Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall
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Val Cooper
Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall

I have a 100+ year old house and am currently removing all the old plaster walls (ugh!) :eek:, and plan to put up drywall. I am finding, as I remove the plaster, that there are some holes in the old wood walls (exterior walls), particularly at the bottom where the floor meets the wallboards. While I do not think the house is leaking, as the exterior walls do have siding on them and the wooden walls are bone dry...before I put up the drywall, I was wondering if it would be good to caulk the gaps with something, just to ensure that bugs, air, and/or moisture doesn't get in to cause mold and damage the drywall. If so, what type of caulk should I use? I am doing this project to make my house more energy-efficient. I recently replaced all my windows and now I am adding insulation and drywall throughout to the exterior walls - since there is NO INSULATION in them right now. Any advice you can give me will be most appreciated. Thank you!

Re: Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall

I would think cans of spray foam would work.

Re: Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall

Why in the world are you removing the plaster walls to put up inferior product like DRYWALL?:eek: Are they all really that bad that they are falling down? Your taking the character out of the house. Most plaster walls can be fixed. They lasted 1oo yrs before you and BUBBA CROWBAR decided to tear them out! But hey it's your house you can destroy it if you want. There are plenty of people here or on old house web that would be glad to help give you advise on how to restore it. And thats all I'm gonna say bout that.

Re: Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall

It is quite common in older houses for the sheeting to be 1 X material with spacing between. You are wasting your time and money caulking the cracks. The best way would be to use house wrap installed against the sheeting and around the studs with the right side out. Do not use plastic, you don't want to trap moisture in the insulation. This will stop air infiltration but let moisture pass out through the wrap. It will be faster and less expensive than caulking all those cracks and actually work better.

Re: Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall

Thank you plastrr385. I could not have said it better. Whatever you replace the original plaster with WILL be inferior. Sheetrock is a modern material designed for modern buildings. Installing it in old houses give you less than optimal results at great expense.

Re: Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall

at this point in time what is done is done. you insulating the exterior walls as long as you don't leave gaps anywhere but make sure that the insulation is tight, you shouldn't need to do any caulking. but if you still desire to do so you would need to use a flexable caulk. they make one specific for these type of applications it is an accoustical caulk that should be available through most commercial drywall suppliers. I would have no idea if it would be available at big box stores.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Caulking old walls prior to hanging drywall

there are metal gaskets, wood blocking and fire resistant caulks and draft stop black clay looking stuff that you can use to fire stop and draft block the floor plate cavities. yes if you have the walls open you should do this. you could ask your local building department about this or even your insurance agent. you might even get a discount on your insurance if youu do it correctly and you had baloon framed house up above the first floor platform.

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