Woman’s Dream House is Made of Mud — 3 Comments

  1. I’m curious. I live in central Oklahoma and hope to have a place of my own. Earthbag is one of the alternative methods I’m considering. BUT, I’m in my mid 50’s now and will be closer to 60 by the time I can even hope for a place. I can’t be up on a ladder mudding in cracks every year. Which, yes, happens with earth-based plasters. Will papercrete work well on earthbags as a plaster? And do you know if papercrete would need annual/semi-annual maintanance like earth plasters do? I know I will need to put “boots and a good hat” on a place. Also, what about moisture barriers onthe walls? Is condensation on the inside walls a problem in the winter? Sorry, I know these are alot of questions. I have one book on earthbag building, and I’m looking for info on papercrete as well. Anyway, thanks for any info on this.

    • Papercrete is prone to mold in rainy, humid climates. In fact, it can mold even in dry climates. I don’t like it and don’t recommend it.

      I recommend wide roof overhangs so rain can’t hit the walls. Wide overhangs also keep direct sunlight off the walls, which helps keep the house cool. Add porches on the rainy side just in case. With good protection you could use earthen plaster on the exterior. Lime or cement plaster is more durable if you can afford it.

      Never use moisture barriers on earthbag walls. Vapor has to be able to pass through the wall.

      Condensation is only a problem in rare circumstances (cement plaster on the inside, etc.) and won’t be a problem if you follow the above advice and add plenty of windows for ventilation.

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