:OAK RIDGE 1 NATIONAL i LABORATORY

I

,

Moisture Control Handbook
New, Low-rise, Residential Construction

Joseph Lstiburek John Carmody

MANAGED.BY

FOR THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

MARTIN MARIETTA ENERGY SYSTEMS, INC.

This report has been reproduced directly from the best available copy. Available to DOE and DOE contractors from the O f c of Scientific and Technifie cal Information, P.O. Box 62, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; prices available from (615) 576-8401, FTS 626-8401.

Available to the public from the National Technical Information Service, US. Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22161.
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This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liabiliity or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constiM e or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

DE92 002388
Energy Division

M O I m CONTROL HANDBOOK
New, Low-rise, Residential Construction

Joseph Istiiurek B i d n Science Corporation ulig Chestnut H l Massachusetts i, l

Underground Space Center University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota Dames and Moore, Trow, Inc-

John Carmody

October 1991

7he submined mMuSaip1 hss besn authcfed by a tonllaclol of the U.S. Govemmenl uda Conuacl No. M A C 0 5 ~ 2 1 4 0 0 .A m w W . the U.S. Govamant r e a nnexdutive. royalty-free license to pubkh o reptoducs r

the plbhhed f m of this cn. o0 s b w others to do so,for U.S. Government

purwses.'

Research sponsored by the Office of Buildings and Community Systems, Building Systems Division, US. Department of Energy, under Contract DE-ACO5-84OR21400with the Martin Marietta Energy
Systems, Inc.

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document.

Moisture Control Handbook
New, Low-rise, Residential Construction
by Joseph Lstiburek with JohnCarmody
Date of Publication: October, 1991 Part of the National Program for Building Thermal Envelope Systems and Materials Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy Conservationand Renewable Energy Office of Buildings and Community Systems Building Systems Division

U. Dept. Owens-Coming Fiberglas Paul Shipp. P. Oak Ridge National Laboratory William Freebome.S. Residential Construction B. 1991 Prepared for: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Oak Ridge. US.Moisture Control Handbook New.S.A. U.Eng. of Energy Kenneth Labs. of Agriculture. National Institute of Standards and Technology Jeffrey Christian. of Energy Anton Tenwolde. Construction Technology Labs. Tennessee 37831 Managed by: Martin Marietta Energy Systems.. Center for Building Science.S. for the U. Dept. Designed and Illustrated by John Carmody Technical Advisors: Professor John Timusk. Portland State University Steering Committee: Reece Achenbach Doug Burch.S. Inc.Dept. Building Science Corporation Chestnut Hill. Forest Products Laboratory Martha Van Geem.. Portland Cement Association Date of Publication: October. M. USG Corporation Research Center Sam Taylor. Department of Mechanical Engineering. Minnesota by JosephLstiburek with JohnCarmody Dames and Moore.Eng. National Research Council of Canada Professor George Tsongas.Sc. University of Toronto Gustav Handegord. Massachuseffs Underground Space Cenfer University ofMinnesota Minneapolis. Progressive Architecture Dave Lovich. Trow Inc. Department of Energy under Contract DE-ACQ5-840R21400 . Dept. Low-rise. U. Formerly of the Division of Building Research. Oak Ridge National Laboratory George Courville. of Housing and Urban Development John Goldsmith.

Puge ii .

WETTING AND DRYING OF BUILDING ASSEMBLIES CHAPTER 4. MILDEW. MOLD.Contents Preface / Abstract List of Figures and Tables Acknowledgments Introduction Executive Summary CHAPTER 1. MOISTURE MOVEMENT Liquid Flow with Groundwater and Rain as Moisture Sources Capillary Suction with Groundwater and Rain as Moisture Sources Air Movement Vapor Diffusion 12 CHAPTER 3. MOISTURE CONTROL PRACTICES FOR COOLING CLIMATES 178 Cooling Climates Wall Construction in Cooling Climates Foundation Construction in Cooling Climates Roof Construction in Cooling Climates GLOSSARY INDEX Moisture Control Handbook 235 244 Page iii . MOISTURE CONTROL PRACTICES FOR HEATING CLIMATES Heating Climates Wall Construction in Heating Climates Foundation Construction in Heating Climates Roof Construction in Heating Climates 46 74 CHAPTER 5. MOISTURE CONTROL PRACTICES FOR MIXED CLIMATES Wall Construction in Mixed Climates Foundation Construction in Mixed Climates Roof Construction in Mixed Climates Mixed Climates 126 CHAPTER 6. AND CONDENSATION Relative Humidity and Vapor Pressure Mold and Mildew Condensation 1 CHAPTER 2.

Page iv .

Summary of Figures and Tables Chapter 1 Figures Figure 1-1: Figure 1-2 Figure 1-3 Figure 1-4: Figure 1-5: Figure 1-6: Figure 1-7 Figure 1-8: Relative Humidity Increases as Temperature Decreases Relative Humidity Increases as Vapor Pressure or Moisture Content of Air Increases Psychrometric Chart Partial Plan of House Heat Loss Effects at Building Comers Heat Loss Effects at Ceiling Edge Thermal Bridge at Wall/Floor Intersection Thermal Bridge Through Framing Members Chapter 2 Figures Potential Surface Drainage Problems Effective Surface Drainage Techniques Drain Screen Concept Using Porous Backfill Drain Screen Concept Using a Free-Draining Board or Membrane Barrier / Membrane Approach Control Joints in Concrete Walls Brick Veneer Wall Designed as a Rain Screen Wall Using Vinyl or Aluminum Siding Designed as a Rain Screen Wood Frame Wall Designed as a Rain Screen Effects of Wind Around the Corner of a Brick Veneer Wall Metal Building Wall Designed as a Drain Screen Rain Screen Concept Applied to Precast Concrete Joint Design Flashing Directing Water Out of a Cladding Joint Flashing Directing Water Out of a Building Assembly Capillary Rise Through a Concrete Footing Capillary Rise in Wood Siding Techniques to Control Capillary Moisture Below Grade Techniques to Control Capillary Moisture Above Grade Capillary Break in a Brick Veneer Wall Capillary Break in a Wood Shake Roof Interior Air Retarder Using the Air Drywall Approach (ADA) Interior Air Retarder Using the Poly-Wrap Approach Interior Air Retarder Details at Window Jamb Interior Air Retarder Details at Intersection of Exterior and Interior Partition Walls Figure 2-23: Interior Air Retarder Details at Intersection of Roof and Interior Partition Walls Figure 2-24: Interior Air Retarder Details at Electric Outlet Boxes in Exterior Walls Figure 2-25: Interstitial Air Retarder in Composite Wall Figure 2-26A: Exterior Air Retarder Using the Air Sheathing Approach (ASA) Figure 2-26B: Exterior Air Retarder Using the House-Wrap Approach Figure 2-1A: Figure 2-1B: Figure 2-2: Figure 2-3 Figure 2-4: Figure 2-5 Figure 2-6: Figure 2-7 Figure 2-8: Figure 2-9: Figure 2-10: Figure 2-11: Figure 2-12: Figure 2-13: Figure 2-14: Figure 2-15: Figure 2-16 Figure 2-17 Figure 2-18: Figure 2-19: Figure 2-20A: Figure 2-20B: Figure 2-21: Figure 2-22: Moisture Control Handbook Page v .

6] Removal of Moisture by Ventilation of a Wall with Wood Siding Removal of Moisture with Ventilation Conceptual Illustration of the Drain Screen Technique Applied to a Wood Frame Wall Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Roof Assembly Inverted Roof Membrane Unvented Cathedral Ceiling with R-20 Rigid Insulation Above R-19 Batt Insulation Unvented Cathedral Ceiling with R-12 Rigid Insulation Above R-28 Batt Insulation BOX Chapter 4 Figures Figure 4-1: Figure 4-2 Figure 4-3 Figure 4-4: Figure 4-5 Figure 4-6: Figure 4-7: Figure 4-8: Figure 4-9: Map of Heating Climate Zone in the United States Whole House Concepts for Heating Climates Wall 1-Heating Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall 2-Heating Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall &Heating Climate (Permeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall &Heating Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall %Heating Climate (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall &Heating Climate (Masonry Wall with Exterior Insulation) Basement 1-Heating Climate (Interior Insulation) . Humid Air Drawn from Attic through Opening Around Supply Duct Figure 2-32: Pressurization of Flat Roof Assembly to Control Exfiltration Figure 2-33: Vapor Diffusion Retarder on the Exterior of a Concrete or Masonry Foundation Wall and Beneath the Concrete Slab Figure 2-34: Vapor Diffusion Retarder on the Interior of a Wood Frame Wall Inside of the Foundation Wall Figure 2-35: Vapor Diffusion Retarder on the Interior of a Concrete or Masonry Foundation Wall Figure 2-36: Effect of Exterior Insulation on Basement Wall Temperature and Humidity Levels Figure 2-27 Figure 2-28: Figure 2-29: Chapter 3 Figures Figure 3-1: Figure 3-2A: Figure 3-2B Figure 3-3 Figure 3-4: Figure 3-5: Figure 3-6: Figure 3-7 Figure 3-8: Figure 3-9: Figure 3-10: Figure 3-11: Figure 3-12: Figure 3-13: Figure 3-14: Moisture Movement in a Wood Frame Wall in a Heating Climate Condensation Pattern with Fiberglass Cavity Insulation Condensation Pattern with Cellulose Cavity Insulation Schematic of Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Wall with Wood Siding Schematic of Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Wall with Vinyl or Aluminum Siding Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Wall with an Electrical Outlet Potential for Condensation in Wood Frame Walls in a Heating Climate (Chicago.6] Potential for Condensation in Wood Frame Walls in a Heating Climate (Chicago. Illinois) [3.Air Pressure Patterns Caused by the Stack Effect Change in the Neutral Pressure Plane Caused by the Chimney Effect Air Pressurization Patterns in a House with the Mechanical System in the Basement Figure 2-30A: Air Pressurization Pattern with Mechanical System Ducts in the Attic Figure 2-30B: Air Pressurization Pattern with Mechanical System Ducts in the Crawl Space Figure 2-3OC: Air Pressurization Pattern with Mechanical System Ducts in the Attic and the Crawl Space Figure 2-31: Warm. Illinois) [3.

Figure 4-10: Figure 4-11: Figure 4-12: Figure 4-13: Figure 4-14: Figure 4-15: Figure 4-16: Figure 4-17 Figure 4-18: Figure 4-19: Figure 4-20: Figure 4-21: Basement 2-Heating Climate (Exterior Insulation) Basement 3-Heating Climate (Interior Insulation) Basement &Heating Climate (Exterior Insulation) Basement !%Heating Climate (Interior Insulation) Basement 6-Heating Climate (Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Basement 7-Heating Climate (Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Slab l-Heating Climate (Exterior Insulation) Roof 1-Heating Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 2-Heating Climate (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof %Heating Climate (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof &Heating Climate (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof %Heating Climate (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) Chapter 5 Figures Figure 5-3 Figure 5-4 Figure 5-5 Figure 5-6: Figure 5-1: Figure 5-2: Map of Mixed Climate Zone in the United States Whole House Concepts for Mixed Climates Figure 5-7 Figure 5-8 Figure 5-9: Figure 5-10: Figure 5-11: Figure 5-12: Figure 5-13: Figure 5-14: Figure 5-15: Figure 5-16 Figure 5-17 Figure 5-18: Figure 5-19: Wall 2-Mixed Climate (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall %Mixed Climate (PermeableNoninsulating Sheathing) Wall &Mixed Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall %Mixed Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) Basement l-Mixed Climate (Exterior Insulation) Basement 2-Mixed Climate (Interior Insulation) Basement %Mixed Climate (Interior Insulation) Basement &Mixed Climate (Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Crawl Space l-Mixed Climate (Unvented with Exterior Insulation) Crawl Space 2-Mixed Climate (Unvented with Interior Insulation) Crawl Space %Mixed Climate (Unvented Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Crawl Space 4-Mixed Climate (Unvented Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Roof l-Mixed Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 2-Mixed Climate (Vented Attic) Roof %Mixed Climate (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof &Mixed Climate (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) Wall l-Mixed Climate (ImpermeableNoninsulating Sheathing) Chapter 6 Figures Figure 6-1: Figure 6-2: Figure 6-3: Figure 6 4 Figure 6-5 Figure 6-6: Figure 6-7 Figure 6-8 Figure 6-9: Figure 6-10: Figure 6-11: Figure 6-12: Figure 6-13: Figure 6-14: Figure 6-15: Figure 6-16: Wall l-Cooling Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall 2-Cooling Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall M o o l i n g Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall M o o l i n g Climate (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall 5-Cooling Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall 6-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Wall 7-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Wall 8-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Wall 9-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Exterior Insulation) Wall lO-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Crawl Space l-Cooling Climate (Vented with Ceiling Insulation) Crawl Space 2-Cooling Climate (Vented with Ceiling Insulation) Crawl Space W o o l i n g Climate (Unvented with Exterior Insulation) Crawl Space H o o l i n g Climate (Unvented with Interior Insulation) Map of Cooling Climate Zone in the United States Whole House Concepts for Cooling Climates Moisture Control Handbook Page vii .

