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 02-22-2006, 19:48 Post: 124985
chrisscholz



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

We are finishing building a 2700 sqft ranch with 2x6 walls. The entire envelope of the interior of the house was sprayed with one inch of closed-cell foam. Then the rest of the wall cavity was filled with 4.5inches of blown fiberglass. The insulation contractor did not recommend a poly vapor barrier. The drywall was mudded, and sanded and painted with 3 coats of latex paint. Then the temperature here in Iowa dropped to 10 below zero for a few days, and water started dripping out of the bottom of the wall on to the sub floor. We ripped off some of the drywall and found that there was extreme condensation on the foam. The good news is that the studs are also coated with the foam, so the water is dripping down, and now drying out. This probably occured do to all the humidity in the house during the mudding and painting, and then the cold spell set it off. What should we do now? Tear off all the drywall and install vapor barrier? Or repaint the walls with a vapor retardant paint? I am leaning towards the last option. Just want to do things the right way. Do not want mold, etc. Am frustrated since we spent extra $$$$ on the foam, and the insulation contractor recommended against the vapor barrier.






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 02-22-2006, 20:38 Post: 124987
kwschumm



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

Just some random thoughts. Was the house heated during drywall mud and paint? I'm not familiar with blown-in fiberglass in walls, is it sprayed wet like cellulose? If so, was it given time to dry? There's a lot I don't know but it seems strange to me to put closed cell foam on the cold side of the wall. Isn't closed cell foam a vapor barrier in it's own right? And, if it is, shouldn't that be on the warm side? I may well be missing something. Has your insulation contractor done this sort of insulation technique before? It might be interesting to talk to another customer who has this type of insulation and see if they've had problems.






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 02-22-2006, 21:11 Post: 124988
chrisscholz



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

One inch of closed cell foam is like gortex. It stops water, but allows water vapor to pass through. The house was heated during the mudding and paint phase. The outside temp was around 30-40 degrees F. Then a cold spell hit, with nights at 10 below. The humidity in the house from all that paint and such was very high (you could see condensation on all the windows). That is typical of building in the winter. But all that humidity in the wall cavity hit that foam (which was now cool)and now you have condensation. If a poly vapor barrier had been installed, there would probably been much less water vapor in the wall in the first place.
I believe this happens quite often, and the water soaks into the OSB sheathing, and studs. In our house, they are coated with this skim coat of closed-cell foam and the water follows gravity and settles down the wall. Fiberglass and the foam will not wick the water. I just want the house to have no issues with water or mold in the walls down the road.






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 02-22-2006, 21:25 Post: 124989
kwschumm



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

I thought open cell foam was the breathable type. Always get those confused.






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 02-23-2006, 05:17 Post: 124992
grinder

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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

The vapor barrier needs to be on the warm side of the wall,under
the sheetrock.(6 mil poly) taped the joints.)
The warm moist air is condensing when it hits the foam which
has a colder surface. You are actually insulating the foam you
sprayed in.
. I have not used the type of insulation
system your man did but it seems like trouble waiting to happen to me.(IMHO) I think you may be creating two vapor barriers one (lousy one with the painted wall) and one at the foams suface, with a sponge in between. Paint in itself
will not cure your problem, I would lose that blown in and foam it more if you need more R-value. Perhaps you thought you were saving money? not sure why he did that?
It is true you have a lot of moisture in the house, new framing, mud,paint, etc. But keep in mind you will be cooking,showering,I believe a human body gives off a quart
a day? maybe alot more I don't remember, it is a lot. So
in other words your moiture supply will always be there to some extent depending on your situation.
What kind of Venting system do you have? Attic insulation?
Did you vapor barrier your ceiling? Don't!! Ridge vents, gable vents? Sofit vents? Lots to consider. Did you have a contract? Maybe insurance will pay and go after him?
Good luck! Try to educate yourself before you fix it so you only take that sheetrock down once.
Check out building sciences.com






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 02-23-2006, 06:39 Post: 124996
wingwiper



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

Homes need to breath and I think it is too airtight and yet the heat is making it to the opposite side of the barrier that the cold is making it, giving you condensation that you can COVER UP but will never go away.
I think Grinder gave yousome good advice.






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 02-23-2006, 08:23 Post: 125001
Murf

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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

Chris, your insulation contrator doesn't know what he's talking about.

If your house is heated, it must have a vapour barrier on the warm side of the insulation, period.

Now that's not to say it mnust be poly. If you have sprayed foam insulation it will acts as a vapour barrier. It will not do anything for the fiberglass between the heat and the foam though.

In Canada a vapour barrier is required by law. The same applies every where else I have seen.

I'm sorry to say you have few options, short of tearing out all the drywall and installing a vapour barrier.

Best of luck.






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 02-23-2006, 19:20 Post: 125032
chrisscholz



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

The closed cell foam at one inch thick can breathe slowly. The question is: will the fiberglass dry out at a quick enough rate? I have 2 options: Leave it be, and make sure the paint has a good perm rating. Or tear out the drywall on exterior walls, tear out the fiberglass, and finish the wall cavity with closed cell foam. (3 to 3.5 total thickness) and no vapor barrier is need with that thickness of closed cell foam.
What a mess. I spent the extra money on the foam envelope and this would have worked fine if the head insulation manager would have done the same thing as the other 50 houses-install the vapor barrier before drywalling.






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 02-23-2006, 20:39 Post: 125035
kwschumm



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

I'd make the insulation guy pick up the tab for the work to replace the fiberglass. He should have known better, and if worse comes to worse your contractors board will probably back you. You might speak with your building inspector too. I don't think you want insulation in the walls that has been wet. Maybe it will be OK, but you may not KNOW until it is too late. It also might settle in the wall cavities and leave an uninsulated space at the top.






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 02-24-2006, 20:45 Post: 125087
brokenarrow



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 help! water condensating in the wall cavity-

Chris
My heart goes out to you. Sorry to hear your misfortune, I am sitting here and have a sick stomach just reading this, I can only imagine what you are feeling.
You are doing the right thing by asking as many folks as you can, it may be hard to talk about this (the man thing ya know) but fixing it right is your main goal. My limited experiance would tell me to bite the bullet and rip out one side or the other. The drywall out and the fibeglass out and have a reputable contractor come and fix it right with a known process. Maybe (soon) get estimates on your WATER damage, not condensation and hopefully insurance will pay. Who they get their money back from is not your concern after that (thats just a guess). I would think water damage would be covered?
I feel your pain, good luck I wish the best for you!






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Carpentry Forum

Thread 124985 Filter by Poster:
brokenarrow 1 | chrisscholz 5 | grinder 3 | k9fletch 1 | kwschumm 3 | Murf 1 | Peters 2 | WillieH 3 | wingwiper 1 |




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