1980s house with tri-level partial walls, in an attic in Swansea, Massachusetts
A little history. I live in a tri level home in southern Massachusetts built sometime in the early 80’s. Been in it about 12 years now as the 3rd owner. It’s been added onto by previous owners and part of the old roof over the main floor was partially left on and built over (a story for another time. I have several walls in my home that run from the basement into the main floor attic. I became aware of home performance a few years ago and very interested in improving this hard to heat in winter and hard to cool in summer home. I have plugged some of the wall chases (maybe 6) behind the bathroom wall with rigid foam pieces and spray foam and have done some air sealing a little at a time over the last few years. Also had MASSSAVE here 3 years ago, they set up a blower door test and some air sealing for free for a 2 hour time limit. I can’t find the results of the blower door test but I think there was about a 350CFM gain. I get confused and frustrated looking this stuff up for my particular style home as to what to use and how to go about doing it right.
So glad I found this site. Lots of great information here!
As to my question now. Can I take the exisiting insulation off the walls in the attic, put rigid foam or the foil faced foam boards (polyiso?), seal adges with spray foam then put the old kraft faced insulation (R11?) back in then cover again with foam boards? Or do I need to approach these walls in a different manner. How thick should the foam be too? Hoping I can be pointed in the right direction.
The pictures I’ve uploaded should have notes on each one.
Keep in mind when veiwing the pictures that we had a major house fire in the basement (forgot to blow out a candle) 12 years ago (in it for 2 months) so the restoration contractor used yellow insulation for what was replaced in the attic. So the heavy black on the pink insulation was mostly from the fire smoke. Any newer looking pink insulation is what I’ve put in over the years.
Also note we just had a new roof done in November of 2015 and ridge vents were added that were never there. There’s plenty of soffit vents and we had only a gable vent in the attic over our kitchen/dining room that was added on by owner #1. Since the roof was done it feels a little cooler in the house now. Good thing we have a wood stove to supplement the heating system.
More questions coming later on trouble areas in my home but I’d like to address the partial attic walls first.
Thank you so much for any help, comments or suggetions!
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