Figure 6-17 Figure 6-18: Figure 6-19: Figure 6-20 Figure 6-21: Figure 6-22: Figure 6-23: Figure 6-24: Figure 6-25: Slab I-Cooling Climate (Exterior Insulation) Slab 2-Cooling Climate (Interior Insulation) Slab M o o l i n g Climate (Exterior Insulation) Roof I-Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 2-Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 3-Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof M o o l i n g Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 5--Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 6-Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Tables Table 2-1: Table 4-1: Table 4-2: Table 4-3: Table 5-1: Table 5-2: Table 5-3: Table 6-1: Table 6-2: Table 6-3: Household Moisture Sources Characteristics of Wall Assemblies for Heating Climates Characteristics of Foundation Assemblies for Heating Climates Characteristicsof Roof Assemblies for Heating Climates Characteristicsof Wall Assemblies for Mixed Climates Characteristicsof Foundation Assemblies for Mixed Climates Characteristicsof Roof Assemblies for Mixed Climates Characteristicsof Wall Assemblies for Cooling Climates Characteristicsof Foundation Assemblies for Cooling Climates Characteristics of Roof Assemblies for Cooling Climates Page viii .

remains to be accomplished in future editions of the Moisture Control Handbook. and expensive reconstruction is quite large. caulking. the building designer is provided with information needed to minimize the risk of moisture problems in energy-efficient buildings. Reliably quantifying the impact of these approaches. This handbook is another in a series of design tools produced through the BTESM Program aimed at providing the most current design information.Preface This handbook is a product of the U. roofs. However. presents a more forgiving and perhaps less costly alternative. DOE and the BTESM staff at ORNL hope this material will serve as a starting point for an international focus on how to build even strengthened the document. it is obvious that the overall impact in terms of lost time. The construction details shown for heating. is acceptable at any time and that once wet. and pressure are controlled simultaneously. and through this process field. This handbook is a first step in helping designers and builders to understand and utilize moisture control strategies. Department of Energy Building Envelope Systems and Materials (BTESM) Research Program centered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. some designers believe it is too costly or too risky to completely control moisture entry. the predominant envelope design strategy used in low-rise residential buildings was to keep out all moisture at all times. their approach is to keep moisture levels low by providing a path for moisture to escape. healthy buildings. The concept of acceptable moisture levels discussed in the handbook. Moreover. internal to the envelope. envelopes are unlikely to dry out. and pathogens. Historically. mildew. much work remains to be performed in order to determine the wetting and drying patterns of both conventional and novel envelope systems. There are two schools of thought among building designers. tight envelope design is clearly part of the solution to healthy buildings when interior relative humidity. The major objective of the research effort in building moisture control is to provide information to designers. Some building researchers believe no moisture. This handbook also illustrates that energy-efficient. odors. sealants. it was clear that there are many unresolved issues in this emerging Moisture Control Handbook Page ix . sheathing. particularly wetting and drying within construction assemblies. and foundations. and building owners that will lead to the construction of energy-efficient walls. and cooling climates are based on moisture transport principles. temperature. mixed. On the other hand. and flashings can all contribute significantly to the moisture load. This group reviewed the outline as well as several drafts of the handbook. A design strategy that assumes building envelopes may get wet and permits them to dry. Therefore. Although most of the committee supports the major underlying concepts. DOE formed a review panel of moisture experts to provide guidance for this effort (listed on the title page). By analyzing moisture transport mechanisms in building envelopes and systematically describing control strategies for each. In fact. While the energy use impact of uncontrolled building moisture is not easy to quantify. however. The presence of uncontrolled moisture in a building envelope will rapidly degrade structural materials and insulation. Thus. and that degradation of siding. Moisture control is a key component in designing energy-e ff icient. builders. a design could recognize this and encourage periodic drying. some believe that building envelope materials will frequently have high initial moisture levels. recognizes envelopes can get wet or occasionally start out wet. productivity. it can lead to mold.S.

We welcome your response to this handbook. Building Envelope Systems and Materials Program Oak Ridge National Laboratory P. Program Manager U. moisture controlling building envelopes.O. and building owners. particularly builders. TN 37831-6070 John Goldsmith Walls and Foundations. Jeffrey Christian R&D Manager. Department of Energy Page x . researchers. designers. Please send your suggestions for improving future editions.S.more energy-efficient. Box 2008 Building 3147 MS 6070 Oak Ridge.

and Condensation. Chapter 1-Mold. The advantages and disadvantages of several wall. Mildew. The first three chapters of the handbook present the basic principles of moisture problems and solutions in buildings. tight envelope design is clearly part of the solution to healthy buildings when interior relative humidity.Abstract Moisture problems are prevalent all over North America. Chapter &Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies. and the redistribution of moisture within building assemblies. They are viewed as one of the single largest factors limiting the useful service life of a building. The information available was typically incomplete. and pressure are controlled simultaneously. introduces the concepts of acceptable performance. usually limited to specific regions. very little consensus on moisture control existed in the building community. almost independent of climate. Moisture Confrol Handbook Puge xi . contradictory. and roof assemblies are discussed for each climate zone. temperature. zones. A need to develop a document which presented the issues relating to moisture from a building science or "systems" approach existed. foundation. examines surface moisture problems. Chapters 4 through 6 apply the concepts outlined in the previous chapters and present specific moisture climate control practices for three basic U. This handbook attempts to fill that need and illustrates that energy-efficient. Elevated levels of moisture in buildings also can lead to serious health effects for occupants. moisture balance. examines how building assemblies get wet from both the exterior and interior. Until recently. and in many cases misleading. Chapter 2-Moisture Movement.S.

U. Jim White. Oak Ridge National Laboratory George Courville. of Housing was improved considerably by the editing of and Urban Development Pam Snopl. Dept. FSEC. Portland Cement Association Technical advisors to the project were: Professor John Timusk.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory University of Alaska. U. USG Corporation Research Chestnut Hill. the manuscript William Freebome. Gustav Handegord. Portland State University.S. Philip Farey. of Energy John Carmody Anton Tenwolde. of Energy Kenneth Labs. Phil Hendrickson. The Energy Conservatory. Gary Nelson. and Professor George Tsongas.Dept. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. U. Guidance and advice were provided by: John Tooley. and Axel Carlson. Page xii . Massachusetts Center Sam Taylor.Acknowledgments The steering committee for this project provided valuable review and comment during the development of the book. Progressive Architecture Joseph Lstiburek Dave Lovich. Forest Products University of Minnesota Laboratory Martha Van Geem. Steering committee members included: Reece Achenbach Doug Burch. formerly of the National Research Council of Canada. Construction Technology Labs. Florida Natural Retrofit. Dept.S. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Building Science Corporation Paul Shipp. Dept. U. Dow Chemical. of Underground Space Center Agriculture. National Institute of Standards and Technology Jeffrey Christian.S. John Goldsmith. Finally. University of Toronto.

or wheke it was felt necessary to direct readers to particularly relevant research findings. are left to the judgement of the reader. practices for three basic U. They are viewed as one of the single largest factors limiting the useful service life necessary for some readers. roof. The information available was typically incomplete. and Condensation. Some readers may wish to skip over the first few chapters and go directly to the chapters presenting specific moisture control practices and construction details for their particular climate. References are provided where the specific issues raised may require further explanation. As such. examines surface moisture problems. and the redistribution of moisture within building assemblies. Mildew. Chapter 1-Mold. The commentary relating to each detail will likely provide much of the information required by many readers. Labs. Whenever a specific construction practice in a particular climate presented in this handbook deviates from a practice with which the reader is familiar.Introduction The Need For A Moisture Control Handbook Moisture problems are prevalent all over North America. Elevated levels of moisture in How To Use This Handbook This handbook approaches the moisture problem from several perspectives. A need to develop a document which presented the issues relating to moisture from a building science or "systems" approach existed. Those readers desiring further information and depth are directed to the bibliography at the end of each chapter. contradictory. Each chapter is designed to stand on its own. and foundation assemblies. of a building. very little consensus on moisture control existed in the building community. More detailed explanations of the principles utilized in the development of the details can be found in the early chapters. reading of this document from front to back and in sequence will likely not be Moisture Confrol Handbook Page xiii . examines how building assemblies get wet from both the exterior and interior. T i document attempts to hs fill that need. This handbook attempts to provide the rationale for successfully designing and constructing building assembly details without getting mired in theory and equations. buildings also can lead to serious health effects for occupants. introduces the concepts of acceptable performance. Of course. Christian. usually limited to specific regions. 1991). almost independent of climate. Until recently. Chapters 4 through 6 apply the concepts outlined in the previous chapters and present specific moisture control climate zones. and in many cases misleading. moisture balance. Guidance regarding optimum insulation levels for foundation assemblies can be found in the Biiilder's Foundafioii Handbook (Carmody.S. except where specificallynoted to control moisture accumulation on condensing surfaces. Chapter 2-Moisture Movement. the reader is urged to consult authorities having jurisdiction to determine local code compliance prior to utilization. Chapter &Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies. Insulation levels in wall. reading of the document in its entirety is recommended.

and therefore The first mechanism. Relative humidity can be increased two ways -by increasing moisture levels (vapor pressure) and by decreasing temperature. mold and mildew control will be dependent on related problems. primarily responsible for moving moisture into the building envelope from the exterior. and Condensation examines surface moisture problems. are The most common surface moisture- one or a combination of these mechanisms. Where relative humidities near surfaces are maintained below 70 percent. and condensation. air movement and vapor diffusion. Since relative humidities are dependent on both temperature and vapor pressure. Each of these mechanisms can act independently and must be dealt with during design and construction. 4. and Condensation mold. The same strategies that control mold and mildew growth also control condensation on surfaces . when a building in a cold climate is being heated.increasing surface temperatures and reducing vapor pressures (moisture levels) near surfaces Chapter 2: Moisture Movement The four moisture transport mechanisms predominant in building science are: 1 Liquid flow due to gravity and/or an air . They are prevalent all over North America to some degree. The remaining chapters apply the concepts outlined in the previous chapters and present specific moisture control practices for various climates. Also. Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies introduces the concepts of acceptable performance. Moisture transport due to capillary 3 Air movement . Vapor diffusion Chapter 1: Mold. mildew. Relative humidity is the amount of moisture contained in a unit of air relative to the maximum amount of moisture the unit of air can hold at a specific temperature. Chapter 1. For example. When a building any moisture-related problem is a result of All moisture movement. Chapter 2. Capillary suction typically moves moisture into the building envelope from the exterior and also redistributes condensed moisture within building envelopes. The handbook is divided into six chapters. controlling both the temperature and vapor pressure near surfaces. The single most important factor influencing these problems is relative humidity near surfaces.Mold. Mildew. regardless of climate. with each chapter designed to stand on its own. and the redistribution of moisture within building assemblies. When the relative humidity reaches 100 percent.Executive Summary Moisture problems are viewed as one of the single largest factors limiting the useful service life of a building. is Page xiv . air movement and vapor diffusion typically result in a net movement from within the conditioned space into the building envelope. moisture balance. Moisture Movement examines how building assemblies get wet from both the exterior and interior. liquid flow. can move moisture both from the exterior as well as from within the conditioned space into the building envelope depending on exterior and interior conditions. Mildew. The latter two mechanisms. mold and mildew growth can be controlled. moisture can condense. Chapter 3. serious health effects for occupants can result from elevated levels of moisture in buiIdings. pressure difference suction 2.

Furthermore. or start out wet initially. When moisture accumulation exceeds the ability of the assembly materials to store the moisture without significantlydegrading performance or long term service life. poor workmanship or removal is the key. This duality of movement is dependent on both climactic and interior conditions and is often overlooked by designers and builders. assemblies should they become wet during service or start out wet as a result of building moisture entry into an assembly exceeds the rate of moisture removal. acceptable performance. Acceptable moisture sources) performance implies the design and 2 Capillary suction (rain & ground water . materials do not stay wet long deteriorate. moisture problems result. but yet are still durable and provide 3. Strategies effective in the control of moisture entry. and would never get wet from moisture to enter. Balance between entry and imperfect design. and in fact can be detrimental. This has given rise to the concept of 1 Liquid flow (rain & groundwater as . Moisture accumulates when the rate of into the conditioned space. Repeated wetting 4 Vapor diffusion followed by repeated drying can provide acceptable performance if during the wet Moisture can be redistributed within an period. Conversely. Removal of moisture 2 Control of moisture accumulation Strategies in the three groupings can be utilized in combination and have been proven to be most effective in that manner. 3. Moisture can enter from the cases start out wet. air movement and vapor diffusion may result in a net movement of moisture from the exterior with wet materials or under wet conditions. Good design and practice involve controlling the wetting of building assemblies from the exterior and interior. Of the four mechanisms. Air transport and vapor diffusion are less obvious contributions. Air movement a long. Controlling ground water entry below grade and rain entry above grade have traditionally been the preoccupation of generations of builders and designers and it is no different today. Liquid flow and capillarity are also recognized as the primary factors in the wetting of materials. these conditions Building assemblies can get wet from the do not exist. or they can start out wet It has been accepted by the building as a result of the construction process due to industry that many building assemblies wet building materials or construction under become wet during service. Numerous strategies can be implemented to minimize the risk of moisture damage. the interior in two ways: air movement and industry has recognized that in many vapor diffusion. Air movement 4 Vapor diffusion Moisture Control Handbook Page xu . it is also likely to be effective at preventing moisture from leaving an Ideally. are often not effective if building assemblies start out wet. Moisture entering from the circumstances it may be impractical to design exterior can be from four sources: and build building assemblies which never get wet. occupants. a technique effective at removing moisture may also allow conditions. It is not unusual to find cold climate building envelope designs employed in warm climate regions. construction of building assemblies which as moisture sources) may periodically get wet. and in many wet conditions. however.is in a warm climate and is being cooled. The strategies fall into following three groups: 1 Control of moisture entry . building assemblies would always be built with dry materials under dry assembly. the most significant are liquid flow and capillary suction where ground water and rain are the moisture sources. If a technique is effective Chapter 3: Wetting and Drying of at preventing moisture from entering an Building Assemblies assembly. useful service life. They may also involve drying building enough under adverse conditions to assembly by four processes: 2 Capillary suction 1 Liquid flow due to gravity . 3. Even more confusing to the builder and designer are conditions where both heating and cooling occur for extended periods of time. Unfortunately. interior or exterior.

Table S-1: Characteristics of Foundation Assemblies for Heating Climates FOUNDATION TYPE BASEMENT 1 (Page 92) BASEMENT 2 (Page 95) BASEMENT 3 (Page 98) BASEMENT 4 (Page 101) BASEMENT 5 Concrete FOUNDATIONWALL INSULATION Cavity insulation in wood frame wall (Interior) Draining rigid fiberglass insulation (Exterior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wall (Interior) Rigid insulation (Exterior) INSULATION Rigid insulation beneath slab None FLOOR DRYING Limited Concrete To the exterior Limited Concrete masonry Concrete masonry None None Rigid insulation Limited Limited (Page 104) supporting Concrete brick veneer Pressuretreated wood frame Pressuretreated wood frame Slab with Grade Beam wood frame wall (Interior) Cavity insulation in beneath slab BASEMENT 6 (Page 107) Cavity insulationin wood frame wal!Exterior draining rigid fiberglass insulation Cavity insulation in wood frame wallExterior draining rigid fiberglass insulation Rigid insulation covers grade beam and extends horizontally into soil Rigid insulation beneath wood floor Limited BASEMENT 7 (Page 1 10) Rigid insulation beneath wood floor Limited SLAB 1 (Page 113) Rigid insulation beneath slab Limited Page xvi . The basic characteristics 2 Air movement (ventilation) of the foundation assemblies are described. Six wall assemblies are shown that can be differences) used successfully in heating climates (Table The above mechanisms can act singly or S2).Finally. There is one wood roof truss that can be used successfully in heating with a vented attic. Intermittent cooling (air conditioning) Five roof assemblies are shown that can typically is necessary. described. Five of the basement walls are remaining two are unvented. the type of siding. the wall. and a fifth wood frame wall with in combination. brick veneer. moisture can be removed (dried) walls. 3 Vapor diffusion (vapor pressure . and four examples of climates (Table S-1). be used successfully in heating climates Eight foundation assemblies are shown (Table S-3). A key difference between the to the exterior or to the interior in three ways: basement walls is the type and placement of insulation on either the interior or exterior of 1 Liquid flow due to gravity (drainage) . as well as in the rim joist area and under the floor slab. while the characteristicsof the roof assemblies are remaining two utilize pressure-treated wood described. The basic concrete or masonry construction. A final case illustrates a concrete block wall with brick veneer. A key Chapter 4: Moisture Control Practices difference between the wood frame walls is for Heating Climates the type of sheathing used and. There are seven basement assemblies and one slab-on-grade cathedral ceilings. Two of the cathedral ceiling assemblies are ventilated and the foundation. in some cases. The basic Heating climates are defined as regions characteristicsof the wall assemblies are with 4000 heating degree days or greater. There are four wood frame walls with siding.

or aluminum siding Aluminum or vinyl siding Wood. or aluminum siding Wood siding over air space Brick veneer over c v t aiy Brick veneer over c v t aiy SHEATHING Plywood or waferboard (Impermeable) Rigid insulation (Impermeable) Rigid fiberglass insulation (Permeable) Rigid insulation (Impermeable) Asp halt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Rigid insulation OTHER FEATURES Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Impermeable paint or wall covering Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) DRYING Limited Wood frame Limited Wood frame Limited WALL 4 (Page 85) Wood frame Wood frame To the exterior Limited WALL 5 (Page 87) WALL 6 (Page 89) Concrete block To the exterior ROOF TYPE ROOF 1 VENllLATlON Vented attic CEILING INSULATION Cavity insulation Cavity insulation OTHER FEATURES Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Between) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Between) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) DRYING To the (Page 116) Wood truss with flat ceiling Cathedral ceiling Cathedral ceiling Cathedral ceiling Cathedral ceiling exterior ROOF 2 (Page 118) Vented Vented To the exterior ROOF 3 (Page 120) ROOF 4 (Page 122) ROOF 5 (Page 124) on the interior Unvented with rigid insulation Cavity insulation To the exterior To the interior Cavity insulation with rigid insulation on the interior Rigid insulation Unvented To the interior Moisfure Confrol Handbook Page mii . vinyl. vinyl.WALL TYPE WALL 1 (Page 79) WALL 2 (Page 81) WALL 3 (Page 83) Wood frame EXTERIOR COMPONENT Wood.

