Community: General questions

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, the usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled “More explanation,” look for the words “File attachments.” Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!


1 Answer

Additional question on rim joist setup

Hi... I recently asked a question about insulating rim joists, and thanks for the response. In my case, because of my brick siding my back side of the house has a setup where there is a small sill within that space, making a bit of an awkward "L" shape enclosure. I have been cutting down polyiso board to 14.5x9" squares to fit a rectangular area but wonder about the space behind it. Is it possible to fill it with fiberglass (with vapor barrier removed) and then the polyiso/foam? It seems relatively water-free but of course air gets in there.

Asked By G S | Jul 24 15
0 Answers

Assist, LLC! Virtual Assistant Testimonials

“Very quick turn around … which has been great. Very good level of autonomy; we describe tasks with as much detail as possible, but Assist, LLC team has been really good as executing them well with minimal back and forth.”

Contact numbers: Phone numbers: (646) 233-3388
Address: 575 Madison Ave #12 New York, NY 10022

Asked By diksaTrils diksaTrils | Jul 23 15
5 Answers

Cost effectiveness of one thick layer of rigid foam vs. two thinner layers?

Hi all,

We live in Central KY, zone 4a. We are shooting for a "pretty good house" standard for approximately r-30 walls. We are leaning toward a 2x6 frame construction, with blown-in cellulose, plywood or osb sheathing, a couple of inches of rigid foam, and brick veneer.

I see that it is most energy efficient to use multiple layers of exterior rigid foam so that you can stagger the seams. However, this obviously doubles the labor cost of adding the foam.

Asked By Clay Whitenack | Jul 23 15
3 Answers

Drying to the inside question

On homes with rigid foam on the outside of the walls, I know the house has to dry to the inside, so just latex paint or possibly a "smart" vapor barrier would be used on the interior drywall walls. My question is regarding the ceiling. I would probably be using blown-in celulose or similar (just a "normal" attic with ridge-vents and vents in soffits, etc), so would I want to poly the ceiling to keep the moisture out of the insulation? Can the house still dry to inside with poly in the ceiling?

Build will be right on the border of Zones 6 and 7 in Central MN.

Asked By Brad VanVickle | Jul 23 15
1 Answer

Do I have to clean my solar panels?

Given that there isn’t too much rain to help with the cleaning, what is the typical solar panel maintenance attention that you would anticipate:
Is solar panel cleaning just typically wetting them down with hoses, or hand scrubbing? Dust obviously and a lot of birds out there.
Every other day, once a week, once a month?

Asked By jing wei | Jul 23 15
1 Answer

Spray foam in ground

I don't know if anyone has an opinion about this but I thought I'd post it here. My wife and I had a new home built that was completed in April...that is...completed until 2 days before we move in there was a major fire that was written off by our insurance company as a total loss. This home was spray foamed (closed cell) throughout and had Superior Walls with the blue Dow insulation. The fire ran under the trusses and destroyed the inside but the exterior walls and foam are intact.

Asked By Mel Tillyard | Jul 21 15
1 Answer

100+ year old brick basement... how to weather/waterproof?

I live in a 1890s brick row home in Chicago (5A climate zone). When we bought the house 5 years ago, the previous owner had finished the basement. Over the course of the past few years, it became evident that there was moisture building up behind the drywall, as parts began to ripple and even crumble near the baseboards. This spring, I removed the bottom 2 feet of dry wall around the perimeter, which exposed the brick foundation, and standard 2x4 studs that had been treated with some sort of mold resistant compound on the bottom 12" (and, as guessed, some mostly drywall!).

Asked By Amanda Scaletta | Jul 21 15
1 Answer

Sealing & insulation of rim joints (brick house)

Hi. I have a 1951 cape which is mostly brick/block except for this room in question, built in 1980, which is brick veneer with a wood frame. There is a bedroom above it and a sided wood dormer begins at the top of this room on the side with the fireplace, and the other side w/ the bay window is the eave of the roof. I am working on replacing the ceiling and noticed that the rim joists only have fiberglass insulation packed in,which I'm sure was typical for the time.

Asked By G S | Jul 21 15
1 Answer

Grading/slope around house and using gravel

I am in the process of re sloping around the foundation of my house. Can anyone recommend what slope I need?

Also, I have been thinking of using crusher run and tamp it to the proper slope around the foundation. Then installing black 6 mil plastic. On top of this my land scape river gravel. At the end of the slope would be a French drain.

Does anyone see any problems with using the crusher run to slope or using the plastic the way I am talking about?

Asked By don gilbert | Jul 20 15
2 Answers

Looking for a ductless air conditioning unit with a low indoor temperature setting

Looking for a ductless air conditioning unit with a low indoor temperature setting. Just had a Mitsubishi guy out, and their lowest setting is 67 degrees, which isn't low enough for sleeping. My window unit goes to 60 and I usually set it at 62 but my room is still a few degrees warmer.

I've been in hotels where the air goes only to 67 and it's uncomfortable.

Thanks.

Asked By Liz Cullen | Jul 16 15
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!