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Old 02-08-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Hope I get the terms correct with my question.

While installing rafter baffers from the outside soffit area, I noticed a problem, I think.

The exterior sheathing does not go all the way up to (and over ?) the top plate. Is this a problem?

Not sure why, but the sheathing stops about 1/2 inch from where it would meet the top plate. With a flashlight I can see the batt insulation inside the stud cavity.

Do stud cavities need to vent? I can't understand why someone would want air to get inside the stud cavity.

How would you correct this?

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Old 02-08-2010, 02:34 PM   #2
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Won't hurt to have it venting, in fact, our code requires spacing between sheets to vent.

(and for material movement)

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Old 02-08-2010, 02:48 PM   #3
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


I don't mean between sheets of sheathing.

The stud cavity is not completely sealed from outside air. The gap is up in the sofit so cold air entering the sofit could migrate down into the stud cavity.

Its a small gap, about 1/2 inch, but still a gap for air to enter the stud cavity.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:01 PM   #4
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Earnie,

That is odd and less than ideal. I would nail and caulk a batten, or strip of trim of some sort, over it.

You don't want critters moving in there, and it's got to be bleeding a lot of warm air to the outside. Yes walls need to breathe, but that's not how you do it.

Good luck,

Rory
RDG Read Development LLC
Portland, OR

Last edited by Rory Read; 02-08-2010 at 10:02 PM. Reason: typo, oops
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:34 AM   #5
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Spoke to a friend in the home construction business. He suspects that the roof rafters were installed before the exterior sheathing was installed. So, when the birdsmouth, I think that is the correct term, was cut, the width of the sheathing was not accounted for. When the sheathing was installed, I suspect they noticed the mistake but instead of fixing it, the sheathing was stopped at some conveinent point.

To me, after looking at the problem, the birdsmouth could have been extended 3/4 of an inch to allow the sheathing to be slid between the cut and the framing studs and top plate.

Thanks for the fix tips.

Item 50 on the fix list!

Last edited by Earnie; 02-09-2010 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:47 AM   #6
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Here is a picture of the problem.

Can I cut a notch in the rafter and slide a piece of plywood in between the wall framing (top plate) and the rafter? Actually would be making the birdmouth cut bigger to accomodate the plywood. The tie strap will be easy to remove the re-installed.


Exterior Sheathing Repair-sheathing.jpg
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:06 AM   #7
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Yup, I learned that lesson myself
But in my case I notched a little for the rafters, & had 2x top plates
Now I put the sheathing on before I do rafters
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:17 PM   #8
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Hi Dave,

Yes, a learning experience but it appears you had the pride in you work to fix the mistake. Someone didn't care with mine.

So are you saying it would be ok to cut a wider notch in the rafter so I can slide in extra wood to fill the gap?

May be hard to see in the pic but I do believe there are double top plates.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:11 PM   #9
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


You can notch the rafter....just don't go to far

I'd be inclined to cut a piece that goes up to the bottom of that hurricane bracket
Then use caulking to seal it to the existing wood
When I put my blocking in between the rafters I seal everything with caulking
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:28 PM   #10
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Ok, understand notching is ok but just a small notch. I do like your idea to cut small pieces to go between the rafters and silicone around them.

I just installed those hurricane straps as extra sercuity. Rafter are toe nailed. I wish I had seen the gap before I installed the straps but easy to remove them. Glad I didn't use nails but there just isn't room to swing a hammer.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:05 PM   #11
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


I wouldn't mess with the rafters, possibly vibrating some new drywall nail-pops in the tied-to ceiling joists. The one pictured is already plumb cut too much (over 1-1/2") which makes a long level cut for the rafter to be sitting on it's toe instead of the heel.
I would stuff some fiberglass batt insulation in the wall crack followed by canned foam. Structurally, the sheathing is required to cover the bottom top plate for shear strength, but it appears you have solid wood sheathing boards. Appears to be a closed soffit, with that level cut (soffit) 3-1/4" below the wall? Adding ply now is a mute point, it will only cover the hole and the plates. Foam would be way easier and more R-value than ply. (Neither would add strength).

Don't caulk your blocking as it wouldn't help to air seal as they should have holes for ventilation. (Unless in a "hot roof- non-vented). But, you did say baffles.........

Be safe, Gary
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:45 AM   #12
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


Hi Gary,

The person I talked to also mentioned the shear strength issue. The wall covering inside is 1"x6" tongue and groove boards so maybe they will compensate. Nothing that can be done now without completely removing the exterior wall covering and re-sheathing.

I decided against rafter cutting. To much time and trouble for little return.

Actually its an open soffit. I had removed the plastic soffits to install rafter baffles when I saw the sheathing problem. Whoever installed the insulation pushed it all the way blocking the air flow. What I also noticed was that the insulation does not cover the top plate. How messed up can this get?

- Two R19 batts, one on top of the other and both kraft faced.
- Insulation blocking the air flow.
- Insulation not out to the exterior side of the top plate.

Not sure how that got by the building inspection since the house was build in 1992.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:55 AM   #13
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


This may show the problem better.

Pink at top is the attic insulation.
Next two boards are the double 2x6 top plates.
Next pink is the insulation inside the 2x6 wall.
Next bit of tan is the exterior sheathing.
Lastly the plastic soffit.

Exterior Sheathing Repair-112-1297_img.jpg
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:56 PM   #14
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


It gets worse your hardware is installed incorectly with screws, big no no. H2.5 require a 1 1/2 teco nail screws dont have any shear strength. Whoever built this was half shot mggee at best that house has some serious structuall problems and im guessing if they short cut the shear and the h2.5 theres alot of stuff they skimped on. Whats funny is it would take longer to screw in the 2.5 than to nail them. Some people. Id sheet in the top if it were me but then im a framer and we do it right. What size of material our your rafters they dont look over cut if there 2X10 of 12 if the level cut on the birds mouth is bearing on the plate equally you dont have to worry about it resting on the toe cause its full bearing.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:49 PM   #15
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Exterior Sheathing Repair


I'm aware the straps call for nails.

I installed the straps and screws, eighteen years after the house was built. The screws are in addition to the existing toe nailed rafters.

There was no way to swing a hammer to install nails. So the choice was, no extra protection offered by the straps or use screws.

Maybe your point is screws offer no additional structural strength? If so, point noted and I wasted a few dollars on straps and screws.

Rafters are 2x12.

At this point, the plan is to cut 4" wide wood strips and attach them to the two top plates and over the gap.

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