The basic characteristicsof the foundation assemblies are described. There are four basement basic characteristicsof the wall assemblies assemblies and four crawl spaces. The climates (Table s-4). Heating . - in the rim joist area and the floor. . . Chapter 5: Moisture Control Practices for Mixed Climates Table S-4: Characteristics of Foundation Assemblies for Mixed Climates FOUNDATION TYPE Concrete Concrete FOUNDATION WALL INSULATION Rigid insulation (Exterior) FLOOR INSULATION None None DRYING Limited Limited BASEMENT 1 (Page 144) BASEMENT 2 (Page 147) BASEMENT 3 (Page 150) BASEMENT 4 (Page 153) wood frame wall Cavity insulation in (Interior) Concrete masonry supporting brick Pressuretreated wood frame Concrete Concrete masonry Pressuretreated wood frame Pressuretreated wood frame Cavity insulation in wood frame wall (Interior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wallRigid insulation (Exterior) Rigid insulation (Exterior) Faced batt insulation over wall (Interior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wallRigid insulation (Exterior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wallRigid insulation (Exterior) None Limited Rigid insulation beneath wood floor Limited CRAWL SPACE 1 (Page 156) CRAWL SPACE 2 (Page 159) CRAWL SPACE 3 (Page 162) None Faced batt insulation extends onto floor perimeter None To the interior To the interior To the interior CRAWL SPACE 4 (Page 165) Faced batt insulation extends onto floor perimeter To the interior Page Xviii . . and two masonry walls.. one with brick veneer. Eight foundation assemblies are shown include the. All four crawl S-6). as well as described.three with siding..type of sheathing and whether an that can be used successfully in mixed interior vapor diffusion retarder is used.. A key difference cathedral ceiling assemblies is ventilated and between the foundation assemblies is the the other one is unvented. . Three of are described. Five wall assemblies are shown that can Mixed climates are defined as regions be used successfully in mixed climates (Table with up to 4000 heating degree days combined with a significant number of $5). .Other differences between the wood frame walls periods of time. There are two assemblies with wood spaces are unvented . . and two are pressure treated examples of cathedral ceilings. . while the other utilizes be used successfully in mixed climates (Table pressure-treated wood walls.two utilize concrete or roof trusses and vented attics. All five examples are wood frame walls cooling (air conditioning) hours. and cooling are needed for significant and one with stucco cladding. . One of the wood construction.. the basement walls are concrete or masonry Four roof assemblies are shown that can construction. . The basic type and placement of insulation on either characteristicsof the roof assemblies are the interior or exterior of the wall.

Table S-5: Characteristicsof Wall Assemblies for Mixed Climates WALL TYPE WALL 1 (Page 132) WALL 2 (Page 134) WALL 3 (Page 136) WALL 4 (Page 138) (Page 140) Wood frame EXTERIOR COMPONENT Wood. or aluminum siding Aluminum or SHEATHING Plywood or waferboard (Impermeable) Asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Asphatt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Rigid insulation (Impermeable) Rigid insulation (Impermeable) OTHER FEATURES Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) DRYING Limited Wood frame Wood frame vinyl siding vapor diffusion Polyethylene Limited retarder (Interior) Limited Brick veneer over cavity Aluminum or vinyl siding Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Wood frame To the T the o I interior Wood frame Stucco cladding exterior wAu5 Table S-6: Characteristics of Roof Assemblies for Mixed Climates ROOF TYPE ROOF 1 (Page 169) ROOF 2 (Page 171) ROOF 3 (Page 173) ROOF 4 (Page 175) Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Cathedral ceiling Cathedral ceiling VENTllATlON Vented attic Vented attic CEILING INSULATION Cavity insulation Cavity insulation OTHER FEATURES Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Gypsum board sealed to framing acts as air retarder Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) DRYING To the exterior To the exterior Vented Cavity insulation To the exterior Unvented Cavity insulation with rigid insulation on the exterior Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Between) To the interior Moisture Control Handbook Page xix . vinyl.

The basic characteristicsof the wall assemblies are described. The basic characteristicsof the roof assemblies are described. All four of the crawl spaces are concrete or masonry construction . The basic characteristicsof the foundation assemblies Cooling climates are defined as regions are described. Table S-7: Characteristics of Foundation Assemblies for Cooling Climates FOUNDATION TYPE CRAWL SPACE 1 (Page 206) CRAWL SPACE 2 (Page 208) Concrete (Vented) Concrete masonry (Unvented) Concrete masonry (Unvented) Concrete (Unvented) Concrete masonry wall supporting wood frame Concrete wall supporting block with brick veneer Grade beam supporting concrete block FOUNDATlON INSULATION Faced batt insulation between ceiling joists Cavity insulation between ceiling joists over rigid insulation Rigid insulation vertically on wall (Exterior) Rigid insulation vertically on wall (Interior) Rigid insulation vertically on wall (Exterior) Rigid insulation horizontally beneath slab perimeter and in wallhloor joint Rigid insulation covers exterior vertical face of grade beam OTHER FEATURES Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder on floor Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder on floor Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder on floor and interior wall Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder on floor and interior wall Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder beneath slab Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder beneath slab Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder beneath slab and grade beam DRYING Limited to the exterior To the interior CRAWL SPACE 3 (Page 21 0) CRAWL SPACE 4 (Page 21 2) SLAB 1 (Page 21 4) To the interior To the interior Limited SLAB 2 (Page 216) Limited SLAB 3 (Page 218) Limited Page xx . and one with stucco cladding. . Six roof assemblies are shown that can be used successfully in cooling climates (Table S-9).two with brick veneer. All six assemblies utilize wood roof trusses and vented attics. The first five examples are wood frame walls . while the third illustrates a grade beam foundation. .. . The first four roofs are identical except that they illustrate ways of connecting to different wall assemblies. Two of the slab assemblies include concrete or masonry foundation walls. Other differences between the wall assemblies include the type of sheathing as well as the use and location of a vapor diffusion retarder. and three with stucco cladding.8 "C) higher wet bulb . .three with siding. The last five wall assemblies are concrete masonry .two are vented. or temperature for 1500 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year. and two are unvented. The last two roof assemblies illustrate different approaches to vapor diffusion retarders and insulation. Seven foundation assemblies are shown that can be used successfully in cooling climates (Table S ) There are four crawl 7. 2 A 73 O F (22. space assemblies and three slab-on-grade foundations. Ten wall assembliesare shown that can be used successfully in cooling climates (Table S 8 ) . one with brick veneer.- Chapter 6: Moisture Control Practices for Cooling Climates where one or both of the following conditions occur: 1 A 67 O F (19.4 "C)or higher wet bulb . temperature for 3000 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year.. A key difference between the foundation assemblies is the type and placement of insulation.

Table S-8: Characteristicsof Wall Assemblies for Cooling Climates v WALL TYPE WALL 1 (Page 183) WALL 2 (Page 185) WALL 3 (Page 187) WALL 4 (Page 189) WALL 5 (Page 191) WALL 6 (Page 193) Wood frame COMPONENT Plywood siding (Impermeable) Wood. waferboard. or gypsum covered with polyethylene None Wood frame To the interior To the interior Wood frame Wood frame S u c cladding tco Brick veneer ovar c v t aiy Brick veneer over c v t aiy To the exterior To the interior Concrete block with wood frame wall on interior Concrete block with wood frame wall on interior Concrete block with wood frame wall on interior Concrete block WALL 7 (Page 196) WALL 8 (Page 198) WALL 9 (Page 201) WALL 10 (Page 203) None To the exterior Stucco cladding None To the interior Stucco cladding Stucco dadding Rigid insulation (Impermeable) None To the exterior To the Concrete block Rigid insulation on block wall interior interior Table S-9: Characteristics of Roof Assemblies for Cooling Climates ~~ ROOF TYPE ROOF 1 (Page 221) ROOF 2 (Page 223) ROOF 3 (Page 225) ROOF 4 (Page 227) ROOF 5 (Page 230) Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling VENTILATION Vented attic CEILING INSULATION Cavity insulation OTHER FEATURES ~~ DRYING Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Gypsum board ceiling with permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Impermeablerigid insulation serves as vapor diffusion retarder To the exterior To the exterior To the exterior To the exterior Vented attic Cavity insulation Vented attic Cavity insulation Vented attic Cavity insulation Vented attic Cav-Q insulation To the exterior ROOF 6 (Page 232) Wood truss with flat ceiling Vented attic Cavity insulation with rigid insulation beneath trusses To the exterior . vinyl. or aluminum siding Wood siding over air space Brick veneer over c v t aiy EXTERIOR SHEATHING None OTHER FEATURES Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder between masonry wall and c v t insulation aiy Coating or membrane on block exterior is vapor diffusion retarder Polyethylenevapor diffusion retarder between masonry wall aiy and c v t insulation Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior DRYING To the interior To the interior Wood frame Rigid insulation (Impermeable) Plywood or waferboard (Impermeable) Asphatt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Plywood.

moistureit can hold. The vapor pressure is actually holds only 1trillion molecules of the partial pressure of the water vapor gas on water. and the Air is capable of holding moisture in the influence of temperature and vapor pressure on relative humidity: Two containers. the air in container B maintained at the container. are mold. the relative humidity is 50 percent. phase. 50 degrees Fahrenheit can hold a maximum The terms absolute humidity. each vapor. The amount of containing the same amount of air. The containers are assumed to be absolute hurnidify. Because the air in this container including water vapor. and container B is maintained at dioxide. or absolute humidity-is dependent on the temperature of the air. Recall that the warmer air is. Air is a mixture of several gases. and condensation. so the ratio. and carbon Fahrenheit. vapor pressure. the most vapor form. Air holding half the maximum amount of moisture has a relative humidity of 50 percent. the factors governing relative humidity are also typically misunderstood. and Condensation moisture in the gas or vapor form. More precisely. Understanding the factors that govern relative humidity will enable builders and designers to control surface-related moisture problems. the airtight. This is identical-1 trillion molecules of water in also referred to as the humidify ratio. The warmer air is. air containing moisture is therefore a mixture of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. several gases including water vapor. Moistrire Control Handbook Page 1 . Air is said to be saturated when it contains the maximum amount of moisture possible at a specific temperature. mildew. the cooler air is. The single most important factor influencing these problems is relative humidity near surfaces. Furthermore. The Assume that the maximum amount of total air pressure exerted by a volume of air moisture the air in container A can hold is 2 in a given container on that container is the trillion molecules of water in the vapor sum of the individual or partial pressures of the constituent gases which make up the air. regardless of climate. phase. The amount of moisture air can hold-the air's vapor pressure. The absolute humidity is the ratio of the mass of amount of moisture in each container is water vapor to the mass of dry air.CHAPTER 1 Mold. Mildew. and vapor pressure refer to the same relative humidity of the air in container B is concept: air contains varying amounts of The most common surface moisturerelated problems. In contrast. are moisture contained in air is referred to as sealed. Vapor Pressure Figure 1-1illustrates the concepts of relative humidity. nitrogen. the less . the more moisture it can hold. the greater the amount of moisture the air can hold. Since water vapor is a gas. or 100 percent. relative humidity is typically misunderstood. Container A is maintained at 70 degrees notable being oxygen. or gas. Relative humidifyis defined as the amount of moisture contained in a unit of air relative to the maximum amount of Relative Humidity and moisture the unit of air can hold at a specific temperature. watertight and vaportight. humidity of only 1trillion molecules of water. depending on several factors. Although a common term.

and the air in the container holding 11/2 trillion is at 75 percent relative humidity. Mildew and Condensafion . unlike the previous two containers. In the second pair of containers. In the first pair of containers. some moisture in the air is usually present. the relative humidity of the warmer container can be increased by cooling the container. Both containers hold precisely the same amount of moisture. For very much moisture. However. two additional sealed containers are provided. and not necessarily by adding moisture (increasingvapor pressure). In fact. so cold air is dry and has a low vapor pressure. These containers are also assumed to be airtight. In Figure 1-2. Although cold air cannot contain very much moisture. relative humidity can be changed merely by altering temperature. so the air consistent with the previous example. the relationship between temperature. Therefore.. and reducing temperature (the capacity of the air to hold moisture). or amount of moisture in each container. However. In other words. Chapter 1-Mold. not necessarily by changing moisture content. 100 percent. and vaportight. and vapor pressure can often be counterintuitive. assume that one of these containers contains 1trillion molecules of water in the vapor phase and the other contains 11/2 trillion molecules. yet one container (the warmer container) has a relative humidity of 50 percent and the other container has a relative humidity of 100 percent. relative humidity was increased by maintaining a constant vapor pressure. this small amount is often very close to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at that temperature. being molecules of water vapor is at 50 percent relative humidity. relative humidity. Also. watertight. The air in the container holding 1trillion example. cold air is not capable of holding CAPACITY OF CONTAINER A: 2 TRILLION MOLECULES OF WATER IN VAPOR PHASE 70 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT CAPACITY OF CONTAINER B: 1 TRILLION MOLECULES OF WATER IN VAPOR PHASE 50 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT A B RELATIVE HUMIDITY = 50% CONTAINS: 1 TRILLION MOLECULES CAPACITY: 2 TRILLION MOLECULES RELATIVE HUMIDITY = 100% CONTAINS: 1 TRILLION MOLECULES CAPACITY: 1 TRILLION MOLECULES Figure 1-1: Relative Humidity Increases as Temperature Decreases Page 2 Note: Volumes of containers need to change slightly as temperature changes to follow the Ideal Gas L w a. the temperature of these containers is identically maintained at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. each containing the same amount of air as the previous two containers. The confusion surrounding relative humidity is due to the fact that it is often forgotten that relative humidity can be increased two ways-by increasing vapor pressure (moisture) and by decreasing temperature. However. therefore both have identical vapor pressures. the maximum amount of moisture each of these containers can hold in the vapor phase is 2 trillion molecules. relative humidity was increased by maintaining a constant temperature in each container and increasing the vapor pressure (the amount of moisture present).

