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kilroy44
1956 home insulation

I inherited the family home which was custom built in 1956 as a Prairie School Style roman brick ranch. It has many features you would not expect for a home built for the area. I was expecting rock wool wall insulation, but the wall insulation has a thick foil face with what look like layers of onion skin. It must work well, based on the fuel bills in the summer and winter. Does anyone know what this product is?

HoustonRemodeler
Re: 1956 home insulation

Can you tell us where its located ?

dj1
Re: 1956 home insulation

Aluminum foil insulation?

kilroy44
Re: 1956 home insulation

it is wall cavity insulation with a heavy foil face...you can ball the facing/vapor barrier up in your hand and it stays wadded in a ball. It has lightweight paper layers making up the batting...I don't know that I can explain it more completely than that. It is just something I have never encountered in the 6 other homes I have renovated. I don't intend to replace it, but I do want to find out if it is asbestos or something I shouldn't disturb when I'm running wires or renovating an exterior wall some day.

keith3267
Re: 1956 home insulation

I don't know what the insulation is without seeing it, but there was a fiberglass insulation that came in thin sheets. It was yellow and looked like a thin fiberglass mat. You could see the fibers.

The foil facing was meant to be inset from the wall board by 3/4" and the wall board was supposed to have a foil face as well. The foil face was often a foil sided sheetrock. The formed a 3/4" air gap with low emissivity surfaces that yield an extra R-3. If you don't use a foil faced wall board or foil faced vapor barrier, the R value of the air gap drops to about 1.5 or less.

It is this system that has lead to the false practice of having the air gap on the inside of the insulation in the wall, that is stapling the wings to the inside face of the studs. Paper backed batts should be stapled to the ends of the studs and overlap each other by about a half inch in order to form a vapor barrier. An airgap with paper backed batts lowers the total R value of the insulation. any air gap should be with the exterior wall so that the insulation can be vented.

The old foil backed insulation was usually only 2.75" thick so you had an air gap on both sides.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: 1956 home insulation

Kimberly Clark made insulation called Kimsul, look it up and see if it seems familiar. Apparently produced from the 30's onward, in batts, the filling was like crepe paper.
Casey

dj1
Re: 1956 home insulation

I think the poster really wants to know whether his insulation - whatever it is and whatever it's called - contains asbestos.

The solution: send a sample to a lab for testing. End of story.

kilroy44
Re: 1956 home insulation

The collective brain trust came thru again...it is KIMSUL insulation by Kimberly Clark. Reflective foil was available in the 50's so that matches my home construction time period. Although there are suggestions on line elsewhere that say it has asbestos, it does not. Multiple inspection web sites were consistent in that. However, when I have a chance to replace it, I will...and wear a dust mask. Many thanks.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: 1956 home insulation

Kimsul, eh? Never heard of it. ヽ༼ ಠ益ಠ ༽ノ
Casey

John
Re: 1956 home insulation

I grew up with these Kimsul notepads in the household.  My father worked for Kimberly-Clark, he used Kimsul in a house addition in the 1950s. I believe that version of the product had a foil face.  No doubt fiberglass turned out to be a better insulation product for the long term based on the deteriorated condition people are finding these days when they come across a Kimsul installation.

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