Dense-Pack Sidewall Insulation WEATHERIZATION INSTALLER/TECHNICIAN FUNDAMENTALS WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM STANDARDIZED CURRICULUM – July 2012
Learning Objectives DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION By attending this session, participants will be able to: • Explain the importance of achieving uniform density at the targeted R-value throughout the cavity. • Name typical tools for the job, including safety equipment. • Identify basic equipment maintenance protocols. • Use the proper order of operations for blowing in dense-pack sidewall insulation.
It Works DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION “It is not unusual to reduce overall house leakage by 30% to 50% by dense-packing walls and other closed-in cavities.” - Home Energy Magazine, Nov/Dec 1995
It Works If… DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Proper (cost-effective) R-value Uniform density throughout cavity Pack to 3.5 – 4.5 lbs/ft3
Typical Tools Used DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION • Siding remover • Eye protection and dust mask • Hose cut at 45 degree angle • Drill bit • Plugs • Mister (for LSW) • Corded, 1/2” drill • Cellulose 8 6 2 4 3 5 1 7 Photo courtesy of US Dept. of Energy
Order of Operations DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION • Maintain equipment. • Inspect walls. • Determine fill strategy (attic or wall, interior or exterior). • Remove siding (if exterior). • Drill. • Fill. • Replace/repair.
Insulation Blowers and Generators DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photos courtesy of NRCERT
Maintain Equipment DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION • Check belts and other moving parts. • Add graphite to the first batch of cellulose at the beginning of each day to help prevent clogging. • Check filters with every use. • Check static pressure (2.9 psi at takeoff and end of hose). • Ensure there is enough hose for the job, no leaks. • Check seals. Photos courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Insulation Blowing Tips Initially adjust your blowing machine settings at “high-air” and “low-material feed.” Gradually increase material feed to maximize production while minimizing clogs. Hose transitions should be gradual. Use at least 200 feet of hose for good maneuverability while working. Have someone on the crew continually check inside and underneath the home for spills. DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photos courtesy of WV GOEO
Insulation Machine Settings DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photos courtesy of WV GOEO Open the product gate for optimal material feed. Adjust the air pressure to optimal flow.
Hose Pressure Gauge DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photos courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Hoses DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Insulation Hoses and Hose Reel Hose reel 3” hose Wall tube Photos courtesy of various manufacturers
Sidewall Drills and Bits DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photos courtesy of various manufacturers
Drill Shroud DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photos courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Inspect Before You Start DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION • Holes or weaknesses in interior walls • Location of pocket doors • Wiring • Ducts and pipes • Electrical fixtures • Pre-1978 home? Lead-safe work practices
Determine Fill Strategy DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION • Blow in from attic if possible. • Interior • Exterior • Drill at top, bottom, middle?
Remove Siding DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Aluminum Vinyl Wood Asbestos Photos courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Aluminum Siding DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photos courtesy of the US Department of Energy Pry and slide. You may need a metal cutter.
Vinyl Siding DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Photo courtesy of the US Department of Energy Easier to work with than metal
Wood Siding DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Remove clapboards and pressed board. Remove enough shingles to re-cover holes. Photos courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Drill DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION 2.5” self-feed “wood hog” drill bit Tips for an efficient job: • Properly sized bit • Drill at angle • Get blower busy • Probe • Division of labor Photos courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Fill DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION • Probe cavities for blocks and request holes where needed. • If holes are drilled in the middle of the wall, fill top to bottom. • Feed hose to furthest point from hole, then pull back 12”. • Cellulose-only blower: pull hose out 1’ at a time (faster blower: pull out 2’). • Adjust air gate: 8’ cavity should fill in 2 - 4 minutes. • Assure 100% coverage with no voids. • Verify adequate coverage with IR imager or through accurate verifiable bag counts compared to wall arch at 3.5 lbs/ft3.
Proper Density DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION Check fill holesYou should not be able to stick your finger in. Check material-to-volume ratio: One 30-lb. bag should almost fill three 8’ cavities with 2x4 16” O.C. framing. Photo courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Trouble-Shooting or Shooting Trouble? DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION If you’ve blown for more than four minuteswithout reaching proper density, find out where cellulose is going! Photo courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Replace and Repair DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION The job isn’t done until the house is put back together. Photo courtesy of the US Department of Energy
Summary DENSE-PACK SIDEWALL INSULATION • Dense-pack sidewall insulation is effective when installed correctly. • Target = 3.5 to 4.5 pounds/cubic foot. • Aim for uniform density throughout the wall cavity. • Maintain equipment; inspect walls; and drill, fill, and repair. • Avoid accidents; check the house frequently.