|Source: Deep Energy Retrofit|
|Shooting dense pack cellulose to the first floor|
So, how does that help us? From an insulation perspective, it allows us to use dense pack blown in cellulose insulation. Since the back room was never finished, the insulation technicians can blow insulation into the first floor cavities from the unfinished room above - all through the open cavity from the balloon framing.
The guys brought in the truck and loaded the hopper with bales of Greenfibre - a very green product, made from recycled newspaper. The hopper chops is up and feeds it through what seems like miles of tubing that ran all the way through the house.
Once the first floor is insulated, we add a fire block, and then dense pack the 2nd floor walls. The guys put a 'web' on the walls and fill it up......sort of like a giant teddy bear. As you can see, it's messy work and the technicians look a bit like a teddy bear when they're done!
We think the blown in insulation created this creepy discovery the next day. As Brian was pulling an old door frame out of the first floor, this dolls head popped out (yes, there was screaming, but I won't say who). We think the doll must have fallen down the opening between the studs and the force of the blown in insulation pushed it all the way down to the door frame! Just the head - no body - and the eyes still open and close.
The gabled ceiling required a slightly different approach. To get an R35 insulation factor, we used a combination of spray foam and dense pack insulation. This creates a 'hot roof', keeping the space cool in the summer and warm in the winter. To do that, we had a different crew come out to install a 2" layer of closed cell foam. Closed cell has an R value of 6.5 per inch, it's watertight and it provides structural strength.
It's nasty stuff during the installation process, however, and requires the use of lots of protective gear. Once I donned a protective suit and proper respiratory gear - the guys let me capture a few photos as the first foam layer was applied. It goes on very thin and then quickly expands. It's applied at high pressure (1100 psi) and gets very hot. Because of that, they can only apply an inch or two at a time.