Damage / Guides

Ice dams on roofs & how to fix them
Roof assemblies - renovation

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

...damage to the interior of walls and roofs. When snow melts on a roof it runs down until it meets the unheated bottom edge of a roof and then freezes. This chunk of ice is called an ice dam, and it can cause water to backup beneath shingles and Ice dams cause damage to walls and roof structures. How to know if you hav...

Exterior air barrier membrane © Ecohome
Air and vapour barriers

How to install an air barrier for reduced air leakage

...damage in walls, as one small hole can be responsible for depositing countless litres of water inside walls. Houses should always be built as airtight as possible, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers: The job of a vapour barrier is to prevent vapour diffusion...

What is Interstitial Condensation? (And how to stop it!)
Walls and Roofs

What is Interstitial Condensation in Walls or Roofs? (And how to stop it!)

...damage? Yes, interstitial condensation can lead to damage in homes, the moisture deposited in walls or roofs can lead to rot, mold and hidden structural damage. Just like dry rot, Interstitial condensation can be difficult to diagnose due to the fact that it’s hard to notice any signs of a problem until significant...

Real estate

Real estate

...damage and proper stormwater management - (eaves troughs, ground sloping away from the house, etc.) Interior design and functionality of space Soundproofing from the exterior and interior noise transmission Interior air quality does it smell fresh, stale, or like chemicals or tobacco smoke? Good quality windows...

As our climate adapts to human carbon emissions, homes have to change
Lifestyle and environment

Changing homes in a changing climate

...damage has become a big problem for the insurance industry and society. Sea levels are rising, tropical storms are getting more frequent, and large rainfall and flood events are happening more often. In 2012, the Insurance Bureau of Canada said the yearly average for all water damage was now $1.7 billion, making it o...

stove hood bathroom fan central vac
Healthy indoor air quality

Removing dust and moisture from homes

...damage, but what is not often considered is that added energy consumption involved, as heating moist air requires significantly more energy than heating dry air. When using manufactured wood products for cabinetry, ask for formaldehyde-free plywood then at least the dust produced will be more benign to health. To fur...

Frost Heave Prevention Helps Stop Frost Heaving Breaking up Home Foundations
New foundations and slab-on-grade

What causes Frost Heave? Preventing frost heaving is down to good foundation design

...damage. It’s the bigger things like houses that will see permanent damage. The other problem is where any of the services like water pipes, sewage, natural gas pipes or electrical connections are made underground. Foundations and basement walls can be cracked by frost heave in colder climate zones Recap: the es...

Kitchen and Bathroom design tips
Kitchens

Design ideas for durable kitchens and bathrooms

...damage and prevent mold spores from forming and affecting indoor air quality . © Ecohome Melamine, typically on particle board, can be high in VOCs and formaldehyde . And even though it's a common kitchen and bathroom building material, it's quite susceptible to heat and moisture damage. Look into plywood c...

Smart sewage backup device
Plumbing and water heaters

Sewage backup flood prevention and water leak notification on your device - our products of the month

Preventing flood damage in basements is a hot topic as we are regularly seeing the effects of climate change in the form of extreme weather events and unpredictable weather patterns. Snow melt combined with torrential spring rains can lead to very high water tables and consequently, sewage backflow is an increasing da...

Pre-fabricated straw bale SIPS panels, an environmental choice
Wall assemblies - new construction

Modern straw bale SIPS construction: high performance, durable, affordable & interesting

...damage during construction is too great. They look like a gnome's house. They will be infested with bugs and mice. They are at a greater risk of fire. Every one of those concerns is to some extent valid, but has largely been debunked, or bypassed by the pioneers of Straw Bale homes such as Peterborough, Ontario based...

Skylights can be problematic in a high performance home
Windows and doors

Are skylights an asset or a liability?

...damage. The only way a skylight will save you energy and headaches is if you leave it in the store and don't mess around with the continuity of your roof. Light well with a reflective tube may be a better option than a skylight © Skylights Plus Instead of a skylight, consider a light well There is an alternat...