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Yay....more home reno fun....

mimico_polak

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That sounds like a major source of your problem right there! Keep in mind that round ductwork has far fewer square inches then square, and cold air returns can use a beam space that does not need to be encased in sheet metal on all sides. Cold air returns actually need to be larger in volume then the hot air ducts, because your furnace can push air more efficiently then it can draw air, the filter is also on the cold air side so you want as little restriction there as possible.
They are literally installing the cold air return as I type this. New furnace is in. Sent the kids out of the house as I wasn't sure how long this would take.
 

GreyGhost

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They are literally installing the cold air return as I type this. New furnace is in. Sent the kids out of the house as I wasn't sure how long this would take.
Sounds small to me too, but that ship has sailed for now. Why did they have a round duct return? Was forced-air retrofit at some point in the past? Typical returns would use multiple stud/joist cavities (~50 sq/in per stud bay), the 6" round is about 28 sq in. How many btu is new furnace?

Personally, I would bite the bullet and spray foam the garage ceiling. Add CC''s suggestion of foam to break the thermal bridge and you are rocking (although you may have to be careful as you don't want a double vapor barrier with air between so batt may be the winner). I normally agree with trials, but no bleeping way I would put a plywood ceiling in a garage. You need the firebreak.

Hardypanel is not insulation. Hardypanel is a great solution to a very low maintenance decorative cover over insulation. What is the current outside finish of the house?

No way would I install 1" foam over the existing drywall. You are just asking for moisture problems. If you plan on staying there for a long time, I would pull the drywall and fur out the wall with 2x2's (where possible), reinsulate w 2x6 batts, revapor barrier, fix the crap seal that is likely around the windows and reboard. You can do a room at a time, each room should only take you a week of evenings (clear,demo,build,trim,finish,put furniture back). You will need to pull all electrical boxes forward, you are legally allowed to do electrical work in your own house (with some rules) but get help if you are concerned. Make sure the vapor barrier is contiguous around the boxes, if you pay someone to do it, they will most likely not bother doing this (and it matters a lot).
 
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mimico_polak

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Sounds small to me too, but that ship has sailed for now. Why did they have a round duct return? Was forced-air retrofit at some point in the past? Typical returns would use multiple stud/joist cavities (~50 sq/in per stud bay), the 6" round is about 28 sq in.
It does look like it was an afterthought. I can post a pic later once the guys are done and gone. New furnace is running now and you can definitely feel a difference already at the outlets. Air is much warmer, and stronger then before.
 

Trials

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... no bleeping way I would put a plywood ceiling in a garage....
Was actually thinking of the walls, not the ceiling. Ceiling and barrier wall between the garage and living area on mine are drywall for the reason you stated, I think it might even be a code requirement.
 

mimico_polak

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@GreyGhost Thanks for that edit, good info. The current outside walls are all brick. I wouldn't put the insulation over the drywall. If I'm at that stage, I'm ripping the drywall down. But that's a discussion with the wife. We both like stucco exterior, but just need to save some more cash so we can get it done. Will go to the neighbours' this week to get their contacts as we have 5-6 homes on the street with it done, and it looks good.

If we are pulling the drywall, then I'd re-wire the entire house at that point in time. Lots of outlets don't have grounds (see other reno thread I started) and that's another item on the 'to do' list. Work work work...at least I get to learn some new stuff.
 

GreyGhost

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@GreyGhost Thanks for that edit, good info. The current outside walls are all brick. I wouldn't put the insulation over the drywall. If I'm at that stage, I'm ripping the drywall down. But that's a discussion with the wife. We both like stucco exterior, but just need to save some more cash so we can get it done. Will go to the neighbours' this week to get their contacts as we have 5-6 homes on the street with it done, and it looks good.

If we are pulling the drywall, then I'd re-wire the entire house at that point in time. Lots of outlets don't have grounds (see other reno thread I started) and that's another item on the 'to do' list. Work work work...at least I get to learn some new stuff.
Just keep in mind that all circuits need AFCI now. Start saving. To get enough semi-affordable AFCI breakers, you are likely looking at a new panel or subpanel (ime, fancy breakers for older panels have crazy prices). I would be calling in all the favors I had to try to get closer to wholesale pricing (there are quite a few sparkies on GTAM).

As for stucco over brick to add insulation, I wouldn't count on it. As trials said, there is an air space behind the brick that should be relatively at outdoor air temperature so your layer of insulation is in the wrong spot. Ideally you need insulation behind the brick attached to the OSB (or quite possibly tentest in your case) to provide a complete thermal break and additional insulation, but that is the most expensive place to get to.

