Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ugly eaves

When you find interior products used in an exterior application you had better investigate because it's probably just the tip of the iceberg.

I found a piece of medium density fiberboard (MDF) behind the gutter on the second story. Needless to say it was waterlogged and inhabited by ants. There is also a piece of interior trim running the perimeter of the soffits all the way around the house. I've pulled lots of bright nails out of the fascia board as I've been taking it down, more interior product.

It's hard to see, but there is a piece of romex running on the exterior under the eave to flood lights. This is a code violation. There's a good reason romex has to be enclosed. Squirrels had gnawed the casing off of the wire. A good way to start a fire.

This is where the two sections of the house connect for a split-level.

Here is a shot of the old exterior grade gyp board they used to use. I don't see it used these days, however it is still around.
Between the rafter tails where they extend beyond the exterior wall I am adding 2" of rigid foam insulation. I will seal the cracks with expanding foam insulation.

When the contractor sprayed the foam insulation against the roof deck they did a good job of sealing everything from the inside. But out on the eaves where the angle pinches down it is hard to reach, even with the wand.

Here you can see where the foam blew out against the exterior at the eaves. From the inside it is sealed and airtight but as you can see there is still room for more sealing.

I've filled these voids with rigid foam and expanding foam. The rigid insulation adds another R10 to the system. The foam prevents air flow, moisture and bugs moving into the interior.

For new construction all of this can be accomplished during the construction phase with all spray foam insulation and it makes for a nice tight envelope which saves lots of $$$ on heating and cooling.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Not Pretty

Since we bought the house, I've known that the soffit was rotted out underneath the valley where the garage is attached.

I haven't been able to address it because of the very steep slope and rough terrain that was beneath that area. Since the deck has been extended out over that tough terrain it is now much easier to work on the eaves there.

Today I got started demolishing the rotted out sections. The gutter had to be taken down and it's the main reason for the problem as well.

The fascia is toast, and a lot of the soffit has to be replaced. Some of the rafter tails are in bad shape and need replacing. But the rafters are okay and the decking is in good shape.

It's not in too bad a condition. They went to great lengths to hide the damage which was mostly the fascia. It would have been as a simple or even easier fix to just have done it right.

It's what I've come to expect though. I've found lots of shoddy work throughout this house that could have been just as easily done correctly. It's laziness. Cutting corners never saves any money, in the long run.

On the upside, I will be able to add another couple of inches of rigid foam insulation before I button everything back up. This will add some significant R value to an otherwise weak point in the wall system that I could not reach from the interior.

The air sealing that I did last year was visible after removing the soffit and it was a good job. I didn't see any voids or crevices that air could be moving through, I'm happy to report.

Being able to seal and insulate from the exterior will be a bonus that I didn't think about until I had the eave demo'd.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Can't say enough good things about the NEST thermostat; but here's a few:

I can turn it on/off with my phone

I can see how long the heat was on each day.

It tells me that I can save money if I want it to

It sends me a report every month on how
much energy I've used from month
to month.

January was cooold, my gas bill was only