I have recently purchased a three family home in Massachusetts. The house was built in the 1860's and has no insulation in the walls that I'm aware of. When I purchased the home the exterior had recently been vinyl sided and insulated with 3/4 inch insulation according to the seller.The house has a walk in attic that is not insulated at all, but the second floor apartment has had some insulation put into the ceilings. You can see the insulation in the ceiling from the attic.
I am planning on doing some renovations to the interior with stripping the old horse hair plaster out and replacing it with R19 fiberglass and new sheet rock. I am totally confused as to use a vapor barrier or not. After reading some of your articles I'm inclined not to use a vapor barrier because the outside has a vapor barrier in the form of the insulation added. If I'm correct on understanding your article. If I use a vapor barrier on the inside walls I will be trapping any existing moisture in the walls with no where to go. Am I correct in this assumption?
On another note that is happening within the house. My moisture levels in the second floor apartment are running right around 50% or higher in the middle of December with radiator heat. I currently have an issue with high moisture readings in one of the first floor apartments of 73%. In this apartment the previous owner had sheet rocked over the existing plaster. I cannot figure out why the moisture is so high in the first floor apartment. I have purchased a de-humidifier for the tenants to use, but this is just a band aide for something else going on that I do not know.
This is why I'm so concerned about whether to use a vapor barrier or not. I know this is a lot of information, but I had to give you the total picture of what's going on here. If you could direct me to someone locally in Mass that I could talk to it would be great help. I'm planing on renovating in the spring. Please help or advise.
Posted Mon, 12/16/2013 - 01:05
Edited Mon, 12/16/2013 - 01:11
Other Questions in Green building techniques