(Note— This is a continuation of a post from last year, “Another Tough Cookie: Efficient House Design and Construction“.)
Ok, a longish and slightly technical post here. But, it might pertain to, say, all those people out there who live in houses. To wit—the “topic-of-the-week” between me and Mr. X seems to have revolved around indoor air quality, and the problems that arise as buildings are made more efficient and air-tight. Particularly, the air-related problems the Bruhl house is having, and what exactly the best design going forward might be to remedy those problems. And all of this was triggered last week when I picked up the latest “Energy-Smart Homes” edition of Fine Homebuilding. It contains quite a few articles about air leaks and building durability, one which includes a photograph of a house in Minnesota with the siding off and the house wrap pulled back, which reveals enormous areas of rot and mold caused by air leaks.
To catch you up if you haven’t read the post from last April, our house is fairly tight, but has no dedicated ventilation system. Adding one has been on my “to-do” list for years, but it has become more of a priority as I have come to better understand this topic. We currently have fascia and trim boards in at least three places that are rotting from the back side due to air leaks, and the photo in the magazine really made me wonder how much damage is being done that isn’t visible.
So off I went on a reading-binge. And guess what? No real surprise; it’s complicated. In some cases, really complicated. But for the sake of clarity, let me skip rather quickly to some of my preliminary conclusions, and mention the complications briefly as I go.
Ok, the short version—our house is built with stress-skin panels around a post-and-beam frame, Continue reading