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Old 08-03-2012, 02:53 PM   #1
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Condensation in Exterior Walls

Hello, hope someone can assist with my condensation issues. I live in the Toronto Canada area in a 26 year old home. The house is mostly brick (sides) with "stucco like" front - Tudor look. The original owners paid the builders to install "Glass Clad" sheathing around the home as an extra level of insulation. The Glass Clad insulation is approx 1 inch thick with plastic/paper type backing on the outside and regular pink type insulation towards the inside. The Glass Clad appears to be attached to the exterior wall studs just after the bricks (actually touching the bricks), then regular fiberglass insulation between the 2x4 studs, a thin vapor barrier then the drywall on the inside of the home.

I just completed repainting/fixing the nail pops etc in all the bedrooms on the 2nd floor and was in the process of removing the carpet when I noticed water formations along the tack strips of the carpet. This was consistent along then entire exterior side of the home and ONLY that one side of the home that faces east. Our home is 1/2 way up a sloped street and the home next to us on the East side is a bungalow, so there is no protection/blockage from that home when it rains/snows etc.

I decided to remove all the drywall along the east side of the home and found all the insulation to be extremely wet. The Glass Clad sheathing and the drywall was fine - not wet at all. The water captured in the insulation appears to have made its way down to the floor plate and eventually seep out onto the floor. I removed all the insulation and let all rooms dry for at least a week.

I replaced the insulation with Roxul ComfortBatt R-14 insulation and applied 6mil poly vapor barrier. Sealed with tape and all. but didn’t install the drywall. The next day, I noticed some condensation again within the vapor barrier. Here we go again.

A few things that may be contributing but need some guidance to confirm.
  • It has been very hot and dry so our A/C of 2 years has kept the home cool.
  • Humidity in the home seems to be somewhat normal ranges (50-60%)
  • There is NO water leaking from pipes or from anything in the attic. Our attic is dry but could use more insulation and baffles for ventilation
  • New roof so water is not making its way in from there - confirmed
  • Three windows along that side need to be replaced but dont seem to be the source of water entrance. The sills of the window are brick and have noticed spalling of the bricks on the window sill ledge
  • All other exterior walls seem fine - including the southern exposure that sees sun all day
Any ideas on what my next steps should be? Very frustrated as the house is a mess but dont want to install the drywall until I know the condensation wont happen again. I've had contractors in that can’t pinpoint the problem. Insulation experts that think it may be lack of ventilation in the attic but are not 100% sure.


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