for Cold Climate Housing and much more

Last Updated: , Created: Sunday, September 30th, 2001

Why do I see the wall studs right through the drywall?


Tim lives in a 13 year old house and is rather disturbed by the fact that he can see the studs and ceiling joists as if they were coming right through the wall.

Don't panic Tim, this is unfortunately very common. It relates to a poor job of insulation in a cold climate.



You see, the wood used to frame the house is about 1/3 as effective as fiberglass in stopping the cold. So the cold will come through where the studs are, more than anywhere else.

If the humidity is fairly high in the house, but not necessarily bad enough to get wet all over the windows, the cold parts of the wall in front of the studs will attract the moisture. This in turn will attract and trap more dust than the rest of the wall, and hence what we call Ghosting.

It does look like the studs are coming right through the wall. Thicker walls, or better yet, insulated sheathing over one side or the other of the wall will stop the problem.

So if you are building new, or residing, make sure to add about 1-1/2 inches of foam insulation board over the whole wall. That gives great insulation over the insulated part of the wall, and at least the minimum necessary to stop the ghosting over the stud areas.

If you are refinishing a room, or a cathedral ceiling, even as little as 1/2 inch of foam over the existing drywall and then new drywall will make a difference. One inch would be much better. Click on the video above to see the whole story.

Keywords: Condensation, Walls, Mystery, Cathedral Ceiling, Thermal Bridging, Cleaning, Insulation, Video - Included

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