Insulation requirements

I have been looking for some info on older homes.
What were the requirements then and are they expected to be brought up to current standards.

Types of insulations and required thickness for homes in the 80’s 70’s 60’s and so on.

Some of this info seems difficult to find and it is well before my time.

Anyone who is seasoned :stuck_out_tongue: would have a good idea of what was done in the 60’s to new homes.
I personaly would not, and would like to get some input please.

It is going to depend a bit on the region Sean.

Here in AZ you might see up to 3 inches of insulation in homes up until the 70’s. And it may be quite a mix of materials, rockwool, vermiculite, fibreglass, cellulose etc.

Energy was really cheap then. ( my parents 1940’s home in California had no insulation at all)

And no, here at least, the insulation does not need to be brought up to todays standards… (usually 12" to 15" of blown in fiberglass or cellulose).

If you want to “tell someone what they must do” (good luck, this is Tennessee) call the Code Dpt.

I did 5 law suits on new construction last year where the house “passed code inspection” on insulation.
Code Dpt stepped in and threatened to pull the contractors licence, even though they do not inspect “performance”.

TN Disclosure law says that “upgrade is not a REQUIREMENT (if no other upgrades were permitted for)”. Disclosure IS.

So call it all you want.
No one is required to upgrade here.
“Ask and tell” (sorry Joey) happens here.
Client can “ask” for insulation, seller can “tell” them what they plan to do about it.

THanks guys,

I realize regions will vary, but just wanted to get others to discuss what they know also.
Other things to be curoius about are when did insulation start becomeing a factor with homes. I take it during the 70’s with the gas issue and other energy issues.

No requirement for code upgrade here either Sean.

I advise of the current standard of today and recommend the upgrade on insulation to meet today’s energy standards, but that is totally up to them if they do or not.
If I go back to when I was a kid with the old man, it was about 16" of dry wood shavings in the attic and walls were filled with the same stuff.
That was in 1964.
Early 70’s was 6" R-19 and that stayed for a long time.
90’s was R-38, two layers.
Late 90’s R-40
Today it is R-49:)

Thanks Marcel
I knew you would know. Your showing your age…:mrgreen:
Wood shavings sound almost as safe as newspaper.

Opened up a few walls of older homes built in the early 1900’s working with my Dad, that had that as insulation in the walls.

Principals of air leakage and insulation has been around for Centurys, they just did not have the technology to make a good product like today.

There was no such thing as pressure treated lumber when I was a young man, we used Creosote, Diesel fuel for form oil and in the 70’s came out Cupernol wood perservative, clear and green tint.
We thought that product was the greatest at the time. Sold like hot cakes, with people thinking it would stop rotting forever. :):smiley:

I have replaced creosote fence posts that I know were every bit of 40 years old. The inside was rotted out, but the outside remained

Nasty stuff Sean, don’t ever use it.
In the days of no respirators, safety glasses, MSDS sheets to tell you of the dangers, I am surprise so many of us that worked with that crap, are still around.
Would burn your skin.

Ah the good old days. got to love them .
I seen gravel in the walls too Sean believe it or not.
Sawdust also
News paper Under the plaster
They used almost anything to seal the home up
I had news paper from 1910 lining my back wall in Canada . It was great reading as you worked lol

Wayne, I got you beat in years. :mrgreen:

Read this;

Civil-War era letters discovered at Bates

Posted by: Bates Views on Monday, July 28, 1997

During the recent renovation of a Bates-owned house on 31 Frye St. in Lewiston, construction workers discovered six Civil-War era letters exchanged between former Lewiston resident Uriah Balkam and his wife, Annie. Balkam was the chaplain for the 16th Maine Regiment during the Civil War.
He suffered from nephritis, and the letters detail his unsuccessful efforts to petition his commanding officers, Colonel Tilden and Brigadier General Crawford, for a 20-day disability leave. One letter was written from the battlefield near Petersburg, Va., where Balkam describes his failing health, Union troop movements and the chilling sound of brisk musketry fire. The heartbreak of a wife left behind is evident in one of Annie’s letters to Balkam, in which she wrote, “I never wanted to see you in my life more than I do at this moment.”

Balkam survived the war and returned to Lewiston, where he was a pastor at the Congregational Church on Pine St. from 1855 to 1870. A graduate of Amherst College and the Bangor Theological Seminary, Balkam later received an honorary doctoral degree from Bates in 1867 and became the Cobb Professor of Logic and Christian Evidences at Bates from 1873-1874. He died on March 4, 1874, when he was thrown from his horse on his way to the college.
After Balkam’s death, the editor of The Bates Student newspaper wrote: “His liberality of spirit and freedom from all forms of bigotry, combined with great earnestness of purpose, made him a very effective preacher.”

Kurt Kuss, special collections librarian at Bates, transcribed the letters and has a photograph of Balkam available to the press.
In addition to historical information on the 16th Maine Regiment, Kuss has Balkam’s death notice and a lengthy article about Balkam that appeared in an 1874 issue of the college newspaper, The Bates Student.

The transcriptions of the letters, articles and historical account are available from Kuss. A photograph of Balkam is available from the Office of College Relations.

Marcel Cyr, construction-site supervisor from Ouellet Associates in Brunswick, Maine, hand delivered the letters to Kuss. Cyr is available to discuss in specific detail how the letters were found in a second-floor wall that members of his crew were renovating.

Posted in: Bates Now, Humanities and history
Tags: 31 Frye St., civil war, Kurt Kuss

People feel that about cellulose (which is treated, BTW) also but…not one piece of lumber, sheathing, subfloor in 99.9% of houses is treated with a fire retardent. so if you’re afraid of a house burning…go concrete…but its contents still could burn!

I remodeled a kitchen in a house built in early 1900’s…they had old jeans and shirts stuffed in in the walls. They were only about half way up the wall by the time it came down