New England winters are the perfect time of year for many things: skiing or snowboarding, maple syruping, snowshoeing, and sitting inside by a fireplace perplexed by a “roof leak” when the roof is clear and it hasn’t rained or snowed in days.Read more
It’s About the Water
One could boil down our job as enclosure consultants to this: help people to keep water from accumulating where it shouldn’t.
Water causes all kinds of trouble with many building materials. Wood rots, steel corrodes, masonry spalls and cracks, microbes and fungi grow. Gypsum that once formed solid panels turns to mud.
We call these parts of the building—the ones damaged by water—the “moisture-sensitive” components. The main goal of the building envelope is to protect these moisture-sensitive components from exposure to water. Sounds simple, right?
Unfortunately nature conspires to foil our water control efforts in a variety of ways. In this post we’ll explore some less-than-obvious ways that water ends up where it can cause problems.Read more
How Water Moves: Airflow and Diffusion
Building science and building enclosure consulting is often all about understanding, and controlling, how water moves through a building. Water is the cause of most of the problems we are trying to solve (or, ideally, prevent in the first place). In order to solve those problems, we need to understand how the water is getting to where it is not supposed to be.
Liquid water intrusion into buildings is the main thing to worry about, and there are a number of ways that liquid water can penetrate a building’s defenses. Those pathways, though, will be the subject of a future post. Today, we’re going to focus on the oft-misunderstood water transport mechanisms of airflow and water vapor diffusion.Read more
The Sweat(ing) House – a Condensation Story
We recently investigated a report of water “leakage” at a suburban Boston townhouse. The owner described a history of water infiltration at several locations throughout the home. As it turned out the bigger problem was not water leakage, but condensation.Read more