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An Education About Your Home’s Building Envelope

23 November 2019

Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am.  Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling or texting 651-989-9226.  Here’s must-know information from Barry Stranz (professional & educator) who has 30+ years in the home improvement industry shared on 11.23.19.

While good contractors may know how to perform a task, quality contractors take the time to understand why the task must be completed and the proper way it should be done. This holds especially true to understand the inner workings of the home’s building envelope. Many homeowners, particularly those with homes built in the mid-century, notice that their homes become dryer in the winter months.  This led home builders to take a modified approach to the home’s exterior envelope in the late 1980’s through 1990’s.  The result was humidity that was being expelled by the home’s occupants was contained in ways that older homes did not.  However, the perspective of needing to add more humidity to houses in the winter months did not change.  This proved problematic as homeowners continued to use humidifiers in small homes, especially newly constructed ones.  This is due to the fact there is a significant period where moisture is still being released from items such as paint, concrete, and drywall.  Excessive home humidity can lead to condensation on windows.  Homes need effective ventilation systems, as walls should not be relied on to expel humidity.  Without proper home humidity levels in tandem with proper ventilation, dry rot and mold will ensue.

winter house

When it comes to home insulation, it’s imperative to partner with a quality contractor that understands proper application practices.  Without this, the result can cause more harm than good.  For example, spray foam insulation should not be applied in spaces lower than 60 degrees.  When applied at temperatures lower than this, the spray foam’s cure cycle is changed dramatically and excessive shrinkage occurs, leaving noticeable gaps.

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