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Old 04-03-2010, 03:16 AM   #1
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Replacing siding, insulation, Zip System


My siding currently consists of asbestos tile over clapboard. Under the clapboard I have asphalt felt, empty wall cavities (no insulation), and 1/2" drywall or cedar planks. I've noticed that, despite living in a cold climate, the absence of a vapor barrier doesn't seem to have created a mold or condensation problem in a house that was constructed in 1957.

Here's my plan:

1. Remove the asbestos and clapboard

2. Install Zip System wall sheathing

3. Cut in holes in the sheathing from the interior for the new windows and
install the windows

4. Install 3" rigid foam in the stud bays.

5. Install a 6 mil plastic vapor barrier on the interior

6. Install Hardiplank directly to the sheathing

7. Install drywall over the vapor barrier

Here are my questions:

1. Does cutting the window openings after installation make sense?

2. Why wouldn't I want to use XPS or polyiso foam in the stud cavities? I end up compressing the heck out of fiberglass batts when I fish wires, etc., through the walls. I don't see how I could fish anything at all down the wall if I used spray foam. Using 3" XPS would at least give me half an inch of room. The foam also doesn't seem to get contaminated as easily as cellulose or fiberglass. I also wouldn't have to worry about the insulation settling, getting compressed, or retaining moisture. At 5R per inch, wouldn't the insulating properties of the XPS be adequate?

3. Do you see anything grievously misguided in my approach? Is the sequence correct?

Thanks!

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Last edited by benjamincall; 04-03-2010 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:16 AM   #2
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you do not just remove anything "asbestos" not safe not legal

you never want insulation to not fill the cavity. this leaves a space for a convective loop which will lower the effective R-Value of the wall cavity.

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Old 04-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
you do not just remove anything "asbestos" not safe not legal
you never want insulation to not fill the cavity. this leaves a space for a convective loop which will lower the effective R-Value of the wall cavity.

The asbestos siding is considered a nonfriable material, so I don't have to do anything special for it here. It's classified as construction waste, at least according to NJ and the EPA.

A 1/2" gap behind the drywall would be a problem?

Last edited by benjamincall; 04-03-2010 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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Replacing siding, insulation, Zip System


Very much so. Some staple faced insulation to the sides of the studs. This creates a 1/8" air gap which is enough to derate insulation due to the convective loop. The wall cavity must be filled. The tops and bottoms of the wall must be air sealed with spray foam. Drywall should be glued at the top and bottom to seal the air. Poly should be glued at both ends and in corners. Movement within a wall cavity is never desired. Except outside the pressure boundary you would leave an air space which is used as a rain screen to dry the siding from behind.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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Some areas will let homeowners remove asbestos siding as it is fairly safe to do if you follow proper procedures. When it comes time to cut out the window openings try using a router with a 1/4 or 3/8" flush cutting bit (work from the outside). It spews a lot of sawdust but it makes a nice clean cut quickly.

It will be a pain to cut all that foam to fit tight and you'll need to somehow seal all the edges but I guess it could be done. Will you reeally be fishing much on the outside walls in the future?
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:13 PM   #6
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You need to check to see if you can legally remove it yourself
Some states you can, others you can't

New Jersey allows homeowner to remove it:

Quote:
Can I remove the asbestos in my home myself?


Technically, there are no regulations that forbid a homeowner from removing asbestos in their own home themselves, but we strongly advise against it for a number of reasons:
  • Asbestos is a known human carcinogen. If it is removed improperly, it can cause your home to be seriously contaminated. Professional cleanup of the contamination, could be more costly than if the abatement had originally been performed by professionals.
  • Children are particularly susceptible to asbestos related disease. The normal latency period for an asbestos related disease in adults can be anywhere from 20 to 50 years after exposure. However, among children, the latency period can be much shorter, striking them very early in life.
  • Asbestos is difficult to control without the proper equipment. Special equipment has been designed for abating asbestos properly. This equipment must be used and cleaned in a proper manner to ensure that little or no exposure to asbestos fibers occurs during or after abatement.
  • Asbestos fibers can be too small for the human eye to detect. Professional asbestos abatement contractors use specialized cleaning equipment and confinement techniques to remove and contain asbestos materials and fibers. Once complete, air samples should be taken to ensure that there is no asbestos fibers remaining.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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"5. Install a 6 mil plastic vapor on the interior" -----http://www.ecohomemagazine.com/energy-efficient-design/a-close-look-at-common-energy-claims.aspx

