Remodel and Rain: It’s the Kind of Cover Up that Needs More Exposure

in Build Green - Home,Build Green - Water,Build That Green Blog,Green Building,Home Improvement,Indoor Air,Rain Water

About 11 a.m. the framers quit when the rain started. Part of this year’s green remodel idea home is a two story addition nestled into a corner by the main house and the garage.

They draped the two open sides of the original house with massive sheets of plastic. That shielded the exposed insulation and fiberboard from gulping up gallons of rainwater.

Now, there’s a critical bit that needs covering that you don’t want to forget when building green …

Don’t forget to cover your new work that’s still exposed to the elements too. It’s important to keep it dry.

If you’ve got my luck, invariably your home will get wet from rainwater during construction, during remodeling or with age. The issue isn’t that the area gets wet but that you have a drying plan for moisture control.

Plan in advance of the weather since it is important that everything is dried as quickly as possible. Especially vulnerable are any roof or walls areas opened up when reworking or adding on.

Interior finishes and materials like wallboard, plywood and insulation are absolutely intolerant of moisture. Besides avoiding that kind of expensive collateral damage, rainwater inside the walls and floors is an invitation for prolonged problems.

Jim Sargent, chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy as the Builder of the Year for his energy-efficient homes says, “Controlling rain is the single most important factor in the design and construction of durable buildings and in the control of mold.”

Since green building seeks to tightly seal the inside from the weather outside, moisture and its movement must be controlled through the entire start to finish of your project.

Sargent says, “Moisture is the enemy. In fact, the biggest enemy your house has is moisture. If a builder has a problem with the house, 99% of the time it going to be water or water vapor related. If a builder needs to be an expert on anything, it is water control.”

Pay particular attention to rainwater-barriers, especially at complex joints and changes in plane. I’ve adapted the following moisture-control tips from HPAC engineering:

  • Use water-resistive barriers (such as caulking, stains and paints) as the first line of defense.
  • Design drainage planes/routes to channel water down and out of the outside of the house (such as weep holes).
  • Install secondary barriers for redundancy (such as house wrap and building felts).
  • Install proper flashing and joint sealers.

Choosing a builder who understands water and pays attention to water details is as important as choosing a builder who understands energy-efficiency.

Want to know more about protecting yourself from water in your green build project? Ask below:

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

large appliance repair July 16, 2013 at 2:51 am

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fridge repair July 18, 2013 at 8:20 pm

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and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon! July 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm

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Kim Van Borkulo December 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I’d suggest you write about subjects that you are passionate about, not necessarily those that are just trendy.

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