Home>Discussions>PAINTING & FINISHING>To caulk or not to caulk. That is the question.
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To caulk or not to caulk. That is the question.

I own a Sears and Robuck designed house built in 1909. I am about to repaint the house,however i have a delima. I don't believe there is sheething underneath the clapboards. I think they just nailed the to the wood frame of the house. This tends to make the house quite drafty. I was planning to caulk all the siding during the paint project, but then i thought; should I? How will it effect the moisture content in the walls? Most likely there is no moisture barrier to speak of since there is no sheathing.

There you go. What-a-ya-think?:confused:

Re: To caulk or not to caulk. That is the question.

Before you do anything or make any decisions.......grab a flat bar and hammer and carefully pull back the bottom of a piece of the siding. This should allow you to look or send a probe underneath to confirm whether or not there is sheathing.

Houses without sheathing and tight air barriers are going to get very expensive to heat and cool (as if they aren't already)....unless you live in very temperate zone where not much heating and cooling are required.

If you have no sheathing, house-wrap, etc.......and this house is in a structural condition such that it will stand for some time to come.....I suggest you remove the siding (a workable and structurally safe section at a time).... install sheathing and housewrap (and insulation, of course, if there is none).....and then re-side it.

An energy-hog will either cost you dearly and/or will not sell well in days to come.

If this house has no sheathing, but has been insulated.......you're likely going to be disappointed....depending upon what type of insulation was installed and what condition it's in. If FG batts or similar, you *might* be able to save those. (If they aren't shot by now) If blown cellulose, you will likely lose it and need to re-insulate from scratch. It's still money well spent if this house has some life/years left in it.

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