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Insulation question

mark handler

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
11,126
Location
So. CA
NOTE: CALIFORNIA
2019 Residential Compliance Manual January 2019
The kraft paper used as facing on thermal batt insulation material is typically a
Class II vapor retarder. Faced batts may have flanges for fastening to assembly
framing. Fastening flanges may be face- or inset-stapled or not stapled at all,
as the flanges provide no moisture control. Face stapling of flanged thermal
batts helps ensure the insulation material is installed fully and properly within
the framed cavity. Flangeless batts are also common and require no fastening
as these materials maintain installation integrity through friction-fitting within the
cavity of framed assemblies. In all cases, the insulation must be installed
properly.
 

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classicT

Sawhorse
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
1,873
Location
Washington State
The blower door test is becoming more common in Philadelphia. We conduct them at the post construction phase but I do think it would be beneficial to conduct it while the walls are exposed so that problems can be found and corrected ahead of time. The blower door is an incredibly useful tool for keeping the building air tight.

Ori Rosenkrantz
BlowerDoorTester.com
LocalEnergyAudits.com/blower-door-testing
FYI, unless you are a paying sponsor, I don't think you are supposed to post your website as free advertisement, and all 4 of your posts have your websites on them.
 

Enrgxprt

Registered User
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
19
Location
New York
I was told at an annual state training course that its required by NYS energy Code to staple the insulation flanges to the face of the stud rather than the side of the studs. Just recently I was challenged on this and I went into the energy code but came up empty. The IRC and IBC don't seem to offer any guidance either. What's everyone's opinion on this ?

Thank you
If you have been part of the latest energy code trainings, you would have heard the speaker talking about insulation grading. While its not in our code books, it is by refrence with the HERS ERI path. Grade 1 fiberglass can be achieved by side staples. Alway has been able to. For those who say it MUST be face stapled, i challenge you to find where it actually states it in any manufacturers literature. The vapor barrier most often forget about is the two coats of paint, in addition to the cavity paperface. But the biggest barrier is an air tight wall or ceiling by a huge factor. How many folks Here know that the top plate needs to be sealed to the drywall where ever there is an attic space above ? Code is often written poorley, but durable gasket (best) or caulking (yuk) on the lower of any top plate, exterior walls and partition walls, is the best way to reach 3ach50. And required.
That is a tremendous vapor barrier...
 

Enrgxprt

Registered User
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
19
Location
New York
Liquid water a problem for sure. Water vapor another issue, it often rains and becomes liquid, inside a wall.. Vapor profile (in or out) is the key. A reservoir, something that prevents movement of water (liquid or vapor) is what knuckleheads build in the name of energy code all the time. Its stuff like this that gives BS a bad name.. Too many people took a 3 day class, passed a test and consider themselves experts.. How many here saw closed cell foam in the cavity with foam on the outside as well? Knuckleheads built a wall that cannot allow moisture to move in or out. The saying, all windows leak, at one point in there life, they will. Now the sheathing will rot because it cant dry to any direction. Im all for conservation, more for savings but 100% for comfort and durability. If that was the focus, may be, just may be folks might learn
 

No Soup for you

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Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
68
Location
New York
I have gone around and around with regards to stapling the insulation, I dont care as long as its not compressed , cut outs are proper at electrical boxes and plumbing etc....



The energy code is also a little ridiculous. (in my opinion)

You now make the house so tight, you now need to put some holes in it with fans to changeover the air every day.

Seems like a waste and "energy" to me. :rolleyes:

I like my leaky old house, i get fresh air w/o opening a window. HAHA
 

Enrgxprt

Registered User
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
19
Location
New York
You now make the house so tight, you now need to put some holes in it with fans to changeover the air every day.
Seems like a waste and "energy" to me. :rolleyes:
Yea, I get it. Its a tough one to grab a hold of. The difference is with the two words, Controlled Vs Uncontrolled. The Energy code (and Building Science) is suggesting that infiltration witch is uncontrolled is bad.
If its not controlled, the amount of infiltration, and when it happens is NOT up to anyone but temperature difference (Stack effect) and how loose or tight the home is. Believe it or not, some houses are built tight without knowing it. It doesn't happen often, but it certainly does.

The code (And BS) also is trying to separate the uncontrolled infiltration from being considered ventilation.
I in a previous life built hundreds if not thousands of new homes. Every bone in my body fought this with "Well it has to breath"..
Personally, this sentience made perfect sense because I didn't understand everything about it.

The walls in a house separating inside and out need a vapor profile. We need to breath. End of story. No, really, that's it.
Walls, floors appliances dont have lungs. Stop being sillly.

Walls where there is a temperature difference (winter and summer) on one side vs the other is your building envelope.
That's where the R (Resistance to heat, R-Value etc) should be. If R is anywhere else, its a waste unless its for sound proofing.

That wall or roof with a temperature difference, heat will travel one way. Always from hot to cold. When It moves, it carry's moisture with it.
In a tight home, its movement is limited to diffusion. In a loose home, mass air transport. They are like comparing the hair on an ants leg to a tree trunk.
A vapor profile allows moisture to move in, out or both through diffusion. No vapor profile creates a reservoir . Great for storing liquid water, but horrible for wood/sheetrock or anything that can be damaged by water.... Mass air transport moves gallons vs molecules with diffusion.

The thing I hate most about this surge in Building Science is it was wrapped up with a crappy Energy Conservation tag line. Sure, a byproduct is saving.
But the sale should have been made on comfort, durability, health and safety and LASTLY, Oh yea, you will save a huge amount in utility bills.

