Asked on Nov 2, 2020

Drafty house

Kim  |Exquisitely UnremarkableKen EricksonSharon


I own a 2 story house that was built in 1956. My downstairs is very cold in the winter. Im guessing with the age of my home that the insulation is nonexistent now. How can I insulate my outer walls without having to tear out and replace the sheet rock in every room?

18 answers
  • Redcatcec
    on Nov 2, 2020

    There is spray in foam that is an insulator, this link describes several diy kits, pros & cons:

    • Weda
      on Nov 2, 2020

      Thank you so much I am going to check out the link you sent me 😊

  • Chloe Crabtree
    Chloe Crabtree
    on Nov 2, 2020

    You can also add insulation to existing walls without removing drywall, by cutting holes in the exterior siding. Blow either loose fill cellulose or spray foam into walls from the outside, with similar techniques.

    • Weda
      on Nov 2, 2020

      Chloe Crabtree thank u 😊 I checked out the link and found alot of great info I'm confident I can do this on my own I have done alot of sheetrock taping bedding and painting. Now I need to save to get the insulation

  • Vimarhonor
    on Nov 2, 2020

    We solve the same sort of problem but in an expensive way. We have a log cabin that has very poor wall insulation ( 4” cedar alone) and we put a mini split in that solves our situation both in summer and winter.

  • You can hire a company to use spray foam. They drill small holes and fill the inside of the walls with foam.

  • Spray in insulation might be your best bet here.

  • Johnavallance82
    on Nov 2, 2020

    Hi Weda,

    You could have the home insulated from the outside with a vacuum installed insulation.

  • Annie
    on Nov 2, 2020

    insulating from inside or out side is a big job. Outside about the only option is ridgid foam under siding, but that is limited to R value. Inside is the best that way you make sure you vapour barrier is on the warm side of insulation. For starters you could just look at any area of heat loss, like windows and doors. I hope this helps

  • Em
    on Nov 2, 2020

    Cold air falls heat rises. Two story houses always have two different temperatures. I have a Duraflame heater that keeps cold spot in my house very toasty for very little added to the electric bill. You can have blown in insulation under windows inside if the walls are cold there may be little or no insulation in the walls.

    Suggesting to add rigid foam insulation under siding is crazy. You have to remove siding add insulation then replace siding. You can have insulation blown in from outside to pockets in frame work and yes they can even drill bricks under a sill to do so and refill with mortar. Get some estimates and ideas from local contractors. Most give free estimates.

  • Janice
    on Nov 2, 2020

    Often times citeis or counties will offer free energy saving inspections of homes. Professionals come in and do an assessment and offer advice. That would be my first step.

  • William
    on Nov 2, 2020

    You can use blown in insulation from the inside. Holes are drilled/cut above and below in the wall cavities. Insulation is blown in from the bottom hole until it flows out of the top hole. The holes are plugged and finish.

  • Kathy Gunter Law
    Kathy Gunter Law
    on Nov 2, 2020

    Having it blown into the walls might be a possibility. It will depend on if you have cross supports, which were common in homes built in the 1950's. We couldn't do it to ours because of that. Check doors & windows to make sure they are sealed and caulked, you may be surprised how much you are losing there and that's an easier fix.

    We added insulation under and above as much as possible. Our house is siding that needs to be replaced and we are planning adding insulation that way one day in the future.

  • Deb K
    Deb K
    on Nov 3, 2020

    Hey Weda, one other option is exterior foam insulation panels, you can add them over stucco and put siding on top of them, we did exactly that and what a difference it made, also think about replacing windows that may be leaking air.

  • Cynthia H
    Cynthia H
    on Nov 4, 2020

    Hi! Spray insulation is an option. Foam is one type. It minimizes the openings you have to make. Good luck!

  • Simple Nature Decor
    Simple Nature Decor
    on Nov 6, 2020

    You can do the windows by using this stuff which works well.

  • Sharon
    on Nov 6, 2020

    My 1940s beach house was insulated on the outside when the siding was changed using 1" rigid foam insulation with the mylar coating on one side. Then the siding was put on..... huge difference.

    You also lose an enormous amount of heat around the doors and windows. Use an stick of incense and go around the doors and window to see if there is air movement. If there is, I took off the moulding around the doors and windows, stuffed insulation in any void, and used spray foam that specifically states its for doors and windows (the other stuff blows up too much). Then put your moulding back on.

    Adding more insulation to the attic also adds to the warmth of the home, and keeps you cooler in the summer.

    Those honeycomb blinds hold in heat as does heavy drapes all helping to hold in heat.

  • Ken Erickson
    Ken Erickson
    on Nov 6, 2020

    I would check with a reliable insulation company. They should be able to help without ripping out the walls.

  • We had insulation blown into the walls. Worked great, and they did it from the outside.

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