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Air & Moisture Barriers

  • 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...

     
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    Testing for Moisture In Concrete Slabs

    Before installing flooring over concrete, do a calcium chloride test to make sure it's truly dry.

     
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    Insulating Unvented Attics With Spray Foam

    Closed-cell polyurethane foam provides the insulation, air barrier, and vapor retarder necessary for an unvented attic assembly.

     
  • Tile Over Tile

    Q: My clients want to update their bathroom by installing new tile over an existing tiled tub surround. The old tile is in good shape, but it stops about 18 inches from the ceiling; my clients want their new tile to completely cover the walls and ceiling.

     
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    Soundings

    The Causes of Condensation

     
  • Waterproofing Under a Stone Countertop

    Q: Is it okay to use Schluter's Kerdi material as a waterproofing membrane beneath a stone countertop? Because it's flexible, I plan to use it to cover the plywood substrate on top of the cabinets, and then turn it up the wall a few inches so that I can w

     
  • Block Walls, Vapor Barriers, and Solar Vapor Drive

    Q: With a cavity wall assembly consisting of load-bearing 8-inch CMUs (concrete masonry units), 2 inches of rigid foam, a 2-inch air space, and 4-inch concrete bricks covered with cementitious stucco and an acrylic color coat, how important is dampproofin

     
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    Common Callbacks

    Callbacks typically result from three things: poor design, faulty construction, or the actions of a clueless homeowner. While this is true everywhere, coastal environments are a whole lot less forgiving of such errors. Wind-driven rain and infrequent drying opportunities can drive moisture deep...

     
  • Is Veneer Plaster Compatible With Drywall?

    Q: Can you skim-coat plaster over regular drywall? If not, is there a way to prep standard drywall so that a veneer plaster finish can be applied over it?

     
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    Building a Slate-Tile Deck

    Strong framing and proper substrate details reduce the chances of cracking

     
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    Products

    Barrier Housewrap ~ Strong Hold ~ High-Performance Hips ~ Leakproof Liner ~Denailing Gun ~ The Next Cordless Revolution ~ Cedar Look-Alike ~ Modern Metal ~ PVC Trim Kits ~ New Cordless Nailer

     
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    Robust Walls

    Contributing R-3 to R-7.5 per inch, sheet foam is a handy way to boost a wall's total R-value without adding too much thickness. Rigid foam sheathing can also function well as a drainage plane to help keep wind-blown water out of walls, and it can act as both an air barrier and as a vapor barrier...

     
 
 
 
 
JLC Field Guide to Decking