I don't know if anyone blows insulation into walls anymore. You used to be able to drill a <3" hole into each stud bay and blast away, then patch all your holes. Some of that insulation had big issues. You seem like a decent person so if you want to borrow an thermal camera to see what horrors you are currently working with, you are welcome to it (I am north of Barrie).
 

jc100

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Years ago I looked at why we had issues with an end of the ductwork return in our master bedroom. The reason is numerous small leaks before the return air gets to that room. Solution..tape the joins in all the ductwork. I could do this at any exposed area but couldn't do this for ductwork already behind walls etc without ripping out the walls...however, there is a solution for this that could help you.

I remember finding a company in the GTA that comes in and seals up all your vents etc and then blows a special polymer into your ductwork. This plugs leaks automatically and hardens at any such leaks giving you next to perfect air flow. Problem was when I contacted them they weren't willing to travel to Kingston. I can't for the life of me remember the company though but it may well help you if you have older hidden ductwork.
 

Trials

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I think the stuff they used to spray in through holes in the outside wall was Urea Formaldehyde foam <- ya that was nasty stuff since banned, I remember when I first heard of it and thinking the name alone was enough to turn me off ever using the product. It sounded way too much like piss mixed with embalming fluid.
 

jc100

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I think the stuff they used to spray in through holes in the outside wall was Urea Formaldehyde foam <- ya that was nasty stuff since banned, I remember when I first heard of it and thinking the name alone was enough to turn me off ever using the product. It sounded way too much like piss mixed with embalming fluid.
It used to be like polyurethane foam. Google "Bhopal" to see why that's not a good idea.
 

mimico_polak

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Just had a chat with the guy. Furnace is blowing hot air and the house immediately feels different.

One of the issues he pointed out was we have those beautiful wooden grates at every outlet. He said to take them out and replace them with less restrictive ones. The area is 1/4 of what it should be, so it restricts the airflow very much.

Also gave me a contact for spray foaming the garage ceiling, so will look into that option.
 

GreyGhost

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I think the stuff they used to spray in through holes in the outside wall was Urea Formaldehyde foam <- ya that was nasty stuff since banned, I remember when I first heard of it and thinking the name alone was enough to turn me off ever using the product. It sounded way too much like piss mixed with embalming fluid.
Yeah, that was the bad stuff. They did it with cellulose too IIRC which has its own issues (settling, hates getting wet). That being said, something can be better than nothing depending on what he has right now.
 

GreyGhost

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Just had a chat with the guy. Furnace is blowing hot air and the house immediately feels different.

One of the issues he pointed out was we have those beautiful wooden grates at every outlet. He said to take them out and replace them with less restrictive ones. The area is 1/4 of what it should be, so it restricts the airflow very much.

Also gave me a contact for spray foaming the garage ceiling, so will look into that option.
Yeah, I put the custom matched picture framed wood registers into the last house. Damn did they ever restrict flow. 95% of the time, I left them out.
 

mimico_polak

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Just keep in mind that all circuits need AFCI now. Start saving. To get enough semi-affordable AFCI breakers, you are likely looking at a new panel or subpanel (ime, fancy breakers for older panels have crazy prices). I would be calling in all the favors I had to try to get closer to wholesale pricing (there are quite a few sparkies on GTAM).

As for stucco over brick to add insulation, I wouldn't count on it. As trials said, there is an air space behind the brick that should be relatively at outdoor air temperature so your layer of insulation is in the wrong spot. Ideally you need insulation behind the brick attached to the OSB (or quite possibly tentest in your case) to provide a complete thermal break and additional insulation, but that is the most expensive place to get to.

I don't know if anyone blows insulation into walls anymore. You used to be able to drill a <3" hole into each stud bay and blast away, then patch all your holes. Some of that insulation had big issues. You seem like a decent person so if you want to borrow an thermal camera to see what horrors you are currently working with, you are welcome to it (I am north of Barrie).
Yes you are correct. The AFCI breakers are approximately $90/each, and the ones that can be had after the panel are about $50/each. Already looked into it, but haven't gotten to that stage. My buddy is also doing similar work, in a similarly aged house (Markland Woods are) and I'm going to his house often to see what he's going through so I'm preparing myself.

Thank you for the offer of the camera, definitely interested (possibly next rotation if that's cool with you). And I'd like to think I'm a decent guy, lol. Thanks for the observation. Barrie is on our way to the cottage (Wasaga) so can always make an excuse to go that way. Need to shovel the driveway anyway soon.
 

Lyndsay

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Speaking of UFFI, I hate to admit it, but when I was in my early twenties, I used to install that stuff. I was always of the opinion that if done properly, it probably wasn't going to break down (and produce formaldehyde gas). Then I think of the clowns I was working with and realize it was probably never properly done. We had a standardized bucket we were supposed to fill every so often to check the mix (fill, scrape and weigh) and it was a good day if that got done with a dirty bucket at the start of the day.
 

