Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>Insulating the walls of a 120 year old raised wooden house in New Orleans
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johnice
Insulating the walls of a 120 year old raised wooden house in New Orleans

Hey TOHers,

I am renovating a 120 year young wood on pier house in hot, humid New Orleans. The house is currently gutted and reframed, which was necessary due to serious termite damage. The exterior wood siding is actually in pretty good condition so it remains. My question is how do I properly insulate the walls of this house? I'm not removing the siding so I can't add a vapor barrier between the siding and the studs. If I have a vapor barrier between the insulation and drywall, it will surely rot when rain water inevitably gets in the siding, right?

Everyone tells me something different (and seems quite sure of themselves!). Inspectors, builders, exterminators, other homeowners all have a different opinion. Many can't even agree on which way the paper is supposed to face! I'm a realtor, so I've seen some horrible mold situations. Is it just that these old wooden houses were meant to "breathe" and I shouldn't insulate the walls at all?

Please help!

Thanks,

Johnice

WindandWater
Re: Insulating the walls of a 120 year old raised wooden house in New Orleans

Have you explored using a sprayed in, closed-cell foam insulation? This would put the dew point inside the foam, preventing moisture condensation. If you check your local building codes, the foam insulation should meet the vapor retarder parameters. It is also a superior insulation compared to fibrous glass.

dj1
Re: Insulating the walls of a 120 year old raised wooden house in New Orleans

It's surprising to me that so many pros disagree on something so basic.

Head on to your local building department. They have codes and they can show you how to properly do it.

Oh, BTW, it's free.

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