Moisture Control and Insulating - Balloon Frame Home
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ricks



Joined: 10 Jul 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:26 pm    Post subject: Moisture Control and Insulating - Balloon Frame Home Reply with quote

Hi -

I'm in the process of doing extensive work on an 1843 3 story Italianate home in Cape Elizabeth Maine. My home is balloon framed with basically no insulation in the attic - from what I can tell there is no insulation in most of the walls (except for a couple rooms that had some work done in them prior to my purchase 3 years ago). The house is sitting on ledge which comes through the basement - at some points I have 6.5 ft headroom and other places 2 feet. The walls are stone with brick work put in over time in various areas. The floor is dirt and ledge - however there is a poured slab for the boiler and oil tank.

I have two things I'm struggling with - moisture control and insulation:

Moisture control - While I get water in the basement during heavy wet periods, its not standing water for the most part. The water seeps into the ground or drains through a gravity drain in a corner. I'm looking to put something in place to reduce the moisture coming up through the house and creating musty smell and damp carpets, etc.

Insulation - Would like to insulate my attic along with around the sills in basement.

Based on my research so far - I believe it's best to cover up the dirt floor and reduce the moisture before doing any insulation work, which I plan to do. So, here is my questions:

1) What is the best way to "solve" the moisture issue in the basement - can I simply put some stone down (allowing for drainage) and cover with think mil plastic barrier that I'd run up the walls where possible a foot or two?

2) What is the best way to insulate around the sills in my basement - I'll have access to exterior wall cavity. Should I simply look to spray foam around the sill and go down the wall a foot or two? Should I insulate at all in the base of the first floor wall cavity after I put fire blocking in?

3) Related to #2 - can I spray foam around/over radiator pipes and electrical wiring? My goal is to reduce air infiltration and keep mice/etc from getting in the walls and traveling up!

4) Where all should I install fire blocking - 1st floor only or at the top and bottom of each floor?

Thank you!
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shazapple



Joined: 27 Apr 2011
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I would treat it as a crawl space and Insulate your floor as well as adding a vapour barrier to the ground.
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