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Old 08-09-2008, 09:21 PM   #1
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First project, first question!


Hi all -

Been lurking here awhile, and have taken away tons of great info. Bought a house built in 1935 about a year ago, and am just starting to take care of some renovations. First up: Out front door leads into a small entryway (about 8' x 4'). We decided for a few reasons to gut the room to the studs and re-do it. I started the demo tonight - three of the room's walls are exterior, and the fourth is our living room wall.

Anyway, after ripping out the sheetrock off one of the exterior walls, I noticed a trail of ants along the wood...they aren't doing much, just walking around, but I figured I'd better find out how to address this...

Should I use pesticide? Some other wood treatment? Forget it and just rock over them?? (pics below)

Also, in the pics you can see the ratty old insulation that was in the wall - I want to replace it, but not sure what the best material to use would be - the wall cavity is not very deep. Would fiberglass batts torn to proper thickness be worthwhile? Want it to be DIY, so that rules out expanding foam, right?

Oh - final question - there is a hole in one of the boards near the floor which I fear may have been rodent-related at some point - I'd like to plug it up. Best to use expanding spray foam? Wood putty?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!



This is the wall I'm working on. Don't ask about the wallpaper(s) - wasn't us! Note loose-fill insulation at bottom - what would be a more suitable replacement?





Ants!!!





More.....should I be filling in those cracks they are coming through?


Last edited by lootcorp; 08-09-2008 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:22 PM   #2
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First project, first question!


The ants will always find a way in, so plugging holes really won't help too much to keep them out. You can certainly use foam, but it won't deter rodents. Using solid wood to cover the holes might be more of a rodent deterrent.

I'd definately spray in the wall for ants. I've found "terro" to be incredibly effective. You can place bait stations outdoors near where they're coming in. They'll take it back to the nest and it kills them off in a week or two. Works better than anything I've tried.

Just get batt insulation that will fit the depth of the wall cavity. Don't cram thicker batts in...That will lessen the insulation's effectiveness.

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Old 08-09-2008, 11:00 PM   #3
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First project, first question!


Just a tip let the ant spray dry completly before installing this insulation prevents mold and mildew
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:42 PM   #4
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First project, first question!


Thanks for the advice on the ants, guys...

Found another surprise tonight - took off the sheetrock on the wall bordering our living room, and found shingles! Looks like this confirms our suspicions that the entryway was addition...whoever built it just put drywall up right over the old exterior siding - no firring or anything, just nailed right into the shingles.

I'm assuming the right move is to remove the shingles as well, but wanted to check with the experts. Pics below...

Thanks!







Note the rectangular hole in upper left...looks like that was where a front door light was installed...

Next move?

Last edited by lootcorp; 08-10-2008 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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First project, first question!


From what I saw where the ants are. was some water stains ant's love moisture. being that they installed the porch over the shingles tells me that there could be a flashing problem at the wall tie in location. is there a window next to that area. fix this before you cover up. if your going to remove the shingles take into consideration that the 2x4"s are nailed also to the shingles. ceiling too might be secured to the shingles, Good luck BOB
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:00 PM   #6
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Bob -

There is not a window on that side of the entryway (there is one on the opposite wall) - however, there was evidence of water damage in the ceiling drywall in that corner - one reason we are gutting and re-doing the space. There was definite water damage and what looked like mold on the second layer of wallpaper where the shingles in the pic are. Also, there are gaps in the corner where the wood sheathing meets the shingles. I was thinking of using Stuff-It or something to fill the gaps where I can see sunlight through...

I see your point about the sheathing being attached to the shingles...I really want to rip out the shingles and do the job right, but that adds a whole layer of complexity....you know, I saw this coming...knew this wouldn't be a simple project...



Not to mention I expect to find a ton of old hornet's nests when I pull doen the ceiling....are we having fun yet??
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:12 PM   #7
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First project, first question!


So a few people I've spoken to have said there is no problem rocking over the shingles, assuming the drywall will be straight/level. I have no problem leaving the shingles there, but it means no insulation on that wall...

3 questions for the experts:

How important is insulation in a vestibule like this, assuming the other 3 walls (the exterior ones) are insulated?

On the exterior walls, I've noticed they used no vapor barrier with the loose-fill insulation they had in there...when I put in new insulation, should I be using a vapor barrier if the insulation is unfaced? (Location is Fairfield County, CT)

In the exterior walls, there are a few spots where daylight can be seen coming through - is it a good idea to caulk these up? For example, in the corner where the old shingles meet the newer wall, there are some gaps... (I read conflicting reports - some say to leave small gaps like that so the sheathing can breathe and release moisture, some say moisture will get in that way and you should caulk them...which is right??)

Thanks for any guidance - there is so much conflicting info out there, makes it very difficult for us newbies to get stuff done correctly!
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Old 08-11-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
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The correct way is to find where the moisture is coming from Ceiling & Walls. And repair. Could you post a picture so we can see the outside are of the water stains, Walls and roofs should be flashed, Not caulked.
If you decide to caulk to get you over use a flexible caulk ( butal rubber)this will compress as the wood expands.

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