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Old 03-10-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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Hi all - First post here!

I am a student of home construction, and I keep learning new thing with this foreclosure I bought!

Due to a carpenter ant issue, I had to open up my walls to git rid of the buggers. When I did I found an oddity, and wonder if it is right. First off I live in Southern MI, so that may influence your answer.

My wall is constructed from inside out like this:
Drywall, 2x4 wall w/ R11 insulation (with V-barrier face), foil faced foam board and vinyl siding.

I know I have an issue with the siding as it was done all wrong and has caused some leaks and rot. My question is with regards to the foam board, shouldn't there be plywood and then foam? I do see what appears to be a metal strip that runs on a 45 across the wall. I assume for strength.

From what I can see, the 2x4 walls look to be in good shape (less the areas where the siding was mucked up). And the house is what almost 30 years old. So I have to assume that it was ok with just the foam board.

When I go to reside the house, should I be looking to replace the foam, with wood, then say a half inch of foam, then a wrap and finally side it?

Another question: Since I have the drywall down and the R11 insulation close at hand, does it make sense replace it with r13? I tried to find r15 but at the moment I have not been able to locate it.

One other thought that might save some money, would be to bring in spray foam to the wall cavity, and leave the foil in place, just reside it? I would think the spray foam would provide additional strength, w/o the huge added expense of resheating the exterior.

I dont have any pics, and i am not sure that you need them, but if you want I can snap a few when I get home.

I appreciate any thoughts on this!

-Ryan

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Old 03-10-2011, 02:03 PM   #2
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There is no strength in foam insulation.
Do you have picture of this construction?
Do the walls have lateral(diagonal) bracing?
I'd remove the exterior applications down to the studs and sheath it with a minimum5/8" exterior sheathing.
Do one wall at a time.
Ron

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Old 03-10-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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Given there is diagonal bracing, the structure was undoubtedly built with the planned intention of not to utilizing sheeting, or rather utilizing XPS insulation sheeting.

This is rather advanced thinking for a home built that long ago.

See the attached

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...s/high-r-value

Mark
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackofall1 View Post
Given there is diagonal bracing, the structure was undoubtedly built with the planned intention of not to utilizing sheeting, or rather utilizing XPS insulation sheeting.

This is rather advanced thinking for a home built that long ago.

See the attached

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...s/high-r-value

Mark
I don't know about the "advanced" notion. The thickness of the foiled insulation aside. First thing that came to me was that the builder was a cheap SOB. What stops wind driven projectiles? Foam or the sheetrock.
I guess this house wasn't built in a hurricane or tornado zone.
Don't you find it a little disturbing you can literally punch a hole through the side of the house?
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:40 PM   #5
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Ron, as far as insulation thoughts go this is an advanced type of technology, as the house is in Southern MI, there is no concern for hurricanes thats for sure, in fact there are only a few incidences of tornadoes here.

The only thing lacking in the construction of this wall is it should have been 2 x 6 not 2 x 4 and OP mentioned the outer insul layer was foil faced foam, where it should have been 2 inch XPS.

Would I build it that way, don't think so, is it an acceptable practice, yes, at least according to building sceince, which is a very reputable source of information.

Mark
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum, Ryan!

30 years ago it may have passed framing inspection with the metal diagonal braces without even corner plywood or OSB (structural sheathing). I even built houses here (seismic zone) with just the braces then, though they are far inferior to plywood as braces in their lateral restraint capabilities; http://bct.eco.umass.edu/publication...n-the-outside/

Yes, replace the f.g. R-11 with R-13 (without the convective loops); The "biggest loser" in fiberglass insulation....

I recommend plywood over OSB if at all possible.

Gary
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
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As always Gary, great reading material!

Thanks

Mark
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:04 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the replies.

Hopefully my pic shows us this time! It shows the metal brace coming up the bottom of the pic from low on the left to high on the right. I didnt notice before, but it is notched into the stud. Hard to believe they took the time to do that! All I have done is pulled down the drywall and the insulation which then shows the fiber board. on the other side of that is the vinyl siding. (more pics have to wait for the camera to recharge )

Reading your comments got me thinking the vinyl siding is on the garage and the side & back of the house. The front facing sides, have a combo of brick and wood siding. So now I wonder if they ran out of money when building. Make the front have curb appeal and the rest will be done as cheap as possible.

Would spray foam do anything to strengthen the wall? Not that I am looking to cheep out, but $ is tight and trying to get the best bang for the buck, until such a time I have the $ to do the wood sheeting. (siding may just have to be culked for now to keep it weather tight!) --- (reread the first post, and realized that Ron may have answered this, but just in case I read it wrong thought I would double check!).

Thank you all again for the replies and suggestions! I do appreciate it!

-Ryan
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:20 PM   #9
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Was there moisture in the wall that attracted the carpenter ants? These guys like to build nests near a source of moisture.
You do not caulk vinyl siding.
Foam insulation will not make the walls stronger.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:22 PM   #10
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You might want to peel back the insulation in the corner, looks like the steel bracing starts a couple of stub bays from the end, is there, sheeting in the bottom and top corners of the first couple of bays.

Done correctly this would provide the lateral support needed.

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Old 03-11-2011, 08:07 AM   #11
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Whoever installed the siding over my sliding door and kitchen window didnt install any rain channels on top, and they took the side channels and actually cut them into the siding under the door. So when we get a driving rain from the north it is directed in behind the siding. Thank fully Since this is on the north wall, and we dont get much driving rain from that direction is has been "ok", you know slow rot. Probably one of the good points of that foam board is that says it is water resistant.

The main nest (so far, still have more drywall to drop) is at the top of the door in the header beam. When I pulled the gap insulation (loose fiberglass stuffed in the gap) out from between the door and the frame, a small portion of it was soaked, and that is in main area of the nest. The rest of the wall cavities so far appear to be dry with no sign of moisture, even on the foam board when it was 10 degrees out and I opened the wall. So I think the wall is either breathing heavy! Or the VB on the insulation bats is doing is job.

I realize culking siding is not the correct solution to this problem, but as a temporary stop gap it appears to be cheap and effective (until it gets hot and the siding expands, sigh!). Again it has to be replaced, I just have to find the money and the time to get to it.

Mark, I am not sure I understand your question. Are you asking if there is wood sheeting in the first 3' of the wall? No there is not. Only the foam board. Question for you Mark; since we seem to be in the same general area, do you have any companies that you would recommend for doing siding work, the sheeting and siding install?

I too have come to the conclusion that the builder was a cheep SOB, when pulling the drywall off, I have found that I can pull nearly intact sheets off the wall (have to be careful), as he used maybe 6 nails / sheet, with a little construction adhesive. Personally I dont fret of using drywall screws, so when I put it all back up I will probably have double or triple that amount. With that many screws, would you say construction adhesive is a waste, extra protection, or needed?

Thanks again everyone!

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