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Sealants & Insulation


It's important to remember, where air can penetrate, so can

moisture, dust, and noise. Air gaps in the building envelope

have to be handled to manage our energy consumption,

improve the air quality in our home, and avoid the build

up of moisture that can lead to mold problems. The more

the wind blows (and we certainly get a lot of that) the

greater the pressure build up and the more infiltration

and exfiltration of your (paid for) conditioned air. 


Finally, lets consider the importance of insulation in our

conventionally framed building envelope: 


Maximizing the R-value of our Building Envelope will  increase your homes energy efficiency by lowering utility

bills year round as it eliminates heat loss in the winter

and heat gain in the summer. It increases comfort by eleminateing temperature flucuations and can increase

In our previous blogs we talked about a variety of exterior wall systems. 


When we referred to manufactured systems such as SIPS or ThermaSteel, they tend to already have adequate sealing and insulation. It is when we revert to what most people know as conventional wood framing, that we have to exert much more diligence sealing our structure to eliminate both air leakage and infiltration. 


Also, we are now building a frame wall without insulation and we are going to require the latest technology to maximize 

the needed R-factor. 


First, lets consider the importance of sealing our exterior building envelope: Air penetrating our structure is one of the leading causes of energy loss in our homes. As a pressure difference builds up on either side of the wall air is forced to penetrate any escape route available taking with it the conditioned air (either heated or cooled). 



the durability of the structure by keeping down moisture which can lead to mold and material decay. In future indepth interviews, we will focus on the various types of insulation and the pros and cons of each. 


The basic types are: 


          Spray foam - which is used to both seal and insulate. 


          Fiberglass - can be in friction fit batts or blown attics 


          Cellulose - made from recycled paper (mold resistant) can be used dry in the attic & wet sprayed in walls.

The Building Envelope: Part 3

High Performance Interview

Spray Foam Insulation

with Peter Steinwart & Gary Beckemeyer

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