Note from JD: This is part of the energy savings project that I started here.
The most obvious first improvement to the energy efficiency of my home is the insulation of the dining room ceiling.
As you can see from the photos, I have a plank type ceiling (which I really love). For some reason, there are some large gaps in the planks (unlike the rest of the house) and worse, the builder did a lousy job insulating this area. I think it has to do with the fact that ALL electrical runs over this ceiling on its way to the electrical panel in the garage. I suspect the running of that wire caused the fiberglass insulation to get moved around leaving the big gaps. In any case, the result are STREAMS of cold air pouring out of the ceiling during the winter months. I have resisted fixing this (for six years!!) because I was afraid of making a big mess. There is ZERO access to the space. The only option is to insulate from below.
After talking to a number of people, we concluded that using expanding foam insulation was the approach to take.
So, I bought two cans of Great Stuff “Insulating Foam Sealant” that is for “Gaps and Cracks” and went after it. I tried to be very careful and not get the stuff on the exposed wood because I know what a mess the foam can make.
Two cans did not do it. I purchased two more and continued filling the gaps.
You can see from the photos that I did make a mess. I think it will clean up pretty well but the light colored foam will show thru the gaps in the planks. The only solution I can see to that is some carefully applied paint (to the foam) – just enough to make it blend. That will have to wait for a rainy day (or extreme boredom on my part). One tip I used was to wipe off the tube (that the insulation comes out of) after squirting one area and before sticking into another gap. This helped to prevent the oozing foam from getting all of the exposed lumber.
Overall, I think the results are promising. I need to purchase one more can of foam and finish off a few remaining leaks. Also need to come up with a small tube/tip to get a few really small gaps that still remain.
Initial results? I can feel a difference. The room seems a bit warmer first thing in the mornings. I think this was a success – time will tell.