Drywall dilemma

Question for Jake:

Hi Jake.

I have a house in Ohio built in 1952. There is no insulation in the roof above the bedroom. It is covered by 1/4 drywall only. I’m going to take down the ceiling and start over. The walls are 3/8 drywall unisulated as well. Any tips on doing the ceiling? Would basement ceiling insulation work? Do I need to leave room for air flow? Want to come over and help?

Thanks,
Jim

Jake's answer:

Jim,

Thank you for visiting our web site.  The answer you want depends on a few factors:  your location and the size of the roof rafters. In my area, ceiling insulation calls for a R-38, with an air space so any trapped moisture can escape. This type of insulation requires at least 10” of space, which you most likely don’t have in your house. The R-value is the number used to rate the resistance to heat transfer through a particular kind of material. The higher the R-value, the more resistance to heat transfer, thus a more energy efficient product. You can add thickness to your existing rafters to come up with the required thickness or use a spray-on type foam insulation that will provide for a much higher R value in thinner spaces. A product that we use is called Icynene, www.icynene.com. It’s a more expensive product but well worth it.  Unfortunately, there is usually a minimum set up charge so the more area you have to insulate, the more economical it will be to use it. You can find out how much insulation you need to use on your walls, ceilings and walls at:  http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/insulation.html