? Type of Insulation to Use with Asbestos shingling

chipster_2007July 20, 2008

I want to have my home insulated but do not know what type of insulation to use in the walls? If I use cellulose, will i be creating a potential problem due to the asbestos shingling that is on the outside? Some installers say they can double pak or maximize the amount of cellulose blown into the walls so that it will act as an air barrier. Is there any truth to this or are they full of hot air. Need to make my decision soon. What about cellulose in the attic vs. fiberglass batts. Which are better? Winter's just around the corner? Any help greatly appreciated. BTW, I live in MA and it gets pretty cold up here.

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In the attic, I would go with cellulose. Loose fill FG under cold conditions develops convection currents within the insulation that can reduce its effective R value by half. See this ORNL test of loose fill cells and FG:

For doing walls, there is a practice with cellulose that most installers call dense packing. This is real and beneficial. They put the insulation in at a somewhat higher density which makes it fill better and eliminates any possibility of settling over time.
Cellulose does offer some resistance to air flow (more so that other loose fills, but not as much as foam in place), but not sure what the issue with asbestos siding would be?

Before adding more loose fill to the attic, you should seal up any penetrations from below (wires, plumbing, light fixtures, ...) -- this is a major heat loss on most homes.
And, if you have ducts running through the attic, seal all the joints with duct mastic, and insulate the ducts if they are not already. These things are a lot harder to do after you add a couple feet of loose fill :)

Great book on insulating: "Insulate and Weatherize", Harley.


Here is a link that might be useful: Loose fill insulation

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Asbestos siding can't be drilled to allow for the insulation to be blown into the wall cavities in the typical fashion such as wood siding or shingles. The shingles need to be carefully removed so that they are not damaged, cracked or broken.

An option might be to have the insulation installed from the inside through the drywall, especially if interior renovations are planned.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 9:07PM
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Asbestos shingles are a big problem. Since no one can guarantee they won't break, I need to be prepared. Is there any particular way of removing them that would minimize the breakage? I am really hesitating to insulate given the liklihood that some will break. I know there are replacement shingles out there, fiber cement, but don't know where to get or how to paint to get color as close to what is there. Any suggestions appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 1:15AM
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