Believe it or not, all of our homes need to be able to breath.
In other words, they have to be able to allow moisture to escape from the inside of the home to the outside of the home.
Sometimes people are really well intentioned, but their actions for doing what they believe to be positive things, may have unintended, damaging consequences as a result.
The negative effects of some of these types of “improvements” that I am referring to, can be something as simple as paint peeling prematurely on the exterior of the home to something as overwhelming as creating an environment that is ripe for rapid mold growth on the interior of the home.
Sometimes when painting the exterior, one might be tempted to caulk in between any gaps amidst their shingle siding or in a gap where the butts of their clapboard siding may meet the course of clapboard below it.
While cosmetically, this certainly could look “nicer”, the adverse effect of doing this type of thing, would be the siding of the house would then effectively be sealed tight.
If this occurs, when moisture attempts to pass to the outside of the home through the exterior walls, it will have no natural egress point, and gradually force its way through the paint coating on the front face of the shingle or clapboard.
I know this because many moons ago, this happened to me.
One time while believing I was doing something in the best interest of the Client, I had our crew caulk all the gaps on the underside of the clapboard siding of this one particular home.
The home looked GORGEOUS. Not a gap to be found ANYWHERE!!
Which was great, until the siding paint started peeling everywhere and I had no choice but to correct the problem by tearing out all the caulking we had worked so hard to put in and painstakingly prepping and repainting the siding.
Sometimes we learn the hard way.
I have seen the even more drastic version of tightening up one’s home earlier this year.
Our Client had done what they thought was a good thing.
They vinyl-sided the exterior, changed out all the windows, and put a new roof on (without any type of venting, but a new roof on nonetheless).
The house looked BEAUTIFUL.
The end result, however, was dramatic mold growth throughout the home’s entire interior.
The home was sealed up so tight, and in this particular case, only utilized for certain periods of the year, that mold grew enormously quick and heartily in so many places.
It was gut-wrenching to see.
The way that I ended up advising to correct things, was installing roof venting, ripping out all the ceiling on the main portion of the interior, getting rid of all the mold (including moldy insulation), installing exterior soffit venting, installing insulation baffles in between the roof rafters after the ceiling had been taken down, re-insulating, putting a new ceiling up, and using mold resistant paint systems wherever we could possibly use them.
In other words, quite the extensive and expensive procedure.
I understand that reading these couple of examples might stimulate certain types of intimidation when thinking of your next home improvement project.
While I would appreciate this sentiment, there is no reason to be hesitant about doing any type of home improvement project that you may already have lined up.
I do recommend to be super-cognizant, however, of the methodology of things being done, and to follow-up and make sure that they are done with the intent of allowing your home to continue to breath the same, if not better, than it is breathing already.