"6. Install Hardiplank directly to the sheathing" --------- http://www.dickseibert.com/martin.pdf

Be safe, Gary
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Old 04-03-2010, 09:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
You need to check to see if you can legally remove it yourself
Some states you can, others you can't

New Jersey allows homeowner to remove it:
Yep, it's considered construction waste for disposal purposes. I don't think you run into a problem with the asbestos siding unless you take a saw or a grinder to it. Ceiling tiles, on the other hand, can be crumbled by hand, and the asbestos particles can much more easily go airborne.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
"5. Install a 6 mil plastic vapor barrier on the interior" -----http://www.ecohomemagazine.com/energy-efficient-design/a-close-look-at-common-energy-claims.aspx

"6. Install Hardiplank directly to the sheathing" --------- http://www.dickseibert.com/martin.pdf

Be safe, Gary
The first article seems to suggest that painted drywall might be a sufficient cold climate vapor retarder. I guess I'll probably use kraft faced fiberglass batts.

I don't think I need a rain screen with the zip system panels. No asphalt or house wrap, either!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jogr View Post
Some areas will let homeowners remove asbestos siding as it is fairly safe to do if you follow proper procedures. When it comes time to cut out the window openings try using a router with a 1/4 or 3/8" flush cutting bit (work from the outside). It spews a lot of sawdust but it makes a nice clean cut quickly.

It will be a pain to cut all that foam to fit tight and you'll need to somehow seal all the edges but I guess it could be done. Will you reeally be fishing much on the outside walls in the future?
My house is undergoing an evolutionary design process, so the ability to add receptacles and lighting is very desirable.

Maybe I should just complete the wiring and insulation at the final stage in our remodel. We don't have any wall insulation at this point, so waiting a couple of years can't hurt much.

I'll try the router trick.

Last edited by benjamincall; 04-03-2010 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 11:30 PM   #9
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the zip wall is a good system but has nothing to do with the advantages I mentioned with the rain screen. Tests has shown that siding and the paint on the siding will last much longer when it is allowed to dry from behind.' But it's your house.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:24 AM   #10
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I was just hoping to avoid all the furring strips and shimming. I guess I could use some of that Home Slicker stuff beneath the Hardiplank, or perhaps I should scrap the fiber cement idea and go with some nice vinyl. I've seen some "premium" beaded vinyl that looks ok.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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Has anyone used a drainage mat type system, e.g., Home Slicker or WaterWay, for a rainscreen? What about polymer furring strips? I'm really hesitant to use lumber because the dimensions are not consistent and because it warps and decays.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:38 PM   #12
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drainage mats are more for stone or stucco work where a lot of leakage is present and must be controlled. polymer strips are fine if you feel the need for overkill. regular 1X2 strapping works fine. minor thickness variations will be noticeable at all.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
drainage mats are more for stone or stucco work where a lot of leakage is present and must be controlled. polymer strips are fine if you feel the need for overkill. regular 1X2 strapping works fine. minor thickness variations will be noticeable at all.
The polymer stuff would cost me about $460 for 10 squares of siding. 1x2 strapping from Lowe's would be around $100, so maybe that's the way to go.

Last edited by benjamincall; 04-05-2010 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:27 PM   #14
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Bob, what do you use to build a rainscreen under shake?
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:44 PM   #15
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for shakes use a mat type rainscreen as you would for stucco. Try "Home Slicker' I think that have one that combines the weather barrier and rainscreen in one product.

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