Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

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CosmosisT
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Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:08 am

Dealing with cold walls, and a leaky door threshold working into the joists (flooring).

Recently finished removing a lot of wallpaper, did an extensive amount of mudding (should have re-sheeted). Ran into some problems, few being it was just rather cold in this one spot, and others damage from moisture.

First issue is the attic/traps, would like to address them or temporarily take care of them till I can do a better job/afford it.

I notice the one wall where my hand is it's very cold, so cold paint/etc doesn't adhere properly, it will with time but portions find their way off and it's likely from the condensation that can and has formed when issues arise. This area has more than one cold-spot unfortunately and opens the problem more.

On the side of the house where the wall is removed, insulated gutted; there is no vents up to the attic, this side and the other have no soffits outside/vents.
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This is the spot specifically. Now on the East/West of this home's mental drawing, there are soffits/vents, I am not entirely sure if this is a game-changer at all when solving the attic/traps re-insulating them/etc.

Question here would be what's my best option for tackling the trap for now and making that wall warm but not opening up chance for moisture/mold. If and when I go to convert these areas, how do I vent them if the vents are on the side and don't run of the joists? Could it be possible that someone blocked it off not knowing or would this be home design not having the vents up. Had always though you'd have soffits on the side your baffels can fit between the joists up to the attic, but this home opposite?

Next issue which doesn't seem big but wanted to be sure is, on the wall I tore apart on mid floor with the door and window I had noticed a draft coming in, and I mean heavy. I thought weather-stripping/threshold and all sorts but it was so cold, my feet in that area were freezing. I decided to look below the floor between the joists and found two spots that allowed a lot of cold air in. I pried away the ceiling more and from open cavities below the threshold that needed to be sealed. Still need to get the door-apart to make sure but next I noticed the wall was cold so decided to look behind it to see if this draft was going up the wall, it wasn't. It would appear the issue is below the threshold between the opening. However I did find bad insulation. I ripped the whole wall down and it was all bad.

Not sure if the 200 - 300+CFM air-leak below the door did it or if the trap did it, but I'm sandwiched here and thinking the only sure-fire solution is to spray-foam the wall and forget it!

Of course there's money and it's not a big space, I do need to take door out and put it back in. How would you guys go about this.

Sorry if I'm not as clear either terminology is weak. :X
Thanks again for opinions.
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Last edited by CosmosisT on Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Shannon
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky devil-traps and a wall that leaks air.

Post by Shannon » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:12 pm

I'm sorry but I am a little confused by most of what you have asked here.
First off what are attic /traps? I have never heard that term.
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky devil-traps and a wall that leaks air.

Post by CosmosisT » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:24 pm

Image

I am not sure of the terminology most accepted, but heard of these being called a few things. The corner of the attic if you will?

This is what I'm looking at:
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The cold-wall leads into this corner portion, its knee walls are insulated with pink batt but this cold-wall just drywall.

This is a problematique wall and need to be re-done. I believe that there is no soffits at eave and that there are soffits at rake, (gable side). The whole eaves side is blocked off?

How would I tackle these corners in the home? Given the soffit condition how would I vent these/insulate correctly?

Could I temporarily fix this and in the future open the up for storage? What's viable for these scenarios?


As for the wall wit the door/window, I'm dealing with old wood siding, this wall originally was cold, and figured out it was not insulated right. Below the door in the basement are holes in where the threshold of the door is, and it leaks a lot of air, this maybe contributed to damage but these wood siding exteriors leak a lot of air through them.

Found this guide, wonder what you think.

Image

In a bit of a bind, but got to solve these issues before they get worse.

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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:52 am

Ok thanks now I know what you are talking about. So many of the homes built like this were never vented other then maybe a wall vent at each gable wall down at that low position because many of these homes did not have a roof eave overhang. If your home is that way then there is not to much you can do to vent it more. I have seen people add turtle vents down low on the edge of the roof and I guess that is better then nothing? Also these homes where usually 2x4 ceiling rafters and had very little room for insulation let alone room for an air space under the sheeting to circulate air up under the sheeting. Unless you are doing a complete gut getting everything perfect would be difficult and even then it requires some real planning and careful consideration to venting to redo these home correctly. My suggestion is to insulate those end walls in the stairwell. I would use 2" foam installed from the back side of the drywall if possible and sealed well with canned sprayfoam. This would give you a basic air/vapour barrier you could then add more batt insulation behind that for extra R value. If you ever create storage in some of that area leave some space still behind the back wall for circulation and insulate the storage walls well.

As for the front wall the door threshold area, sealing any air leaks with canned sprayfoam is going to be a great start and then insulating as you want. If you use 2" rigid foam or spray foam then you can usually skip the poly air/vapour barrier under the drywall but other wise you will need to add that as well.

Hope this gives you a better understanding of the route to go here.
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:26 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5uGtQNi7gs

I saw this video and wondered what you thought, it looks to be the solution in my case but I can't say how much it'd cost or if it'd be viable.

For insulating the cold wall, it'd be tricky but I can do it. I'd have to cut that cold wall out and go inside and take a look. Make sure all checks out and apply strapping to the cold wall studs. To hold the batts in I'll need an extra pair of hands and the strapping will do just that. I'll afterwards tack to the stud some wood pieces to hold the styrofoam in place and foam it into place any access I'll cut out and then apply the drywall. This prevents me from having to go inside and sort out how to getout once finished.
Would you deem this suitable?

