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5 Answers

Double wythe CMU vs. Thermomass

After living in Europe for several years I have become a fan of concrete. I build in the Southeast and have mainly used concrete commercially and as stem/foundation/retaining walls and for slabs in residential.

Asked By leo kloop | Oct 22 14
9 Answers

Window U-value comparison to wall R-value and window replacement

We have an 1870s Victorian farmhouse that doesn't have insulation in the walls, and to keep it simple, we cannot add insulation in the walls without going to great expense, more than we can afford.

Asked By Keith Miller | Oct 20 14
3 Answers

Insulation in old home repair

Hello, I own a 1931 home. I had a window leak it damaged the plaster on an interior wall, roughly a 2'x5' section. Behind the plaster and lath was a later of loose insulation and behind that bound newspaper. Much of the newspaper was rotted, as was a section of the wood behind it. The wood backed the exterior stucco. I removed the newspaper and wood. I am unable to replace the wood that backed the stucco.Instead and added 1" rigid foam.

Here's my question: What do I use next to insulate before I put on the sheetrock, faced or unfaced fiberglass...or something else? I live in Minneapolis.

Asked By Tom Ives | Oct 21 14
1 Answer

Sealing meeting point of brick wall and asphalt driveway

Hi,

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

Spray foam over XPS on external wall

I purchased about 600 bdf of spray foam, and had planned on using it for my rim joists of my baasement (about 200 board foot of it). My house is a walk-out, so I have a combination of poured concrete walls and above-grade 2x6 stud-framed wall in the basement level.

I have sheets of 1" XPS available, so I was thinking about layering the XPS rigid foam sheets on my 2x6 walls, at 2" thick (possibly 3") and then covering that with a 1" layer of spray foam to air-seal it.

Asked By Jeff M | Oct 22 14
11 Answers

Flat roof insulation

I have built an extension to my house with flat roof, continuation of the existing house. The rafters are 16 in apart and there is 6 in left for the insulation under the sheeting. The plans are requiring R30 insulation and the building inspector requested hard foam Thermasheath- 3, 5 in thick, leaving 1 in for breathing. The drywall was not installed yet, when water from condensation came down all over the place. There are vents on both sides of the roof, in each bay under the insulation level, not allowing the hot air to escape.

Asked By Angela M | Nov 22 13
1 Answer

Good idea to insulate old house with cellulose?

I have a house that is well over a century old, its balloon framed and has no insulation in the walls, i am planning on getting dense packed cellulose, but i want to know if i am creating any moisture problems or other issues that should give me pause.

Its vinyl siding over original wood siding on wood planks with 2x4 framing and plaster and lath inside.

Asked By Alan B | Oct 23 14
1 Answer

Large structure with sealed attic / fiberglass

I have a 48x75 post frame structure with a metal ceiling. Prior to putting up the metal ceiling I installed a 6mil plastic vapor barrier. The entire interior is encapsulated with the 6mil plastic under corrugated barn/ag panel metal. I want to blow R60 into the ceiling, but my metal spans 8.5'. I am worried about the weight of cellulose. I used R-panel on the ceiling for a higher load rating and span, but I still think R60 with fiberglass would be much lighter.

Asked By W Ahrens | Oct 22 14
2 Answers

Attic insulation — existing

I have a 1800 sq. ft. ranch home built in 1969. Climate zone 5. Existing attic floor/ceiling area has a layer of 3" fiberglass insulation with vapor retarder facing the heated space. The second layer of insulation is a 3" layer of fiberglass with vapor retarder facing the attic area.

Both layers have been installed inside the joist bays and stuffed very tightly at the top of wall/ceiling intersection-no soffit vents in place. The roof has box vents and gable vents in place for ventilation.

Asked By bob prince | Oct 22 14
5 Answers

How does the attic fan work? And can you use it in the winter?

We bought a house early this year in northern Virginia that has a attic whole house fan. It h's a pulley on it that closes a box on the fan or opens it. we believe that one way makes the air blow in the attic and the other to push the air down into the closet under the stairs to the bottom level of our home. We had it where the air vented to the attic all summer but not sure that we did it correctly. Now it is getting cold and we are using the fireplace and not sure if we should run the fan or not. The fan is attached to a thermostats in order to adjust it.

Asked By Aleasha Jeffries | Oct 22 14
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