Sheathing versus Winter Weather
We are in the process of renovating the exterior of an 1830s (with additions in the 1840s, 1870s, and early 1900s) timber frame home in Michigan. In particular, we are replacing the cedar siding on the outside of the home, as it has remained on the home far too many years past its prime. A good description of it would be to say that the paint is trying its best to fall off completely before the next winter season, rotting the precious cedar underneath as quickly as it can.
So, we have a dilemma. We have a *lot* of siding to replace and only 3 months or less before it starts getting to be winter-esque here in Michigan. Thus, we have to either 1) live with the old siding another season or 2) find another way to protect the structure until the siding can be replaced. The issue with #1 is that the current siding is seriously compromised in its structure and a winter season of neglect this past year for several portions of the home (while we worked on other sections) invited in water, and has thus rotted the 8 x 8 handhewn sill plate in a number of places. We obviously have to repair those sections, but are most worried about another winter season with the old siding.
Thus, we have been considering taking the old siding off and replacing it with sheathing for the winter. We haven't read anything that says this is a terrible idea, but haven't read anything supporting the idea as a decent stop-gap measure while we rush to replace the siding and repair the sill plates. We were considering tearing off all of the siding, putting up 1/2" plywood sheathing, caulking the sheathing at the butt joints, and even putting on Tyvek to ride out the winter months. We are very scared about getting more moisture onto the timber frame structure--it's already endured a lot and is a wonderful historic home otherwise. We'd be happy to post pics if people are interested in seeing the issues we are facing.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks a bundle!!
Emily and Bill