How to Avoid Mold Part 2 – Control Temperature

by Erik North on August 26, 2013


      An Energy Auditing Blog article on reducing mold risk by reducing the homeowner’s ‘water sports’ (water related activities in the house) was published at GBA last week. Allison Bailes, the self-described energy guy with the funny name, rightly pointed out that temperature plays a key role as well. Temperature Makes Humidity Relative […]


Post image for Problems with Crawlspaces – Venting and other Underhouse Ills

  Crawlspaces are like the Loch Ness monster; talked about, rarely seen and potentially a bit scary. The crawlspace is that empty, barely accessible pit under the house filled with swampy water, cobwebs and spiders the size of dinner plates (that was the Google result for ‘spiders the size of dinner plates…enjoy). At least that’s […]

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How to Avoid Mold? Avoid Water Sports

by Erik North on August 14, 2013

Post image for How to Avoid Mold? Avoid Water Sports

  Mold and moisture issues are a pretty common motivation for homeowners to give us a ring. There’s condensation on the windows, water dripping into the window box. One homeowner described how if they opened their front door during the winter, the glass panes on the storm door would fog up within 10 or 12 […]


Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.4

by Erik North on May 25, 2012

Post image for Journal of Poor Homebuilding v.4

    All too common bathroom and home problem in cold climates. The infrared picture shows where the poorly laid fiberglass is causing extreme dips in ceiling surface temperature. The temperature is dipping below the dew point, causing bathroom moisture to condense and spurring some surface mold growth. Yummy! Related links: What is Humidity? What […]


What is Dew Point?

by Erik North on December 16, 2011

What is Dew Point?

  I’ve mentioned dew point in passing many, many times. You can tell from the name it has something to do with moisture. And moisture is a problem flash point in homes so it might be worth knowing a bit more about dew point. So what is dew point? How is it a driver of […]


What is Damp Proofing

  Unless you’re in construction or building science, damp proofing sounds like the lamest level of water prevention possible. Wait let me get this straight, it’s not water resistant or water retarding? It’s damp proof … so I’m OK in a slight humidity but screwed if there’s a moderate rain? What is Damp Proofing? Actually, […]


I Have The Vapors (Just What is a Vapor Barrier)?

by Erik North on October 3, 2011

Post image for I Have The Vapors (Just What is a Vapor Barrier)?

  What is a vapor barrier (incidentally, vapor barrier is a both an outdated term and a bit of a misnomer. The permeability of most building materials fall well short of a ‘barrier’)? First off, most folks hear vapor and think gases. For buildings, vapor means the gaseous form of water. A barrier that controls […]

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Post image for Should I Insulate My Basement With Fiberglass (Or Don’t Make Me Beat You With a Stick)?

  I thought this could use some expansion from when I wrote about basement insulation in a previous post. Sometimes homeowners, visions of Man Caves dancing through their head, can be gung-ho about tackling their basement remodeling projects. Bombing back from Home Depot, they trundle back home with a mash of 2x4s, wiring, sockets and […]