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Old 10-08-2018, 10:15 AM   #1
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Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


We just went through Hurricane Florence and I am gutting the house. My main concern right now is insulation and vapor barriers. What do I put in the walls and ceiling? There's a lot of generic information that is doing me no good and I'm kinda in a hurry. My house is slab on grade no basement 1400 sqft ranch. 2x4 walls located Craven County NC about 20 miles from the coast. Currently there is plastic sheet between the unbacked insulation and drywall on the walls and ceiling. The exterior is vynil with foam and blackboard. For the walls I will put in new drywall, must I use a vapor barrier if so is backed insulation the best choice. For the ceiling INCLUDING THE BATHROOMS I would like to use toung and groove panels painted white nailed directly to the trusses. Can I do this in the bathroom? Do I use backed insulation? We are getting a new roof. Standard attic. A lot of the information that I find is not specific to my area and I just need an answer now. We have to live in the house because there isn't anywhere to go. Any advice in accordance to building code is appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:31 AM   #2
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


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We just went through Hurricane Florence and I am gutting the house. My main concern right now is insulation and vapor barriers. What do I put in the walls and ceiling? There's a lot of generic information that is doing me no good and I'm kinda in a hurry. My house is slab on grade no basement 1400 sqft ranch. 2x4 walls located Craven County NC about 20 miles from the coast. Currently there is plastic sheet between the unbacked insulation and drywall on the walls and ceiling. The exterior is vynil with foam and blackboard. For the walls I will put in new drywall, must I use a vapor barrier if so is backed insulation the best choice. For the ceiling INCLUDING THE BATHROOMS I would like to use toung and groove panels painted white nailed directly to the trusses. Can I do this in the bathroom? Do I use backed insulation? We are getting a new roof. Standard attic. A lot of the information that I find is not specific to my area and I just need an answer now. We have to live in the house because there isn't anywhere to go. Any advice in accordance to building code is appreciated.
Have you seen this.
http://ncenergystar.org/sites/ncener...%20%202012.pdf
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:56 AM   #3
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I have seen it but it doesn't really answer my vapor concerns given some of the contradictory click bait on the internet. It talks a lot about air not vapor. If I install backed insulation in the wall will I be correct or should I go without a vapor barrier? On the ceiling, same issue. The bathrooms are a real question because I have seen every possible answer like yes and no to wood ceiling, use tar paper etc. I just know based on what I am seeing in my own house is that plastic sheet is a bad idea.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #4
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


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I have seen it but it doesn't really answer my vapor concerns given some of the contradictory click bait on the internet. It talks a lot about air not vapor. If I install backed insulation in the wall will I be correct or should I go without a vapor barrier? On the ceiling, same issue. The bathrooms are a real question because I have seen every possible answer like yes and no to wood ceiling, use tar paper etc. I just know based on what I am seeing in my own house is that plastic sheet is a bad idea.
I can only talk about what is done here. We don't use paper backed for anything. Everything, outlets, light boxes is wrapped up and sealed with the 6 mil poly, every joist is taped all the edges of the poly is sealed with a goup that you can't buy down there, I think quad would be the product down there. Any holes in into the attic from the house.for wires pipes vents anything is completely sealed
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


If you are redoing the attic you want to make sure you have air chutes in place and the rest of the hole blocked so insulation doesn't get to the soffits.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:34 AM   #6
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Air chutes are on my list. This vapor thing has me worried. I can handle controlling air movements. I'm super worried about vapor. Especially since I can see what this poly has done to my house
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


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Air chutes are on my list. This vapor thing has me worried. I can handle controlling air movements. I'm super worried about vapor. Especially since I can see what this poly has done to my house
I would imagine that once wet the poly would hold the moisture in but you can't really plan for a flood, you have deal with the expectation of normal life. Up here the paper backed is considered a fire hazard I think, I haven't seen any for years.
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Old 10-08-2018, 12:31 PM   #8
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


I can’t speak for your codes. Out here everyone either went with the paper backed or blown in I believe it’s called rock wool for the walls. Please make sure you test your wood with a moisture meter before you close in your walls with insulation and Sheetrock. Totally understand The part about having to live there because there’s nowhere else to go. It took us about four months for we even got a bedroom and bathroom. But we still stayed in it. We had sheets of plywood’s across the Joists For many months. Best of luck to you


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Old 10-08-2018, 12:32 PM   #9
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


You should contact the Department of Energy , Oakridge National Laboratory in TN. Phone # 865-576-3924 Fax 865 - 574 - 9354.
Ask this department for the information from the test building in Hollywood , SC. located @ Baptist Hill School Hollywood, SC.
This test building was used to test the EIFS siding & water vapors & results.
Also included in this test were EIFS , Brick , CMU , vinyl & Conventional Stucco.

You can ask for a printed report it would include the presents of water vapors in every layer of the siding make up. In other words there was a sensor placed in or on each material used example behind the exterior finish ,in the mortar joint behind the brick behind the water barrier behind the exterior sheathing on the wood stud in the middle of the insulation the back side of the interior wall finish ( drywall ) Also monitored was the inside temp & humidity along with the outside temp. & humidity.

All this data should be available to you.
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Old 10-08-2018, 05:05 PM   #10
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


Vapor barrier questions start getting tricky when a home is down South. You need advice from locals. I would suspect its in the local building code, so I would suggest asking the city building permit/inspectors.
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Old 10-08-2018, 08:54 PM   #11
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I will check out that report. I'm getting pretty excited about rockwool given my proximity to a runway.
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:51 PM   #12
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


http://www.eima.com/pdfs/EIMA_Executive_Summary_new.pdf
I did find the first year report you can read thru this info & it may help you feel a little better. keep in mind this is only the first year I think the test ran for 3 maybe 4 years I installed the EIFS , Stucco panels on this project I should have the final report I will look for it. But this should give you a good reference if you have to contact the Department of Energy.
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:29 PM   #13
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Wow! I know it's about stucco but says plastic bad. Thanks for the link.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:55 AM   #14
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


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Wow! I know it's about stucco but says plastic bad. Thanks for the link.

Read it all it's gives the results for EIFS , Stucco Brick & another type siding
EIFS is # 1 , & brick is # 3
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:03 AM   #15
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Re: Post hurricane gutting and vapor barrier


People used to believe that moisture gets into walls via diffusion. Now we know, the impact of diffusion is minimal and moisture is carried by air. Condensation forms where relatively warm, moist air hits cold surfaces.


So the primary mechanism of action of a vapour barrier is stopping air from leaking into the wall cavity. It's all about stopping air movement through the wall.

When there's no insulation, the warmth from the warm side keeps all the surfaces warm enough for condensation to not form.

There are two rules when it comes to plastic vapour barriers, otherwise they can do more harm than good...

1. They go on the warm side only and must be sealed well. For southern climates, they go on the exterior of the house. When installed on the interior side, when the outdoor dewpoint is high and the house is air conditioned, condensation can form on the vapour barrier as humid air leaks in and cause the wall assembly to rot out especially if there's no drying potential to the outside. (see rule 2)

2. The side without the vapour barrier must have drying potential!

The barriers are far from perfect, whatever moisture gets in must be able to get out. The barrier prevents drying to the side it's install on.

Close cell foam board on the exterior can function as a air/vapour barrier and if thick enough, a good thermal break as well.

In a hot humid climate, for a house with decent exterior foam, I would very tempted to put roxul insulation in the walls without a vapour barrier
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