condensation

Should I Insulate My Cold Water Pipes?

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-1048334 in cold water pipe

Insulating the hot waters pipes in your house is something of a no-brainer. Why let the heat escape willy-nilly? Pipe insulation is inexpensive, and the project is one that any homeowner could finish on a Saturday afternoon. Whether to insulate the cold water pipes is less clear-cut. The project is still pretty inexpensive and easy — but does it have a point? Insulation retains heat, and these are cold water pipes. So why do it?

Why I Hate, Hate, Hate Skylights

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-1048334 in condensation

Why do I hate skylights? Because I’ve rarely seen one that isn’t either causing a problem or in the process of causing one. They fall squarely into a category with recessed lights and cathedral ceilings: Homeowners love them and energy pros come to loathe them. They lead to uncomfortable conversations that can be summarized as: Yes, they’re a problem; no, they can’t be easily fixed.

Installing Windows the Right Way

Posted on March 31,2015 by ScottG in condensation

Brian Beaulieu would seem to be well on his way to enjoying a high-performance house in southern Maine. The double-stud walls are 10 1/2 inches thick and insulated with mineral wool. The exterior air barrier is the taped Zipwall system, backed up with airtight drywall on the interior for a second line of defense against air leakage. Beaulieu has invested in top-quality tripled-glazed Intus windows suitable for Passivhaus designs. And it's here that Beaulieu has run into a problem.

How to Fix an Old Farmhouse Chimney

Posted on March 31,2015 by ScottG in Chimney

Between the spalling bricks and a persistent leak that has damaged a mudroom ceiling, the chimney on Page Hyler's 1900 farmhouse is proving to be a problem that just can't get fixed.

How to Avoid Mold

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-1048334 in condensation

Mold and moisture issues are a common motivation for homeowners to give us a ring. There’s condensation on the windows and water dripping into the window box. One homeowner described how if she opened her front door during the winter, the glass panes on the storm door would fog up within 10 or 12 seconds. Structural issues in the house, like dirt floors in the basement, sometimes cause these problems. But often the problems are caused by occupant behavior.

Rating Windows for Condensation Resistance

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-756436 in AAMA

Condensation forms on a surface when the temperature of the surface is below the dew point of the air. During the winter, when the coldest surface in a room is often the window, it’s fairly common to see water droplets or ice on window glass — especially in a room with elevated indoor humidity. Condensation is more likely to form when indoor relative humidity is high. That’s why it’s more common to see condensation on a bathroom window than a bedroom window.

Things I Learned in the Great White North

Posted on March 31,2015 by CarlSeville in cold climate

Although I grew up in New York and attended college in New England, I have lived in the South for more than 30 years and have become physically acclimated to warmer weather and more accustomed to local building practices. My moderate-climate building experience is what leads me to speak up frequently about the fact that much of the information on GBA, as well as in the building science community as a whole, tends to be cold climate focused.

Weatherization in Alaska Includes Skirmishes with Moisture and Mold

Posted on March 31,2015 by Fretboard in Alaska

Discussions about moisture buildup and its effects are likely to be among the most enduring conversations in homebuilding and remodeling, particularly as more homeowners opt for better-insulated and more-airtight exterior walls.

How Risky Is Cold OSB Wall Sheathing?

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-756436 in cold OSB

During the winter months, wall sheathing is usually cold. Cold sheathing is risky, since it tends to accumulate moisture during the winter. Unless the sheathing can dry out during the summer months, damp sheathing can rot.

Calculating the Minimum Thickness of Rigid Foam Sheathing

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-756436 in condensation

UPDATED on August 26, 2014 with new information on flash-and-batt requirements in the 2012 IRC If you plan to install exterior rigid foam on the walls of your house, how thick should the foam be? Although the GBA Web site has addressed this question several times in our Q&A column and various blogs, the question continues to perplex readers. New questions along these lines come our way regularly. The last time I answered the question was at the end of a long, very technical blog. In this blog, I'll cut to the chase.

Are Dew-Point Calculations Really Necessary?

Posted on March 31,2015 by user-756436 in condensation

Most builders understand that condensation can form when warm, moist air encounters a cold surface. Condensation is bad, and builders want to avoid it. There’s a solution, though: According to building scientists, we can prevent condensation problems in walls by determining a wall’s temperature profile and performing a dew-point calculation. This calculation may require the use of a psychrometric chart.

How Heat Moves Through Homes — Building Science Podcast

Posted on March 31,2015 by John Straube in ceramic paint

In our last episode, Dr. Joe Lstiburek talked about efflorescence and the serious damage that water and salt can do to masonry. This week, Dr. John Straube explains how the three forms of heat flow work, and debunks the claims of a few common insulating materials.

Comfort is the Primary Purpose of Buildings

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