"Band Aid" installation / Repair


Old 12-01-04, 01:12 PM
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Question "Band Aid" installation / Repair

My wife and I purchased our first home a few months ago (existing place about 12 years). The other morning I noticed that the sheet rock along the baseboard /moulding near my front door looked damp. Upon closer inspection an inch or so of dry wall above the wall (extending about 3 feet away from front door) was indeed very damp Ė damp enough to press my finger straight through. It has rained a ton here lately by the way.

I removed the moulding, cut a small hole in dry wall and removed some damp insulation to get a better look. After my investigation (and making the hole in my wall progressively larger Ė now 4íX5í) I was surprised how extensive the damage was. The 2X4ís that comprise the framing in this particular area were rotted, so rotted that I was able to remove most of the damaged wood by sucking it into my shop vac. I cut out the remaining boards (werenít bearing weight anyway) and screwed in new pressure treated lumber using steel plates to connect the new wood to the existing undamaged wood. This area now looks very solid.

I have located and addressed sources of moisture. I installed some gutters (my first DIY project) repaired some flashing on my roof, did some caulking (especially around an exterior electrical outlet) etc. It has subsequently rained and Iím pretty confident Iíve got everything sewn up on that front. Iíve also looked around the rest of the house, knocked some more holes in the dry wall, and determined that my moisture problem was limited to this particular area.

Now my question is putting all of this back together again. When the house was built, all that was between the framing and the brick veneer was cheap looking black paper material. Obviously in this area it was completely degraded. Now Iíd like to install some foam board rigid insulation material. (Iím thinking this will do a better job of keeping moisture out) Hereís the catch, I donít want to take the brick veneer down to nail it to the outside of the framing. Thatís way beyond my ability to do myself and I canít afford to have someone else do it.

And another catch: I donít want to install this material all the way to the ceiling (which is very high by the way Ė 16 feet or so up to the second story) I just want to do a ďband-aidĒ job in this localized area.

After I get that foam board in, I will install fresh installation, dry wall and then hopefully Iím done.

But I thought before I do this Iíd get some input and suggestions. Whatís the best way to get that foam board in there? How can I affix it to the 2X4ís w/o going through the brick veneer? Am I crazy just to apply it to this localized area w/o going all the way to ceiling? Anything else I should know? Any particular materials I should use? If you canít tell Iím not very handy Ė just learning as I go. And since we just bought the place we donít have a ton of cash lying around for this Ė especially around Christmas. Thank you very much.
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Old 12-01-04, 05:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,873
Brick Veneer, Drainage Plane & Weep Holes

Weep Holes are usually missing mortar between bricks towards the bottom rows of the brick veneer wall. It may appear that the mason missed applying the mortar but they do it deliberately. The damage you are describing is usually caused by either the mason did not install the weep holes or they are covered up by landscaping.

For brick veneer walls the drainage plane is made up of two parts, builder's felt and an one inch gap between the brick veneer wall and sheathing. The one inch gap works in conjunction with the weep holes. Wind pressure driven rain will push water through bricks, this is because of the pressure differences between the outside and the other side of the brick wall. The weep holes allow the pressure differences to equalize easier, thereby reducing the amount of water being pushed through the bricks. Regardless water will manage to get through the bricks. The one inch gap and weep holes allows the bricks to dry evenly. If you apply something directly to the bricks, like the foam boards, they will not dry out evenly. Evidence that this is occurring are step cracking in the mortar, efflourescence, spalling, mold and mildew stains. You can ask about weep holes in brick veneer walls on the mason forum and perhaps they can give you some more insights.

Drainage plane prohibits moisture from being trapped inside the wall cavity. The overlapping of the builder's felt is not sealed primarily to allow moisture generated inside the house to escape the house during the winter. Neither insulation nor vapor barriers stop heat that contains a percentage of moisture from going through the wall to the outside, it only slows it down. What that means is that there is a constant flow of heat with a percentage of moisture in it going through the wall to the outside during the winter.

In other words, I am advising you against installing the foam boards between the brick veneer wall and the builder's felt.
Old 12-02-04, 07:52 PM
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Question Thanks...

Thanks a bunch for trying to help. I dont intend to place the foam board agst the brick veneer. This felt stuff has already deterioartaed into nothing. So something has to go between the insulation and the brick. I thought I would affix the foam inside the cavity and have it exetend up the wall until it reaches the point where the felt is in good shape. Then have the felt lay over the board.

2 things, whats the best way to stick that stuff in the framing cavity? I understand its usually nailed agst the exterior of the frame before the veneer is put up. Obviously not an option, no way can i take that off - wife will kill me. So whats the best way get it in. Some kind of glue or tape?

Next after its in there and I reinstall 3 1/2 insul. Its going to be tighter in that wall. Will that cause any problems or "bowing" n

Thanks again
Old 12-03-04, 07:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 1,873
Flashing and Counter Flashing

Siding is basically Counter flashing, it is the first defense against water penetration. The builder's felt is basically flashing, the last defense against water penetration into the wall cavity. What this explicitly implies is that all exterior wall systems are water shedding and not water proof systems. The reason for this is to prevent the moisture generate inside the house during the winter to escape the house.

Therefore the flashing (drainage plane) you provide over the sheathing facing the brick veneer wall must accomplish two things. One it must be able to repel water from every exposed wood member of the wall. Any wood member not covered by the flashing will absorb moisture. The processes involved are capilliary action and Equilibrium Relative Humidity (ErH%). The other thing it musy accomplish is not to trap moisture vapor inside the wall cavity. Builder's felt is installed in rows that overlap. The seams between the rows are deliberately not sealed to allow moisture generated inside the house to escape the house. House wraps, like Tyvec, repel water but has a very high Perm Rating. In fact more than 10 times that of builder's felt. The high Perm Rating means house wraps allow moisture vapor to pass through it easily. So the seams of house wraps are taped so they become an effective air infiltration barrier. Whereas, builder's felt is not an effective air infiltration barrier. Though house wraps are promoted concerning energy conservation, the truth is they were designed to address mold and mildew problems in wall cavities created for the summer in houses that used a lot of air conditioning.

I realize it is the Holiday season and you do not want to hear this but to tell you otherwise or to make you believe something else is possible would be a down right lie. Your intent is literally impossible to accomplish. Besides that fact that you have little space between the brick veneer wall you have an obstacle like brick ties. These are metal strips that are attached to the sheathing and are laid between a row of bricks every few feet and repeated a few rows apart. This makes it impossible for you to get complete coverage of the exposed wood members. You do not have a choice but to remove the brick veneer wall to make the necessary repairs.

Your wife is actually very lucky to have someone like you. All exterior walls are load bearing and therefore structural. If you did not identify this problem and not do anything about it, structural failure would have been almost assured. And the cost at that point would have run into the tens of thousands.

I would like to apologize for being the bearer of such news during this time of the season.

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