I do want to change the attic eaves in time but for now want to get things to a good state. I'd like to keep things as small of a project as possible but viable enough that I won't run into problems even up to the day I decide to change designs whether that's 2 years - 10 years.

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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:14 pm

That would be a good way to completely upgrade the insulation if you have the budget to go that far.

If it was me I would likely cut an access from the rooms up stairs. They will be easier to patch back in after and in a much less conspicuous place that people will not see.
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:06 am

Now if I can only remember where I left the $20,000. must be in my other coat pocket... lol
(In time I'll have a job like this appraised and see if it can be done, do like the tech involved)

I think I can manage the attic portion, seems straight forward. Between the cold-wall and opened up wall, that corner; would I need to spray in between the frames at all? Would appear there is a tiny gap and some cold comes out of it. On the other-side of the stairwell wall is the dining room and possibly same issue going on but I don't feel the cold and I don't want to touch it for a few months/years possibly.

I attached a picture of the corner I'm referencing, just don't want to throw insulation up and run into same problems, would like to do it once and forget for life (or in theory do so).

Thanks again!
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:31 am

Canned spray foam is great for sealing small gaps that cause air drafts.
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:55 pm

Been taking a small break,

I did open the project up more exposing the rafters insulation. Found that I may be able to install some 2" soffits along the eaves as there's a small cavity for it (future addition). Will probably do as I am doing with the walls. PL glue 1" spacers to each side of the stud, layered on top 1/2" Rigidfoam foamed in. Batt will be split to fit the cavity, or spray foam will go down in its place. I assume 1/2" rigid foam should work (what do you think?). Don't think I'll be adding additional spacers to get 2x6 framing, hopefully this isn't going to bite me in the arse.

Should I be A.O.K with this kind of insulation setup? What should I be realistically be looking to achieve when it comes to insulating these 2x4 walls/rafters.

--

At this point I am pretty confident about tackling the project (been just cleaning/preparing for warmer days),

I have one real concern I don't know how to express, the exterior door's sill is allowing a lot of air underneath it that travels below the floors, in between rim-joists and this was so bad it made a drop ceiling turn mushy. I caught this a few months ago and have been finding ways to fix it. I can caulk it but originally it being caulked wrong and going unnoticed for so long, wood has rotted, and insulation previously stuffed has gone bad. In other words, re-install is needed to comfortable prepare the project right.

I've worked with interior doors a lot, but never exterior; it'd be a learning process but nothing too off throwing I'd assume. A few questions possibly.

Outside, of the home, looking at the door there's a trim surrounding it. It's metal and a total mess to take a part if I wanted to without breaking its tin-like qualities.

If I were to re-install this door, what do I do about the door's trim? I can't remove it, does it stay attached to the door when I cut the door out?

I feel I am to just remove the trim on the inside, cut the nails and push the door out carefully. If that's it, door + its trim should come off together but not 100% sure if this is exactly the process. I could be needing to remove the trim first on both sides then cut it out, but I'd definitely damage the trim with any-attempt at pulling it out

Could you fill me in with this door question, I feel confident enough to get it done in a day if I can have some reassurance that this trim gig, I don't gotta play with. Interior trim I got you all day, this metal trim stuff for doors/windows, you got me beat (can't even give you a name for it).

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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:50 pm

I would be trying to get R10 at least in the wall if you can.

As for the door I will assume there has been a metal cladding installed over the wood brickmold to make it more maintenance free. Chances are that the door was installed by driving nails or screws through the brickmold so you may have to remove the tin and replace it as needed? Try your inside trim removal idea first and see what happens. You will have to replace any rotted framing, floor sheeting or whatever you find before you re install.
I have a video for the door install that may help you out for that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKN5r91JAIA
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:24 pm

I think I should be able to manage that or better, rafters opt for more if I can.

In your video the sill, and trim around the door is attached before inserted (exterior portion). I'm hoping that's my case and I can take it out in one piece. If I needed to replace the cladding, can I buy the pieces that'll fit already or do I have to manually make/bend these pieces?

Otherwise if I can't do that, I'm sure I could trim with other things or use wood?

Thanks again, love the videos too, they help lots being younger and all. :)

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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:54 pm

I get those parts custom made at a local eavestrough place and then install myself but they will come and install also usually if you need them to. You could make your own trim out of wood or you may be able to buy PVC trim to install on door.
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:07 pm

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Been a busy few weeks, some discoveries and fixes.

Whole home needs to be re-insulated with time, bad batts galore. Plans are to go through and seal and route the air-flow up and to the attic and maintain a good seal on the walls.

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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:48 am

I know it seems a waste but even theses small patches should have a sealed poly vapour barrier installed before the drywall is installed.
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:30 am

Would there be a solid reason why? I can understand why, but nothing definitive except for safe guarding the product/minimizing all leaks (that's assuming there's a few after this is done).

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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:29 pm

The air/ vapour barrier stops drafts from outside and also vapour from entering the wall system from interior moisture
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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by CosmosisT » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:34 am

It'd be overkill compared to what was there but it'll go up, I rather a perfect job to last the ages.

I really appreciate the helpful tips, answers to my questions and more. I'm quite young so it's nice that there's older generations willing to pass/share what they've learned down to those who'll listen. I feel I could have done this solo but piece of mind is a big thing and I don't like the uncertainty of going in mislead/and doing things wrong.

The door is last on the list when this weather lets up. Tarped and towel stuffed till I can get to it.

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Re: Insulating/sealing tricky attic eave and a wall that leaks air (old wood-siding no sheathing)

Post by Shannon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm

Good luck!
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