Monday, July 23, 2012

Keeping Warm.... Before Winter Gets Here!

Okay, so it's been a really hot summer.  But this is Maine and winter will be here before we know it.  So it's critical that we do everything we can to seal this house up and make it toasty warm for the new owners.

First step:  We've started replacing all the windows.  There were only 5 original windows, but we quickly saw that the replacements that were in the place were already starting to fail.  So we're replacing all of them - a big task!

Next step:  The most important thing is to improve the insulation in the house.  We have some key areas that we need to attend to.  The kitchen walls have been opened up to add the new plumbing and wiring.  And of course the front porch is now interior space and needs to be insulated.  Last but not least, we need to improve the attic insulation.

We looked at several options, but decided that blown in cellulose makes the most sense for our application.  We called the folks from Quality Insulation, Inc and they came out and quickly got to work.

It's a fascinating process to watch.  Here's what they did:

1)  They start by stapling a fabric mesh on all the interior studs.  This creates a cavity that they can fill with the cellulose

2)  Next they take out miles and miles of hose that they can pull all over the house.

3)  They grind up the bales of cellulose (which, by the way is 85% recycled!) with a giant auger in the truck.

4)  And then they insert the hose into slits they've cut into the mesh.  It's a messy job, but the walls quickly start to fill up.  The wall thickness varies in our house, but the wall insulation factor will range from R17- R23.

5)  When they're done, the walls look a bit puffy and provide a lot of sound insulation - as well as thermal benefit!

6)  Finally, they used a long PVC tube to insert the hose all across the attic to fill all the nooks and crannies.  Most areas got 18 inches of insulation, which translates to an R value of 60.  That should make a big difference to the heating bills!

We're ready for winter, even if it is in the 90's now!

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