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7 Answers

Insulating existing steel frame house

I have one problem room, a double car garage that had been converted into a family room. House was built in 1999, not sure of the construction/insulation method that was used. Total wall thickness is about 8 1/4 inch including the brick veneer, which looks like a conventional 3 inch brick.

That converted garage room is cold and difficult to heat. I had some additional heat outlets added and a small return to that room, better but not OK. I currently have that room shut off and closed as I do not currently need that space, but would like to be able to use it.

Asked By user-6976262 | Dec 18 17
4 Answers

How do I insulate brick wall from the heated side of house?

I am working on a 1978 built, brick house in Juneau, Alaska. Was seeing moisture on drywall and some mold. After removing drywall found 2X2 nailers, 2 feet on center nailed at the grout line. Between the nailers was 1.5 inches of white bead board. Found a few places where the air was leaking in and believe that they have been taken care of.

Other info:
wall is above grade
appears to be single, standard size, red brick constructed wall

I am not sure how to continue...how much insulation can I add for the climate and not damage the brick?

Asked By Daniel Hall | Dec 17 17
0 Answers

Thermosiphon vs. Recirculating Pump

My HP water heater is being placed immediately below the master bath and an adjoining bath in my new home. However, the kitchen. laundry and powder room at on the other end of the house, so I was considering an on demand recirculating pump for that end. In my google search for dedicated return loops I came across the idea of a thermosiphon loop as described here: http://www.buellinspections.com/re-circulating-hot-water/. My plumbing setup (water heater in basement and fixtures a floor or more above) seems perfect for this.

Asked By Norman Bunn | Dec 18 17
3 Answers

Stucco patching (no air gap possible)

When patching historic stucco, what's the best WRB to use?
Here I'm patching a couple hundred sf of 1938 stucco, installed with over single layer of paper (quite thin tar paper apparently, where it can be found, which is not everywhere due to termites).

Do I go with two layers of Grade D paper, and hope the outside layer wrinkles to create a bit of an air gap? I'd like to go with a drainage mat, but there's a need to match the existing wall thickness.

What's the best practice for stucco patching?

I have read:

Asked By Bryce Nesbitt | Dec 15 17
2 Answers

Garage doors: Any improvements on low infiltration, high R-value?

I've read a few GBA discussions about the sorry state of garage door R value and infiltration. The conclusion was to look first for infiltration values, and then question the r-value because it probably does not apply to the entire door assembly.

I'm wondering if anyone has any updated information on any products that might be better that others, and hopefully something affordable.

Asked By C L | Dec 17 17
5 Answers

True felt tar paper / grade D paper

As Martin has written many times, "felt paper" used to be made from rag, but is now made from paper. Thus when it gets wet it gets super weak.
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/install-stucco-ri...

Asked By Bryce Nesbitt | Dec 15 17
3 Answers

Plants and tight houses

It is commonly believed that plants improve the air quality of a home by filtering the air, but what about the extra humidity from watering or other humidity sources, such as trays for orchids? Is this an issue and, if so, how do you address it?

Thanks,

Norman
\
CZ 3A

Asked By Norman Bunn | Dec 18 17
2 Answers

Are there any examples of Joe Lstiburek's Ideal Double-Stud Wall in the wild?

This is the wall I'm talking about: https://buildingscience.com/documents/enclosures-that-work/high-r-value-...

It's a double stud wall with the interior studs bearing, and sheathing applied to the exterior of the interior studs to form the air barrier layer in the middle of the insulation.

When I've seen this wall get brought up in the past, worries about constructability issues are often raised for two-story (or higher) buildings.

Asked By Brendan Albano | Dec 16 17
2 Answers

How will this all shake out?

Traditionally if an owner or builder went to construct a house they used the assemblies that were common to the area. There might be several choices, but typically they were those used by, and familiar to, everyone in the trades.

We are currently in a period of transition, where these assemblies, being seen as not responsive to the demands we put on contemporary houses, are being discarded or updated.

Asked By Malcolm Taylor | Dec 17 17
9 Answers

Insulating a 1890s floor from unfinished basement

I am looking to insulate the floor in an 1890s victorian house in Maryland (zone 4) that has an unfinished basement. The floor of the first floor can be quite chilly and its a definite heat loss.

Asked By Joseph Rosen | Dec 16 17
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