Surgery for Your Home

by Cody Farmer

I watched a movie a while ago where the hero had multiple bullet wounds and knife wounds but he makes it home to patch himself up. He pulls out all the bullets, dumps alcohol on it, and then puts a bandage on it. Sounds logical, right? Of course not. I’m being facetious. That doesn’t sound logical at all. In reality, if someone has a bunch of bullet wounds, he/she is probably not going to be able to repair all of that internal damage with just alcohol and a bandaid.

If you’ve done a blower door test as we suggested in last week’s blog, you’ve probably discovered just how leaky your home is. Maybe your home has been shot full of holes for a while. You’ve done your best to patch it and take good care of it, but, like the example above, your home may have serious trauma. It may need more than a few bandaids – it may need professional help.

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Is your home leaky?

by Cody Farmer

  • - Can’t maintain even temperature throughout the whole house.
  • - Heater or AC comes on frequently throughout the day to compensate.
  • - You sometimes feel a draft for no reason at all.
  • - Your 12-year-old thinks the cold spots are ghosts.
  • - Your seasonal allergies seem the same or worse while inside.

These are all signs of a leaky house, but even without noticing these symptoms, most homes have several leaky areas they’re not even aware of.

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Log Cabin vs Moisture Build-up Part II

by Cody Farmer

Last week, we looked at rain inside a non-vented vaulted roof cavity in the Rocky Mountains. This week we’ll delve into the proper roof assembly. By following the 7 Passive House Principles we’ll see that Step 1 would have shown us that there was a dew point risk under the wood decking, a lack of insulation, a large thermal bridge with the 2x12, and an air gap between the roof decking and insulation allowing for moisture to really collect and saturate the deck.

Press on to step two we would find that the climate zone is a 7 and instead of r-38 the roof assembly would need to be R-70 without framing thermal bridges and an interior vapor barrier Intello plus taped and sealed with Tescon Vana to all penetrations. The traditional can lights were encouraged to be changed to the shallower LED look-a-likes to keep the intelligent vapor barrier, Intello consistent. An example from our supplier below.

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Log Cabin vs Moisture Build-up

by Cody Farmer

I got that call again yesterday. The type us building geeks don’t want to hear about.  A brand new custom log cabin sweating to death from the ceiling. Looking at the pictures the owner emailed me, I could practically smell the fresh chink outlining the logs. I love Log Cabins!

Many Log cabins have full vaulted ceilings, however. On top of the exposed ceiling logs is a 2x12 frame, non-ventilated space filled with fiberglass batt insulation at R-38. Which doesn’t fill completely the 11.25” cavity of the 2x12.  So this particular phone call isn’t un-common in the Rocky Mountain Region.

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7 Ways to Make Your Older Home More Energy Efficient

by George Sickler

 

So, you or your client are interested in going green for the sake of the environment or to help save money on utility bills….or both! The problem is you, or your client, love your/their old home and have no desire to move. This may seem like an impossible situation, but there are several ways you can improve the energy efficiency in that older home:

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What Lurks in your Basement Finds a Home in your Lungs

by Cody Farmer

Dust Mites. Mold spores. Bacterial organisms. Tiny creatures live in our air on a continual basis – indoor and outdoor. We’ve managed to live with them for thousands of years without ever noticing, all the while dealing with illnesses that our doctors and scientists couldn’t figure out. Over the last several decades scientists have been putting two and two together to make four as they’ve discovered that many human ailments are no longer a mystery. Itchy/watery eyes, various breathing problems, skin irritations and more now have a culprit – micro-organisms in our indoor air!

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LEED vs PHIUS: Which one do I Choose?

by Cody Farmer

When considering which building standard to use when designing your next building, it’s important to do these kinds of fair comparisons. We could also do a similar comparison to Energy Star (which I just might do) or other building models out there, but for now, let’s focus on these two standards. Our friend Ken Levenson of FourSevenFive.com had a few key points on the subject:

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