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

What's goin' on! Rigid foam insulation / WRB shrinks?

I did not join GBA until after the issues of "shrinking foam" were discussed. I used it for a WRB/exterior insulation combo without having understood that there might be an issue. I used Tuck (sheathing tape), Weathermate flexible flashing and Windlock cap head screws to install it. Topped up with Vytec (division of CertainTeed) split shake style siding.

Earlier this week I read the FourSevenFive.com's recent series of "Foam Fails" articles. This is undoubtedly very controversial and has serious legal liabilities associated with it.

In General questions | Asked By flitch plate | Oct 10 14
4 Answers

Small house up North

I'm currently planning a home for when I retire. It's in a maritime region, 57 degrees N with 3200 HDD. I'm considering a small house (~1000sf) on a single story. The selected site has clear view to the south and the long axis of the house can be aligned E-W so solar is an obvious consideration. The house will be heavily insulated and built tightly. I would like to know whether or not a combination of direct solar, thermal mass and solar P-V would be a good starting point for the design. I have access to my own wood for winter warmth.


In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Peter Hastings | Oct 10 14
5 Answers

Bleaching mold on sheathing?

I'm building our house in Wisconsin, where we had a very wet June with 10 inches of rain while framing. The interior side of our 1/2" plywood sheathing has dried but has developed spots of mold. I'm considering misting it with a bleach mixture and letting dry well before insulating, rocking etc. The finished wall system will dry to the exterior, with 3" of Roxul Comfortboard IS on the exterior and Roxul comfort batts in stud cavities.

Any opinions on whether this is necessary? If yes, how strong should my bleach solution be?

In General questions | Asked By Edward Krause | Oct 4 14
1 Answer

Wall insulation plan

I am building an energy efficient house, one story slab on grade and just picked up 300 sheets of recycled 3" polyiso insulation. I am considering changing my exterior walls from double stud dense pack cellulose to the drawing below. Any reason I should not?

In Energy efficiency and durability | Asked By Jenz Yoder | Oct 10 14
4 Answers

Standing-seam roof condition

Is the rust and peeling of these roof panels an indication of serious damage? Is there a way to recoat these panels? I have no idea when this roof was installed, but would like to know if I should start consider replacing it, or if it will last another 10+ years. Thanks in advance - Dan

In General questions | Asked By Dan McGonigle | Oct 9 14
1 Answer

An all-window roof

How would you put a roof over one side of our house that is all windows. there are 16-5x8 double windows at a 45 degree angle.Not all, but some of them leak with every rain. We think we have tried everything to fix them with no luck. The only thing left to do is put a new roof on, but i think it would have to be free standing? It is just going to be myself and my wife doing this job. Dont know what to do! Any suggestions would be appreciated.!!

In General questions | Asked By larry boso | Oct 10 14
1 Answer

Does my ICF foundation require additional protection or barriers applied before backfill?

In my case the house is located in southwest Colorado at 6900' elev. on a sunny south slope. The soil is moderately expansive clay so the foundation is 48" on top of the footer on top of 12" compacted structural fill. Footer perimeter drain ( smooth pipe in gravel bedding) all around, ground will slope 1:10 away from foundation to a french drain system, and ground gutters or sub-grade pond liner will be installed on the north side to keep bulk water away from the foundation, so good drainage and water control.

In General questions | Asked By Chuck Jensen | Oct 10 14
12 Answers

Understanding vapor transmission and perms

I understand the different levels of vapor retarders and how a lower perm rating means less vapor comes through the material. What I don't understand is how this affects the amount of water vapor coming through in real life.

In General questions | Asked By Nick Welch | Oct 6 14
1 Answer

We have a diesel burner for water heating that heats pipes and radiators

We have a diesel burner for water heating that heats pipes and radiators to keep the home warm in winter. Is there solution instead of that burner using free solar heating?

What is equipment do we need ?

In General questions | Asked By khalid aldaher | Oct 10 14
3 Answers

What sheathing under a metal roof?

We are building a garage. The roof is a 12/12 pitch. We would like to put spray foam insulation under the roof when we have the funds. We have a thermos roof on our house and love it. We thought we were going to use 3/4 inch T&G OSB for sheathing. We then heard complaints about screws stripping out. We really don't want purlins because we live in an area that can have a lot of hail damage. Should we switch to the more expensive plywood? I feel like we are going around in circles.......

In General questions | Asked By Jane Metzger | Oct 9 14
Register for a free account and join the conversation

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