How to insulate a basement / Guides

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates? in about 2005 when this design improvement happened (which was decades after basement insulation was already standard practice), he speaks as if insulating below grade thermal mass walls was his own idea, and gave home insulation a new name - Thermal Wrap . "If the Earthship were a gasoline engine, Thermal Wrap an...

Condensation on windows in our homes - why is it there? - how to stop it?
Walls and Roofs

Condensation on windows is a pain but is it a problem & how to stop it?

...ant to carefully seal air-barriers in homes , paying special attention to joins and breaks in the membranes – especially where secondary trades have passed after air-barriers were fitted - and by using specialist sealing tape that stays stuck down properly. Last but not least – if you live in a cold climate area that...

Basement wall insulation
Insulation and soundproofing

Properly insulating basements and concrete slab floors

...ating a basement is a great idea if it wasn't insulated when built , as before we began insulating foundation walls and below slabs (see slab on grade) , it was generally estimated that basement heat loss accounted for about 1/3 of the total heat loss of a house. It is likely that such an abysmal starting place made th...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier plaster in the past, usually on a lath backing - which requires about 99% Relative Humidity (RH) to accommodate mold. With recent 'improvements' to construction in North America, we now use standard code compliant paper-faced drywall which can start to develop mold at about 80% RH. As we insulate and make homes ai...

Installing foam panel insulation, which is best?
Insulation and soundproofing

Rigid insulation panels: which ones to use for different applications

...and Canadian equivalent rates of permeability, below that rate of permeability classifies a material as a type II vapour retarder, suitable for residential construction. Also, rather regrettably for traditionally produced XPS, the hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) most commonly used as blowing agents are far more damaging t...