Insulating walls of balloon frame house

papercameraJanuary 22, 2011


I think my house has balloon framing. Someone told me it's likely that the framing is continuous from the basement to the attic. When I'm in the attic, I can look along the sides of the attic down into what looks like the walls below. It's hard to see how deep it goes, because it's dark and kind of hard to look down into, because it's right up against the outside wall. The house was built in the 1880's.

Anyway, I was going to blow some cellulose insulation into my attic. However, I'm wondering if it's possible to blow cellulose into my walls through this access in the attic. I've heard that wall insulation isn't really a DIY project, and I'm not an expert.

Does it sound likely that this opening in the attic leads to the walls in the house? Is blowing the cellulose in this way a good idea, or would it just be wasting money on a poorly done project, since it might miss a lot of areas? Right now, my house has no attic insulation, and only a 1/2" backer board behind the vinyl siding for wall insulation.

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Easy way to check your framing. Get a piece of string and a metal weight. Lower it down until it hits the bottom.

Normally, you would have top and bottom plates on the walls so that you couldn't see all the way down them. That means the only way to get insulation in would be to drill hole in in the wall between each stud and blow it in from there. If you have access from above, that would make it much simpler.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:23AM
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I too, have a balloon framed house that had no insulation. Whaty worried me most was the fire hazard of those continuous unfilled cavaties in an old house with really dry wood. It was built in 1867. I insulated my walls with blow in insulation. It has made a huge difference. I was able to do it from the outside of the house (drill holes in the wood siding at threew different levels (under the windows) and work my way up. I also insulated the attic. Winters are much warmer, the heat stays in the house, and I am really glad I did it. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 7:24AM
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