Oh, the last peeve... Some "woke" (lolol) code official complaining about pulling air in through the home, by using exhaust only as ventilation... Hey knucklhead, ya think the loose home does it less ?? Get real... A house at 7-10 ACH natural is pulling in WAY more air (through those gaps) than the tight house with ventilation. But all of a sudden, you have a problem with it? KNUCKLEHEADS lmao.. Build it TIGHT and ventilate right. The infiltration areas more then likley will be around windows and doors, and not from the crawlspace.... or worse..
Whew... that felt GREAT lol ...

I am not a greenie. No offense to those who are. I smoke, ride a Harley and shoot guns. Im the last guy in the world thinking the changes here in the US can offset what the rest of the planet does, I hardly think it will make any difference. Those who are "green" god/buda/ or whatever bless you.
What has me sold on this is building a bunch of great houses and being part of a bazillion more successful jobs, where everyone involved from the HVAC guy, the owner and builder are in disbelief with how well the home performs.

1) AC guy calls me on a Sunday, crazy hot spring weekend. House closed up since mid week the week before. The 1st contracotr to unlock the front door in 4 days. Cannot understand why the house is 65 degrees, 90 outside and the OUTDOOR UNIT WAS NOT SET YET lolol...
The house managed to keep cool for two days, without AC and being 4,000 SQ FT. Now undersatnds why 2.5-3 tons was more than enough.

2) Builder wants to get oak delivered, middle of June 90+ degree days and 80 degree nights, house is too humid and subfloors not dry enough. No power at fuse panel, meter not set yet. Utility 2 weeks behind. Builder has huge generator, huge lot of land, goes to HD any buys 2 window unit AC's Sets them up at 4PM. Does not want delays once power is on... Comes on job late next AM and does not hear the AC units running, now worried his plan wont work. Cracks the front door open and finds his 5.5k sq ft house is at 65 degrees. (2) 1 ton window units. Calls me with OMG Im a convert, I didnt believe you at first but took the leap of faith...

3) Successful restaurant owner building 6k sq ft, on a cliff overlooking water. Almost all glass North facing. Almost nothing west or east (neighbors) and very little south facing. Meaning no cooling loads. He is convinced to follow my recommendations. Figuring he will sue me if it doesn't work (my guess anyway)
3 tons of cooling, finished basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor and conditioned attic. Calls me 8 months after, hottest days of the summer gushing with how comfortable his house is. Says his AC guy, builder and electrician, plumber all warned him. They are all now in disbelief, cant understand how Manual J and Rem-Rate called it.

4) Small 1,100 sq ft house. (1) 550 gallon tank of oil. every two years. (5750 HDD 15deg winter design)

I could go on, but nuff said. The stuff isnt BS. Its BS. What it takes is someone to cross every or most t's and dot most every i.
You cant build anything high tech half assed without failure. I can guarantee, any **** show story you have ever heard of is becuse people or a group of them had half a clue.
Tight, vapor profile, ventilate, don't oversize anything done...
 

tmurray

Registered User
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
2,138
Location
NB, Canada
I have gone around and around with regards to stapling the insulation, I dont care as long as its not compressed , cut outs are proper at electrical boxes and plumbing etc....



The energy code is also a little ridiculous. (in my opinion)

You now make the house so tight, you now need to put some holes in it with fans to changeover the air every day.

Seems like a waste and "energy" to me. :rolleyes:

I like my leaky old house, i get fresh air w/o opening a window. HAHA
It may be a waste of energy in moderate climate zones, but anywhere with a significant number of cooling or heating days, mechanical ventilation makes way more sense. Having 7-8 air changes per hour in a house means you are paying to heat or cool the outside air to whatever the design conditions are that many times per hour (assuming pressure differential with outdoor). With proper air sealing, you get that number down to 0.3. The mechanical system is either an ERV or HRV, meaning that energy lost by ventilation without mechanical systems can be recaptured. Typically, mechanical ventilation is 20-30 times cheaper than the alternative.

The bad things about no mechanical ventilation:
1. There is no way to control your house ventilation. Want to get some fresh air, but no wind and the same temperature inside and out? tough luck. Do you want to not have ventilation? You might get it anyway.
2. You're pulling air through the building envelope, so it's picking up whatever particles of random crap is in the building along the way.
3. You are getting nice cold air blowing into your house in winter where I live and really hot air blowing into your house in cooling climates. Hope you like feeling drafts!

Our builders love that we have started checking vapour barriers. One building in his 80s once told me that he spends less than 10 dollars fixing drafts now where before he was spending over 1000 dollars after the client moves in because he needed to rip off trim, cut sheetrock, etc. to try to trace and repair drafts in homes. We just find areas that are not sealed well and point them out. A lot of time now, we are met at this inspection with a guy who has a bunch of different air sealing products and he walks through with us hitting anything we point at.
 

Min&Max

Silver Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
319
Location
Nebraska
The energy code stuff is interesting and overall contains a lot of nonsense. I find ResCheck to be a big, hot, pile of steaming "stuff". We adopted the 2018 IECC and then basically amended out every bit of it. We now have a bit more than a single page document that exceeds ResCheck. Contractors love it and so do I because every single dwelling meets a well defined minimum standard.
 

Glenn

Corporate Supporter
Staff member
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Nov 1, 2012
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Denver

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bill1952

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Aug 12, 2021
Messages
125
Location
Clayton NY
The energy code stuff is interesting and overall contains a lot of nonsense. I find ResCheck to be a big, hot, pile of steaming "stuff". We adopted the 2018 IECC and then basically amended out every bit of it. We now have a bit more than a single page document that exceeds ResCheck. Contractors love it and so do I because every single dwelling meets a well defined minimum standard.
Can you share your single page document? Thanks!
 
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