I'm in the process of doing a bathroom reno and am considering replacing the insulation against the exterior wall as it's old and I'm in there anyways plus this wall is where the shower head is etc. The encl. is a pic of the insulation. Everything I've looked at online implies this isn't asbestos and is just an older insulation so safe to replace but wanted to get some other people's thoughts just to be safe ... thoughts?
I live in Ottawa and the house was build ~1962.
DISCLAIMER: I am not an asbestos remediation expert. The only 100% accurate way to tell if something has asbestos in it is to get it professionally tested. Often times it can depend on the factory that the insulation, tile, etc. was manufactured in. I recommend you get it professionally tested to know for sure.
That being said; that does not look like asbestos insulation to me. If it were my house I wouldn't worry about it.
I agree with Tyler's statement.
However, are you saying you are putting the shower head on an exterior wall? I don't know what its like in Ontario but we don't run water lines on exterior walls in Alberta due to the risk of freezing. (This is in our code, so I would check yours or ask a local inspector.
Alternatively, you could insulate and vapor seal the exterior wall. Then frame in another wall next to your exterior wall, insulate it as well, and run the water lines through that. (Sort of like a double stud wall.) This way there is plenty of insulation between your pipes and the exterior wall, and you don't have to penetrate the vapor barrier to bring you shower head and taps into the shower enclosure. Only drawback is that you will lose room in your shower. If that's an issue you could frame it with 2"x3"s or 2"x4"s ripped in half.
Thanks Ethan. I should have clarified this insulation is behind a vapour barrier. The shower line would be in front of that in a 1" barrier like you mentioned ...
When you have installed the new insulation in the exterior wall ensure you seal the new 6ml vapour barrier really well. Use acoustic seal on the stud framing around the perimeter to ensure no warm, moist air enters the insulated wall cavity.
How are you going to install the shower control valve in the 1" wall without it pushing into the insulation? You do not want the valve to be compressing the insulation.
Hi Dave. Thanks for the guidance. We're in a side split house so for that wall only part of it is external facing, the other part where the actual handle / valve is located doesn't have any insulation behind it so there's enough room. The place that does is where the line to the shower head and the head itself is located.
Completely agree with Ethan's suggestions, you need to stud a separate area - wall for the faucets and pipes. Just make sure that you don't damage the vapour barrier when installing the faucets and connections, otherwise the thermographic barrier will be compromised and you will have temperature variances and possible moisture within that wall - lots of future possible issues.
St. Jacques Taylor Townend Inc.
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