QUALITY SERVICE SINCE 1989
8 Common Problems
Is "code approved" or built to common building practice good enough?
All of the 8 problem areas in residential construction are within code compliance and within the realm of current typical building practice. BUT, they ARE all problems.
When an Architect designs a home he is working with an absolute world. A pencil line is a perfect seal between two spaces. Most of the time this absolute world has no correlation with the real world we live in.
To build a home with a working barrier to separate the climate outside from the climate inside it is necessary to make the pencil line be a continuous barrier between the two climates. In fact, research done by several different labs, builders, insulation contractors, manufacturers, and energy professionals of all stripes have made it clear that to have a high performance house it is absolutely necessary to control air movement.
This is commonly done by installing house wrap products. Unfortunately, in the real world, house wraps are not good enough. Think about it, we are asking a framer to use a 5 to 9 ft wide roll of wrapping paper to wrap our house from bottom to top with a seamless wrap. Have you ever watched a man try to wrap a gift for Christmas? Now imagine him trying to wrap a box 30 ft long, 30 ft wide, and 27 ft tall with angled areas, rounded areas, protrusions, hollows, and overhangs! I submit that with today's technical capabilities it isn't going to happen to a 90% rating in 95% of the attempts. Oh, one more thing, for the insulation to work properly, it must be in full contact with both the air barrier and the inside of the thermal envelope.
What to do? Well, if the insulation has to be in full contact with the air barrier, and if you stop air movement, then you will stop 97% of the moisture movement in a building, then why not make the insulation the air barrier?