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Re: GSBN: Moisture failure

Two things appear apparent to me.

The first is really obvious:

> The McSweeneys had not been venting showers, were drying laundry in the
>> house(including diapers) with no ventilation, and had a pot of water on
>> the woodstove.

What do you expect?  Any house of ANY type would show trouble with these
ownership practices.

I'm not sure what the roofing material is, or what the eaves overhangs are
in relation to the rainfall/driving rain index in this climate.  I assume
that there are generous eaves, and that the roof goes over the tops of all
the walls?  Any significant external wetting of the walls can not possibly
However, the other source of real trouble seems to be condensation in the
roof spaces running down the underside of the roofing material that has not
been directed to the outside well clear of the tops of the walls.

In temperate New Zealand at least we would put vapour barriers on the warm
(interior)  side of skillion (cathedral) construction in the ceilings of wet
rooms - eg bathrooms and laundry, possibly kitchen.
Underneath roof cladding we install breathable absorbent kraft paper
building wrap that will trap and direct any moisture that condenses on the
underside of the roofing material into rain water gutters.
I think that making interior surfaces more impermeable will only help trap
moisture in the walls, and would be against that.
Earth plasters, although brilliant at moderating humidity levels, are not
infinite sponges and do need to allow absorption to be reversed with
adequate ventilation.


Graeme North Architects,
49 Matthew Road,
RD1, Warkworth,
New Zealand 1241
Ph/fax +64 (0)9  4259305


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