Insulation & Air Sealing

When a balloon loses air or depressurizes, it gets smaller (and makes a funny sound), but houses don’t roll like that 

the 2018 the new american remodel home

Restored ironwork and a return to French doors in the façade keep the focus of The New American Home on the original home’s core as something that remained true to its period design while also transcending the traditional architecture of its old Orlando neighborhood. The side additions and connecting stone-and-brick terraces project a timeless estate feel that fits Florida, but would be equally at home in the Northeast or Midwest.

Carefully chosen and finely detailed products define the 2018 New American Remodel

A hole was opened up in the soffit, but rather than encountering solid foam, small beads and dust poured out of the opening. 

How can indoor air quality become so bad when there's penty of venting and no toxic materials? 

Tests for permeability measure vapor diffusion through a material with 50 percent RH air on one side and either a desiccant (“dry cup test”) or liquid water (“wet cup test)” on the other.

Understanding how water vapor interacts with building materials is critical to avoiding moisture problems in building assemblies

ben bogie putting in a window

For fast, accurate installation, organize and cut trim pieces by window size, then preassemble into frames in the shop

old masonry building insulation-photo-old brick wall

Letting brick dry evenly is the key to avoiding water problems

An interior chase on an exterior wall is an often-overlooked source of major air leaks

zip system ben bogie model remodel

As the country gets greener, this product keeps gaining fans

This OSB-foam-WRB sandwich meets shear requirements with standard-length nails

RetroFoam installation

Pennsylvania remodeler Dennis Gehman on why he likes this three-part resin for insulating his company's remodeling projects 

installing rigid foam insulation on home exterior

All photos: courtesy Dan Morrison

On the second layer, offset and tape the seams, and use the rainscreen strapping to hold everything in place

insulating an old house

Insulating older homes is an all-or-nothing proposition. Just blowing insulation into the walls can create moisture problems that will rot the wood structure from the inside out.

Workers leveling and fastening a rigid foam panel

Careful flashing and a tight fit are keys to success when retrofitting the first of two layers of foam

Use Z-flashing above the insulation to keep water out.

All illustrations: Dan Morrison

A how-to guide for slab-on-grade foundations in either hot or cold climates

concrete wall insulation

Tips for insulating slab-on-grade foundations

Thermal imaging camera at work. Photo: /suljo

A thermal imaging device shows heat loss in a typical home. Photo: /suljo

Benefits include lower CO2 emissions and better air quality

How to insulate an older home

All illustrations: Dan Morrison

An insulation approach that seeks to find the balance between the real and the ideal

InSoFast insulated panels being installed. Photo: courtesy InSoFast

All photos: courtesy InSoFast

Jessica Steely, of Semmes & Co., in California, on why she specifies InSoFast insulation panels 

Building Science: The Risk of Below-Grade Fiberglass

Trapped dust and moisture means mold, and a lot of work for homeowners

Overlay Init