Vapor Barrier Question

Today was the first time I saw ice on someone’s living room wall that was not the result of a wild party. :wink: I know that part of the problem is missing insulation. But does this usually mean there’s no vapor barrier facing the interior wall if moisture has passed through it?

No I expect the Moisture is from the inside .
Does the home have high humidity.
Was this by chance behind drapes or curtains.
Was this on the North side of the home .
Does the wind blow hard on this side of the home .
I have been lead to believe if the home has been painted many times that is just about as good as a plastic Barrier except for plugs and switches.
I think you are on the correct thinking little or no Insulation.
So are there bath fans that they use.
Are there Kitchen exhaust that they use .
Does the dryer vent into the home .
Are there fish tanks or a lot of plants .
Is it a dirt floor in Basement or Crawl space .

Sorry I have gone on a little but all this info is also great for the newer Home Inspector.
Good question



Hi Roy,

I’m on the phone with Gerry B. right now. :smiley: He asked some of the things you have. I need to go on a vacation and rest because I forgot to mention that the house is filled with a couple dozen kids all day. I suppose that would have something to do with it. :shock:

Hi. Erol, I talked to Gerry B. myself a few days ago, and that was very nice and always informative and nice person to talk to.
Went to one of his seminars and they were excellent.

Marcel :slight_smile:

You bet wet diapers Spilled bottles and they also breath out a lot of Moisture .
I think the have very high humidity needs an automatic Dehumidifier self draining even if it has to be put up on a table hose to sink.
Should make huge difference in about 3 weeks as every thing in the home has absorbed this Moisture .
I would not be surprised to see Mould
( Mold for my southern friends )
Did you by Chance get a humidity reading .
Good luck hope we have helped .
Gerry B has been around and has a huge knowledge.
A small circulating fan could help, even a overhead paddle fan.



Erol, I was busy with another post, but kind of figured that my Ridealong Trainee would do his best to help you out, and see that he did. Good job Roy.

Isn’t it amazing how some of these trainee’s pick it up so fast?:cool:

Marcel :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :wink:

P.S. Hi. Roy;)

My God…:lol:

I would have a "For Sale By Owner" sign in “MY” yard…:-&…:-s


Maybe the paper side of the insulation isn’t paper sided. :shock:

He’s already planning to have a siding dude remove some panels and search for crud. :cool:

I was referring to YOU…NOT him…:lol:

The day I start coming across ice on interior walls, it’s “RR1 Bangcock” for me…:lol:


I get all the good ones. :twisted:

Sump pumps that don’t drain, idiots that want me to thermal scan their spark plugs in old cars, one guy who wanted me to search for radioactivity in his yard and another guy who offered $200 for a four bedroom inspection. That’s my January. :twisted: :smiley:

Ahhh…Don’t feel bad…I had a lady who simply wants the builder to stucco a one foot by ten foot portion of the repossessed house she bought today that is 11 months old in which they forgot to stucco…:lol:

I told her not to fret none…:lol:…the State inspectors at the Arizona Registrar of Contractors call me Duff…:lol:

The builder will stucco it…believe me…:lol:

Maybe I’ll just move to Arizona. :smiley: I can work part time at Jack In The Box when it’s slow. :wink:

It would not take many more Like Marcel to make this a fantastic world.
His attitude just rubs of and makes every one happy .
So glad to have been able to work with him over the years been good .


I’ll be attending Gerry’s commercial course in March. From what Gerry told me today, it would be in the best interest of anyone within reasonable distance to Chicago area to attend.

No such thing as slow here…I have never been so busy.

:roll: :roll: :roll:

Dehumidifiers will only bring the RH down to between 50& 60% , which may be OK for a humid basement in the summer (since mould will grow when ambient air RH’s are 65-70% and higher.) In the winter, interior air RH’s need to be as low as 30% in the coldest weather (below -10 to -15C or 14 to 5F) to keep severe running condensation off regular sealed pane glass. This facility probably should be looking into a high efficiency HRV both for moisture control and general air quality.

In homes with higher RH’s, sometimes placement of furniture along outside walls can cause dead air spaces behind/ under the pieces or in corners. No convecting air with heat gets into these areas and the inner wall surfaces get cold enough to cause condensation and maybe eventually frost.

Check out this site guys.

Great Thanks Mario now if I can just remember all of what I read be good.


Hi Mario:

In Moncton (1983), I attended the day long series of seminars by NRC researchers and others that this article was taken from. Back then the cost was about $125-$150 plus the day of missed work if you were private sector. It’s funny how poorly attended these sessions were even though they addressed the issues of the day and are still very relevent today ( you just recommended one!!)

If my memory serves me, there were only 9-10 attendees at the Moncton
session- 5-6 were gov’t employees from inspectors to architects and the rest were private- myself, a gent from a manufactured home company, and a couple of private architects. The small attendance made for a good session with lots of discussion and questions, not usually available with large audiences.

In dealing with interior moisture from new construction with HRV’s/ERV’s, a new paradigm has evolved- houses dry out very quickly in cool/cold climates with dry winter air. It was understood before air exhangers, that a house did not come to equilibrium (dry out) with the ambient conditions for about 18 months (e.g. some concrete is usually still not at equilibrium until 800-900 days).

In the 1980’s, when were we installing HRV’s/ERV’s in new regular and R2000 homes, some homeowner’s would call as we moved into the late Dec to Feb period and say the air was too dry. One owner, whose large home (it had hand plastered walls- thin coat veneer) was built during a wet fall from Sept to occupancy in mid-December, called with this complaint in late January. I told him to go to the unit and turn it onto “low” speed ( the manufacurer, Van Ee, had already added this extra low speed feature because of overdrying). He balked as he didn’t want to go below the current air exchange rate because of concern for family health. I convinced him to do this and and call me if any problems developed…no calls came later due health issues!!