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74 Answers

Geothermal nightmare

We truly hope you can help us. We had a geo-thermal closed loop system (into the river) put in and it went online March 2012. WaterFurnace Super DeHeater, 4 Multi-Aqua mini-splits (included for AC) and an air-handler (included for AC). 3200 sq ft home with baseboard and in-floor radiant heating. $34,000 and we have had nothing but problems.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Colleen Nicholson | May 30 13
3 Answers

Details about drywall under tongue and groove as an air barrier

I have read often on gba about the importance of using an air barrier under tongue and groove and I may be over thinking it but it seems that 1/2" ultralight has the potential for more air leaks around nail penetrations due to occasional voids in ultralight and that 1/2" could more likely bust around nail penetrations and let air in versus 5/8" but before I wear myself out hanging 77 lb sheets I figured I should ask an expert.

Thanks,

Matt

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Matthew Seabolt | Jul 1 15
5 Answers

How do I get and keep air out of my geothermal loop?

We have a "closed loop" geothermal heating and cooling system. 97 wells 300 ft. deep. 4 story building. 36 water source heat pumps. 72 electric water pumps. 219 ball valves.
There is no way at the high point (attic over 4 story) to release air and no easy way to add water to displace the air. The contractor keeps trying with their big pump and tank trailers to purge the system by driving the air bubbles out through the basement. No surprise to me, having observed the bubbles in my bathtub travelling upward, this approach keeps failing.

In Mechanicals | Asked By Todd Conradson | Jul 1 15
1 Answer

Dense-packed cellulose in exterior walls

I have a 100+ year old home and there is currently no insulation in the walls. There is vinyl siding on the exterior and I think it was installed over the old wood siding. I am considering having dense-packed cellulose blown into my 2x4 exterior walls. Am I going to have a moisture problem if I do so? I've read conflicting opinions. I would appreciate any advice you can offer.

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By T S | Jul 2 15
20 Answers

Foundation capillary break & waterproofing

My wife and I are building a small home (First Day Cottage) on a full foundation with a walkout on the downhill end. I read about having a capillary break between the footing and foundation wall and it makes sense to me. When I asked the concrete contractor about it he said he's never done it (though he did remember one other customer who asked about it a couple years back). I get the impression they won't leave me much time to do it myself between pours.

In General questions | Asked By Martin Frank | Jun 30 15
1 Answer

Where to put the water barrier?

Hi,
I'm going to retrofit rigid foam over a log home in Vermont. The logs are 6 inch pine logs, that have an R value of about 9, they have a clapboard cut on the outside so the house will not appear any different with a 3 inch layer of foam insulation with a rain screen and clapboard.

My question is about where to put the tyvek, on the out side of the foam or under the foam? We are replacing all the windows and doors. It would seem to me that the tyvek belongs on the outside of the foam and over the flanges of the new windows and doors.

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Thomas Gardner | Jul 2 15
3 Answers

Can a feature be added to e-mail on a reply?

If i want to follow a conversation, I have to come back to it and sometimes it ends up on the second or third page. It would be very convenient that once I reply to someone's question, I get an e-mail when it gets replied to by someone else.

In General questions | Asked By Alan B | Jul 1 15
2 Answers

Older home (1950s) smells of mildew...

I purchased a home in late 2009 and have been trying to get rid of a heavy mildew odor. Last week I discovered the seller had put vinyl siding over two layers of other siding. Underneath the vinyl was a layer of extremely damaged Boise Cascade panel siding. It was crumbling and had large holes in multiple places (no house wrap). Behind the holes I discovered clear plastic sheeting and underneath that was cedar lap siding. I continued on down to the Buffalo board that was somewhat warped and had a strong mildew odor.

In General questions | Asked By Terri Goodheart | Jul 1 15
5 Answers

Air sealing exterior walls in a benign climate

Hello Martin,
I am removing and replacing the siding on an old Victorian located in Berkeley, CA which I believe is climate zone 3. After stripping off the old layers of siding, we will insulate, install plywood sheathing, (nailed at 4 at eh edges and 6 in the field for seismic stiffness), and then a drainable house wrap and fiber cement siding.

In Green building techniques | Asked By Craig McCaleb | Jun 20 15
2 Answers

Inground gutters

A few years back I came across an article in Finehomebuiling about inground gutters. Has anyone tried this solution to wet basements? Does it work?

In GBA Pro help | Asked By Daniel Cimaglio | Jul 1 15
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