Old home renovations and unique insulation
Hello all, Jake here. Zone 5, Central PA. A couple of questions.
I’m doing a bathroom and utility room renovation (second floor and first floor, separately) on a 120 or so year old farmhouse that we just purchased. As well as myriad paint, flooring etc. throughout.
As part of our improvements, we’re trying to be efficiency conscious as well as respect this old house! I intend to retrofit the original wood windows with Conservation Technology gaskets to improve air envelope, and we’re considering myriad insulation projects. Closed cell foam is coming soon for the basement rim band (I believe this should be acceptable from a vapor standpoint?), and sorting out whether the attic has appropriate ventilation after which we may put down additional blown cellulose (there is a few inches already) and batts.
As we’ve been doing demolition, I’ve stumbled across something unique and am trying to determine how to proceed. The home is traditional stick-built, but in between most of the studs in the house are solid blocks of 3-inch wood, with braided rope in between. (see image) It looks like this was an early attempt at securing the air envelope and insulating? In doing my bathroom and utility room, since the studs are exposed, I’m trying to decide how to better insulate? If I tear these out, what should I use so that I don’t have moisture problems (one space IS a bathroom).
The blocks are somewhat loose, but this must have been an incredibly time-consuming process. Before lathe and plaster, too! Beyond this (exterior of the building) is standard wood clapboard, and aluminum siding beyond that.
Photo is behind the 70s era kitchen backsplash, now gone.
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