December 2008


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Tim Yandow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 12 Dec 2008 09:03:59 -0500
text/plain (119 lines)
Thank you, Jonathan. Yes, I am using dense pack as well on my current
project. My insulator is quite adept at wet spray and if done properly, it
works very well. I have found that using a vapor barrier with wet spray is
an invitation to disaster though. The walls need to breathe.
Tim Yandow

> I forgot to say that we have stopped using damp-spray cellulose
> because the moisture stays in the building way too long, and have had
> excellent results with dense-pack.
> Jonathan Morse
> On Dec 11, 2008, at 8:57 PM, Ben Graham wrote:
>> I have found that air movement is best for drying. IE fans or
>> dehumidifiers.
>> Seems like they are standard tools for the fast track contractor
>> these days.
>> Ben Graham
>> On 12/11/08 8:23 PM, "Tim Yandow" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Can someone explain to me how a Salamander can exacerbate moisture
>>> issues
>>> during dry out? Is this a problem with dense pack as well? What
>>> would be a
>>> better way to provide heat for drywall and painting after insulation
>>> installation than space heaters?
>>> Tim Yandow
>>>> The borates seemed to work fine in the cellulose -
>>>> there was no
>>>> mold in the it. Moisture had condensed on the back of the
>>>> Typar. Too much moisture in the application, extra moisture
>>>> introduced by space heaters, interior walls left open too long
>>>> meaning to help it dry, winter conditions promoting
>>>> condensation, Typar creating issues? Any or all are options,
>>>> but no one seems to be able to pinpoint one cause or whether it
>>>> was a combination of all. NuWool was the brand and I understand
>>>> it is the good stuff. The installation installer has since sold
>>>> his business and vanished. The builder was one of the best in
>>>> the business. Walls were left open for several months (now one
>>>> reputable local installer is saying to close the walls in
>>>> within a week). Salamanders were used because no one said not
>>>> to. Probably a combination of a number of things except poor
>>>> construction. Lots of people chipped in to help fix the
>>>> problem, but it still cost the builder. Fortunately the
>>>> homeowner was understanding, but until it is established
>>>> exactly why it happened it is an experiment I don't intend to
>>>> repeat.
>>>> Bill
>>>> Robert Riversong wrote: --- On
>>>> Thu,
>>>> 12/11/08, William C Badger AIA wrote:
>>>> Interesting
>>>> material. Has anyone in the group tried it and does anyone locally
>>>> install it? We tried damp applied cellulose in a new house a
>>>> couple of
>>>> years ago with disastrous results. Black mold grew on the outside
>>>> of the
>>>> plywood sheathing and the back side of the Typar house wrap. The
>>>> siding
>>>> had to be stripped off and things dried out. A series of unusual
>>>> circumstances that created a perfect storm?
>>>> The mold on your plywood sheathing may have been encouraged by poor
>>>> installation practice or too quick a close-in of the walls, but
>>>> likely
>>>> had other contributing factors. Kiln-dried
>>>> lumber is
>>>> milled at 19% moisture content by weight and it takes a new house
>>>> a full
>>>> year to completely dry to a stable level. Modern cellulose
>>>> installation
>>>> techniques require very little added water, and the walls should
>>>> always
>>>> be left open from 1 to 3 days following application.
>>>> Running salamander-type temporary construction heaters only puts
>>>> more
>>>> moisture into the indoor environment. Cellulose has been
>>>> successfully
>>>> installed in northern climates without a vapor barrier (as long
>>>> as there
>>>> is good air sealing), and applying a plastic vapor barrier and
>>>> closing in
>>>> the wall before dry-out will almost certainly create a mold problem.
>>>> The brand of cellulose, also, makes a big
>>>> difference. Only
>>>> those, like National Fiber, who use EPA-certified fungicides can
>>>> guarantee no mold problems. If wall plate
>>>> penetrations
>>>> in the top and bottom plates are not properly sealed, this could
>>>> create a
>>>> significant source of moisture in the wall
>>>> cavities. My
>>>> guess is that you had a "perfect storm" caused perhaps by poor
>>>> quality
>>>> materials, poor installation technique, and inappropriate
>>>> construction
>>>> practices. Don't blame the cellulose - there is no better
>>>> insulation on
>>>> the market.
>> Those who give up freedom for safety, deserve neither.
>> Benjamin Franklin
>> __________________________________________________________
>> Ben Graham
>> Natural building/design services/workshops/consulting
>> Integrating Culture and Nature
>> 802.454.1167