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· Registered
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My house was built in 1953, wood lap siding. I painted the house 10 years ago as the paint was blistering. The blisters go all the way to the bare wood, the wood siding is still in very good shape. I am told this is a moisture coming through the wall problem. First I disconnected the Montgomery Wards humidifier that sprayed water on the furnace heat exchanger. I sanded the blisters and primed and painted. The spots that I fixed are still good.
I also have somewhite chalky material coming from the cracks between the laps. These walls have no blisters.
10 years later, I am still getting blisters where I havent had them before, next to the old blisters. This is only happening on an East wall and small south facing wall.
Now I have been told by some oldtimers to drill one 1/2" hole in each stud cavity,put screen in holes to let moisture out of wall and keep critters out. Have you guys ever heard of this?

· Registered
1,829 Posts
More than likely that is just the paint letting go from the surface but is still held together by a solid layer. You will know if it's moisture as when you pop a blister there will be discolored wood. You would also have paint blistering on the inside.

· Registered
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I talked to Don Ross from Wedge Vent, and ordered the vents, then I bought a Moisture meter from Harbour freight today [chepo]. I checked my siding and didn't get a reading. So I started checking other things, old screen porch 10.5, old firewood 7, fresh firewood 15 to 35 and no reading. I think there is more moisture than I thought. I might ask around and borrow a better meter to find out.
Thanks again

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9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I spit on the siding I get a full reading . Inside the screen porch I get 7% to 10% on the siding, 7% to 15 % on the 2X4s holding the screens on depending how much paint has flaked off. I have been swiss cheesing the siding and cant get a bar to show up. We burn wood most of the time now and it can get dry, then I put a pot of water on the wood stove. I have 2 foot overhangs on a ranch style house and it has been very dry this spring.
I can make the meter work on my firewood as I know when it was cut,split and how long it has been drying. Wood fresh and split a few days ago reads over 35%. One year old 10% to 25%.
I am still going to get ahold of a better meter to conferm. Its kind of baffeling unless the humidity fluctuations in the winter count ?????? :icon_confused:

· Tired, Cold, and Damp
3,089 Posts
sledhead41 said:
Its kind of baffeling unless the humidity fluctuations in the winter count ?????? :icon_confused:
They do
And although your siding readings aren't out of spec right now, that could be the problem
Bubbles to the wood almost always mean moisture...but from where?
Check for attic/window leaks etc...(rain)
And check for proper venting of the attic
A common reason for a "wet house" is over insulation of the attic, restricting airflow
Those gable vents and sofit vents need to vent, and they are often plugged up by over-zealous "heat/cold misers" over-insulating
The attic should be colder in the winter and warmer in the summer
Sealing all vents can lead to a "wet house"
One can insulate, to help...but one needs to leave the vents venting
It's pretty common out here, as we have a lot of "summer cottages" that didn't need vents, now "over-winterized" by over-sealing or not adding vents

Depending on your house configuration, the fix may mean drilling a few sofit vents, cutting a few attic vents, or merely making sure the ones there are working

The other thing to note (especially if the venting is adequate or can't be done any better than it is), is that a "wet house" will peel oil coatings (normally very sticky) like a banana
All oils should be stripped off, latex solid stain applied, and hope for the best

A house that was built in '53 most assuredly had oil primers (and paints) used
If some or all of them are still on there... certainly and un-acceptable increase in humidity inside over even a few years could peel that off

My questions to you are:

What's the floor in the basement/crawlspace?

What did you coat with 10 years ago?

Do you think/know that even some of the original (or 15/20/25/30 etc. year old) coating is still on the house?

Are there any sofit/gable, or any other type of venting in the attic?

Or is it really, really, well insulated?

How long did you live in the house before you coated it 10 years ago?

What is your climate?
I mean are you inland and in a dry area? Near an ocean? On a lake?
50*F winters or -5*F? Hot dry summers or rainy cool ones?

Please post any/all modifications (including insulating and any other "environmental" that Monkey Ward long has that been there) after you moved in?

If does sound like a wet house, but w/o actually putting an eyeball and a few tests on it, it hard to say from here
A few answers to these questions may tip the scale one way...and may help you

· Registered
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Basement is concrete floor half finished with carpet on the finished side.
Ace royal latex.
I think all paint is on the house, I can see at least 3 different colors in the chips.
Sofit vents every 6 to 10 feet, roof vents and turban vents.
4 inches of fiberglass insulation topped with 6 inches celulose blowen in over the main house, not over the attached garage. I will be adding more over the garage as I will now be heating the garage all winter.
I lived in the house 3 years befor painting.
In Minnesota, very cold in winter 0 to -20, can be wet in spring, tho is dry this spring, a few realy hot humid days in summer mostly dry tho, no lake, lots of trees.
Monky ward thing was old, unpluged it 11 years ago
So far no paint store's will borrow meter, will sell me one tho. Maybe rental places have a good one
Wedge vents should be here soon.

· Tired, Cold, and Damp
3,089 Posts
Hmmm...from your description of the house, no warning flags are flying that it's a "wet" one
...aside from the coating bubbling
Using a latex over oils could do that
But usually that's more of an alligatoring thing, and it's peeling back to the wood (latex over oil usually won't do that...unless the new coating is so good, and the old so bad, the new literally pulls the old off the wood...and also that is not usually a "bubbling" type thing when/if it happens)

As you'd have to either make an fair investment in time (DIY) or money (hire it out) to re-coat, and at this point the possibility of failure is high (real high), it is probably best to think about making a much smaller investment (in both) now

I'd spring for the meter ($45) or at least the "indicator" (half that)* and make multiple readings at different times and in different spots...inside and out, and for as long as it takes to make a reasonable "educated guess" as to at least "maybe eliminate" or "tend to confirm" about the wet house thing before proceeding

I'd also suggest a few (1/2 or full dozen) cheap hygrometers (sometimes called humidistats) scattered about inside a few (or all) of the rooms, even the attic and basement, and take note of the readings
These are cheap enough, a few bucks a piece, and often are part of "room thermometer" type not a bad deal to know exactly what's going on on each area or room of the house humidity/temp-wise anyway (to have the data to know if you should add any supplemental heat or insulation in specific target areas, what with your cold winters you want to get the best bang for your buck)

The biggest downside is, if it's just a "winter thing" (which it very well could be), you won't know 'till then

And yes, it's true, if you can't fix (add vents, eliminate leaks, etc.) and/or you have and your house is still "wet", a full strip and solid (water-based/latex) stain is the best bet

That may be the answer anyway
And knowing what's up so far that would be my "bid" for your house regardless

Even if you said you found and fixed a moisture/humidity problem, even if "the problem" ends up being "no primer back in '53" (still in the running for your case), at this point I'd most likely recommend a full strip and solid stain

*For example Sonin has a meter for 45/55 or a "Good<Iffy>Bad" light indicated tester for 25/30
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