally, a hose reel) to this material? The reel itself just ...
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1answer
2k views

Should I install vapor barrier in my basement bathroom?

I have a brick house built in the 1920s. I'm installing a bathroom basement based on an existing layout, but I'm trying to keep the "wet" side (mechanical room with hot water heater, etc.) physically ...
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3answers
6k views

What is a good solution for hiding insulation in an unfinished basement?

First off, let me note that I am a tenant in this house. My landlord lets me do small improvements, but I'm not going to finish the basement with drywall myself. Basically, we have an unfinished ...
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1answer
608 views

Could space above a drop ceiling and below sound absorbing insulation increase echo in room?

Our builder has asked whether we have any objection to his laying sound insulation on top of the suspended ceiling he's going to install, rather than attaching it to the actual ceiling above. He ...
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1answer
3k views

How do I prevent window drafts?

I live in Florida. I have noticed that in the Winter it seems that the cold air leaks through the windows and into the rooms. This, of course, raises my energy bill for heating (yes we have to turn on ...
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1answer
41 views

Options for insulating a ceiling that is already finished (former 3 season room)

Is there a way to insulate a ceiling that is already finished and has no access point? More details below: Recently purchased a home in Eastern Massachusetts; one of the features was a room off the ...
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1answer
145 views

sliding door leaking air, is it installed correctly?

I have 2 very newly installed ( < 1yr) jeldwen sliding patio doors (aluminum clad) , and I found that they are leaking air on inside around the bottom and side edges of trim. I am wondering ...
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1answer
119 views

Can I use 1“ XPS and fiberglass batts instead of 2” XPS insulation in my basement?

I have read multiple sources on the internet suggesting use of 2" XPS foam boards to insulate basement foundation and then building a 2x4 wall in front of it. 2" foam board is very expensive when ...
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2answers
215 views

How can I insulate behind pipes that are close to a foundation wall?

Reading around, it seems like most people suggest to put up XPS insulation when finishing a basement. That's great and all, but how do you put 2" of rigid foam behind pipes that already exist in the ...
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1answer
318 views

Can I properly install Roxul mineral wool batts in a mostly-drywalled stud bay by pushing them up from below?

Using my nifty thermal camera, I discovered that my furnace closet's combustion air duct (visible in this question) is getting really hot when the attic heats up, and then (being sheet metal) it ...
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2answers
82 views

How to check the type of installed insulated glazing

In the Netherlands, insulated glass is rated by a standardized rating system, classifying it into 3 categories by the u-value: HR : U value between 2.0 and 1.7 HR+ : U value between 1.6 and 1.3 ...
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1answer
176 views

What type of insulation can I use to insulate around my furnace exhaust?

I've got a cold breeze blowing through my basement, originating from where the furnace exhaust turns vertical. What type of insulation can I stuff in around the exhaust, to stop the cold air? This ...
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2answers
88 views

Recommended method to insulate a raised (joisted) floor in the UK?

We're just about to get a new wood-burning stove fitted with an external air feed and have a load of squeaky floorboards which need fixing in the same room, so we're planning on taking the floor up. ...
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1answer
215 views

How can I insulate my attic conversion, without pulling down the plasterboard?

I recently purchased a house, and it has an attic conversion. Once winter came along we found out that there is no insulation between the roof and the plasterboard. Does anyone know of a way I can ...
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2answers
5k views

Should I add batt insulation to concrete basement walls?

We're planning how to finish our basement, and haven't been able to figure out something related to insulation. The home's in Minnesota, and was built in 2008. XPS insulation (installed by the ...
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2answers
4k views

How do I properly insulate an attic ceiling?

I'm considering insulating my attic ceiling using a foam kit. Doing a bit of research tells me that air sealing and proper ventilation are key I live in Long Island NY and currently have about R-19. ...
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5answers
4k views

What to do with a cold corner?

I live in an apartment on the 4th floor. My bedroom has the misfortune of being in the very corner of the building - it has two outer walls. On top of that, the corner between these two walls is ...
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3answers
998 views

Vented vs unvented crawl space

I've asked this question before: Vented vs unvented crawl space However, now that I'm going to get air conditioning the question comes back again and again people seem to have different opinions. ...
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4answers
853 views

What is the best way to seal this old fireplace vent?

