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Does the R-Value of wood decrease over time?

 
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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My house is now 19 years old and this winter has been a cold one and the house feels colder than in the past. This has me wondering if the R-value of wood decreases over time?

The house is R-38 on 6 sides with wood siding over 2 layers of celotex. The wood is unfinished and we're starting to wonder about dry rot. Unfortunately, the builder left an 1 1/2' gap between the boards and then put a 3" board over that leaving a lovely gap for mice to attempt entry. It appears that this is the year they have succeeded

I can't really fix this till it warms up but I am wonder about how to fix these issues.
 
pollinator
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Since the mices eat at the wood and create holes thus drafts its no wonder you are feeling cold . Cat time ?

David
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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We do have a cat which lives mostly in our bedroom due to fear of the dogs. She's a little out of practice and hasn't been too interested in the scratching sounds in the walls.

I do need to seal up those holes & I also need to abandon my aquaponics experiment. There's so much growth I can't use the honeycomb blinds which does wonders this time of year!
 
pollinator
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My guess CJ, is the mice are eating holes in your celotex.

You are probably going to have to:

1) remove all the siding from your home, number and letter each piece in order to make it easy to re-install
2) repair insulation and cover with building paper then install a rain screen
3) re-install siding with proper flashings and a small board inserted into the gap between boards and under the battens

Good luck!
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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I think you're correct Bill. Any idea how to repair celotex?
 
pollinator
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Spray foam and hvac foil tape.

Buy the pro gun (about $50) for the foam, home depot sells it now. It works much better and a can lasts much longer. Pays for itself after the second can of foam. Less trash to throw away, too.

Edit to add: and use chore boy scrub pads when you plug those gaps. Copper ones supposedly stop termites but the heavy stainless ones are the only thing I have found that stops mice.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Virginia USA
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I agree with everyone else, air leakage is the reason you are feeling colder, the r value of wood can vary somewhat with moisture content, and of course if there are big cavities from rot, but holes in the wall would be the biggest factor here

Hi R. Scott I'll have to look for that foam gun you are talking about, does it use regular cans more efficiently or do you buy chemicals to mix?
 
R Scott
pollinator
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Great stuff pro. http://t.homedepot.com/s/great%20stuff%20pro

It is a gun and special cans. The cans go much further, and will shoot foam or construction adhesive. I consider it appropriate use of technology. It is "better living through chemicals" but it minimizes the amount you use or waste. Just make sure to have plenty of the cleaner cans, because if you let the stuff set up in the gun you ruined it and that is wasteful.
 
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