Mold and Mildew Molds and mildew are simple plants that grow on the surfaces of objects. relative humidity often varies across a room. . CAPACITY OF CONTAINER C: 2 TRILLION MOLECULES OF WATER IN VAPOR PHASE 70 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT CAPACITY OF CONTAINER D: 2 TRILLION MOLECULES OF WATER IN VAPOR PHASE 70 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT C RELATIVE HUMIDITY = 50% D RELATIVE HUMIDITY = 75% CONTAINS: 1. temperature and relative humidity readings need to be taken at both the same place and time. and lead to allergic reactions in susceptible individuals as well as other potential health problems. lead to odor problems. To further complicate matters. Mold can discolor surfaces.5 TRILLION MOLECULES CAPACITY: 2 TRILLION MOLECULES Figure 1-2:Relative Humidity Increases as Vapor Pressure or Moisture Content of Air Increases Moisture Control Handbook Page 3 . If accurate measurements of moisture levels in enclosures are desired. The warm side of the room will therefore have a lower relative humidity than the cool side. one side of a room may be warm and the other side may be cool. The relationship between temperature. There is a great deal of difference between 50 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 50 percent relative humidity at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. relative humidity. degrees. The amount of moisture contained in air at 50 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit is almost twice the amount of moisture contained in air at 50 percent relative humidity at 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the capacity of the air to hold moisture is reduced as temperature is decreased. deteriorate building materials. A relative humidity reading taken inside an enclosure will not give an accurate indication of the actual amount of moisture present unless a temperature reading is taken at the same time.is at a very high relative humidity. since temperature also often varies across a room. However. with a low vapor pressure but a high relative humidity. 2 A nutrient base must be available (most 3 Temperatures range between 40 and 100 . The following conditions are necessary and sufficient for mold growth to occur on surfaces: 1 Mold spores must be present. and vapor pressure is presented graphically on a psychrometric chart in Figure 1-3. For most intents and purposes the vapor pressure in a room can be assumed to be uniform. It is not uncommon for exterior air in heating climates during the heating season to be cold and dry. surfaces contain nutrients). only a very small addition of moisture is required to bring it to saturation.

mold and mildew growth can be controlled. so control of available nutrients is limited. has a higher surface area of heat loss than other conditioned spaces. MOLD AND MILDEW DUE TO SURFACE TEMPERATURE A classic example of mold and mildew occurring in a heating climate is that of an exposed closet on an exterior wall (Figure 14). and it is not surprising that Figure 1-3:Psychrometric Chart Source: 1989 ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals Page 4 Chapter 1-Mold. The closet. Since relative humidities are dependent on both temperature and vapor pressure. Relative humidity near the surface is mildew control will be dependent on controlling both the temperature and vapor pressure near surfaces. by virtue of its geometry.above 70 percent. Spores are almost always present in outdoor and indoor air. mold and 4. O these conditions. Almost all the commonly used construction materials can support mold growth. Mildew and Condensafion . Where relative humidities near surfaces are maintained below 70 percent. In addition. Its heat loss is likely to be high. and human comfort constraints limit the use of temperature control. it is also more exposed to the wind. relative humidity f near surfaces is the most practical to control.

If the vapor pressure in the bedroom is the same as the vapor pressure in the closet. Wind-washing can be controlled by installing a tight building paper or tight sheathing on the exterior of the wall. This indicates a low amount of moisture in the conditioned space. Louvered since the amount of moisture in the closet too much moisture in the house. BEDROOM Heating the closet by leaving a light on inside (a 150-watt bulb generates 150 watts of heat) or by installing a heat register will also reduce closet relative humidity. To control the mold in the closet. the reason the high relative humidity exists is because there is closet doors can have the same effect. The open door will promote air circulation. Assume that in the first instance a relative humidity of 25 percent at a temperature of 70 preventing the wind from short-circuiting the thermal insulation by blowing into the wall cavities (wind-washing of the insulation). and the closet is colder. The temperature of the closet can be increased by increasing the heat flow to the closet or decreasing the heat flow out of the closet. This can be done by measuring both the temperature and relative humidity in the bedroom at the same place and time. the reason the high relative humidity exists (at least above 70 percent since mold is present) is due to the fact that the closet is too cold. warming the closet and reducing its relative humidity. Installing a heat register in a closet. it is apparent that the relative humidity in the closet is greater than 70 percent. and since the relative humidity is high because the vapor pressure in the closet is too high. MOLD AND MILDEW DUE TO VAPOR PRESSURE Considering the same closet described in Figure 1-4. Therefore we can conclude that since the amount of moisture in the closet (vapor pressure) is low. However. a high vapor pressure exists in the bedroom. the vapor pressure in the conditioned space needs to be determined. and the air circulation will carry heat into the closet. is the relative humidity above 70 percent because the closet is too cold. or is this a vapor pressure mold problem? To answer this question. a relatively low vapor pressure exists in the bedroom. however. Also assume. Further assume that the amount of moisture in the closet and in the bedroom is also the same (a reasonable assumption. since the closet door is neither airtight nor vaportight). This can be confirmed by taking a temperature reading in the closet. then the relative humidity in the closet will be much higher than the relative humidity in' the bedroom. In other words. or is it because there is too much moisture present (high vapor pressure) in the enclosure? Is this a surface temperature mold problem. Therefore we can conclude that degrees Fahrenheit is measured. If the closet experiences mold and mildew growth. the vapor pressure in the closet and house must (vapor pressure) is high.the closet is likely t4 be significantly colder than the bedroom it is attached to. An ideal solution would be not to locate exposed closets on exterior walls. Increasing the heat flow to the closet can be as simple as leaving the closet door open. the relative humidity must be reduced. Heat flow out of a closet can be reduced by insulating the exterior closet walls and by Figure 1-4:Partial Plan of House Page 5 Moisfure ConfrolHandbook . In other words. that the amount of moisture in the closet and in the bedroom are the same. as before. This indicates a high amount of moisture present in the conditioned space. now assume a relative humidity of 50 percent at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the bedroom. is an inefficient use of heating energy and should be used only as a last resort.

clothes dryers. As such dilution of other envelope surfaces. Greater surface area of heat loss (Figure air conditioning and is common in cooling 1-5D) climates or during the cooling season. A Lack of airflow at corners due to poor common example of dehumidification control is the installation of a dehumidifier in circulation and/or obstructions such as furniture results in less heat being carried to a basement or bedroom. Dilution can occur examples of mold and mildew follow. Since the house is leaky. If the exterior air is thereby reducing surface relative humidities. 5c) thereby forcing the moisture to condense. Providing mechanical ventilation in this house by installing a fan in an attempt to control interior mold and mildew will likely than indoors. poorly insulated home in a heating climate which is suffering from mold and mildew. whereas a vaporpressure-related mold problem may not be eliminated by increasing temperatures. As such dehumidification is often coupled with 4. through natural air change (uncontrolled infiltration and exfiltration)or through Exterior Comers mechanical ventilation (controlled air change) utilizing fans or blowers. Other strategies include the construction of dry basements and crawl spaces. pressure related. often increasing heat loss at comer problem may not be eliminated by increasing surfaces. and the storage of firewood outdoors rather ventilation or air change. Source control. dilution. making them colder. An example of this would be an old. rearranging furniture to remove COMMON EXAMPLES OF MOLD air flow obstructions from a comer is all that is required to control mold and mildew AND MILDEW growth. or the exchange of interior moisture-laden air temperatures by insulating the exterior walls. involves controlling interior airborne moisture levels through the control of moisture sources. the greater the air would be a better strategy to control mold and mildew in this instance. the removal of unvented kerosene space heaters. The vapor pressure or moisture levels in the closet and house can be reduced using three methods: source control. Other common change. Dilution Exterior corners are common locations by air change is only possible where the for mold and mildew growth in heating exterior air is dryer than the interior air. moisture-laden 3. A common example often colder for the following reasons: of dilution control is installation of an 1. Understanding which factor dominatessurface temperature or vapor pressure-will limit the choice of effective strategies. Wind blowing through corner Dehumidification involves the removal assemblies-also known as ”windof moisture from a space and usually washing” (Figure 1-5A) involves the cooling of warm. Sometimes. Increasing surface Dilution involves the use of air change. Homes with forced air heating systems and/or room ceiling fans have lower Most mold and mildew problems are incidences of mold and mildew growth than either surface temperature related or vapor homes with low levels of air movement. In climates due to the higher relative humidities cooling climates or during cooling periods found near exterior comer surfaces than at this is often not the case. the most energy efficient of the three approaches. leaky. Common examples of source control are the direct venting of bathrooms. with exterior dry air.be reduced. Low insulation levels (Figure 1-5B and 1air to reduce its ability to hold moisture. and kitchen stoves to the exterior. The comers are during heating seasons. Mildew and Condensafion . When wind enters comer Page 6 Chapfer I-Mold. A surface-temperature-related mold comers. comer surfaces. dryer than the interior air. 2. or some combination of Wind typically increases in velocity at both. The higher relative interior airborne moisture levels utilizing air humidities are due to the comers being change is limited to heating climates and colder than other surfaces. the greater the dilution of interior airborne moisture levels. not be effective since the interior moisture levels are already low. Poor circulation (Figure 1-5A) exhaust fan that operates by timer or dehumidistat control. the venting of space heaters directly to the exterior. and dehumidification. it has a very high natural air change that dilutes interior airborne moisture levels and therefore maintains a very low interior vapor pressure.

e. whereas wind-washing typically involves air flow entering a wall at one location at the exterior and exiting at some other exterior location. Infiltration is entirely due to air movement through the wall.. Recent framing innovations (i. Comer geometry results in a greater exterior surface area of heat loss per unit of interior surface area than at other wall surfaces (Figure 1-5D). wherever -B. wind baffles are also necessary to control wind-washing and hence mold and mildew growth at building perimeters (Figure 1-6C). The resultant lack of thermal insulation leads to colder corner surfaces (Figure 1-5B). The use of specialized roof framing details (i.assemblies and blows through. The advent of insulating sheathings has also significantly reduced the incidence of comer mold and mildew. or shortcircuits the thermal insulation (windwashing). high-heel trusses) has allowed greater thicknesses of ceiling insulation to be installed at building perimeters to reduce thicker roof assemblies can lead to greater heat loss than standard framing when these thicker roof assemblies are coupled with soffit ventilation. However. Ceiling thermal insulation often is reduced in thickness at building perimeters due to roof geometries. Setback Thermostats Setback thermostats have proven to be very effective in heating climates to reduce WIND INCREASEDWIND VELOCITY AT CORNERS CONTRIBUTESTO INCREASED HEAT LOSS AIR ION A CONVENTIONALFRAMING HAS MORE WOOD THAN INSULATIONIN THE CORNER B 'TWO STUD' CORNER CONSTRUCTIONHAS LESS WOOD AND MORE INSUUTlON heat loss at these locations. the interior surfaces (gypsum board) can be cooled significantly.e. and thus cool spots (Figure 1-6A). This air flow is distinct from infiltration. Exterior Wall/Roof Intersections Cool interior surfaces in heating climates also can occur where exterior walls intersect roofs. resulting in greater heat loss at perimeters. The higher roof framing makes it easier for air entering at soffit vents to short-circuit the thermal insulation (windwashing) (Figure 1 6 ) Therefore. soffit ventilation is utilized. the AT THE CORNER THERE IS A HIGH RATIO OF EXTERIOR TO INTERIOR SURFACE AREA IN THE MIDDLE OF M E WALL THE INTERIOR AND EXTERIORWALL AREAS ARE EQUAL Figure 1-5:Heat Loss Effects at Building Corners Page 7 D Moisture Control Handbook .. This also results in cooler comers. two-stud comers) reduce heat loss at comers as well as reduce quantities of framing material required (Figure 13C). Comer lumber framing practices often result in more wood than insulation in a comer. The cool spots lead to higher surface relative humidities and mold and mildew.

Thus. the problems of mold and mildew can be as extensive as problems in heating climates. which can result in mold and mildew growth at cool surfaces. when temperatures are reduced at night. the benefits of energy conservation should be weighed against the possibilities of damage from mold and mildew growth. Cold surfaces in cooling climates typically arise from the air conditioning of enclosures. and this air is blown against an exterior wall surface due to poor duct design. Air Conditioned Spaces In cooling climates. However. or diffuser performance. diffuser location. House temperatures are dropped at night when occupants are sleeping and raised to normal comfort levels when occupants are awake. this practice can result in high relative humidities in these rooms when they are cold leading to mold and mildew growth. a corresponding increase in relative humidity also occurs. Closed-Off Rooms Many occupants close off unused bedrooms or other rooms during heating periods to reduce heating bills. Heating climate mold and mildew can be controlled in many instances by increasing interior temperatures during heating periods. cooling this air will typically raise its relative humidity above the point at which mold growth can occur (70 percent). When exterior hot air is cooled. The intention of this discussion is not to discourage the use of setback thermostats. Mildew and Condensation . Unfortunately. A common example of mold growth can be found in hotel rooms in cooling climates where air conditioned cold air is supplied. Should rooms be closed off. This creates a cold spot at the interior gypsum board. increasing temperature also increases energy consumption. Unfortunately. its relative humidity increases.A THERMAL RESISTANCE I S DECREASEDWHERE ROOF INSULATION IS COMPRESSED AT THE PERIMETER REGION OF MOLD AND MILDEW energy consumption during the heating season. If the exterior hot air is also humid. Although this cold air is typically dehumidified before it is supplied to the C Figure 1-6: Heat Loss Effects at Ceiling Edge Page 8 Chapfer 1-Mold. control of interior vapor pressures (moisture levels) will likely be necessary. An appropriate balance needs to occur between the desired goal of reduced energy consumption and the avoidance of mold and mildew. The same principles apply: either surfaces are too cold or the moisture levels are too high.

