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6 Answers

Measuring moisture coming thru basement slab

Hello,

My 2150 SFT ranch home with ICF walls and a full basement has NO vapor barrier (polyethylene layer) under the slab. Just pea gravel surrounded by drain pipes that exhaust into a lake behind the home. Currently I am running a stand-alone dehumidifier continuously and this is keeping the basement at about 35-40% RH. I also have a radon SSD fan installed a few weeks back. The fan is a RadonAway RP140 that uses 14W and is energy star rated.

Asked By Venkat Y | Sep 3 14
7 Answers

Return grilles on wall vs. ceiling

Hello,

My home has return grilles on the wall about 3 ft down from the ceiling on 9 ft walls and about 4 ft down on 14 foot walls on the first floor. In the basement, they are on the wall about a foot up from the floor.

I am planning to install a ERV/HRV to combat elevated humidity in winter; I have had water condense along the ceiling edges and on windows during winter. The ERV/HRV will draw air from the return ducts and dump the fresh air into the basement.

Asked By Venkat Y | Aug 31 14
1 Answer

How do we remove our freestanding ventless gas log fireplace?

We have a huge ventless gas log fireplace unit that has never been used, nor is planned to be used. We want to remove it, but do not know what is behind or underneath it, and if it will be costly to repair once removed. What is the proper way to remove this monstrosity?

Asked By Pamela Davidson | Aug 31 14
1 Answer

Are there HRVs that can be installed in unconditioned space?

Hello,

To combat elevated humidity levels in my home, I am planning to connect an HRV to draw air from the HVAC return duct and to then to dump fresh air into the basement. Due to the limited space in the mechanicals/HVAC room, I am planning to install the HRV in the garage, but I see HRV manufacturers want it installed in an operating environment that's at least 50F, so my unheated garage would not be a proper location.

Asked By Venkat Y | Aug 31 14
6 Answers

Practical insulation and air-sealing techniques needed for a (sort-of) enclosed crawl space

(If this should be posted elsewhere- feel free to move it, or tell me where to repost it.)
I have a fairly typical Chicago-style, narrow (like 22'), 2-story, balloon-framed house that was built in the 1880s or 1890s, and converted to a 2-flat later.
At some point (maybe in the 2-flat conversion?), the 2-story back porch was enclosed, and the new siding was continued down to grade level- by adding some framing between the wood columns (on piers) that support the porch.

Asked By Ben Rush | Aug 30 14
5 Answers

Air and thermal barrier continuity in ceiling over garage

Good Morning All,

I am building a new structure (northern end of zone 3) and will be using the 100-year wall approach with a low slope metal clad roof (yes white colored). 2 x 4 construction on the exterior walls (yes, I know about OVE) with Zip cladding, then 2 - 1" xps lapped sheets on the exterior and most likely rockwool in the cavities.

Piece of cake? Except!!! the ceiling over the garage (which sits under the 2 stories above). The garage will most likely be CMU with no insulation (cold space).

Asked By leo kloop | Aug 25 14
17 Answers

Off-grid house needs... gasp!...air!...gasp!

Hi,
I need some advice...preferably before I cut a bunch of holes in the walls or ceiling and find out that this was a pointless venture.

So the details:

900sq foot one level, mostly open plan, highly insulated and sealed home.
Heating climate...like really... a lot. -40 C is not unheard of for stretches of time. More typical is -20 C

The house is powered completely with PV.

Heat is supplied by radiant slab, a bit of passive solar. I am also putting in a small wood stove in the next few days.

Asked By keith ahlstrom | Aug 21 14
3 Answers

Recommendation for window flashing tape?

I am in the process of shopping for window flashing tape and am running in circles about what brand (and type) of flashing tape to purchase. Obviously, price is a consideration, but I do not want to sacrifice quality and longevity.

Asked By Matthew Michaud | Aug 20 14
5 Answers

For a large scissor truss (top chord 31" above bottom chord), we want around R-70 but no more

For a large scissor truss (top chord 31" above bottom chord), we want around R-70 but no more. How do you 'contain' the blown in, or how would you use batts?

.

Asked By David A Flannery | Aug 18 14
2 Answers

Is a partial unvented roof retrofit a bad idea?

We are in Minneapolis with a 1923 Tudor house. Last year was our first winter in the house. We had bad ice damns last year and there is plenty of evidence it has had problems in the past. The second floor is a full story and consists of a shed dormer addition with no venting that I can see. The rest/original of the roof has minimal venting due to lack of (none) eves. There are only pots, but no soffit venting. Half of the story is unconditioned attic is accessible and is on the same floor as the living space. Access through a full size door.

Asked By Joe Sweeney | Aug 4 14
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