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Community and Q&A

Interior air sealing for a wood paneled wall

tightwad | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

An exterior wall has pine paneling inside with no air barrier or drywall beneath.  The wall is 2×6, filled with fiberglass, sheathed and sided  on the exterior.  I hope soon to insulate the exterior with 4″ of foam boards.  My climate zone is 5B, dry summers and often very cold winters (-10 to -25 cold snaps).
I plan to remove the interior paneling and air seal beneath it.  Drywall is problematic due to thickness, and hard for me to work with.  Can I use Tyvek, or polyethylene?  Will that allow for future air sealing of the exterior with foam boards?

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Your air sealing plan depends in part on what material you will be using as your interior finish material. You wrote that "drywall is problematic due to thickness." Does that mean that you plan to re-install the existing paneling after temporarily removing it?

  2. tightwad | | #2

    Thanks Martin, for the reply. Yes, I plan to re-install the existing paneling.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    If you plan to install exterior rigid foam at a later date, and you are concerned about air leakage, the best approach is to use open-cell spray foam between your studs. The open-cell spray foam is a good air barrier. It is also vapor-permeable, so when you install exterior rigid foam, your walls will still be able to dry to the interior.

  4. tightwad | | #4

    Thanks for the solution. I can remove the interior paneling and spray the foam between the studs, against the plywood sheathing.

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