I am doing some minor renovations to my basement with the drop ceiling and found that one of the geniuses that owned the house before me, used fibreglass ceiling tiles to seal off an old vent for a ...
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2answers
3k views

How do I determine what supplies to buy to insulate an attic?

I would like to add more insulation to an attic. What measurements and points do I need to look at to decide what materials to buy? How do I determine if I need airflow baffles? How do I determine ...
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1answer
37 views

How do you insulate exposed crawl space?

How do you insulate floor of cabin built on piers that has exposed crawl space and also keep the mice out? I want to insulate floor from underneath cabin. Cabin is in northeast U.S. and subjected to ...
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1answer
45 views

Should I install a moisture barrier before installing engineered hardwood in a partial basement?

I am thinking about using a 6 mil poly and a thicker sound/water barrier to make walking on the floors a bit softer. I plan to tape (or use silicon) as a means to seal moisture. My question is, is it ...
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1answer
194 views

How can I close off crawl space vents for the winter?

My exterior air vents are still letting air into the crawl space, even after being closed for the winter. I've seen the suggestions for wedging plywood over the air vents to further block the air, but ...
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1answer
106 views

What insulation should I use in my attached garage?

I'm currently tearing out the sheetrock and everything in my attached garage to do general repairs to other things. I quickly found that there wasn't a single bit of insulation (which explains a lot ...
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1answer
204 views

What's the best way to insulate an outdoor sauna?

I am designing a 4'x4' sauna. Most information online is for indoor saunas. From what I've gleaned, the layers should be (for example): Outside ––> cedar exterior ––> tyvex ––> strand board --> 2x4 ...
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1answer
186 views

Can I insulate between a brick chimney and drywall?

Can I insulate the space between a brick chimney and the drywall inside my home? I am getting heat transfer from the brick to the drywall in the summer from the sun heating the brick. My thermostat ...
2
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1answer
156 views

Is rigid foam on rim board in basement worth doing if walls aren't insulated?

We bought an older home that we use more as an office. The basement is totally uninsulated including the rim joists. Last winter, it got really cold down there to the point that the floors upstairs ...
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1answer
49 views

crawlspace insulation

I have crawlspace with an earth floor. it is approx. 24" from the ground to the floor joist. I have 6 mil poly on the ground. I have vents that will be opened in the summer and closed during the ...
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2answers
115 views

Looking to improve acoustic and thermal performance before relaying wooden floor

We are about to lay new wood floor in the entire upstairs of an old Victorian house. This seems like the perfect opportunity to acoustically (and thermally) insulate the floor to separate it from ...
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1answer
2k views

What can I use to adequately insulate round rigid metal ducts?

I'm installing properly sealed round metal ducts in my unconditioned attic for heating and cooling. I've probably got 100' total of 6" duct to cover. I'm trying to achieve an R-8 insulation value, ...
2
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2answers
181 views

How do I improve the insulation in a vaulted ceiling?

I live in a twenty year old Florida condo quadplex. The upstairs ceilings are two by four trusses of a mansard roof. I have replaced the ac, wall insulation, ducts. An IR thermometer shows huge heat ...
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1answer
100 views

Will closing the ventilation windows in my garage cause problems for my water heater?

I have a room directly above my garage and it's usually 10+ degrees difference in temperature compared to the rest of the house. I'm planning on insulating the door and the garage ceiling with rigid ...
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1answer
531 views

How can I improve the insulation in the lower attic space?

I live in a house with a finished attic. There's a substantial upper attic (big enough to walk around) and there are also knee walls between the upstairs rooms and the lower attic. There is ...
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2answers
758 views

Is dirty batt insulation on attic floor a sign of air leakage?

My attic is 530 sqft, with soffits, ridge vent and some 18"X18" window with mesh over it (I cant recall its name). The house was built in 1960 and has batt insulation on the attic floor. The batt ...
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1answer
415 views

What is the best way to install insulation batts in an attic?

As far as we can tell, the attic is laid out like so - first is the 2nd floor ceiling, then whatever material is right above that, then the attic joists, then there is plywood nailed to the joists, ...