(2) eliminating the cold spots (elevating the temperature of the surface) by relocating ducts and diffusers. Brownian Motion is the vibration of INCREASED HEAT LOSS OCCURS AT STUD STUD ACTING AS A THERMAL BRIDGE CREATES COLD SPOT ON WALL INTERIOR BUILDING PAPER INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD Figure 1-8: Thermal Bridge Through Framing Members Moisture Control Handbook Page 9 . An even more common example is the wood stud of a typical exterior frame wall (Figure 1-8) where insulation is installed between studs in the wall cavity. moisture rather than interior moisture. the dust can accumulate at these cold spots. which can lead to mold and mildew growth. This is particularly a problem in hotel rooms due to the high usage of low maintenance interior finishes (impermeable wall coverings such as vinyl wallpaper). resulting in marks on the gypsum board that correspond to the location of the studs. An example of a thermal bridge is an uninsulated window lintel. The wood stud has a greater conductivity to heat flow than the insulation. Several solutions are possible: (1) preventing the hot. it can create a mold problem within a wall cavity due to exterior with the cavity side of the cooled interior gypsum board. Thermal bridges are regions of relatively high heat flow conductance in a building envelope.conditioned space. humid exterior air from contacting the cold gypsum board (controlling the vapor pressure at the surface and air pressure differentials across assemblies). or (3) increasing enclosure temperatures (preventing the overcooling of rooms). This occurs if exterior humid air comes in contact BRICK VENEER WITH INSULATION METAL STUD WALL THE FLOOR SLAB IS COLD NEAR THE EDGE A THERMAL BRIDGE I S CREATED BECAUSE THE EDGE OFTHE FLOOR SLAB I NOT S INSULATED Thermal Bridges increase in surface relative humidity. which can trap moisture between the interior finish and the gypsum board. but Brownian Mofion. In conditioned spaces where dust particles are airborne. The result is a cold spot at the interior face of the gypsum board where it is in contact with the stud. and therefore provides an easy path for heat to bridge the wall. When these interior finishes are coupled with cold spots and exterior moisture. or the edge of a concrete floor slab in commercial construction (Figure 1-7). One explanation of the phenomenon involved in dust marking is not mold and mildew. This can lead to a higher surface relative humidity at this location and potentially to mold and mildew growth. Figure 1-7:Thermal Bridge at WalVFloor Intersection I HIGH SURFACE RELATIVE HUMlDlTTO F E N LEADS TO MOLD GROWTH The cooling of any surface leads to an Localized cooling of surfaces commonly occurs as a result of thermal bridges. mold growth is rampant.

The colder the window removed from the air. In an ironic twist. condensing surface in a room. the temperature of the first condensing su+ace. In older building enclosures. moisture can condense. the greater the amount of called the d m poinf temperature. by the condensing surface. When condensation occurs on the interior surface of a window. the higher the moisture generation or entry stops or is relative humidity adjacent to that surface. This is due to either interior interior vapor pressures without visible airborne moisture levels rising. window surface temperatures were raised by the use of storm windows. As The same strategies that control mold homeowners and occupants in heating and mildew growth also control climates began to humidify building condensation on surfaces-increasing surface enclosures during the heating season for temperatures and reducing vapor pressures comfort reasons. the faster they vibrate. the temperature of the likely be the location where condensation first condensing surface controls moisture happens first. and the replacement of double glazed windows by triple glazed windows and selective surface gas-filled windows. Dust particles vibrate less energetically at cold spots on surfaces. Historically. dropping. moisture deposited on the condensing Condensation can occur on a surface if the surface. For all them. the advent of higher performance glazing systems has led Windows are typically the coldest visible to greater incidences of moisture problems in surfaces in a room. The coldest surface in a room will intents and purposes. The coldest surface in a In order to operate the room at a higher room is therefore referred to as thefirst vapor pressure. equilibrium will occur at a vapor The coldest surfaces in a room always have pressure limited by the temperature of the the highest relative humidities adjacent to first condensing surface in the room. to control condensation on window surfaces. the greater the amount of moisture Condensation Page 10 Chapter 1-Mold. The temperature at which the air/vapor mix greater the amount of moisture generation or reaches 100 percent relative humidity is entry in a space. The use of insulating sheathings significantly reduces the impact of thermal bridges in building envelopes. The greater the temperature of the particles. when The colder the surface. or to the surface condensation on the first condensing exterior air temperature. The vapor pressure that can exist in a room. hence the dust marking at thermal bridges. However. Vapor pressures will rise only when temperature of that surface is below the dew the rate of moisture generation or entry in a point temperature of the air/vapor mix space exceeds the rate of moisture removal adjacent that surface. temperatures had to be raised to control condensation. and are therefore the heating climate enclosures because these location where moisture is most likely to enclosures can now be operated at higher condense. rise to 100 percent. The temperature of the first condensing When the relative humidity reaches 100 surface usually sets or limits the maximum percent.particles due to temperature. Another explanation of dust marking is that the moisture content is higher at the interior surface of thermal bridges due to higher relative humidity adjacent to the surface. the greater the required thermal resistance of window surfaces and the greater the required sophistication of the glazing systems. which determines surfaces. hence this became one of the trends towards higher performance glazing WINDOWS systems. reduced. should the relative humidity behavior in that room. airborne moisture in the vapor phase is removed from the air and deposited on the interior surface of the window. The interior interior moisture levels by condensing surface of a window is often the first surfaces. The colder the climate. and therefore are more likely to adhere to these cold surfaces than nearby warmer surfaces. the replacement of single glazed windows by double glazed windows. window surface (moisture levels) near surfaces. Mildew and Condensation . the the temperature of the interior surface of the thermally poor glazing systems limited interior pane of glass. The window is acting as a dehumidifier for the room (unless the condensed moisture reevaporates). condensing surface must be raised. This higher moisture content causes these surfaces to collect more dust particles.

March 1991. Minnesota. St. The Confrol o Wind Cooling of Wood Frame f Building Enclosures.. The first condensing surface in a cooling climate is typically the back side of the interior gypsum finish. University of Minnesota.B. CHAPTER 1: BIBLIOGRAPHY Angell. Timusk. Halifax.J.. Chelsea. National Center for Appropriate Technology. Moisfiire ConfrolHandbook Page 11 . Minnesota Extension Service. They act like double glazing and triple glazing for a wall. Concealed condensation can be controlled by reducing the entry of moisture into the wall cavities or by elevating the temperature of the first condensing surface. Minnesota. Burge. CONCEALED CONDENSATION The use of thermal insulation in wall cavities increases interior surface temperatures in heating climates and therefore reduces the likelihood of interior surface mold.V. J. DOE /CE/1509M.moisture. Canada.. W. Canada. L. Indoor Air and Human Healfh. Oatman. J. Sescius. edited by R. Ottawa. H. Mold and Mildew in the Home. The first condensing surface in a wall cavity is typically the interior surface (back side) of the exterior sheathing. they warm up everything to the interior of them. (CD-FO3396).l988. Home Moisfure Sources. A. paper presented at ENERhouse 91 Conference. EEBA Conference. In this manner. and condensation.L.A. CMHC. Paul.Kaye. mildew.. However. Paul. Lewis Publishers. 1984. Insulating sheathings serve this function. White. and J. Ventilationfor Humidify Control. 1988. Venfilafionand Energy. climate can be elevated by installing impermeable insulating sheathing to the interior of the wall framing. the first condensing surface is moved towards the exterior of the wall and becomes the cavity side of the insulating sheathing rather than the interior gypsum board. Mould. Lane. White.A. The temperature of the first condensing surface in a cooling Moisfiire and Home Energy Consemation: How to Detect. The windows acted as canaries for moisture and other indoor air pollutants. (CD-FO-3399. Moisfure. and C. Minnesota Extension Service. Portland. 1988. 1985. The temperature of these surfaces is reduced by increasing the insulation values in the wall cavities. Elevating the temperature of the first condensing surface in a heating climate wall assembly can be accomplished by installing insulation to the exterior of the first condensing surface. the use of thermal insulation also reduces the temperature of the outer portions of the wall cavities by reducing heat loss from the conditioned space into the wall cavities and therefore increases the likelihood of concealed condensation within the wall cavities. When insulating sheathings are installed on the exterior of wall framing. Gaminage and S. "Indoor Sources for Airborne Microbes". Arg. between the wall framing and the interior gypsum board. Oregon.. University of Minnesota. Solve and Avoid Related Problems. 1983. Michigan. The visible condensation often alerted occupants to the need for ventilation to flush out interior moisture. N. St.

magnitude. are less obvious contributions. Appreciating the magnitude of This duality of movement is dependent each transport mechanism is crucial in on both climatic and interior conditions and developing an effective design and is often overlooked by designers and construction strategy. the 1 Liquid flow due to gravity and/or an air most significant are liquid flow and capillary . predominant in building science are: Of the four transport mechanisms. and therefore the primary factors in the wetting of any moisture-related problem. Air movement preoccupation of generations of builders and designers. is primarily Liauid Flow with responsible for moving moisture into the Grkndwater and Rain as building envelope from the exterior. This conditions. the mechanisms governing such movement must movement and vapor diffusion may result in a net movement of moisture from the exterior be understood. movement from within the conditioned space Page 12 Chapter 2-Moisture Mouemenf . while confusing to the builder and designer are allowing major factors to be ignored. Air transport and vapor diffusion one or a combination of these mechanisms. and it is no different today. air movement moisture from the exterior into the building and vapor diffusion typically result in a net envelope. pressure difference suction where groundwater and rain are the moisture sources. When a building In order to control moisture levels and in a warm climate is being cooled. liquid flow. It is not unusual to find cold climate building envelope designs employed a disproportionate share of those resources in warm climate regions. Capillary suction typically moves moisture Moisture Sources into the building envelope from the exterior and also redistributes condensed moisture within building envelopes. Liquid 4. For example. Controlling groundwater 2 Moisture transport due to capillary entry below grade and rain entry above suction grade have traditionally been the 3. Even more and effort on relatively minor factors. moving under the influence of a driving depending on exterior and interior force. along with their relative into the conditioned space. Vapor diffusion flow and capillarity are also recognized as All moisture movement. it is unwise to concentrate builders. can move moisture both from the must deal with is liquid flow. air movement and vapor transport mechanism a designer and builder diffusion. The four moisture transport mechanisms conditions where both heating and cooling occur for extended periods of time. The latter two The first and most significant moisture mechanisms.CHAPTER 2 Moisture Movement into the building envelope. The first mechanism. typically gravity or air pressure. air moisture movement in buildings. when a building in mechanism is responsible for moving a cold climate is being heated. When working with limited resources. is a result of materials. Each of these mechanisms can act independently and must be dealt with during design and construction. This involves exterior as well as from within the groundwater and rain as moisture sources conditioned space into the building envelope.

. waterproofing and weatherproofing are more dependent on workmanship and the appropriate choice of materials than both the drain screen and rain screen. It is also possible to provide a barrier below grade (waterproofing. 2 An opening or hole in the building envelope exists. and they certainly cannot control air pressure differences (wind) or gravity. The most common example of a rain screen is an air space behind the brick cladding of a brick veneer wall. although the driving forces cannot be eliminated. However. air pressure differences across exterior cladding can be controlled by the use of the ruin screen principle. In the portions of the building envelope below grade. Above grade. they can be controlled by cladding geometry. Experience has shown that controlling the effects of the driving forces. is the most effective approach for controlling liquid flow.or the elimination of below-grade openings) to resist hydrostatic pressure. The most common example of a drain screen is free-draining backfill material. 3 A driving force (gravity and/or an air .Leakage will occur if three conditions prevail: 1 Groundwater or rain is present. and are also likely able to control the number of openings or holes in a building enclosure. and drainage. gravity (hydrostatic M E GROUND NEAR THE FOUNDATION IS SATURATED I Figure 2-1A Potential Surface Drainage Problems drain screen. rather than eliminating openings. Furthermore. stucco claddings and Moisture Control Handbook pressure) can be controlled by the use of the RAINWATER FALLING ON THE S ROOF I COLLECTED IN GUlTERS AREA AROUND THE BUILDING IMPERMEABLE BACKFILL (CLAY CAP) AROUND BUILDING PERIMETER OVERHANG PROTECTS THE \ DOWNSPOUTS CARRY ROOF WATER AWAY FROM THE FOUNDATION GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% \ Figure 2-1B:Effective Surface Drainage Techniques Page 13 . a designer or builder may be able to influence the magnitude (or source strength) of the groundwater and rain by proper site selection (minimizing wind exposure and building on elevated dry ground). However. Above grade. This involves pressure equalization of an air space behind exterior cladding or within joints between cladding components. since it is difficult to build an enclosure without openings. and to provide a barrier above grade (weatherproofing. or the elimination of above-grade openings) to resist rain entry. pressure difference) is present. Designers or builders can seldom control whether groundwater or rain is present. Understanding these conditions gives designers and builders flexibility in developing various strategies to control this THE WATER CLOSER TO M E BUILDING LACK OF OVERHANGS PLACE moisture transport mechanism. flashings.

the water will travel through the smaller pores of the soil. rainwater collected from an entire building'sfoofpn'nf at the building's perimeter. Where possible eavestrough. The subgrade drainage system is usually a perforated drainage pipe located at the perimeter of the foundation below the basement floor level (if a basement space is present) to the exterior of the wall. however. hydrostatic pressure (waterproofing). Reducing the rate at which surface water and rainwater enter the ground adjacent to a building enclosure is a rather straightforward exercise. or to a pressure. and not tie into a below-grade drainage system (Figure 2-1B). allows for the free flow of water downwards towards a subgrade drainage system under the influence of gravity. this strategy needs to consider the effects of splash-back on wall/ cladding assemblies. and swales and troughs should be considered in redirecting surface runoff (Figure 2-1B). 2 Poor site location and/or site grading practices can lead to surface water flow toward building foundations. Provision for backfill settlement over time should be made. Ground should slope away from foundation walls. hence the subgrade drainage system. and sealants help eliminate openings to control rain entry. Of course. Locating heavily irrigated flower beds and gardens immediately adjacent to building perimeters has similar effects. 3 Rainwater and surface water absorption . The following steps have historically proven effective: 1 Roof assemblies typically concentrate . Backfilling the upper portions of foundation excavations with impermeable material (a clay cap) has traditionally been effective (Figure 2-1B). it can be argued that given the alternatives of running between the soil pores or into the basement cracks in the absence of hydrostatic pressure. some provision for removing the water at the base of the free-draining material must be made. Both strategies should be implemented to control groundwater effectively. The subgrade drainage system in essence lowers the groundwater table immediately adjacent to the foundation. Drainpipes should be sloped to facilitate drainage and should be connected to a sump. Preventing groundwater from entering the building enclosure below grade involves the implementation of two approaches. typically sand or gravel. where if it is not diverted can lead to serious groundwater problems Drain Screens A drain screen is an approach for controlling below-grade water that involves placement of free-draining material immediately adjacent to foundation assemblies linked to some type of a subgrade drainage system (Figure 2-2).gutters. This freedraining material. The perforated drainage pipe is encased in crushed stone (free from fines) and surrounded by a filter medium. wall will not be forced in through cracks. drainage pipe with holes only facing down are preferable. by backfill material can cause groundwater to concentrate at building perimeters. or to daylight. Locating a sloping sidewalk adjacent to a foundation also works well in preventing (Figure 2-1A). Therefore. thereby becoming groundwater. GROUNDWATER Groundwater control can be broken into the following two strategies: 1 Reduce the rate at which surface water . either singularly or in concert: 1 Provide a drain screen to control the . Eavestroughs. and rainwater enter the ground adjacent to a building enclosure. caulks.. As groundwater rises. and downspout systems should direct water away from the building above grade. 2 Eliminate below-grade openings or provide a barrier/membrane to resist building enclosure below grade. Water running down the basement Page 14 Chapter 2-Moisfure Movemenf . The rational is to prevent the development of hydrostatic and roof overhangs can control rainwater from roof assemblies very effectively. In fact. it rises into the drainage pipe and is carried away. the use of building papers. gutter. if the freedraining material directs the flow of groundwater downwards. 2 Prevent groundwater from entering the water absorption by the ground. effects of gravity or hydrostatic pressure.

interior and interstitial drain screens may provide the only option \ -t Figure 2-2 Drain Screen Concept Using Porous Backfill Moisture Control Handbook Page 15 . The second is the flow of water through oriented materials. Drain screens located other than externally are generally not as effective. Free-draining materials often rely on two concepts. Numerous modifications and innovations to the classic drain screen have been developed. However. Many involve the use of free-draining materials or exterior foundation insulation with drainage properties rather than freedraining backfill material. these free-draining membranes must be connected to perimeter subgrade drainage systems (Figure 2-3) and extend above grade and/or be capped with a flashing to prevent surface water from entering over their top edges. where it has been implemented. It should be noted that some storm sewer systems tend to back up during heavy rains and can pipe water to foundation assemblies rather than away from them. As a result some builders/designers install check valves at storm sewer connections which only allow groundwater flow away from foundations. The first is the provision of air spaces or openings of sufficient size which allow water to drain through them. or cracks exist. To provide redundancy some builders/designers install drainpipes both on the exterior and the interior of the footing. Free-draining materials can replace freedraining backfill in the drain screen approach.storm sewer. foundation assemblies remain dry even if numerous holes. Since it is easier for water to run down fibers under the influence of gravity rather than across fiber layers. Groundwater should be intercepted as far away from foundation structures as possible. materials manufactured with a fiber orientation can be used to control groundwater entry. However. openings. Locating perimeter drainage pipe inside the foundation assembly under basement floor slabs instead of outside can also be effective. WALL CONCRETE FOUNDATION IMPERMEABLEBACKFILL Free-Draining Materials The drain screen strategy has proven so effective that. Notable among these materials is fiberglass insulation. Other examples of freedraining materials are proprietary rigid plastic insulations with vertical channels and proprietary drainage mats. sometimes referred to as the fhafched-roofefiect.

it is quite straightfoxward to help the concrete crack predictably at predetermined locations using control joints. This is usually expensive and an aggravation to both the contractor and the occupant. however. In most cast concrete foundation wall assemblies. This approach recognizes that groundwater enters foundation assemblies at cracks. Waterproofing Control of groundwater entry by elimination of all below-grade openings involves the installation of waterproofing barriers/membranes. but this is costly and thus highly unlikely in a residential building. rather than sealing the joints with mastic or some other sealant. which result in straight cracks that are less upsetting to occupants. shrinkage cracks appear after backfilling has occurred and subsequently lead to groundwater entry. A few approaches also involve waterproofing installation under basement floor slabs. Control joints can be provided by cutting the wall immediately after the forms are stripped or cast into the wall initially (Figure 2-5). These cracks can be repaired or sealed prior to backfilling. With this approach. FOUNDATION WALL FLASHING TO PREVENT WATER ENTRY AT TOP a D A ’ 0 D * D P I a control joints in cast concrete foundation Figure 2-3: Drain Screen Concept Using a Free-Draining Board or Membrane Page 16 Chapter 2-Moisfure Maremenf . They should only be used with great caution and must address radon and mold concerns. A further modification of this hybrid approach involves applying the drain screen at the control joints only. A hybrid approach involves utilizing walls. the floor slab should be designed to resist the force. These membranes are typically installed on the exterior of the perimeter foundation walls (Figure 2-4). If upward water pressure is anticipated. radon concerns must be addressed.available for groundwater control for certain types of renovation and rehabilitation work. resulting in greater damage than a flooded basement would cause. Although it is very difficult to prevent concrete cracking. The slab can crack if the structural design is not adequate. Control joints involve weakening the wall at preselected locations by providing crack initiators. These cracks are subsequently repaired during the callback period.

either singularly or in concert: 1 Control air pressure differentials across . Figure 2-4: Barrier / Membrane Approach 2 Provide roof overhangs to shelter exterior walls from rain deposition. the exterior cladding by the provision of a rain screen.: . thereby reducing air rain entry that involves locating a pressure- A rain screen is a strategy for controlling DIAGONALLYCUT 2 x 2 s ' SAW CUT JOINT IN FORMS PROVIDE GOOSE NECK JOINT Figure 2-5 Control Joints i Concrete Walls n Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 17 . CONTROL JOIN= EVERY 15 FEET CONTROL JOINT AT WINDOW OPENINGS Rain Screens equalized air space immediately behind exterior cladding. Provide architectural detailing that sheds Controlling rainwater deposited on building surfaces or assemblies involves the implementation of three approaches. The second component deals with the building assembly details themselves. 2 Control rainwater deposited on building assemblies. deposited on building surfaces and assemblies. The following measures have historically proven effective: 1 Site buildings so that they are sheltered . housewraps) or by sealing openings (facesealing).RAINWATER Control of rainwater entry can be broken into two strategies: FOUNDATION WALL 1 Reduce the amount of rainwater . and overhangs. exposures. rainwater from building faces. The first component deals with the amount of rainwater reaching a building surface or assembly and involves siting. weatherproofing barrier/membrane to resist rain entry (building papers. -t. Both strategies should be implemented to control rainwater entry effectively. Reducing the amount of rainwater deposited on building surfaces and assemblies has traditionally been a function of siting and architectural design. CONTROL JOINTS ATCORNERS 2 Drain rainwater that enters building assemblies (the drain screen for abovegrade assemblies). CONTROL JOINT AT STEP IN FOUNDATIONWALL 3. to reduce exposure to wind-driven rain. 3 Control above-grade openings with a . from prevailing winds.

i$. The greater the driving force across the exterior cladding.. the greater the air pressure drop across the exterior cladding and the greater the driving force for rain entry. If this approach is taken to its limit. Air pressure drops at exterior claddings are reduced by making the exterior cladding leaky with respect to the rest of the wall. making the rest of the Chapter 2-Moisture Movement [2.: BUILDING PAPER (TIGHT) pressure differences and reducing the driving force for rain entry.. To do this. the greater the air pressure drop across that component and therefore the greater the driving force for rain entry across that particular component. and/or some provision for moisture removal is critical in preventing rain entry in wall assemblies where the air pressure drop across a wall assembly occurs principally at the exterior cladding.. := ._.. Wall assembly elements resist air pressures according to their relative airtightness. Hence the term pressure equalivlfion SHEATHING Figure 2-7: Wall Using Vinyl o r Aluminum Siding Designed as a Rain Screen A classic example of the rain screen or pressure equalization concept is a brick veneer wall with an air space between it and a masonry back-up wall (Figure 2-6).1].:. To enhance this effect the rest of the wall assembly to the back of the air space also is tightened. the tighter the exterior cladding... the air pressure drop across a wall assembly is designed to occur at the sheathing or at some other component of the assembly inward of the exterior cladding. flaws.l $$$ q . FROM FACE OF WALL TO SHED WATER Figure 2-6: Brick Veneer Wall Designed as a Rain Screen WEEPHOLE IN SIDING (VENT HOLE) VINYL/ ALUMINUM (LEAKY) AIR SPACE SIDING-^^ --'/I ::::::: . AIR PRESSURE GRADIEN MASONRY WALL (TIGHT) (NOTE PRESSURE EQUAL1 ACROSS BRICK VENEER) CLEAR AIR SPACE (FREE FROM MORTAR DROPPINGS CEMENT PARGE COAT (TIGHTENING MASONRY WALL) v//I L l I I I EXTENDING 112-IN. . The weep openings also serve a drainage function.:. Thus. . or openings become with respect to rain entry. The greater the resistance of a component to the wind. workmanship.. the more significant any cracks. Connecting the air space behind the brick veneer to the exterior air by providing weep openings at the bottom makes the brick veneer leaky with respect to the rest of the wall. A parge coat of cement is provided on the exterior surface of the masonry back-up wall..- . Page 18 . component durability. An air space is often provided immediately behind the exterior cladding and connected to the free stream of exterior air.:... no pressure differencewill occur between the free stream of air and the air space behind the exterior cladding. workmanship and component durability become less critical with respect to the exterior cladding and the entire wall assembly becomes more forgiving with respect to rain entry.: . By reducing the air pressure drop across the exterior cladding and transporting it inwards to the sheathing or some other component. Likewise.

The air space needs to remain clear (free from mortar droppings) and be at least 3/8 inch wide to allow for drainage of water. Difficulties in maintaining clear air spaces with respect to mortar droppings have led to recommendations for 1-inch (and in some cases 2-inch) air spaces behind brick veneers. droppings) of minimum thickness of 3/8 inch (1-inch to 2-inch air space is recommended) 2 Clear weep holes spaced every other brick horizontally at the base course of brick and at a brick course at every story vertically (the tighter the back of the air space. pressure along the plane of the wall must be equalized as well as across the wall. not at the siding. A flashing at the base of the air space AIR SPACE OPEN AT BOTT'OM (INSECT SCREEN MAY BE DESIRABLE AT THIS LOCATION) Figure 2-8 Wood Frame Wall Designed as a Rain Screen Moist zire Control Handbook Page 19 . By installing claddings over a relatively tight building paper. A further example is the installation of horizontal wood lap siding on vertical furring strips over an exterior sheathing (Figure 2-8). The sheathing in turn is much tighter than the siding. A plane of tightness at the back of the clear air space directing water to the exterior Another example of this concept is the installation of vinyl or aluminum siding over a building paper (Figure 2-7). The air pressure drop occurs at the sheathing. the fewer weep holes required. For the rain screen to be effective. The key features in this wall are as follows: 1 A clear air space (free from mortar . conversely. Installing the wood siding on furring makes the siding leaky with respect to the sheathing.wall assembly tighter than the exterior cladding. the greater the number of weep holes required) WOOD SIDING (LEA AIR SPACE FORMED B 1 x 4 FURRING STRIPS (OPEN TOP AND BOTTOM) BUILDING PAP BAIT INSULATION (FACED OR UNFAC 3. This can lead to rain entry even in walls that have air spaces located behind exterior claddings (Figure 2-9). the leakier the back of the air space. although a clear 3/&inch air space usually could suffice. the air space pressure is equalized by the cross section profile of the sidings themselves. Many vinyl and aluminum sidings either have perforations along their bottom edges or do not lock together in an airtight manner. However. Significant air pressure drops can occur around exterior corners as a result of wind. this can be avoided if the air spaces are compartmentalized. Where horizontal siding is installed 4.

~

0

0

POSITIVE PRESSURE

0

0

0

0

over vertical furring this compartmentalization occurs at each furring strip. Height compartmentalization also may be required to limit convection. With oneand twostory walls, capping the air spaces or compartments at the top of the walls helps equalize pressure. This capping is usually accomplished in brick veneer walls by flashings at the drainage openings between stories. However, reducing air flow (convection) also reduces the removal of absorbed moisture in claddings and where winddriven rain is a major concern (some coastal regions) and in tall buildings, height compartmentalization is usually desired. However, it may be more desirable in many instances to reduce the effect of pressure equalization and gain the effect of ventilation by leaving air spaces behind exterior claddings open at both the bottom and top. This is because far more moisture will likely be removed by ventilating the cavity than will enter as a result of lack of height compartmentalization.

sheathings by ventilation. In climatic zones

+1 l a

P o s i n w PRESSURE I CREATED IN CAVITY S

Drain Screens Applied Above Grade
An example of the drain screen wall utilized above grade can be found in metal buildings with metal skins as exterior claddings. These skins and the corresponding wall cavities are often flashed at their base to direct water to the exterior. A free-draining material such as fiberglass batt insulation is located immediately behind an exterior cladding coupled with a flashing to direct water back to the exterior of the assembly (Figure 2-10). Any rainwater that enters the building assembly through joints, openings, or flaws will run down the interface between the batt insulation and the back surface of the cladding under the influence of gravity and out the bottom of the wall. This approach can also drain condensed water from the back surface of the cladding which may have migrated to that surface as a result of either air leakage or vapor diffusion from the interior. Where this approach is utilized in other than metal buildings, it is necessary to prevent the back surface of the exterior cladding from absorbing moisture as well as to protect the interior cladding from moisture which may be driven inward from the exterior as a result of a temperature gradient due to incident solar radiation. The effects of wind-washing of thermal

PRESSURE

PRESSURE

COMPARTMENTALIZATION OF AIR SPACE ELIMINATES AIR FLOW IN CAVITY

I CREATED IN CAVITY S

NEGATIVE PRESSURE

Figure 2-9: Effects of Wind Around the Corner of a Brick Veneer Wall

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Chapter 2-Moisture Movement

insulation and convective heat loss must be considered in such assemblies. In addition, openings in exterior sheathings can increase the exfiltration of interior moisture-laden air where openings in the interior sheathing are also present. In spite of these concerns, however, the drain screen applied above grade is gaining acceptance in commercial applications by virtue of its low cost and powerful rain control capabilities. However,

TOP PLATE

METAL SHEET CLADDINGISH METAL STUD FRAMING

in commercial applications higher density
fiberglass insulation is usually utilized to address the air movement issues.

CONDENSATION

Controlling Openings (Weatherproofing)
Controlling openings (eliminating exterior holes) to limit rain entry involves the concept of face-sealing or the provision of a barrier/membrane to resist rain entry (building papers, house-wraps). This approach is more dependent on workmanship and materials than the rain screen. Long-term performance may not be as effective. Because all buildings move, it is likely that surfaces that are initially tight will open up, resulting in increased leakage over time [2.2]. A common example of the face-seal approach is to caulk or seal joints between exterior precast concrete cladding elements, or to caulk and flash joints between
FIEERGLASS INSULATION (ORIENTED FIEERS PROVI DRAINAGE FUNCTION) NARROW EOrrOM PLATE FLASHING TO DRAIN WALL CAVITY CONCRETE FLOOR SLAB

.. .

-

prefinished exterior plywood sheet siding.
A common example of the barrier/ membrane approach is the application of building papers and house-wraps without openings, installed shingle fashion to shed rain.

Figure 2-10: Metal Building Wall Designed as a Drain Screen

PRECAST ELEMENT SEALANT BACKING ROD P lNNER SEAL (TIGHT) VENT TUBE TO FACILITATE PRESSURE EQUAUZATlON OUTER SEAL (LEAKY) PRESSURE EQUALIZED CAVlTY

PRECAST ELEMENT SEALANT BACKING ROD INNER SEAL (TIGHT) BAFFLE (LEAKY)
D ’

c


#

!/

EXPANSION VOLUME TO ALLOW PRESSURE DROP IN HORIZONTAL JOINT

A: PLAN

,

B: PLAN

,

C SECTION

Figure 2-11: Rain Screen Concept Applied to Precast Concrete Joint Design

Moisture Control Handbook

Page 21

Rain Screens Applied to Joints
A hybrid approach to controlling rain entry involves recognizing that rainwater usually enters building assemblies at joints in cladding elements. Therefore the key to controlling rain entry is the joint design between cladding elements. Rather than applying the rain screen over an entire wall assembly, the rain screen or the principle of pressure equalization can be applied at the joints only. An example of this is the twostage joint (Figure 2-11) common with precast claddings, which employs a leaky outer seal and a tight inner seal. Joint design employing the rain screen is also common with respect to window design, where operable windows utilize pairs of weather .strips/seals to provide pressure-equalized cavities, or drainage openings between panes of sliding windows to equalize the air space pressure between the sliders.

PREFINISHED PLYWOOD SHEET CLADDING FLASH1NG DRIP EDGE EXTENDS 3/8-IN. AWAY FROM WALL SURFACE

Figure 2-12: Flashing Directing Water Out of a Cladding Joint

Flashings
Flashings serve several important functions (Figures 2-12 and 2-13):
1 Direct water out of joints .
BRICKVENEER
PRESSURE EQUALIZED AIR SPACE BUILDING PAPER

2 Direct water out of building assemblies
3 Direct water away from flowing along . wall surfaces by providing a drip edge

Figure 2-13: Flashing Directing Water Out of a Building Assembly

The role of flashings should not be confused with the role of caulking or sealants. Caulking or sealants eliminate or close off an opening, whereas flashings promote drainage at the opening with respect to the opening itself or with respect to the entire assembly. An often overlooked function of a flashing is to direct water away from exterior cladding surfaces. In many assemblies flashings do not extend sufficiently outward from the exterior face of a cladding to provide a drip edge, and water can subsequently be drawn back into an assembly under the flashing. Flashings should extend at least 3/8 inch from the exterior face of the cladding. Ends of window sills, which are common example of flashings, should be turned up to prevent water from leaving the sills at their ends and running along the wall, forming moustaches below windows. Another example of this problem is where flashings concentrate water at column/shear wall intersections in high-rise buildings. Also, all

Page 22

Chapter 2-Moisfure Movemenf

In wall assemblies where the rain screen is utilized, it is important to extend flashings to the back of the pressure-equalized air space. This is often overlooked, especially above window and door openings with brick veneers and where wood siding is installed over furring. In wall assemblies where building papers and house-wraps are utilized, it is important to extend flashings behind these building papers or behind sheathings where building papers are not utilized.

flashings should be sealed at lap joints.

Capillary Suction with Groundwater and Rain as Moisture Sources
with is capillary suction. Capillary suction acts primarily to move moisture into porous materials. For example, blotting paper, with one end in contact with water, draws water into itself against the force of gravity as a result of capillary suction. Capillarity is a function of, among other things, pore size and available moisture. If pore size in a material is large, such as in clear gravel and coarse sand, then capillarity will not exist. If pore size in a material is small, such as in concrete, silty clay, and blotting paper, then capillarity is possible. Capillarity will not exist in materials that do not have pores such as glass, steel, and most plastics. However, if two materials which do not have any capillary pores are placed closely enough together, such as two panes of glass, the space between them can itself become a capillary pore. Another example of this phenomenon is the migration of solder by capillarity into the tight space between a plumbing pipe inserted in a plumbing fixture. Capillarity can be significant in the portions of building envelopes where they contact with the ground. An example of this is a concrete footing cast on damp soil. Concrete is porous and susceptible to capillarity. Capillary water is drawn up into the footing and then into the perimeter concrete foundation wall. Once in the foundation wall the capillary water can evaporate to the interior of the basement at

the bottom of the foundation wall. This often manifests itself as a ring of dampness visible around the perimeter of the basement foundation at the base of the wall (Figure 2-14). This mechanism is also referred to as rising damp. Capillary draw, or suction, can also be a factor in building envelopes above grade where a film of water is deposited on the exterior of a building envelope as a result of rain action or dew formation. This water film may be drawn into the building envelope under the action of capillary suction. This is illustrated by the water trapped between the laps in horizontal wood siding. The water is held between the laps in spite of the influence

mechanism a designer or builder must deal

The second moisture transport

FOUNDATIONWALL

.-v
.
0

,

are below grade or where they come in

Figure 2-14Capillary Rise Through a Concrete Footing

Moisture Confrol Handbook

Page 23

of gravity (Figure 2-15). As such, joints between materials exposed to water, above and below grade, should be designed with capillarity in mind. A designer or builder can control capillarity by controlling the availability of capillary moisture and the pore size of the building material or building assembly selected. Materials can be selected that do not support capillarity as a result of their large pore size such as gravel, or materials may be selected that do not have any pores such as glass. Alternatively, capillary pores in susceptible materials can be filled to break the capillary draw such as is done when concrete basements are dampproofed. Capillarity can be controlled by sealing connections between materials (caulking joints) or by making the connections wide enough not to support capillarity. Furthermore, a receptor for capillary moisture can be provided (an air space or a

porous material such as building paper). Capillarity can therefore be controlled as follows: 1 Controlling the availability of capillary . moisture
2. Sealing capillary pores 3 Making capillary pores larger .
4. Providing a receptor for capillary

moisture

CAPILLARY CONTROL BELOW GRADE
walls is traditionally controlled by dampproofing the exterior surface of the wall

Capillary suction in concrete foundation

FILM O F WAT SURFACE OF
WATER FILM DRAWS UP BETWEEN LAPS OF SIDING BY CAPILLARY SUCTION

BUILDING PAPER SHEATHING

Figure 2-15: Capillary Rise in Wood Siding

where it is in contact with the surrounding damp soil (Figure 2-16). This dampproofing is usually a bituminous liquid which fills the tiny capillary pores in the concrete. The dampproofing film is typically not meant to span cracks or large openings, and as such it is not a waterproofing membrane. Whereas waterproofing membranes provide an excellent capillary break, dampproofing films are usually poor waterproofing membranes. Capillary suction under concrete floor slabs is traditionally controlled by placing the floor slab over large-pore gravel (3/4-inch crushed stone with fines removed). Since the pore size in the granular pad is too large to support capillary suction, the granular pad acts as a capillary break (Figure 2-16). Capillary suction in masonry block foundation walls is traditionally controlled by coating the exterior surface of the masonry blocks with a thin coat of mortar (parge coat) and then applying a dampproof coating over it. Applying a dampproof coating directly on the masonry blocks has not always proven successful as the pore size of the mortar joints can be too large for a fluid-applied dampproof coating to span, while at the same time they can be small enough to support capillary suction. The large capillary pores in the block joints are filled by the mortar parge coat, and the subsequent tiny pores in the mortar parge coat are in turn filled by the fluid-applied bituminous coating [2.3]. Capillary breaks can also be located over the top of concrete footings prior to the construction of perimeter foundation walls as well as between framing and the top of foundation walls to prevent construction moisture in the foundation wall from

Page 24

Chapter 2-Moisture Movement

the seams at the laps can be sealed with caulking. Where wood-based siding is used. in which case both the air space and the building paper serve as a receptor for capillary moisture (Figure 217F). The paint film seals the capillary pores on the surface of the wood (Figure 2-17A). or oval-headed nails. In addition. the siding changes moisture content as ambient relative humidity changes. Figure 2-16:Techniques to Control Capillary Moisture Below Grade Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 25 . or into the absorptive building paper as a result of a temperature difference created when the sun warms the siding. the overlapping material could be spaced apart sufficiently so that water is not drawn up or held between the overlapping material as a result of capillary forces (Figure 2-17C).4]. clips. thereby eliminating the capillary pores (Figure 217B). Caution should be exercised where absorptive building paper is used as a receptor for moisture due to the limited amount of moisture storage potential in most absorptive building papers. CAPILLARY CONTROL ABOVE GRADE Capillary suction in porous cladding materials can be controlled by sealing or filling the pores. This approach is not recommended for this reason. tacks. since pores in the polyethylene are too small to support capillary suction. causing the caulking to fail quickly. c COAT ON THE EXIERIOR FILLS PORES IN THE MASONRY BLOCK JOINTS. the laps of horizontal siding. A FLUID-APPLIED DAMPPROOFING FILLS THE TINY PORES IN THE CEMENT PARGE COAT. or painted on its back surface. A related concern is that wet building paper Where capillary suction occurs between CAPILLARY BREAK BETWEEN DAMP FRESHLY CAST CONCRETE AND POROUS WOOD FLOOR FRAMING . and regularly expands and contracts. The spacers are typically wedges. to fill capillary pores at the overlaps (Figure 2-17D). One of the most common examples of this is the application of a paint film on wood-based siding to reduce the absorption of deposited rainwater. the siding can be installed on furring strips (Figure 2-17E) or over an absorptive building paper.migrating into the floor framing (Figure 216). Deposited rainwater absorbed by the siding through capillary suction can evaporate into the air space or be driven out of the siding into the air space. The siding can also be back-primed. Alternatively. Both have proven to be very effective strategies [2. Although this is a common approach it ultimately fails if the caulking is not maintained. These capillary breaks can be a dampproofing fluid-applied film or a sheet of polyethylene.

BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD SHEATHIN INSULATION IN WALL CAVITY OVAL-HEADED TACK OPENS UP LAPS OF SIDING (OVAL-HEADE NAILS OR u s n c WEDGES CAN ALSO SIDING PA SIDE (BAC BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT-IMPREGNATED FIBERBOARD INSULATION IN WALL CAVITY BE USED AS SPACERS) IMPERMEAB CAVITY INSULATION IN WALL SIDING AIR SPACE CREATED BY FURRING STRIPS NONABSORPTIVE BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT-INPREGNATED FIBERBOARD INSULATION IN WALL CAVIM SIDING A B s o R P n v E BUILDING PAPER IMPERMEABLE INSULATING SH INSULATION IN WALL CAVITY Figure 2-17: Techniques to Control Capillary Moisture Above Grade Page 26 Chapfer2-Moisture Movemenf .

. three conditions must be satisfied: 2 An opening or hole must exist in the 1 Air containing moisture must be present. When solar radiation warms the brick veneer. Moisture Control Handbook Page 27 . The function of the building/roofing paper is to facilitate pressure equalization across the roof assembly. For moisture to be moved into a building assembly as a result of air movement. When air moves as a result of an air pressure difference it will carry the moisture held within it. the same phenomenon occurs. the moisture in the bricks is driven inward out of the bricks into the air space. air can hold varying amounts of moisture in the vapor state.(Figure 2-18). FURRING STRIPS (SKIP SHEATHING) ROOF RAFTERS Figure 2-19:Capillary Break in a Wood Shake Roof assembly. The wood shakes and shingles dry to both directions in the absence of a temperature gradient. If air containing moisture comes in contact with a surface below the air’s dew point temperature. or skip-sheafhing on roof assemblies (Figure 2-19). Where a temperature gradient exists due to solar radiation. the air may deposit some of its moisture on that surface in the form of condensation. the wood shakes and shingles can dry into the furring strip space. An effective receptor for moisture can be an absorptive sheathing such as asphaltimpregnated fiberboard (Figure 2-17D) which has far greater moisture storage potential than a building paper. The shakes/shingles are leaky. The wood shakes and shingles absorb deposited rainwater due to capillary suction. Where wood shingles and shakes are installed over furring strips. Additional examples of an air space serving as a capillary break as well as a receptor for capillary moisture occur where a BRICK VENEER ABSORBED MOISTURE CAN EVAPORATE INTO AIR SPAC AIR SPACE (ACTS AS A CAPILLARY BREAK AND RECEPTOR OF CAPILLARY MOISTURE) BUILDING PAPER SHEATHING B A I T INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL Figure 2-18Capillary Break in a Brick Veneer Wall WOOD SHAKES / SHINGLES ABSORBED MOISTURE IN THE SHAKES CAN EVAPORATE INTO THE AIR SPACE BUILDING PAPER Air Movement The third moisture transport mechanism is air movement. brick veneer is constructed over an air space may lead to saturation and subsequent rotting of the sheathing material beneath the paper. Significant amounts of deposited rainwater can be absorbed by the bricks. whereas the building/roofing paper is tight. Depending on temperature. This mechanism can move moisture into building assemblies both from within the conditioned space and from the exterior.

