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5 Answers

Help identifying off-gassing from spray foam insulation

Our Demilec Agribalance open cell polyurethane spray foam insulation has been off-gassing a smell since it was applied 7 months ago. Before I move my family back into the house I'd like to know what's coming from the foam, especially since Demilec lists a safe exposure level for their amine catalyst (a likely cause of the smell) at only 0.05ppm.

Asked By Allen Poole | Dec 3 15
5 Answers

Sill gasket

I'm in the process of ordering the mud sill gasket, but have been thrown a curve. We're doing 2x6 framing (zone 5).

I was planning to order the BG65 from Conservation Technology but they're backordered and won't have it in time. They're also almost out of the BG63.

They suggested using either a triple row of BG61 or using their BG32 drywall gasket.

I have also seen a few references here to Denarco's SureSeal or Protecto Wrap Triple Guard.

Asked By A W | Dec 2 15
8 Answers

Insulation and plumbing on new construction in Michigan


We are currently in the process of framing a new construction home in Metro Detroit (Michigan). Our priority lies in building the most "nontoxic" home we can, but also want energy efficiency. I have two questions:

1. What kind of insulation do you recommend? I am worried about the moisture and rodent issues with blown in cellulose, but I am not sure if Airkrete is going to be in budget. Any experience? Any contractor recommendations from anyone in my area?

Asked By Carolyn | Dec 2 15
8 Answers

Which adhesive for sub-slab vapor barrier seams?

i plan to use 10 mil sheeting on the ground of my lower level, before insulation, radiant, and a new slab.

what kind of tape should i use to tape the seams in the plastic? any recommendations for taping around posts and plumbing is also greatly appreciated.


Asked By Josh | Dec 1 15
3 Answers

Smart MemBrain in Zone 5

As some of you may have followed my other Q&A posts, you may know I have installed the Certainteed brand Smart MemBrain on the interior side of my walls.

I live in Zone 5. My walls are 2x6. Exterior to interior is vinyl siding - Green guard Raindrop 3D wrap - 7/16" OSB - 2x6 studs w/ R-23 mineral wool insulation - smart MemBrain - future 1/2" rock - latex paints.

Asked By Nicholas | Dec 1 15
3 Answers

Source for rock wool batts in Albany, NY area?

I am interested in using Roxul or other rock wool peoduct in bith batt form and board form for my build in Saratoga County NY, near Albany. Is there anyone here that can recommend either or both a source and an installer in this area?

Asked By Joe | Nov 29 15
5 Answers

Leftover mineral wool shavings

I have about 150 1.5" thick pieces of 16" x 47" mineral wool insulation. From a prior post I mentioned I was going to try adding it to my attic as I began insulating it (new construction). However, I just got my 12" thick fiberglass batts and began installing them between the trusses. The insulation is very airy..or fluffy. If I put these mineral wool scraps on top of the fiberglass running perpendicular.. I actually see the fiberglass shrink some from the weight! It compresses a good inch or two. I wonder if I am doing more harm than good. I know fiberglass needs to be loose.

Asked By Nicholas C | Nov 24 15
14 Answers

HVAC Retrofit for 1918 Colonial Revival in CT

My husband and I own a 1918 Colonial Revival in CT... where summers are hot and humid and winters are cold. We bought the house 4 years ago. But we're not spring chickens... we're in our 50s so we won't see as much return on investments as say... a younger couple might. (We have no children but my husband's elderly uncle might stay with us in Feb. 2016 so we need efficient heat for him.) We also don't have a big budget - plus our house is in a neighborhood where the houses are losing value, so we don't want to spend a tremendous amount on renovations.

Asked By Margaret Tehan | Nov 22 15
5 Answers

Global warming impact of HFCs in CCSPF vs. transportation emissions of rigid foam

The consensus about the global warming impact of HFCs in closed cell spray foam and XPS rigid foam makes it pretty clear that they should be avoided.

Asked By Nick Welch | Nov 20 15
10 Answers

Cellulose retrofit

I recently acquired a late 40's vintage brick veneer house located in southwestern Pennsylvania. The house is a two story 30' x 22' rectangle topped with a hip roof. Like virtually every other house in this area, it has no overhangs other than oversized half-round gutters. Having said that, the bricks all seem to be in very good condition, and there are no signs of water damage on the interior walls or ceilings. Additionally, there is no insulation in the exterior walls.

Asked By Garrick | Nov 19 15
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