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Air & Moisture Barriers

  • Overdriven Fasteners in ZIP System Sheathing

    Q. When fastening ZIP System sheathing to wall and roof framing with our pneumatic nailers, we've found that it's difficult to keep nail heads from penetrating the applied protective barrier on the face of the panels. Won't these holes compromise the moisture barrier's integrity and lead to...

     
  • Do Precast Foundation Walls Need Waterproofing?

    Q: Are precast concrete foundation walls subject to the same dampproofing or waterproofing requirements as cast-in-place and block foundations? I've heard that because these walls are made of a high-strength concrete that's virtually nonporous and impervious to water, they don't require extra...

     
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    A Close Look at Common Energy Claims

    Understanding energy consumption and moisture movement in the homes we build is hard enough; rampant half-truths and misconceptions only make it harder.

     
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    Products

    Housewrap; asphalt roofing

     
  • Vapor Retarders and Building Inspectors

    Q: I'm building a house in North Carolina, which has a mixed-humid climate (climate zone 3). My local building inspector - backed up by his boss - requires a polyethylene vapor retarder on the interior side of cellulose-insulated walls. My insulation contractor says that interior polyethylene is...

     
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    How to Reduce the Risk of Mold Claims

    Mold has been around for millennia, but in recent years public concern about its presence in homes and buildings has metastasized into near hysteria. This has spawned a legal atmosphere in which it's relatively easy for unscrupulous owners to fabricate huge mold lawsuits against contractors.

     
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    Soundings: Understanding Water Intrusion

    Understanding Water Intrusion

     
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    Insulation That Works

    In more than 25 years of consulting with builders on ways to avoid callbacks, Steve Easley has spent his time solving problems related the heat and moisture transfer, because this is where builders — even very good builders who deliver well-appointed homes to the coastal elite — most often get...

     
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    Soundings

    Fasteners for Treated Wood: Practical Solutions for Coastal Environments

     
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    Weather Barriers for Coastal Conditions

    According to general contractor Bill Robinson, the building industry is going through a renaissance of sorts when it comes to weather protection. He predicts that as the current best practices become standardized, even more detailed requirements will be brought back to the codes. And that's a good...

     
  • Flash-and-Batt Insulation: Good Idea or Bad Practice

    Q: Is the flash-and-batt technique - where an inch or two of spray-foam insulation is applied to the interior side of roof or wall sheathing before fitting rafter and stud bays with fiberglass batts - a good way to insulate?

     
  • Modified vs. Unmodified Mortar With Kerdi Membranes

    Q: When installing stone tiles over Schluter's Kerdi waterproofing membrane, is it okay to use modified thinset mortar? I know that Schluter recommends unmodified thinset mortar, but my supplier suggests that the large and heavy tiles will be easier to install with a polymer-modified no-sag mortar.

     
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    Products

    Exterior trim; housewrap

     
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    Tiled Showers

    Q: While we've never had problems with our tile-shower installations, new surface-applied waterproofing membranes and waterproof backerboards have me wondering if it's time to change our approach. We typically install cement backerboard over a poly membra

     
  • Energy & Moisture Matters

    We ask a panel of building scientists and builders — all keen, experienced observers of wood-frame performance issues — to answer some of the questions that never seem to go away.

     
  • Roof Ventilation Update

    The construction industry's leading researcher explains why what we think is true often isn't, and how some of our best hunches, based on observation of field performance, have paid off with problem-free attic assemblies.

     
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    Rain-Screen Retrofit

    Improper flashing, unprimed cedar, and a southern exposure had all contributed to a moldy mess.

     
  • Stopping Condensation Behind Knee Walls

    Q: A house we built about eight years ago here in Tennessee has ductwork running through the space behind the upstairs knee walls. The exterior side of the framing has been developing condensation, but only in extremely cold weather. There are no vents in

     
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    Replacing Doors In Stucco

    Cut carefully to preserve the building paper, and hide the missing stucco with rotproof trim.

     
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    Air Leaks: Hidden Moisture Movers

    Along the coast where wind-blown rain is a regular weather feature, it's no surprise to builders that the exterior of a home must be carefully detailed to manage water. Properly installed housewrap and flashing are the key elements of an effective water-resistive barrier. But rainwater is not the...

     
 
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking