Control issues? Yes! Start with Water, Air, Moisture, and then address Thermal

Over the last 100 years, we have made our homes and buildings more energy efficient, resulting in increased comfort and improved indoor air quality (most of the time). We have also made them more complicated to build.  Progress, of course, often comes with some resistance. “Buildings need to breathe!” or “We’re making them too tight!” are two familiar concerns often voiced. Success in the creation of better performing building envelopes happens by focusing on control layers that manage water, air, moisture and thermal or heat.  Take care of these four principles and an efficient, lasting, comfortable, and durable building follows naturally!

Water: I have talked about how a good building envelope works like a breathable rain jacket—water resistant but vapor open. We, just like our buildings, can generate moisture from the inside of that jacket (envelope) and if it doesn’t escape, we end up wet just the same. Controlling water comes from combining well installed siding and roofing with hydrophobic and resilient insulation, like TimberBoard.

Airflow and Moisture: Holding onto the air we heat or cool keeps us comfortable and saves money.    Airflow can carry moisture. The airborne moisture (water vapor) we generate from cooking, breathing, showering and other activities needs to have a way to vent out of the building, or else it can condense in walls and roof cavities.  For years, we’ve designed and built ventilated roof assemblies to create cold roof decks and manage heat and humidity lost from conditioned space; but we’ve struggled to lock in on the best approach for wall assemblies.  What kind of wall do you need? These details (Roof and wall building guide coming soon!) offer guidance. It’s also important to keep the wind out.  TimberBoard, our continuous exterior insulation, is windproof and plenty breathable, allowing moisture to leave the wall assembly without getting stuck and causing trouble.

Thermal Control: As you can guess, it’s all about insulation! You may find it strange that an insulation manufacturer lists thermal management last in this list, but an insulated building won’t do much good if all the other controls are not in place. Borates in our TimberFill and TimberBatt cavity insulations protect the wood fiber from mold and mildew (as well as insects and other pests). They also protect all that wood around the insulation, the structural sheathing and framing, from these threats. And they offer excellent R value at a great price!

Stay in control with resilient and hydrophobic walls that are vapor open and control air flow.

TimberHP–Insulate Better. Live Better. TM