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2 Answers

Insulating a concrete block house

I am looking at a renovation job that involves adding a second floor to an existing one-story house. The existing outside walls are 8" concrete block with stucco.

The homeowner wants to keep these walls intact since the stucco is in great shape and the windows are new.

In order to comply with the stretch energy code we may need to insulate these walls. Is there a viable way to insulate these walls without disturbing the exterior and/or causing moisture issues? I am in climate zone 5a - New England.

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions.

Asked By Rob Huss | Jun 4 13
4 Answers

I need roofing advice

I need advice on roofing. I live in death hot/humid zone 9. I am not working this summer and have to repair my roof on my 1600 sq ft. mobile home.

I will replace some rotted decking with 1/2" plywood, and install Grace self-adhesive underlayment.

I am recycling 4" thick Dow blue Styrofoam. They are 2 ft x 2 ft.

I'm not sure the best way to attach them. (?)

To protect the Dow Insulation from the elements, I was thinking of spray foam roof because of the low weight. (?)

If I have an R-35 above my roof deck, is it OK for me to have a NON-vented roof cavity ?

Asked By jacq frost-marvit | Jun 2 13
2 Answers

Refrigerator EMF?

My daughter just moved to a place where the refrigerator back is on the other side of a wall, and only about 4 to 5 feet from the foot of the bed. I think there is also a TV on that wall (behind which is the fridge)

1) Is that distance enough, EMF-wise?

2) Will having a TV (the new kind) mitigate or enhance the EMF from the back of the fridge?

3) Is there a device which can fix the EMF coming from the fridge, and where to place it if there is?

Asked By Donna Armstrong | May 29 13
3 Answers

Moisture barrier versus air barrier underneath slab

I plan on building a house on a slab later this summer (northern Maine). I have been planning on installing a 6 or 10 mil poly air barrier underneath my slab (and above my rigid foam) which would extend upwards from the edges of the slab and seal to my polyethylene air barrier located at the inner wall of my double wall assembly. Does the poly under the slab effectively block moisture or am I better off installing a vapor/moisture barrier to avoid moisture transfer into the slab, but at the same time continuing my air barrier under the slab? Thanks.

Asked By Matthew Michaud | May 27 13
3 Answers

How to seal a Bilco door to prevent heat loss and moist air transfer?

We have a standard exterior Bilco door that leads to semi-finished space in our basement. We are having trouble with cold air coming in during the winter months and damp air in the spring/summer months. How can we seal this Bilco door without creating condensation issues around the door and/or seal? The air is coming from the cracks at the door hinges and around the doors themselves. It appears that the Bilco casing unit is sealed properly to the concrete. Home Depot sells polycarbonate domes that cover the doors.

Asked By Jas Thurber | May 12 13
20 Answers

R-value vs. thermal mass

Hi GBA,

Asked By David Epley | Jan 26 12
9 Answers

Difficult Crawlspace Access

I have a Vermont customer who has requested that the crawlspace below their kitchen be insulated to improve to reduce cold floors and general discomfort. My biggest issue is the clearance in the crawlspace between the soil and the floor joists. I've recommended 3" of closed cell foam to the crawlspace walls and rim joists/box sills. I would recommend poly across the dirt floor and up the walls first, but my issue is the clearance. It simply isn't feasible to properly layout poly along the floor as there is less than 1 foot of clearance in most areas.

Asked By Mike LaCrosse | Apr 26 13
1 Answer

Sauna roof and wall assemblies

I am planning to build a small sauna structure in Ontario with a zero overhang unvented roof, open-joint cladding with rain screen, Delta Fassade S membrane or similar on the walls (and possibly roof), DensGlass sheathing, rock wool insulation (R14), and a foil vapour barrier on the inside with taped seams.

Asked By Travis Marttinen | Apr 25 13
4 Answers

Suitability of Rainscreen Wall Design

I am working on a wall design for a small house that we are going to construct this summer in Oklahoma. My planned wall from the inside out goes as follows:

1. 1/2" gypsum
2. 2x6 stud framing, 24" O.C.
3. Cellulose insulation in the cavity
4. 1/2" plywood
5. 1" XPS
6. 30 # felt
7. 2x4 vertical furring strips attached to FastenMaster specs (3/4" material seems inadequate for siding fasteners)

Asked By Jason Whitacre | Apr 16 13
1 Answer

Can you replace drywall with cob?

Hi, I am new to this forum. I apologize if this has already been asked but, my husband and I are trying to 'green-up' our existing home. We have a dual east/west facing wall in the middle of our home that is hit by direct sunlight almost all day (lots of windows). I am wondering if it would be possible to remove the drywall, fill the wall boards with thermal mass sandbags, and cover the wall in cob.

Forgive me if this is a ridiculous question. I am not a home builder, just a DIYer and trying to evaluate my options. Thanks in advance!

Asked By Teri Edwards | Apr 9 13
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