This chart explains how moisture behaves in the air as temperatures rise and fall—rainstorms, flooding, and glaciers in wall cavities are distinct possibilities.
The science of stickiness: a molecular look at tape's adhesive and cohesive properties
Extreme heat and humidity can drive moisture deep into framing cavities which can cause mold, rot, and structural damage
Low-e coatings screen infrared heat from moving through the glass, either inward, outward, or both
Too much of a good thing can kill you. Including sunny weather.
In short, mortar is a mixture of some or all of the following materials: Portland cement, sand, lime clay, and more modern additives.
Like an out-of-plumb wall, an insulated and unvented roof can work well—or not.
If you can't build to stay dry, build to tolerate wet
Drip edge is another water-shedding tool
This episode of 7 Minutes of BS was the MOST POPULAR EPISODE OF 2017! Enjoy your trip down memory lane.
Science explains the natural world with a disciplined method of repeatable—and verifiable—questions, experiments, and answers
Three-pronged solution to indoor pollution: Isolate, eliminate, and ventilate
You can't simply go down to the hardware store and buy a box labeled air barrier
Old Building Details That Work
Vapor barriers cause a lot more harm than good in many parts of North America. Understanding vapor barriers begins with knowing what it means to be one
Thin foil can block massive amounts of heat transfer, but it needs a massive temperature difference to be effective. So, insulation sort of makes radiant barriers irrelevant.
Houses cannot expand and contract with changes in pressure like balloons can. Instead, they need paths for air to balance the pressure
Siding is supposed to shed water away from walls; so what's the deal with siding that absorbs water?
As houses are built tighter, they exchange less air between inside and outside. This saves energy, but the inside air can get stale if you don't have a fan and a plan
A snowball effect of physics vs. physical structures: water carries salt to the surface of masonry, which crystallizes and can blow apart its masonry host.