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Newer homes rotting out

16391 Views 20 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Darwin
I have been a builder for over 20 years and in the last five have noticed a growing trend of homes that have the plywood and studs rotting out. I was at a house that was built in the 40s and was wrapped with tar paper which has always been my choice. There had been a new addition added and it had tyvek on it. the addition had rot everywhere under the siding and paper but the house which was much older looked like new under the tar paper. Both parts of the house were adequately insulated and ventilated. Also there were no problems with flashing or incorrectly installed housewrap. I have since seen this in many homes and have a builder friend who has 6 homes with massive rot problems including his own all about 8 years old.The 2 papers I have seen this with are tyvek and barricade. Is anyone else experiencing this and if so do you know of any recourse. Thanks Al
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idk about the rot, but a contractor told me that they removed some damaged siding and the tyvek,which was only a few yrs old, was a crumpled mess behind the siding.
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http://bct.nrc.umass.edu/index.php/publications/by-title/leaky-housewraps/

This link will give you some good insight as to how these materials behave. Also, use the search feature to pull up previous threads about Tyvek and felt paper.:thumbsup:
Is there a big cost difference in using tar paper vs Tyvek housewrap?
Just saw that last week

On a house that was 8 years old.

We were replacing a door and when we removed the old unit, we discovered that the framing around the door was completely rotted out.

Didn't dig too deep, but all the framing we could see was a major problem.

We pulled off and she had to call her builder in.
I don't know about Tyvek, but a 2 square roll of #30 felt is going just under 24 bucks, or 12 cents a square foot. #15 should be the same price but 4 square roll or 6 cents a square foot.
Is there a big cost difference in using tar paper vs Tyvek housewrap?
Over 65% of the windows today are installed incorrectly because of the "seat of the pants" opinions and it looked good.

Some builders will not install doors and windows with their own crews and hire a sub to do it right. - Mainly because of insurance claims and problems. It is easy to throw something into a hole in the wall and level/plumb it, but it takes more to get the flashing and moisture barrier correct, especially with the use on vinyl siding and Dryvit.

Houses are being built differently and do not behave the same way they did earlier.
I am not convinced that Tyvek and similar products are working as claimed. Glad I am an ICF builder.
I don't build additions anymore but still do porches and repair. I have been using nothing but tar paper for the last 4 years, and dry flash windows and doors. I don't do vinyl siding either, but believe that properly installed you will get a lasting job.
I took the Anderson classes and the Marvin classes for proper install techniques but still see windows that are caulked in place. Tyvek and other wraps are the next class action playground for lawyers.
I think the newer home building trends are too air tight, the house has to "breath" .
Most of my work is in log restorations but I do some stick built also and I have seen alot of premature failure due to moisture trapped in the logs (or walls) and from what I can see when I take them apart, it is due to making them air tight. I am not at all sold on this type of construction.

Silvertree hit it right on the head with the future lawsuit statement.
Caulk is definitely used to cover up and temporarily hide problems that will only get worse.

I did not get a free class and had to pay $600 out of my pocket to attended a class.

It sure made it easy to sport the problems and usually, you can find a bad installation with the long (not surface) costly probe to see the moisture that is held by the wood and fiberglass. Normally, only 3 probes per window will tell the story.
Yes the tar paper costs much less although it only comes in 3 foot rolls.
Is there a big cost difference in using tar paper vs Tyvek housewrap?
I agree the housewraps are trapping in the humid air trying to escape from within the home. The microscopic holes in the paper that are supposed to release this air are getting plugged up with oils from cedar siding,chemicals from paint, and just general dust from over time. I have seen rot right in the middle of a gable end where there was no flashing above. The siding was fine but behind the paper the plywood and studs were gone.
I think the newer home building trends are too air tight, the house has to "breath" .
Most of my work is in log restorations but I do some stick built also and I have seen alot of premature failure due to moisture trapped in the logs (or walls) and from what I can see when I take them apart, it is due to making them air tight. I am not at all sold on this type of construction.

Silvertree hit it right on the head with the future lawsuit statement.
Lumber was a lot drier, back in the day....or it seems as i remember it. I would not be surprised if a lot of framing isn't taking place with moisture at 20%. It has to go somewhere.
i dont buy the fact that rot is being found just because tyvek is up against it,i also have seen the early version of tyvek get brittle,but ive also seen tar paper brittle too.

But i will say im not a big believer in taping the horizontal seams of any paper,poor or no flashing,revers lapped paper,poor window/door details,too low to grade etc.. are where you will ultimately be able to trace the rot to
It is easier to dry in a house with housewrap than it is with felt paper.

There is a lot of discussion about how the new and improved methods like Tyvek, are not so great.
Is there a big cost difference in using tar paper vs Tyvek housewrap?
I'm still adding to these pages. Have many examples and expect more. Some new clients to be have offered to send me another batch also.
http://www.albertsroofing.com/Window%20Flashing.htm
Well, considering that Tyvek isn't supposed to be used behind cedar siding, maybe that's the problem- it's not the product, it's the idiot that used the product in the wrong application.
I agree the housewraps are trapping in the humid air trying to escape from within the home. The microscopic holes in the paper that are supposed to release this air are getting plugged up with oils from cedar siding,chemicals from paint, and just general dust from over time. I have seen rot right in the middle of a gable end where there was no flashing above. The siding was fine but behind the paper the plywood and studs were gone.
Is tarpaper required under cedar?

I think it's a combination of very young growth lumber, and ventilation problems
Use polystyrene sheathing and diagonal bracing, brick veneer.

Or ICF's.

Or block wall firred out on the inside.
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