Poorly insulated attic access panels

-  It needs to be pushed in to place.  When the insulation piece is properly sized, it works fine, but the insulation won’t drop in to place inside the dam.  To do this, the insulation needs to be installed from the attic side.  When the insulation piece is too small, it doesn’t touch all four sides and allows for heat loss.  . For the fiberglass batt to insulate the scuttle hole effectively, it needs to fill the entire space and be in significant contact with all four sides of the wood ‘dam’ that is built inside the attic for the access panel to slide up through. ..More

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A Warning About Radiant Barriers – aka Foil Insulation

-  The system was installed two days after she signed the contract.   She was convinced that this was a good investment after attending a free dinner, wherein the effectiveness of radiant barriers in Minnesota was highly exaggerated. Last week I received an email from a concerned reader who said his 85-year-old mother-in-law had recently purchased a $2,500 radiant barrier insulation system for her 1,800 sf townhouse in Austin, MN. ..More

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Four Common Water Heater Installation Defects

- 2210) requires a discharge pipe to be attached to this valve.  This valve is called the temperature and pressure relief valve.  A few requirements for this pipe are as follows:. . To prevent this from happening, a valve is installed on the water heater which is set to go off at 150 psi, or 210 degrees Fahrenheit.  To help prevent this valve from shooting scalding hot water or steam in to someone’s face, the Minnesota State Plumbing Code (Section 4715 ..More

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Black Stains on Roofs

- . For this blog, I started by cleaning a small section of the roof and letting the shingles dry, just to get a good photo showing how effective this is ..More

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

-  While this is the standard way to insulate a wall, it’s also probably the worst acceptable way to insulate a wall. 9% of the houses in Minnesota – with fiberglass batts.  I’ve already dedicated a blog to complaining about fiberglass batts, so enough on that topic.  The photo at right gives a great example of how fiberglass batts are installed incorrectly all the time; just look at those gaps around the junction box. . The stud walls, on the other hand, were insulated the same way as 99.  Yuck ..More

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