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Air & Moisture Barriers

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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?

     
  • Removing Kerdi Epoxy Grout With Heat

    Q: Using a heat gun is an approved method for removing cured epoxy grout from tiles and fixtures [see Q&A, 5/08]. But can the same technique be used when the tile has been installed over Schluter’s Kerdi waterproofing membrane, or would the heat damage the membrane?

     
  • Is It Safe to Retrofit Exterior Foam Insulation?

    Q: I built a lot of homes in upstate New York in the 1980s using 2x6 studs, fiberglass batts, and a poly vapor retarder for the shell. Given the rising cost of heating and cooling, the owners are asking about energy upgrades to their walls. I'd like to suggest adding 1 or 2 inches of rigid foam on...

     
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    Rescuing a Manufactured-Stone Wall

    A properly flashed water-resistant drainage plane is essential when installing stone veneer over a wood-framed wall.

     
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    Brick Veneer That Works

    Despite the inherent strength of brick, a brick veneer wall is not invulnerable during a storm. If the wind blows hard enough, poorly secured brick veneer can literally crumble. And because bricks and mortar are porous, they can transmit moisture to the main wall if that wall has not been properly...

     
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    Waterproofing A Rooftop Deck

    A kitchen bump-out provided the perfect opportunity for a small terrace off the master bedroom.

     
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    Adding Under

    With nowhere to go but down, this basement addition carves out extra living space from within the home’s existing footprint.

     
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking