1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

May 4, 2008

:125 Evaluate Walls

Filed under: :125 Evaluating Wall Assemblies — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:25 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:125 EcoTip: Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a computer program for predicting the moisture flow from water vapor in walls. This program allows a number of different options for constructing and testing a computer simulated model wall to see how well it holds up in various climates. Based on these simulations is has become clear that as climate change results in humidity increases, the way we build houses will need to change.

montreal-brick.jpg

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 Additional Information

The program takes some time to master (certainly more that ten minutes) but provides an interesting warning for the future. In my book Extreme Weather Hits Home, I have provided additional information about recognizing problems that can develop in our homes from elevated humidity and the research documenting these shifts are occurring. I have posted an example of a WUFI simulation for a climate shift scenario. You can learn more at my book blog.

I am willing to run a few additional WUFI simulations to post. If you would like to see how your home’s walls may be reacting to the climate, send me a comment including your city and state (US and Canada only) and a description of your walls. For example the above simulation was for a wall in Montreal, Canada with the following layers from inside to outside as follows: Brick, one inch air layer, 3.5 inches fiberglass insulation, polyethylene barrier, gypsum board, flat latex paint.

On my book blog I show what would happen if this building were to experience a climate shift so that it were being exposed to a climate similar to Miami, Florida.

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April 17, 2008

:108 Clear Weep Screed

Filed under: :108 Clear weep screed — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:05 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:108 EcoTip: The weep screed needs to be clear to allow drainage of any water that unavoidably enters. There are many ways the weep screed can become clogged. I have seen some houses where the stucco was never cleared after it was installed. Plants growing too close to the house may grow up into the holes. Even the careless application of caulking material can block the holes.

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 Additional Information

Suggested Review – :105, :106, :107

 To clear the holes you will need a mirror and a piece of coat hanger or other thin stiff wire and a stiff putty knife. If the original plaster is covering the holes, you can usually run a putty knife along the bottom edge which will knock off the plaster. Any holes that are blocked can then be cleared by carefully using the wire to remove the blockage. Don’t ream it around inside the wall cavity or you may damage the open cell foam insulation that is present.

Once the weep screed is clear, do your best to maintain it that way by following tips :105, :106, :107

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