MLadin

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Don't end up this couple!


Some great advice in this thread, take it!

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

crankcall

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Lot of houses in the 70's had urea based foam spray, which has to be legally disclosed in a real estate deal. I bought one, attic was sprayed , I didnt spend any time up there and it was well vented, didnt care.

It is a code requirement that garage cielings under living spaces have to be drywalled, or cement board paneled.

the grill size on floor registers is such a problem area, and almost nobody notices.

There are guys putting cellulose into wall cavities through the '3" hole at top system, new cellulose is moisture resistant and has an additive that makes it "granular" if thats the correct word and it doesnt settle.
 

Scuba Steve

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Lot of houses in the 70's had urea based foam spray, which has to be legally disclosed in a real estate deal. I bought one, attic was sprayed , I didnt spend any time up there and it was well vented, didnt care.

It is a code requirement that garage cielings under living spaces have to be drywalled, or cement board paneled.

the grill size on floor registers is such a problem area, and almost nobody notices.

There are guys putting cellulose into wall cavities through the '3" hole at top system, new cellulose is moisture resistant and has an additive that makes it "granular" if thats the correct word and it doesnt settle.
Building inspector here passed exposed spray foam on the ceiling and walls of the entire garage I plan on drywalling it but inspector had no issues with it apparently.

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GreyGhost

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Building inspector here passed exposed spray foam on the ceiling and walls of the entire garage I plan on drywalling it but inspector had no issues with it apparently.

Sent from my moto g(7) plus using Tapatalk
Yikes. I guess modern spray foam passes smoke and flammability tests, but it would still scare the crap out of me.

My parents have had uncovered foam board in a cold room for 40 years. Thankfully it is sort of outside the building envelope and unless a freezer gets really burning there shouldnt be an ignition source. I havent bothered to fix it as I dont want to pull it all down, put in zbar and redo it.
 

Mad Mike

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I'm getting sick and tired of this already...and it's been 8 months!

#1. So...our bedroom is above the garage with our floor being the ceiling in the garage. As such, our bedroom floor is f'ing cold and frustrating as hell. The house leaks like a sieve.

Had a spray foam insulation company come in today for a quote, and just got the quote....$2500! WTF! It's literally 400sqft (if that) of the ceiling. It currently has drywall, with a BATT insulation in b/w the floors. However, the insulation isn't touching the ceiling/floor as I can lift it about 6" with my finger. This means I MAY theoretically get an additional 6" in height in my garage. The guy's words were 'oh this is easy and super fast, super easy, no problem!'

Any recommendations for what to do to insulate the garage ceiling, in order to be able to walk on the floor properly? I'm considering ripping out the ceiling, installing proper BATT, or spray foam, and then drywall again. This is not a heated garage. The other 3 walls are insulated.

#2. House is from the 50s, so insulation is literally non-existent in the walls. Makes for a fun time as our furnace hasn't turned off in 3 days as it tries to keep up with the cold temps. New furnace being installed tomorrow as blower is on it's way out.

Recommendations for insulating the walls, without ripping down the walls? Not sure if it's possible. The guy that quoted me the spray foam said no. But after this ridiculous quote (my buddy paid $1800 for 3 outside walls!) I don't really believe him.

We are considering stucco. Approx cost of 20-30k (depending on the quote) and this would alleviate a lot of the issues, and not have to deal with the ripping down the walls bit. I considered doing it room by room in the summer and send the wife off to the cottage each time....BUT...she's not overly keen on that bit.

#3. Anyone recommend a camera to look into the ducting to see WTF is in there? Blower is blowing...but the air flow in each of the rooms is so low that it's almost non-existent. I thought maybe the previous owner cut into the main duct to tee off into the basement, but the basement runs seem to be end runs. it does seem there are a few lines teed off the main line from the furnace though.
More or less the same thing I had to deal with in my place. We did a few things that really helped, but it was messy and time consuming.

One by one we stripped the drywall from the rooms with exterior walls and re insulated with Roxul and added vapor barrier that was acoustically sealed top and bottom. For the ceiling in the house we painted a polyurethane vapor barrier primer and blew in R40. They house had already been refitted with decent windows. We also upsized the main and return ducts. Heating cost cut in about 1/2.

My Garage is detached with a small 450sq' apartment above, we used Roxul R40 between the unheated garage space and the room above, then the same in the walls. The apartment stays at 68F in the winter with electricity -- approx 260kwh/month -- about $35.
 

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