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.

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UV Stability of Building Materials

An oft-overlooked characteristic of building materials is stability when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light (i.e. sunlight ☀️). Some building materials are specifically intended for long term exposure to UV light, but many are not. Those that are not often have limited periods of time for which they remain stable when exposed to UV, and after that time they may degrade to the point that performance is reduced.

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How to Fix Ice Dam Roof Leaks

Unfortunately, for many, ice dams and the related water  leakage problems are an unwelcome wintertime tradition here in New England. We’ll soon see fall colors turn to bare branches and ice dam season will be upon us again – so what better time to write about how to fix ice dam roof leaks!

You might think that after all these years and all these people getting their houses ruined on a semi-regular basis that we’d have figured out how to resolve ice dam leaks in a reliable way. The good news is that many of us do know how to fix ice dam roof leaks. But there’s still a lot of confusion out there.

So this post is meant to help un-confuse things. Here, in simple terms, is what you need to know about fixing ice dam roof leaks.

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