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Community and Q&A

Air sealing techniques for a fire-damaged house rebuild in Phoenix

daen | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

A friend’s home was recently damaged in a fire. The restoration will included taking the roof off and stripping the interior. With just the exterior walls left standing it seems a great opportunity to incorporate some deep energy techniques.

From reading here at GBA, the proper location for the air barrier (in Phoenix) appears to be at the exterior (warm side of the insulation). The exterior wall covering is stucco.

With the exterior wall stud bays exposed, what techniques are recommended to install an air barrier? Budget is a definite factor since the insurance probably wont cover “upgrades”. A flash of closed cell foam comes to mind, but intuition says that might be expensive. Your input is appreciated.


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    With a stucco-clad wall, most of the air leakage occurs at penetrations and transitions (stucco to window, stucco to foundation, stucco to roof/ceiling). These can be addressed with 1 or 2 inches of closed-cell spray foam, as you suggest, or with sprayable caulk. Here is a link to an article with more information: Air Sealing With Sprayable Caulk.

    The only way to find out how expensive a measure is, is to call up a few contractors and get some bids.

    If the roof assembly is being rebuilt, pay attention to airtightness at the ceiling plane or roof plane.

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