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3 Answers

Pipe leak in basement

I am finishing my basement. So far i have installed on the floor a layer of plastic, 1" of XPS insulation taped at the seams, and then a floating subfloor. Yesterday one of my pipes sprung a pinhole leak. The water ran down the wall and got stuck between the plastic and the foam. It ran to the other corner of the basement where my sump pump is located. I can lift up a little bit of the subfloor and insulation in one corner to dry it out but most of it is impossible to move without tearing it out.

Asked By Andrew Sirianni | Oct 31 14
10 Answers

Steel frame home insulation

Climate zone 2
Ventilated Attic
We plan to use 3" polyiso on exterior walls, taped, with an air gap and steel lap siding.
Plan is to use 6-8" of polyiso on attic floor, and also putting HVAC system in conditioned space.
Radiant barrier on purlins with metal roof.

I'm looking for comments, concerns and advice on whether this amount of insulation is adequate?

or any other thoughts on this approach or things to consider with steel construction.


Asked By J B | Oct 28 14
4 Answers

Radon mitigation or ERV for old home with dirt wall basement?

Home was built in 1935 and has 5' dirt and rock walls with a small crawl space above that to the bottom of the upstairs floors which are hard wood when your in the in the basement. Radon measured at 7.7 upstairs above that space. I have a thermopride oil furnace down there also. Radon guys telling me it could cause neg. pressure situation with possible back draft or pull exhaust fumes out of the furnace in the basement area. There is an open walking area the size of a regular sized room where the stairs come down and the furnace and water heater are all easily able to work on

Asked By Scott Van Der Veer | Oct 30 14
3 Answers

Drywall directly on stem wall

I've got a 1' tall stem wall in my current design for a house, the outside of the stem wall is insulated with 6" of XPS and will have a moisture barrier on the stem wall. The slab has 3" XPS underneath.

I'm wondering if I should build the walls flush with the inside edge of the stem wall, and then run the drywall all the way down over the stem wall- attaching with glue?

Or is it better to make the drywall end at the stem wall and paint that last 1' of concrete, in case of moisture?



Asked By Tom Frisch | Oct 30 14
6 Answers

Brick veneer wall assembly and basement insulation techniques?

I am currently in the process of having a home constructed in Western KY zone 4. The basement floor and walls have been completed.
-walk out basement
-poured walls
-capillary break was NOT installed between footing and wall structure
-minimal external insulation on poured walls (5/16" foam board to protect waterproofing)
-vapor barrier was installed above gravel bed before floor was poured.
-no insulation below slab

?1. how will the lack of a cap. break affect my options for basement insulation (basement will be finished)?

Asked By Jeremy McGill | Oct 28 14
3 Answers

New siding/windows and rigid insulation - need some advice

We have a 46 year old house that we have renovated extensively inside and are now planning a major exterior renovation for the spring. We live in Newfoundland, Canada and are in Zone 6.

Asked By Chris Stoodley | Oct 29 14
5 Answers

Want to reduce indoor humidity in a cool, humid environment. Outdoor humidity >70% most of the year. Would an ERV be useful?

I live in a fairly new, well sealed house on the west coast of Canada. Ventilating indoor moisture most of the year is difficult as the outdoor humidity rarely goes below 50% and in spring and fall, usually in the 80-90% range, with temperatures averaging 40-60 F. I am researching ERVs, but unless they can reduce the humidity of the incoming air significantly, ventilation is only going to increase indoor humidity. Lots of condensation on the windows during fall, winter and spring. Air quality in the house is good.

Asked By Bill Readings | Oct 26 14
3 Answers

If I don't cool my home on summer, should I think like I'm in a cold climate when I design my wall assembly?

In regards to vapor difussion, in a mixed-humid climate, where no AC will be used in summer, should a Cold Climate wall assembly design work just fine?

In other words, does the special concerns we have to consider when designing a mixed-humid wall assembly, have to do with being able to work succesfully and withstand both heating and cooling seasons? What if I don't have a cooling season (No AC in my home), should I just use a cold-climate approach?

This is for Pucon, Chile, which has a climate like US's 4-C, or Marine.


Asked By Jose Castro | Oct 28 14
7 Answers

Sealing meeting point of brick wall and asphalt driveway


My house, a semi-detached, has an asphalt mutual drive between it and the neighbors house to the south that comes right up to the side of the house.

I'm concerned about the meeting point between the asphalt and the brick as it looks like water can collect there and seep into the brick (I have some Interior spalling and suspect that this is the source), but I'm not sure how to address this.

Do I use caulk.. or something with the consistency of tar.. or something like mortar for bricks..?

Some photos here:

Asked By Jon Haque | Oct 22 14
2 Answers

I just received a sample of Tyvek Thermawrap external insulation in the mail

It's being promoted as a vapor permeable alternative to foam board external insulation but I'm feeling dubious about how the installation is supposed to work. Anyone have any experience with this material?

Asked By James Morgan | Oct 27 14
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