New insulation, damp drywall

bmorepanicAugust 25, 2009

I am trying to figure out a remedy.

We used a reputable insulation contractor to blow-in some fiberglass and some foam. The fiberglass went in large cavities and the foam into the sidewalls. The foam is low expansion, has no off gas and is water catalyzed. The foam we could see dried out completely in a few hours. We were told the foam in the walls would be dry in a few days, maybe a week.

The stuff is retro foam by a company called Polymaster.

We have ancient but good condition stucco over solid wood sheathing on the diagonal... On the inside, most walls are plaster except for the outside walls of the kitchen, the first floor bath and the second floor bath. The drywall in the kitchen and first floor bath is about ten years old, the second floor bath is about 5 years old. They were insulated with 4" fiberglass bats before the drywall was done.

It is now two weeks later. I had paint already picked out because the places with fiberglass were blown in from the inside. Most of the plaster seems in good shape. There were a few plaster cracks and some water marks on some of the plaster, but much less than I had expects.

However, the drywall is a completely different story. Every bit of drywall feels all spongy. There are places where the paint has bubbled up in quarter size bits. If you grab one, you can peel up square feet of paint - all the way down to the original drywall compound and sometimes picking off damp face paper. We ripped two small holes through the drywall in the kitchen and discovered that the foam was still damp and not set.

The first floor smells like damp drywall. This is after running exhaust fans, running the ac and dehumidifier for two weeks and airing the house out over night.

So this is what I need help with...

The contractor is coming to discuss the problem. My guess is that we will be best off to simply strip the drywall, strip the fiberglass, and wait another two weeks and re-drywall when everything is perfectly dry and we can all check for molds.

Striping the outside walls isn't simple in the kitchen because the base cabinets have a granite counter. The upstairs bath has a tile wall and the kitchen has a tile backsplash. I have every confidence that attempting to remove the granite would destroy the cabinets - the cabinets are frameless and have a solid top.

So.. What is best to do from here RIGHT NOW and what should I ask the contractor to do.



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