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Air & Moisture Barriers

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    Troubleshooting Spray-Foam Insulation

    A lot can go wrong with a two-part plastic insulation that is essentially manufactured on the job site as it’s being applied. Here’s what to look out for.

     
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    How Should I Finish an Existing Basement Wall?

    I am about to start a basement remodel project in a cold climate. I plan to apply a waterproofing product to the inside of the basement wall, then stick a sheet of polyethylene directly to the basement wall over the waterproof coating. Once that is in place, I'll frame a 2x4 wood-frame wall on the...

     
  • What's New in Insulation?

    Improved materials and hybrid systems make it easier to build energy-efficient houses.

     
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    Dry Wall

    Cosella-Dörken’s three-ply Delta Footing Barrier keeps groundwater out of walls by providing a waterproof break between a building’s footing and its foundation

     
  • Wrong-Side Housewrap

    While preparing for an extensive remodeling project, we discovered that the housewrap was installed underneath the exterior 7/16-inch plywood rather than on top. According to the scope of work, we are supposed to install 1/2-inch foam board with taped seams over the entire exterior. Will the...

     
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    Tramex MRH III Moisture Meter

    Tramex's MRH III noninvasive moisture meter measures the moisture content of most building materials, including wood, concrete, masonry, plaster, and drywall.

     
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    JLC Report

    Can replacement windows live up to energy claims?; keeping basements dry; Florida prepares for global warming; more

     
  • Insulating a Slab With Spray Foam

    Closed-cell polyurethane provides a vapor barrier and good R-value in a single application.

     
  • Trowel-Applied Membranes

    Are the new trowel-applied membranes used for waterproofing showers as good as sheet membranes? Are some better than others?

     
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    Installing a Wood Parquet Floor

    Assessing the moisture content and surface condition of the slab was the critical first step.

     
  • Retrofitting Exterior Insulation

    Adding rigid foam to the outside of the shell dramatically increases R-value while reducing thermal conduction.

     
  • Cupped Hardwood Flooring

    Q: Can moisture condense on the back of a prefinished hardwood floor above an uninsulated crawlspace and cause cupping? The flooring was installed over 15-pound asphalt felt and an OSB subfloor; poly covers the ground underneath the dry and ventilated crawlspace of the 2-year-old home.

     
  • Retrofitting a Brick Wall With Insulation

    I'm rehabbing an old brick house in Charleston, W.V. I want to insulate the exterior walls, which are balloon-framed with 2x4s, unsheathed, and finished with brick. There's a 1- to 2-inch air space between the 11/2-story-high frame wall and the brick siding, and a weep system at the base of the...

     
  • Tree Roots and Foundation Cracks

    Can the roots of a tree actually dry out the soil beneath a foundation enough to cause the concrete to crack?

     
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    Innovative Products 2009

    A roundup of tools and materials found on the floor at JLC Live in Providence, R.I .

     
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    Glass Tile and Kerdi Membranes

    The manufacturer of the glass tile my client chose for her shower recommends that it be installed with modified thinset mortar. But Schluter, maker of the Kerdi waterproofing membrane I typically use, specifies unmodified thinset mortar for both installing its membrane and setting tile. Does this...

     
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    Installing Exterior Insulation in Cold Climates

    Airtight construction and a thick layer of exterior foam save energy and reduce the risk of rot and mold.

     
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    Letters

    Leak-free chimney; stainless steel screws and copper; subslab vapor-barrier details; credit card warning

     
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    Products

    All-in-one flashing panel; spray-foam insulation; shower seat; lightweight steel beams; grass driveway mats; push-fit fittings; more

     
  • Soundproofing Drainpipes

    Is there a way to dampen the sound of a PVC waste pipe, other than tearing out the plastic and installing cast iron?

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking