Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

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Vivian
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Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Vivian » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:25 am

Hi Shannon,
I'm having my backyard shed 10'x12' (on concrete pad) converted into a studio with insulated walls (with Rockwool), insulated ceiling, vinyl flooring, two new windows and exterior door with screened window. Electrical capacity is very basic, maybe 1500 watts max. The previous owners had put an underground electrical extension line to the shed - I have to plug in a three-prong plug at my deck, for electricity to work in the shed.

I have very limited knowledge of construction methods and materials. People have told me to avoid drywall for such a structure as it will tend to get mold in a couple of years, if I don't have built-in heating with full electrical capacity. I will just have a portable oil-filled heater in the studio in the winter, which uses 700-1500 watts (low to high).

My question is, what would you suggest for interior wall finishing that is as natural as possible and free of chemicals? The 2x4 studs will be insulated with Rockwool and poly. I guess the least toxic and most mold resistant is pure pine panels, but it is rather expensive to finish all the wall space in pine.

For exterior walls, it's either re-using as much of the cedar siding as possible (the shed got stripped down to studs and roof) or maybe 'ranch wall.' If you have suggestions on exterior wall finishing, I would appreciate receiving them too. Thank you! :)


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Shannon
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Shannon » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:53 am

I don't think you would find an issue with drywall unless maybe the humidity is really high? If you do have concerns you could use paneling, reclaimed wood or even sanded plywood with battens on the joints.
As for the exterior you could use pretty much any exterior product depending on the look you want . Vinyl siding would be the least expensive IMO if you need to purchase something new. If using the old cedar siding be sure you have enough that was not damaged in the removal. You could also purchase wood lap cedar siding or any kind of siding that someone is removing from their home or larger building to reuse on your shed.
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Vivian
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Vivian » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:03 pm

Hi Shannon,

Yes the humidity is very high where I live, on Vancouver Island. In winter it's 100% or close to it. Thanks very much for your suggestions for interior wall and external siding.

Do you know of a sanded plywood that has least chemicals? I used to have asthma, until I moved to the Island, so I hope the plywood walls won't re-trigger asthma...

As for the exterior siding, some of the removed cedar siding did get damaged, so I'm thinking of using the usable pieces for the back and right wall, and buying new lap cedar siding for front and left wall. My new studio (I've stopped calling it a shed) is situated on the back right corner of my fenced backyard, with lots of red cedar trees around, so the back side and right side of the studio is not very visible as those sides face the back corner of the fence. It's ok to use two different materials for exterior siding, as long as I don't mix the materials on the same wall, right?

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A. Spruce
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:51 am

Drywall should be fine, and I'd follow that up with at semi-gloss paint. Semi-gloss will seal the surface against moisture, so high humidity should have less of an effect. You can also add mildecide to the paint before application, I've done this in bathrooms with poor ventilation and mildew problems with good success.

You may want to consider having a dedicated electrical circuit or two run so that you can have a dehumidifier, which will help greatly with moisture, mildew, and mold issues.
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Shannon
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Shannon » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:23 am

Not really sure about the chemicals in the plywood for sure but there is glue used in the process. I agree with spruce that running an electric dehumidifier may be necessary because a oil heater will not generally dry the humidity levels down well.
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Vivian
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Vivian » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:56 am

Oh no it happened again - I typed a long reply, went to another website to check for terminology, came back and found I had been logged out and lost my entire message.

Anyway thanks for your suggestions, A. Spruce and Shannon. Too tired to re-type now. Maybe tomorrow.

I had asked about updating the electrical set-up to code, so that I would also have more capacity, but was told it would cost approx $1,000, pushing me further over budget. With my current set-up, most likely I could not run a dehumidifier and the oil-filled heater at the same time.

I have since found Home Depot has a "Pure Bond" aspen plywood, which uses a soy-based glue - I could as this as interior walls and paint with semi-gloss.

I've also been stressed out by the contractors I hired, who did things wrong - the first contractor hung OSB without 1/8" expansion gap, put roof overhang support posts under wrong place, no barrier between wood and cement, built new door frame on rotten door sill (after I told him carpenter ants were there and please replace the door sill entirely). Now the second contractor tells me the first contractor built the door frame rough opening too small for the new door I got at Home Depot, which he had right in front of him when he built the door frame. Today the second contractor was going to cut and wrap the Tyvek over the window sill and put Blueskin on top of the Tyvek, and he sound like he didn't know how to use the window corners I had bought. I had to ask him to watch Shannon's video on "new construction window installation." Thanks to my friend who sent me links to DIY videos - mostly by Shannon - I am better able to understand right from wrong, and keep on top of things...

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Shannon
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Shannon » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:16 am

Thats unfortunate that the contractors have been less then stellar in performance and skill but I like to hear that because of our videos you are better informed to recognize these mistakes. Having to pay for things to be redone really sucks! For one thing I would not loose any sleep over the OSB being installed tight. And An easy fix if the house wrap and siding are not installed is running a circular saw along the joints to open them .
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Vivian
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Vivian » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:04 pm

Re the OSB being too tight, the second contractor's nephew did say he would cut in expansion gaps - like what you suggested - before installing the Tyvek (two weeks ago) but it looks like he didn't actually do it after all. I couldn't watch him work that day because I got stung by a bee and had a bad allegic reaction. When he finished wrapping the Tyvek, I couldn't go inside the studio to check, as it was all wrapped up. They took a 2 week break, restarted work last Friday, and cut an opening at the door so I could finally see the inside, and I saw that no expansion gaps were cut into the OSB seams. Then I was told the rough opening for the door is too small and will take up to 4 hours to remedy. Other unfortunate things happened and we came to an agreement I would pay off the second contractor and I could hire specific tradesmen to complete each task they specialize in; in essence the role of "contractor" would be mine.
So now I'm back to square one with trying to find and hire a good & honest contractor, or just hire different tradesmen to complete each task - a framer to create the ceiling, an insulation tradesman to do the insulation, a windows & door tradesman to install the windows & door, a roofer to remove shingles and install new metal roofing, etc etc... Or, hire someone I've worked with before, who I can really trust, and even though that person may not have experience with all of the finishing tasks, he will watch good DIY videos, learn and make sure things are done right. I now think trust, diligence and good will is more important than experience.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by A. Spruce » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:15 pm

Have you tried talking to trusted family and friends for leads to contractors/tradesmen?
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Vivian
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Vivian » Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:47 pm

Yes I got some leads from local friends & neighbors but those tradesmen were very booked up and could not take on my project. My family members don't live on Vancouver Island. Renovation companies were not interested in taking on my 'small' project.
Actually today I met with someone I totally trust, who has helped me with home & yard maintenance tasks before, and he has agreed to help me finish my studio - he will make sure everything is built to code! : )

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Shannon
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Re: Best mold resistant interior walls for backyard studio

Post by Shannon » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:59 am

Sounds good.
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