Seal / Guides

Polished concrete floors and counters
Paints, finishes and natural coatings

Finishing concrete floors with silicate densifiers

...sealers, as most sealers will contain some level of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Many densifiers have no VOCs; they will seal the floor, so additional sealers aren't absolutely necessary. A surface sealer will also wear out and require re-application in as little as a year, depending on how much use they see. Any...

Using caulk to make a seal, but which type is best?
Air and vapour barriers

Which is the best caulk or sealant for caulking windows and bathrooms etc?

...sealants: Latex thermoplastic sealant (thermo-elastomeric latex sealant) contains less than 2% solvent. It is recommended for use as an exterior sealant. It is available in white and cement grey and can be painted 60 minutes after application. Polysulfide sealant produces a flexible sealant on curing. It is ideally...

Faulty Toilet Flappers Leak a Lot of Water - here's how to replace them
Plumbing renos, repairs and maintenance

Faulty toilet flappers are the leading cause of leaking or running toilets, here's how to fix them

...sealing seat and allowed water past. Feeling reassured, I also compared it to the new replacement flapper seal I had purchased from the fabulous Lilani at our local co-op hardware store - and exactly as she had said, the new one was slightly larger to allow for different seating and better sealing all around. (see belo...

Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Air and vapour barriers

What is an air barrier?

...sealants, gypsum board (drywall) is a very effective air barrier, so long as the joints are sealed with drywall compound and tape; and all junctions at the floor, roof and openings are sealed with gaskets and appropriate sealants. Breathable insulated structural sheathing: Worth noting first - as a material, OSB (o...

Drywall and construction dust
Cleaning and maintenance

Tips for keeping air clean during renovations

...Seal off work areas: Use plastic sheeting to separate work areas from the areas where you will be living during construction. Perform renovations in warmer months: This is not always possible of course, either due to your own schedule, availability of funds, and often times the availability of contractors, but summer...

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

...sealing them and adding one at the top. And be sure to seal them; if you forget and leave them open, they will limit the effectiveness of better ones you just installed. Attic insulation air baffles ensure soffit ventilation works properly © InterNACHI Some builders have expressed concerned that ridge vents are...

Correctly installed Triple pane south facing windows on Ecohome's Demo House
Windows and doors

Installing doors & windows for the best performance in high efficiency homes, LEED & Passive House

...seal around openings to allow for capillary action combined with wind pressure or by sealing for wind driven snow. What we've generally found is that if a homes structure is comprehensively Air-Sealed then it's generally speaking water-sealed too. For the best tips on water sealing windows and doors see below, and be s...

Waste management

How to dispose of Construction waste responsibly

...seal windows rather than spray foam. Using or disposing of old building materials: Re-using or repurposing building materials, where it makes sense. Use old boards as strapping as long as there are enough, that they are of good quality, and they are consistent and of a suitable dimension. Clean framin...

Interior sheathing as air & vapor barriers in wood frame construction
Air and vapour barriers

Interior sheathing as an air and vapour or vapor barrier

...seal of a building is measured in ACH (Air Changes per Hour), and is determined by a blower door test where the building is depressurized by a fan in the door, and air leakage is measured. The average home built to code using conventional building practices is expected to have air leakage rates of 3.5 ACH, which unde...

Air and vapour barriers

Aerobarrier home and attic air-sealing spray

...seal has been using an air-sealing technique for ventilation systems where adhesive fine particles are sprayed into ducts, leaving the ducts perfectly sealed. Based on the success of that procedure, the company created the product Aerobarrier, which can seal entire homes. How Aerobarrier works: Using standard blowe...

Smart sewage backup device
Plumbing and water heaters

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

...seal in case of backflow. Check valves have a removable top that can be removed to clear debris, but have you ever done that yourself, or heard of someone who has? It is best to clean them annually, which comes at an approximate cost of $200 for a plumber to do it if it isn't the kind of thing you feel like doing you...