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Sidewall installation of dense-packed cellulose — Many cavities are full of scrap drywall

bmac423 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Hi everyone,

I had posted this on the HomeImprovement subreddit, and was directed this way.

Anyone out there have any experience with retrofitting dense pack cellulose?

I’ve got a 66 brick ranch home with no insulation in the walls. I’m preparing to remedy that this week. I picked up my 1200 pounds of cellulose over the weekend and I’ve got a reservation for an Intec Force 2 blower.

However, I’ve noticed upon drilling the pilot holes (inside the home due to brick structure) that I’ve got scrap drywall scattered throughout many of the wall cavities. Some aren’t too bad; I believe they can be packed around. Others seem as thought they will block the hose from entering the hole. I suppose I could use a higher pilot hole in these cavities, but the scrap will certainly effect the completeness of the pack. Do I have any course of action, other than wreaking further havoc on my drywall so the pieces can be removed?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    If the cavities are full of rubble at the bottom they really need to be cleared out before dense packing or you'll have a lot of voids, and lower performance. I assume you've read up on dense-packing technique, and have either fabricated or rented dense packing hoses(?).

    If you have relatively short ~3-4" baseboard trim on the finished interior you may be able to just cut the wallboard 5-6" from the floor to provide access for clearing out the crap and inspecting the cavities, then cut in some new wallboard, dense-pack the thing and install 6-8" baseboards to cover it up without having to re-paint the whole wall.

  2. bmac423 | | #2

    Thanks for the response Dana. The drywall in the cavities is actually in large chunks, sometimes 4-5 feet tall. It sounds like I'm going to need to cut larger openings to remove them, and then patch it up.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Dana gave you good advice. If you haven't seen it yet, you might want to read this GBA article: How to Install Cellulose Insulation.

  4. charlie_sullivan | | #4

    Dana's bottom opening idea could allow you to break off five inches at a time and pull them out. Could be tedious if there's a lot.

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