Beach house #40 – A shiny winter jacket

Because my guys ripped down all the house shingles a little earlier than I’d wanted them to, I needed to get the house covered up again as soon as I could. I got all the sheathing work done on the back and put a nice drip edge along the bottom to prevent the rain splash-up that was probably responsible for the terrible condition of those particular boards. You’re not supposed to put sheathing so close to the ground for that very reason.


This stuff will prevent rain from being able to splash up onto the boards. But the bottom is left open so that any water that does get inside – did you know siding isn’t watertight? I didn’t – can drain back out again. I also used only pressure-treated boards along that bottom area. Hopefully we’ve averted a real problem from happening in the future.

Did I tell you I figured out what caused the moldy walls, by the way? Not just the old cardboard siding that was acting as a sponge and keeping moisture pressed up against the house all the time, but also the two vapor barrier layers. One inside the house and one outside. I didn’t know this either, but it makes sense – water condensates in the wall when the heat from your home meets the chill from the outside, and the reverse too. Makes sense. So you can put up vapor barrier on one side – the outside – to prevent excess moisture from ever making it in – but then you have to leave the wall open on the other side so it can breathe and dry out again. Putting up vapor barrier on both sides only traps the condensation in there and mold, mold, mold. (#TodayILearned).


And then I got to give the house a little bling! Insulating the exterior of the building with rigid foam will help prevent condensation in the first place. It’s not R-8 or anything, but hey, R-3 is still better than what was there before… which was nothing.


So we’re secure with vapor barrier only on the outside of the house, every seam taped and airtight, and a little winter jacket up too.

I’ve only got to completely reframe all the nasty wood in the back porch… and then the siders can come!

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