August 01, 2018
Protecting your new home goes beyond things like insurance. One of the most common problems homes have is moisture. The fight against moisture damage and mold is fought on many fronts.
Heating and cooling of a home needs to be done very carefully. Many times the HVAC systems are oversized on new construction. You might think an oversized system would be better, but that is not the case. Improperly sized heating or cooling can result in extra costs and an uncomfortable home.
After the properly sized system is determined, it must be installed correctly. Leaking duct work can run up your monthly energy bills. They can also cause different parts of the home to be difficult to keep comfortable. Ducting cool air through hot spaces like attics takes a toll on the efficiency of your system.
A properly sized and professionally installed HVAC system means very little if the house is poorly insulated. Attention to detail when insulating a home is critical. Small, dead spaces, places where there is no insulation, can add up.
Header areas over windows, next to windows, doors, and the corners of the exterior walls are potential dead spaces. Those are areas where the construction of the wall makes it impossible to insulate, or the area is filled 100% by wood. Like over-sizing HVAC systems, over-sizing window and door headers can be very inefficient. Wood is not a good insulator. Using the properly sized headers will minimize the areas that can’t be properly insulated.
There are other areas that need special attention when it comes to insulation. Knee walls and the attic are the major concern. The attic needs to be paid special attention to. This area is where most of the heat is headed during the winter and where most of the heat is going to come from during the summer. Getting this area properly insulated is key to a comfortable and efficient home.
Moisture and mold go hand-in-hand. If you have moisture problems it is just a matter of time before you have a mold problem. As a rule of thumb, there are three major areas that need special attention in order to control moisture and mold.
Starting at the top, the roof needs to be built correctly, which sounds like a no-brainer. But problem areas such as valleys on a complicated roof and seams along chimneys need to be sealed correctly. If not done properly, the potential for moisture getting into your home is very high.
Part of the roof structure that needs special attention is the overhang. Without the proper amount of overhang your roof can become a problem for your walls. The lack of proper roof overhang will make it easier for water to flow down the siding and into the wall. Roof overhangs protect your home from the sun in the summer and your walls from moisture damage.
Lets wrap this up, I mean your house - not this article. No siding system is going to be 100% water proof. Water, like nature, will always find a way. The exterior of your home is not unlike layering your clothing when it is cold out. The more layers you have, the better prepared you are. Wrapping your home with a product like Tyvek is a very important part of the siding system. It is an extra layer of protection. If moisture gets past your flashing, siding and shingles, this layer will stand between you and moisture damage and the eventual mold.
Picking a house plan is just the start of a beautiful home. While a stunning house plan can be impressive from the street, or to walk through, a well constructed and carefully planned out home will make it stunning to live in. The devil is truly in the details. The small things will add up to make your new home a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable protection from the outside world.
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