This year, I’m thankful for closed-cell foam insulation. Yeah, that’s right.

- .  The foundation walls are insulated at the exterior with rigid foam; this is a great way to insulate a foundation, because it means that the concrete walls will be relatively warm, and the potential for condensation problems will be minimized. My thirteen-year-old Maple Grove house has an unfinished basement with a walkout; this means about half of the basement walls have a poured concrete foundation, and the other half, the part that’s above grade, has conventional 2×6 wood framing.  If you want to read more about foundation insulation methods, click this link – foundation insulation ..More

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Trapping Your Condensate

-  When ductwork is properly installed, all of the little gaps and holes in the ductwork get sealed up, including the hole created by the condensate drain. . The problem with most condensate drains is that not only will they carry condensate away, but they’ll also allow air to blow out through the drain, which is ineffecient ..More

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Tankless Water Heaters – A Few More Things to Consider

-  I received a lot of good feedback from that post, both for and against tankless water heaters.  I thought it would be worth bringing up a few few of these points in another post. . In last week’s blog post, I discussed the amount of money I might save by having a tankless water heater installed, and I concluded that I would never see a return on my investment ..More

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Home Inspections on Townhouses

-  For example, how would the home inspector know if the damper for the bathroom exhaust fan opened at the roof rap without climbing on the roof?  How would the home inspector know that the vent terminals for the high efficiency furnace were properly installed at the exterior without inspecting the exterior?  How would the home inspector inspect the dryer damper at the exterior?  If the common areas aren’t inspected, the fee for the home inspection will be less, but it’s not worth the difference in price.  There are far too many components that don’t get fully inspected. . It’s also very difficult to properly inspect the components that only belong to the individual property owner without inspecting the exterior of the building ..More

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Insulating A Rim Space

-  Wires, faucets, pipes… they’re no match for spray foam.  All of the penetrations get sealed. . Using spray foam at the rim space is just about the only thing that is ever done on new construction houses in Minnesota today; while it’s expensive, it’s worth it because it can be applied quickly and does a perfect job of both insulating and air sealing the rim space ..More

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