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Old 01-11-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
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Water Tightness of Exterior Walls


Ok, here's the situation... Girlfriend and I recently purchased a 130 year old Victorian fixer. The house did not have a functional kitchen so that's our first line of business. We've stripped down to the studs and are currently working on repairing/sistering any that have been water/termite damaged. New electrical has already been roughed in and we're currently working on getting the plumbing installed. The siding is original wood lap that's nailed directly to the studs - no sheathing on the outside or insulation on the inside. The kitchen is located in a corner and the siding on these two walls is in poor condition. (Gaps, cracks, missing boards, etc) We will be re-siding in the spring when the budget allows and the weather is more agreeable. Until then, we will continue with the kitchen work from the inside. Let me preface the following question by stating that I'm working to patch and repair the siding to the best of my ability.

All of that being said, what are some good ways to help protect our kitchen drywall, cabinets, flooring, etc from the water/weather until we can re-side this portion of the house? Our first thought was to install a plastic air/water barrier over the studs before hanging the drywall. We learned that the potential can exist for condensation on the plastic in the summer/winter when there's a large temperature difference between inside/outside. This sounds like a perfect situation in which to grow mold, so it may not be the best idea... thoughts? We will be using cement backer board in the backsplash areas. Everywhere else we've considered using mold resistant drywall in lieu of the regular stuff. We'll also be insulating only the wall cavities that will have plumbing pipes running down them to help keep them from freezing. When we re-side in the spring, we'll install batt insulation from the outside and cover it up with some plywood sheathing. So what does everyone think? The problem should only exist until we can re-side and patching/repairing will help significantly, but we don't want to see our interior work ruined by a small leak. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!!

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Old 01-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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Water Tightness of Exterior Walls


The answer to your question is dependent on the area of the country you live in.

You could go to buildingscience.com and do some research on the best wall configs/vapor barrier, vapor retarder, insulation methods and materials for your area.

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #3
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Water Tightness of Exterior Walls


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Originally Posted by Jackofall1 View Post
The answer to your question is dependent on the area of the country you live in.

You could go to buildingscience.com and do some research on the best wall configs/vapor barrier, vapor retarder, insulation methods and materials for your area.
I live in Maryland. From what I can tell, it looks like they discourage the use of a vapor barrier in this region. I guess my issue is more just trying to keep my sheetrock dry from any potential leaks.

Thanks for the link, lots of great information on that site!
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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Water Tightness of Exterior Walls


Your welcome, that is a very common site referred to here.

If you are going to finish the inside kitchen first, I would be looking a buying some inexpensive plastic tarps and covering the outside wall from the weather, and then when you are ready to finish the outside properly, remove the tarps and follow the recommended methods for wall construction based on your area.

This would save any further water damage from happening in the process.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:28 PM   #5
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Water Tightness of Exterior Walls


I had a feeling that doing my best to seal from the outside was going to be the best approach. Thanks for the great recommendation!

Do you think there's any merit to using the green mold-resistant drywall over the regular stuff?
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:08 PM   #6
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Water Tightness of Exterior Walls


The only place I have used that type of drywall, is in a bathroom, where it may be subjected to a high humidity environment.

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