Sealing Building Penetrations
Learning how to properly seal building penetrations will help reduce utility bills, prevent drafts and stop the infiltration of moisture.
The vents and pipes that penetrate exterior walls and the roof bring the power, water and gas lines into a house, but they can also bring in drafts, mold and wood rot. Ignoring these breaks in a building's thermal barrier threatens the durability of the house and the health of its occupants.
Knowing where these penetrations are and how to seal them makes it possible to reduce utility bills, prevent drafts and stop the infiltration of moisture and all the problems that come with it. The "best practice" is simple, and often overlooked. Flashing, an insulating expanding foam, or in some cases, caulk, can be used to seal these penetrations and prevent the problems.
The penetrations into the home that are likely to cause the most damage are the ones in the roof. Vent pipes are the most prevalent penetration into the building envelope. They are necessary for proper drainage in the plumbing system of the home and their presence will not cause problems if properly sealed. There are two types of flashing that can be used for this purpose: sheet metal cones that can be caulked to the pipe itself or self-sealing types with rubber gaskets.
Once the new shingles reach the base of the vent pipe:
- Cut the roofing to fit around the pipe.
- Install the flashing over the pipe so that its base flange lies on top of the roofing on the down-side slope.
- Continue roofing over the flashing, cutting the shingles to fit around it.
- Finally, a vent pipe collar is slid over the pipe.
Ladder Framing Allows Better Insulation
Increase space for more insulation by reducing the amount of wood needed.
Sealing a Home's Air Leaks
Improve energy efficiency and health by reducing air leakage.
How to Stop Interior Drafts
Learn how sheathing behind tubs, showers and the fireplace can eliminate energy-sapping drafts.
Spray Foam Improves on Insulation
Foam keeps heat in by sealing cracks and spaces in your house.
Proper ventilation helps water vapor to exit the attic, helping to dry out existing moisture.
Air Sealing the Home Garage
Learn how to keep harmful fumes from spreading into your home with simple steps.
SIPs: Structural Insulated Panels
Frames prove stronger and more energy efficient than conventional stud frames.
How to Build Airtight Insulated Cathedral Ceilings
Proper construction techniques can help ensure airtight, dry and energy-efficient cathedral ceilings.
Installing Fiberglass Batt Insulation
Use these tips and techniques to ensure proper installation of fiberglass insulation.
Insulating Beneath the Basement Slab
Keep heat in and keep moisture out with an insulation layer under your home.
We're serving up the latest news, gorgeous style, crafty DIY projects, clever entertaining tips and more. Consider these your design digests.