Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

  • It is best to strip the building down to the sheathing or original siding. One of the carpenters suggests that on older construction all siding should be stripped to expose the house frame to expose damage such as rot and past fires. This should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Sheathing might have to be added to provide anti-racking strength.
  • Having a shading mechanism for hot sunny days, when working on the south or west sides, would be a good idea. The Tuff-R reflects the sun and makes working difficult during the summer heat.
  • The team decided to use Dow straight and flexible flashing to wrap the ROs to the first layer of Tuff-R. The second layer was also flashed to the existing framing, over the top of the first layer of flashing. The team reviewed this and decided that one layer is enough.
  • The Dow flashing tape did not stick reliably to the existing rough cut studs. Despite using a plastic squeegee to pressure set the flashing. The team reviewed this with Dow and it was decided that more effort should be used to clean the wood prior to installation, and to use Dow Weathermate sheathing tape on the inside edge of the flashing tape
  • Carefully map the exact location of the wall studs. The center of each stud needs to be marked top and bottom. It is common for the second floor studs to not align with the first floor studs. It takes time to find the studs by trial and error and it leaves holes that must be filled.
  • Be very careful when air sealing the transition zones such as windows, doors, basement and attic. Relatively small holes result in large leakage due to airs ability to compress and move faster when restricted, and the pressures creating infiltration, such as wind and stack effect remain no matter how tight the house.
  • 1 x 3 furring strips were too prone to splitting to be used. 1 x 4 worked well but was expensive. We found 5/4 x 3 furring strips and they were only slightly more expensive than the 1 x 3, and they did not split.
  • Wider furring was need at the windows to allow room for the trim and siding to be attached. We were able to locally source air dried rough cut and had it planed to the same thickness as the other furring.
  • Installing the flashing tape to seal the windows required waiting for a day that had temperatures above freezing.
  • The transition joint between the wall and roof insulation was hard to seal. We found that a bead of Prosoco Fast Flash worked the best.
  • The battery driven screw guns overheated, and the battery’s discharged quickly when we used them to drive in the screws holding the furring strips. We used ½” drills that plugged into the wall and found them able to do the work with ease.
  • Winter work slows down the project.
  • It is easy to give away the leftover pieces of 2” Dow Tuff-R.
  • The Prosoco Fast Flash and Air Dam were much easier to install than the Dow Weathermate tape products to seal the window and door rough openings. We found that with the Prosoco products, the fenestration rough openings were sealed better, and the work could be done by a helper. The work went faster and was less expensive to complete correctly.
  • The transition joint between the wall and roof was hard to seal. We had more success sealing this transition using the Prosoco products. This is one area that needs close attention to details.
  • Sealing the bottom edge of the wall insulation so that there is no leakage paths for air is very challenging and we were not fully successful with any of the houses.