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Old 10-31-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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Terrifying Pictures!


Here is a typical build in Phx, AZ. I found over 20+ spots on this ranch home where they tore through the tar paper & styrofoam and left a gaping hole for water intrusion. They DO NOT OSB shear the homes in Phx.

As you know stucco is NOT waterproof, once it is water soaked, water will flow behind it. The 1/4" or 1/2" styrofoam that they use is also NOT 100% waterproof as it has gaps, tears and rips in it from all the nails and staples they use. So you are left with the tar paper as your final water barrier. If that is in any way ripped or compromised, water will find its way in and soak the fiberglass insulation, the studs and then your drywall. This is the way that tract homes are built in Phx.

This poor future homeowner will have no clue that their home fills with water until the signs of water intrusion make themselves known on the drywall. In minor rainfall events, the water will soak the insulation and studs but the drywall can still be intact on the inside. Mold, rot and structural failure will result after years of this happening.









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Last edited by JackOfAllTrades; 10-31-2011 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:44 PM   #2
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Look at this pathetic piece of 2x4 that they used to support the window frame. It is rotted and split, yet they still used it.

How pathetic that they even used that thing? Of course they don't care and know it will be covered up by the drywall. As you can see, the bottom of the window framing lacks any OSB shear. You can literally punch a hole through that wall with your fist. What until that window shifts on them and the glass cracks or they can't open the window without it sticking because the window framing is no longer squared.





The only OSB shear a few spots on these homes, the rest is left open framing with 1/2" styrofoam and 1/2" stucco. Plus they only use 2x4 construction, they didn't even use 2x6 framing on the exterior walls. Sad and terrifying.

Imagine these homes in high winds, heavy rain or a tornado. While they pass code in Phx, a home like this would FAIL code in most other states, especially states like California, Illinois and states where wind shear is important.




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Old 11-01-2011, 01:34 AM   #3
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I am wondering why there is not two layers of at least 60 minute grade D on the exterior side of the wall. They stucco direct to the foam?
The 2x4 framing and shear is not terrifying, there are other ways such as let in bracing to strengthen against lateral loads. It would not fly around here but the regional concerns such as a megathrust earthquake along the PNW coast or the Cold winters of Illinois are taken into account when adopting building codes. I don't think of Phoenix when I think of cold winters or seismic activity.
Have you ever been to Hawaii? there are many structures with true single wall construction. That would not work in any other place in the US that I can think of.
I am not trying to bust on your thread, I just would not compare Pnx to Cali or the other places you have listed.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:13 AM   #4
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I am wondering why there is not two layers of at least 60 minute grade D on the exterior side of the wall. They stucco direct to the foam?
The 2x4 framing and shear is not terrifying, there are other ways such as let in bracing to strengthen against lateral loads. It would not fly around here but the regional concerns such as a megathrust earthquake along the PNW coast or the Cold winters of Illinois are taken into account when adopting building codes. I don't think of Phoenix when I think of cold winters or seismic activity.
Yes, they stucco directly onto the foam. What they do is attach a metal lath aka -"chicken wire" to the foam and then stucco directly onto it.

These houses out here have tremendous amounts of water intrusion when it does rain. That is key. Rain is scarce but when it does come down in heavy amounts, water leaks coming in through the walls are very common. Ironically, mold is a growing issue out in Phx.

As far as shear loads, these homes do NOT do well in high winds. They rack like crazy. I've been in a new 2 story home and it creaked and rattled during a 40MPH wind storm. If a tornado ever hit, even an F0, these homes see major damage.

Also due to the lack of OSB, these homes transmit A LOT of exterior noise. They are not that quiet inside.
Remember, there is little to no sound deadening.

As far as cold winters, yes, we do get below freezing temps and many homeowners have broken pipes in the walls. They have to keep the water dripping inside when temps fall below 30F at night (which does happen more often than people think).

If you transplanted these homes to other states, they would FAIL code and FAIL miserably. They are NOT well built, at all.

2x4 construction with NO shear OSB is cheap construction.
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:58 AM   #5
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Simple solution---Build your own house--
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:46 AM   #6
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Jack, it is about quantity, not quality. That is why older homes are better built. I plan on staying in my 1937 Bungalow for the next 20 years, unless someone makes a really good offer on it. I personally hate newer built homes, even if the contractor states that they are fine craftsman, there is no way to really tell, unless you are there to see.

Friend's of ours had a home built by someone they thought that they trusted, to build a good quality home. They had leaks within the first six months, and a few other minor problems. Contractor fixed, but it showed that corners were cut. I have seen some of the tract builds in this town, that just barely past current standards, due to they use the minimum code requirements.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:12 PM   #7
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Hope this does not stray to far off topic but:

We are seeing that in California. There is a metal drip / vent at the bottom, we had a guy try to burn a black widow in the corner and the lighter flame caught the foam on fire in the wall. It melted about two square feet from the time he called 911 and we arrived. He had splashed water on it and thought it had stopped but he kept smelling something burning.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:56 PM   #8
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No sheathing even at the corners? What a crappy job, IMO. It does not cost much more to build a lot more stability into a house. Felt paper is arguably one of the best water resistant barriers, but it needs sheathing under it, and should be double layer. One report I read said the new 30 lb is the old 15 lb, so that builder uses double 30 lb, AND a rain screen. Builders should be required to provide prospective buyers w/ a CD of 150 pictures of the place being built, from foundation prep to shingles.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:20 AM   #9
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No sheathing even at the corners? What a crappy job, IMO. It does not cost much more to build a lot more stability into a house. Felt paper is arguably one of the best water resistant barriers, but it needs sheathing under it, and should be double layer. One report I read said the new 30 lb is the old 15 lb, so that builder uses double 30 lb, AND a rain screen. Builders should be required to provide prospective buyers w/ a CD of 150 pictures of the place being built, from foundation prep to shingles.
No sheathing on most of the corners, but occasionally they do shear some of the corners. They don't even use 2x6 on the outer walls, it's all 2x4.

I agree, felt paper works good WHEN it has OSB shear supporting it and WHEN it is double layered.

The problem with the building methods I have shown is that the felt paper RIPS and has TEARS in it from the workers leaning on it and from staples penetrating it when the workers attach the styrofoam. Also, without OSB panels, the felt paper has NO SUPPORT behind it as it is stretched across 16" and only supported by the 2x4s every 16". Any weight or pressure in that 16" span will cause the felt paper to rip and stretch.

All of the above equals WATER INTRUSION and the subsequent mold, structural damage and interior damage.

I went back and looked at the home the other day and they made a piss-poor attempt to seal those punctures by throwing on some caulk. It wasn't even silicone. I counted OVER 100+ punctures in that felt paper throughout the home.

The home building in Phx is a JOKE. No shear panels = weak, noisy and prone to water leaks. These homes would not do well in high winds or with a lot of rain.

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Old 11-07-2011, 01:31 AM   #10
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Hope this does not stray to far off topic but:

We are seeing that in California. There is a metal drip / vent at the bottom, we had a guy try to burn a black widow in the corner and the lighter flame caught the foam on fire in the wall. It melted about two square feet from the time he called 911 and we arrived. He had splashed water on it and thought it had stopped but he kept smelling something burning.

Interesting, I will research this more. The styrofoam backing melts easily. They use it for stucco and in ICF forums.

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