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  1. #1
    Mark Aakjar's Avatar
    Mark Aakjar Guest

    Default Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    I need some help. I inspected a home today built in 1986 in Dutchess county NY and the exterior of entire exterior of is not sheathed. There was fiberglass insulation between the studs, ridged insulation (no wood sheathing), with vinyl siding on the exterior. There is no vapor barrior. I was told this was ok to building standards of the time I don't have evidence of this. What should I say/do?

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  2. #2
    daniel nantell's Avatar
    daniel nantell Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Make sure your Eand O is paid in full.


  3. #3
    Mark Aakjar's Avatar
    Mark Aakjar Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Anyone else with a real comment?


  4. #4

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    If rigid foam board insulation was used on the exterior walls, it can act as the WRB I believe, though it is not ideal in my opinion. Also, sheathing is not required for the most part, it is just the most widely used option. They can diagonally strap or install let in bracing to the walls. A WRB behind vinyl siding was not a code requirement for years as well.

    There's a few neighborhoods in areas I inspect that have similar installations, although they used fiber cement siding instead.


  5. #5
    Mark Aakjar's Avatar
    Mark Aakjar Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Thank you. That was a great in site.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Succasunna NJ
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    574

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Are you sure the ENTIRE walls were un-sheathed.

    Is it possible the corners had plywood or OSB and the rest of the wall has rigid insulation?

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  7. #7
    Mark Aakjar's Avatar
    Mark Aakjar Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    I only had aprox. 30% visable acsess from the inside and around the sill plate when I lifted the vinyl siding. The only spot I seen ply was a small peace at the gable ends.


  8. #8
    Michael Garrity's Avatar
    Michael Garrity Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Mark,give me call


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Aakjar View Post
    I need some help. I inspected a home today built in 1986 in Dutchess county NY and the exterior of entire exterior of is not sheathed. There was fiberglass insulation between the studs, ridged insulation (no wood sheathing), with vinyl siding on the exterior. There is no vapor barrior. I was told this was ok to building standards of the time I don't have evidence of this. What should I say/do?
    I saw an attached garage that had walls like this years ago. I couldn't help but think somebody could break into the house with a utility knife or just get a running start and hurl their body through the wall.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,248

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    or just get a running start and hurl their body through the wall.

    That's why they run the NM cable through the studs the way they do - so it can act as a trip line and 'clothesline' the person going through the wall.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    Mark Aakjar's Avatar
    Mark Aakjar Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I saw an attached garage that had walls like this years ago. I couldn't help but think somebody could break into the house with a utility knife or just get a running start and hurl their body through the wall.
    That's funny I should put that in my report!


  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Marietta, GA
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    37

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    In Marietta, GA a couple years ago, we actually had a rash of break-ins where the thieves were cutting through vinyl siding and foam board sheathing to get into homes. In many cases, this didn't even set off an alarm since the owners only had sensors on the doors and windows but no motion detectors in the homes.

    I've not heard of it happening recently though.


  13. #13

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronson Beisel View Post
    In Marietta, GA a couple years ago, we actually had a rash of break-ins where the thieves were cutting through vinyl siding and foam board sheathing to get into homes. In many cases, this didn't even set off an alarm since the owners only had sensors on the doors and windows but no motion detectors in the homes.

    I've not heard of it happening recently though.
    Doesn't have to be vinyl! Twenty or so years ago thieves broke into a small convenience store down the road from me. The store was block wall and the thieves used a sledge hammer and made a new door in the back wall. No motion detectors at the time so it was not discovered until morning. You just can't hold back creative minds .


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    3,746

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    "Doesn't have to be vinyl! Twenty or so years ago thieves broke into a small convenience store down the road from me. The store was block wall and the thieves used a sledge hammer and made a new door in the back wall. No motion detectors at the time so it was not discovered until morning. You just can't hold back creative minds."

    Since the thread has drifted, I will tell a (my) story.
    Many of you know that I install burglar alarms.
    What you don't know is why.
    About 25 years ago I had a small business.
    I did not have an alarm system, as only banks etc had them at that time.
    Anyhow, I was broken into. Busted a hole in the concrete block wall.
    Took everything I owned, EVEN the 5 line push button rotary phone.
    I had insurance, so about 2 weeks later I had replaced some of the things I lost.
    WHAM, got hit again, EVERYTHING.
    Went out of business, and went to work for someone else.
    About 6 months later 2 guys came in the office selling burglar alarms.
    I went to work for them selling alarms.
    Since then I have seen burglars come through walls and even the roofs.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  16. #16
    Daniel Mummey's Avatar
    Daniel Mummey Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    It might have been conventional in that time but life safety is what should be the concern here and mainly to the shear (sideways) wall factor. The absence of sheathing for shear wall should prompt the inspection for the presence of solid diagonals or strapping (and I don't mean plumbers tape).


  17. #17
    Mitchell Toelle's Avatar
    Mitchell Toelle Guest

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Aakjar View Post
    I need some help. I inspected a home today built in 1986 in Dutchess county NY and the exterior of entire exterior of is not sheathed. There was fiberglass insulation between the studs, ridged insulation (no wood sheathing), with vinyl siding on the exterior. There is no vapor barrior. I was told this was ok to building standards of the time I don't have evidence of this. What should I say/do?
    Here in California we are concerned with seismic events in most recent years. I will tell you that shear paneling was not largely required until the earth quake events in the early 90's. Prior to that diagonal bracing was all that was really required, with the exception of garage header walls, where shear paneling (usually 1/2" CDX) was required, used and visible in many cases.

    After the earth quakes SE's started watching their butts and many reforms were adopted regarding shear paneling. Now, the SE's are more conservative in their assessment of structure, location, soils types, zones and history/ area in which the home is built regarding their assessments prior to foundation placements and structure design. This being said, you will find more stringent designs these days, generally.

    So how do we report on what we find regarding structural issues. Well, you can just inform your client what you see, what was common at the time of construction for your area, and what sort of upgrades are availible and practical in today's market. That is about it, unless you see some evidence that the structure is not performing as you might expect it to.

    It certainly would not be practical to suggest or recommend that you client strip all the exterior siding (whatever the type) and install sheating to conform to current standards, unless you had some sort of evidence of non-performance. Gonna have to review what was done in 1986 in your area to determine what was standard.

    Hope that makes scense from an Inspectors point of vies.

    You might add in your comments that the structure does not conform to current standards, but I'm sure there were many more conditions that did not conform to surrent standards either. Address them all, or none at all. There is no half-way in out industry.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati area
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Just when you think you've seen it all (sheathing)

    A common building practice nowadays is to only install OSB sheathing at the corners of wall sections with foam board insulation between them. OSB or plywood has to be at the ends of the panels for bracing. Although I would guess that someone somewhere has other bracing methods. OSB is not resistant to moisture penetration; however foam board has a perm rating of less than one, which makes it resistant to moisture penetration. But, the joints between the foam board panels are wide open for moisture penetration unless the joints are taped. The conscientious builders install a weather barrier no matter what sheathing is used.


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