Q&A: A Forum for Green Building Experts and Beginners

[Click map to enlarge]

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

4 Answers

I am replacing my existing siding and I am doing the following -stud - 5/8" plywood - 1-1/2" of Polyisol, 3/8" rain screen, WRB, fiber cement siding. The house is in the San Francisco bay area on a hill with a stepped foundation.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Randy Mason | Aug 30 14
3 Answers

Could a roofer possibly give an explanation as to what is occurring near my eave adjacent to a side wall. I have included pics. This has been about 8- 10 years in the making. There is currently a small depression (pic 1875) which is from deteriorating decking, but for 8-10 years there was dripping from underneath the soffitt below where this depression is pic 1871. The water also runs down alongside the house - pic 1869. (This water is not coming from the eave trough.

In General questions | Asked By eric michael | Aug 30 14
1 Answer

I live in the San Francisco bay area and am going to use 1-1/2" rigid foam board and a rain screen on the exterior of my house. I have read numerous articles in regards to using insect screen at the tops and bottoms of the rainscreen wall, however no specific details about the type of insect screen is ever mentioned.

There are numerous types of insect screens (Aluminum, Fiberglass Bronze, galvanized, etc.) available.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Randy Mason | Aug 30 14
6 Answers

My 1927 house has balloon framing, real plaster walls on rock lath, and no vapor barrier. It has cedar shingles over tar paper.

If I blow insulation into the walls, will I create a problem with vapor from the house condensing inside the walls? Even without insulation (current condition), can I close the top of the walls in the attic or will that also allow water vapor to condense in the walls?

In General questions | Asked By RUTH HENDRICKSON | Aug 29 14
5 Answers

I am in zone 5A and I have a problem of excess humidity in my ICF home with no abnormal sources of moisture (5 occupants of a 2150 sft home with a full basement). This results in condensation on the wall of windows facing a pond on the north.

Since a dehumidifier will also dump heat into the home helping my all-electric furnace heat the home, I am wondering if it would cheaper to run the dehumidifier than to use an ERV to lessen the humidity in the home. I realize in the latter case, there's some loss of sensible heat that the electric furnace would then have to compensate for.

TIA.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Venkat Y | Aug 29 14
1 Answer

So based on everything thing I am reading should we be using R3 R4 or R5 for each inch of Polyiso since it decreases in performance as it gets colder. I seem to be seeing some variation in Answers. I am in zone 5 and was planning on putting 5 inches of Polyiso.(thinking that was R 30 Roughly but if is is only R 15 when coldest that is a problem) Now it seems like I would be better served with three inches of polyiso with EPS on top. I have access to 1.5 or 2.75 inch EPS. Would I still be OK with 3 inches of polyiso and 2.75 inch of EPS on top?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By terry grube | Aug 29 14
Answers

Hi Folks,

I am advising on a home renovation in Sudbury, MA. It has become obvious that the structure -- about 20 years old -- was built without thought to airsealing. The resulting home performance problems are likely predictable to GBA readers.

Now, the owners are turning a 3-season sun room into a 4-season room and need help figuring out how to best heat and cool the new space. This project also presents an opportunity to address other related issues.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By c talwalkar | Aug 30 14
3 Answers

My new house is designed to limit penetrations through the building envelope to as few as possible. Nevertheless, sillcocks, outside electrical receptacles, outside lights, HRV intake/ exhaust, etc. need to be sealed.
Are there methods or products that are more effective than others? How about ease of installation? I've seen photos of tape covering holes and that seems like a pretty clunky solution. I'm probably going to either do much of the airsealing myself, or at least supervise it.
Thanks for any advice.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By stephen sheehy | Aug 29 14
4 Answers

I keep hearing the term "acoustical sealant" in the context of air sealing, as in "use acoustical sealant for air sealing because it remains flexible", but am a little bit confused as to what it means. Does it refer to:

  1. Tremco accoustical sealant, the specific product?
  2. Any caulk or other sealant that exhibits the "remains flexible forever" property?
  3. Something else entirely?
In Green products and materials | Asked By Aaron Birkland | Aug 29 14
1 Answer

I understand from prior posts there are concerns with the flash foam and fiberglass insulation in terms of moisture vapor.

Would the use of proper barriers and Roxul instead of fiberglass help to abate that concern?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By George Levicki | Aug 29 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation


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