If moisture often greater than the moisture content of the is not generated within a space or if it is interior air. Source control is effective climates. regardless of climate zone or season. however. and the amount of moisture present in the air. This leads to be slow enough for the air to cool to the dew increased moisture concentrations in interior point temperature before it exits the air air and subsequently to increased incidents of leakage path. building envelope. high ambient vapor pressure. the air moisture-laden air. Interior moisture levels can be controlled dehumidification through air conditioning three ways: can be used to accomplish the same effect. a dehumidified conditioned Source Control space can be maintained at a slight positive One of the most effective approaches to air pressure resulting in exfiltration to accomplish the same result. to greater air pressure differentials due to the To control moisture movement as a result operation of forced air heating and cooling of the movement of air. three factors must be systems. it the interior/exterior air moisture content does not have to be removed or controlled generalization with heating and cooling after the fact. moisture content in interior air can be controlled by air change to dilute interior local climate controls exterior airborne moisture levels. location. In cooling influence the approach taken to control climates or during cooling periods with a interior moisture levels. This infiltrating air can be at a saturated moisture moisture in conditioned spaces. Proper control strategies pressure differential acting across the are necessary to deal with these issues. This is effective controlling interior airborne moisture levels because the moisture content of exterior air is is the control of moisture sources. and size of increase both infiltration and exfiltration of openings in the building envelope. This limits moisture problems 3 Dehumidification . dehumidification. Air flow speeds must ventilation is provided). Therefore. slabs. the local climate moisture levels. Of course. One of the single largest sources of drawn through moisture-laden earth. An air pressure difference acting across the opening or hole must exist. Slight depressurization in heating 1 Source control . and the and hence exterior moisture levels typically control of moisture sources.for dealing with this moisture transport mechanism. Fast flowing air can warm the moisture-induced envelope problems if the surfaces of the flow path above the dew point other two factors are also not controlled. Controlling building envelope openings conditioned spaces [2. climates or during the heating season can be . It should be noted. since the periods. that as building envelope airtightness Although moisture may enter a building increases.5]. the assembly if these three conditions are met. However. building is one of the most recommended approaches dry basements. These pressure differentials can understood: the number. dilution of moisture in interior air by natural moisture may not necessarily be deposited air change decreases (unless intentional within the assembly. there are exceptions to removed at the point of generation and/or prevented from migrating into a space. particularly in heating climates. It is as practical to control the moisture content in available CONTROLLING MOISTURE IN air and the pressure differential acting across AIR the building envelope as it is to control openings in the building envelope. used to induce infiltration across the building 2 Dilution envelope. It is obvious that only interior airborne In heating climates or during heating moisture levels can be controlled. because cold infiltrating air does not carry much moisture. is the migration of content and can be responsible for moving moisture from the surrounding soil into significant amounts of moisture into a foundations and subsequently into conditioned space. and crawl spaces can be 3. temperature of the outflowing air and Tighter building envelopes also typically lead condensation may not occur. An exception occurs in heating regardless of climate zone or season and is climates or during heating periods where typically the most cost-effective and energy exterior air infiltrates below grade into basement spaces and crawl spaces after being efficient approach . In cooling climates or during cooling periods. Page 28 Chapter 2-Moisture Movement .

crawl spaces. Standing water should be one of the single most effective strategies in controlling interior airborne moisture. Leaky avoided in condensate pans for moisture and basements and the evaporation of moisture other health related reasons. Rooms in which significant moisture from exposed ground into crawl spaces due to the lack of a ground cover (typically sheet generation can occur, such as bathrooms and polyethylene) continue to remain among the kitchens, should be vented directly to the largest contributing factors to moistureexterior with a mechanical exhaust system regardless of climate. This mechanical related building problems. Even if a polyethylene ground cover is present, it may exhaust system, such as bathroom fans and move and permit a significant amount of soil kitchen range hoods, can be operated on an intermittent basis according to moisture load gas to enter if there is no ballast on the by utilizing timers or dehumidistat control. ground cover and the soil is permeable. Table 2-1 provides an overview of typical Unvented clothes dryers and the line moisture sources. Not all moisture sources drying of clothes indoors can also be major sources of moisture, depending on life style. lend themselves to source control. However, wherever source control is possible, it is Clothes dryers should be vented directly to the exterior and indoor line drying should be usually the most practical and cost-effective approach for control of interior airborne avoided. Another major source of moisture during heating periods are combustion moisture. Some moisture sources that are not products from unvented space heaters. The practical to control are respiration and two major by-products of combustion are carbon dioxide and moisture. It is unwise to perspiration from people and the seasonal desorption of materials. People generate use unvented combustion devices in any moisture simply by breathing. Source control climate zone due to moisture and other is therefore not possible for people, short of health-related concerns. Unvented specifying family size and time of occupancy. combustion devices should be avoided, or better yet, removed and replaced with vented It should be recognized that respiration is a major source of moisture generation, and at combustion devices. Firewood storage indoors can also be a night it is often concentrated in one or two major source of moisture. In fact, seasonal bedrooms. storage of one cord of green firewood indoors Seasonal absorption/desorption of materials involves moisture pick-up by can be equivalent to the moisture produced furnishings, carpets, and building materials by a family of four through respiration within conditioned spaces during summer during the same period. months in heating climates and the In cooling climates, a major source of moisture is the exterior ambient air, which is subsequent moisture release from these same typically warm and humid or cool and wet. materials during the heating season. Source The greater the air change with exterior air in control in this case is also not possible or practical. Air conditioning with cooling climates, the greater the rate of inward moisture migration. Accordingly, in dehumidification, however, can be utilized to cooling climates source control of exterior remove moisture from the sources. moisture-laden air involves reducing A major moisture source which can lend ventilation rates (in a manner which does not itself to source control under limited circumstances is construction moisture. compromise indoor air quality), and infiltration. This is done by reducing leakage Newly constructed buildings give off openings in building assemblies and sealing significant quantities of moisture during their first year as a result of construction moisture ductwork associated with forced air heating systems, which may be located outside of trapped within construction materials. Hundreds of gallons of water can be conditioned spaces, or by locating such ductwork within conditioned spaces. contained in fresh concrete, green lumber, and wet-applied insulations. To reduce this Also in cooling climates, the improper draining of condensate from air conditioning potential, kilndried lumber can be specified, systems, which allows for the re-evaporation the rate of evaporation of the moisture of of moisture and subsequent migration back construction towards conditioned spaces from concrete and masonry can be reduced into conditioned spaces, has proven to be a major contributing factor to moisture-related by the use of coatings and sealants, and building assemblies utilizing wet materials health and building problems. Condensate can be designed to dry to the exterior. should be drained to the exterior, not into
Moisture Confrol Handbook
Page 29

Table 2-1: Household Moisture Sources
MOISTURE SOURCE BY TYPE
Household Produced Aquariums Bathing: tub (excludes towels and spillage) shower (excludes towels and spillage) Clothes washing (automatic, lid closed, standpipe discharge) Clothes drying: vented outdoors not vented outdoors or indoor drying line Combustion-unvented kerosene space heater Cooking: breakfast (family of four, average) lunch (family of four, average) dinner (family of four, average) simmer at 203 F., 10 minutes, 6-inch pan (plus gas) boil 10 minutes, 6-inch pan (plus gas) breakfast (family of four, average) Dishwashing: lunch (family of our, average) @Y hand)

ESTIMATED MOISTURE AMOUNT (PINTS)
Replacement of evaporative loss 0.12/standard size bath 0.52/5-minute shower O+/load (usually nil) O+/load (usually nil) 4.68 to 6.18/load (more if gas dryer) 7.6/gallon of kerosene burned 0.35 (plus 0.58 if gas cooking) 0.53 (plus 0.68 if gas cooking) 1.22 (plus 1.58 if gas cooking) less than 0.01 if covered, 0.13 if uncovered 0.48 if covered, 0.57 if uncovered 0.21

0.16

dinner (family of four, average)

0.68
400 to 800/6 months 0.03/square foot 0.37 or less/day

Firewood storage indoors (cord of green firewood) Floor mopping Gas range pilot light (each)

House plants (5 to 7 average plants)
Humidifiers Pets Respiration and Perspiration (family of four, average) Refrigerator defrost Saunas, steam baths, and whirlpools Vegetable storage (largescale storage is significant) Nonhousehold Produced Combustion exhaust gas backdrafting or spillage Desorption of materials: seasonal new construction Ground moisture migration Plumbing leaks Rain or snowmelt penetration Seasonal high outdoor absolute humidity

0.86 to O.%/day
0 to 120+/day (2.08 average/hour) Fraction of human adult weight 0.44/hour (family of four, average) l.O3/day (average) 0 to 2.7+/hour O+ (not estimated) 0 to 6,72O+/year 6.33 to 16.9l/average day lO+/average day 0 to 105/day O+ (not estimated) O+ (not estimated) 64 to 249+/day

Source: W. Angell and W. Olson, Cold Climate Housing Information Center, University of Minnesota

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Chapter 2-Moisture Movement

Dilution
Dilution of interior airborne moisture involves air change, or the exchange of

interior moisture-laden air with exterior dry air. The greater the air change, the greater the flushing action this air change has on interior airborne moisture levels. Of course this only holds true if the exterior air is dryer than the interior air. In cooling climates or during cooling periods this is often not the case, and under such circumstances the greater the air change, the greater the inward migration of moisture. As such, dilution and air change are strategies typically utilized in heating climates during heating seasons. In some mild heating climates such as the Pacific Northwest that experience high ambient moisture levels during the heating season, dilution is also not very effective. Dilution involving air change is most effective when implemented in a controlled manner, hence the use of controlled mechanical ventilation in heating climates. Buildings with combustion heating systems linked to active chimneys have higher rates of air change than do buildings without active chimneys. Chimneys can be described as exhaust fans or chimneyfans as a direct result of the quantities of air they extract from a building enclosure for draft control and combustion. This high level of air change dilutes interior airborne moisture in buildings located in heating climates. Many examples of airborne moisture levels increasing can be cited as a result of the trend away from active chimneys to electric heating and high efficiency combustion appliances, which extract little or no air from conditioned spaces.

Since dilution or air change is not effective in controlling interior airborne moisture levels in cooling climates, dehumidification through air conditioning is the most common approach utilized. Dehumidificationis most effective when also coupled with source control. In cooling climates a major source of airborne moisture is the infiltration of exterior moisturdaden air. Thus, source control in cooling climates also typically involves reducing air change by limiting ventilation, controlling leakage openings, and limiting air pressure differentials arising from forced air duct systems.

CONTROLLING OPENINGS (AIRTIGHTNESS)
If openings in building assemblies are controlled, then air movement through assemblies can also be controlled. The tighter the assembly, the less air movement through the assembly, and therefore the less moisture transported through that assembly. When building assemblies are linked they form the conditioned space, or building envelope. The components of the building envelope which provide tightness characteristics are referred to as the air retarder system. Resistance to air flow can be provided at any location in a building assembly-at the exterior surface, the interior surface, or at any location between. When dealing with exfiltration through an assembly, if the assembly is airtight at the exterior surface, it is just as effective as if the assembly is airtight at the interior surface. The underlying rationale is that if the air can't exit the assembly to the exterior, it won't enter from the interior. The same is true when dealing with infiltration. In some cases two air retarders may be required-one to control infiltration/exfiltrationand another to stop wind-washing through insulation.

Dehumidification
Warm air is capable of holding more moisture than cool air. Dehumidification usually involves the cooling of warm, moisture-laden air to reduce its ability to hold moisture, thereby forcing the air to give up moisture in the form of condensation. As such dehumidification is often coupled with air conditioning and is common in cooling climates or during the cooling season. In some cases dehumidification involves the use of desiccants, or material? which are initially dry, that draw moisture out of air and subsequently release this moisture under controlled conditions, usually when the desiccants are deliberately heated.

Interior Air Retarder
Resistance to air flow (airtightness) can be provided at the interior surfaces of building assemblies. This is typically achieved by sealing the interior cladding (gypsum board) to framing elements or by installing a continuous, sealed polyethylene film between the interior cladding or gypsum board and the framing elements. Using the

Moisture Control Handbook

Page 31

.

.

.

.

-

.

&MIL POLYETHYLENE CAULKING /SEALANT &MIL POLYETHYLENE

DRYWALL CAULKED, GLUED, OR GASKETED TO BOTTOM

I SEALANT

VAPOR PERMEABLE FILM I BUILDING PAPER WRAPPED AROUND FLOOR ASSEMBLY

DRYWALLCAULKED. GLUED, OR GASKETED TO TOP PLATE

CAULKING I SEALANT &MIL POLYETHYLENE

DRYWALL CAULKED, GLUED, OR GASKETED TO BOTTOM CAULKING /SEALANT

TO TOP PLATE

RIM JOISTCAULKED

VAPOR PERMEABLE FILM I BUILDING PAPER WRAPPED AROUND FLOOR ASSEMBLY ING I SEALANT 6MlL POLYETHYLENE

SILL PLATE INSTALLED OVER POLYETHYLENE1FIBERGLASS SILL SEAL (POLYmYLENE IS FOLDEDOVER A STRIP OF FIBERGLASS BATT INSULATION) NOlE: SHADED COMPONENTS DESENATEAIR RETARDER SYSTEM

Figure 2-20A Interior Air Retarder Using the Air Drywall Approach (ADA)

Figure 2-20B: Interior Air Retarder Using the Poly-Wrap Approach

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Chapter 2-Moisture Movement

interior gypsum board as the interior air retarder system is sometimes referred to as the air drywall approach to airtightness, or ADA [2.6]. Using a continuous polyethylene film as the interior air retarder system is sometimes referred to as the poly-wrap approach to airtightness [2.7]. Both address air leakage concerns at the following critical locations:
1 Exterior walls intersecting floor/roof . assemblies (Figure 2-20) 2 Window openings (Figure 2-21) .
3. Interior partition walls intersecting

WALL A

EXTERIOR WALL
CAUWNG, SEALANT, ADHESIVE, OR GASKET

EXTERIOR

FOAM, CAUWNG, OR SEALANT WINDOW

exterior walls (Figure 2-22)
ceilings (Figure 2-23) (Figure 2-24)

4. Interior partition walls intersecting attic 5. Electrical outlet boxes on exterior walls

The advantage of interior air retarder systems over exterior air retarder systems is that they also control the entry of moisture into assembly cavities from the interior due to air convection in heating climates or during heating periods. The significant disadvantage of air retarder systems is the inability to control wind-washing through insulation.

EXTERIOR WALL

WALL B

POLYETHYLENE CAUWNG OR SEALANT POLYETHYLENESKIRT AROUND JAMB CORNER

Interstitial (Cavity) Air Retarder
Airtightness can also be provided within a building assembly. This is typically achieved by utilizing a dense cavity fill insulation that provides significant resistance to air flow (dense-pack blown cellulose) or by constructing a composite wall (Figure 2-25). The advantage of dense-pack cellulose insulation is that it is an excellent retrofit

EXTERIOR

CAUWNG OR SEALANT WINDOW

option for existing buildings. The
Exterior Air Retarder

disadvantage is the lack of qualified installers [2.8].

Airtightness can be provided at the exterior surfaces of building assemblies, typically by sealing the exterior sheathing to framing elements (Figure 2-26A) or by installing a continuous, sealed building paper over the exterior sheathing (Figure 2-26B). Using the exterior sheathing as the exterior air retarder system is sometimes referred to as the air sheathing approach to airtightness, or S A . Using a continuous building paper as the exterior air retarder system is sometimes

WALL C

EXTERIOR WALL
DRYWALL RETURN TO WINDOW FRAME

EXTERIOR

CAUWNG OR SEALANT WINDOW

I1

IIUII

Figure 2-21: Interior Air Retarder Details at Window Jamb
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MoisfureControl Handbook

DRYWALL CLIPS ADHESIVE.OR GASKET) POLYETHYLENE INSTALLED DURING CONSTRUCTION EXTENDS PAST INTERSECTING INTERIOR PARTITION WALL Figure 2-22 Interior Air Retarder Details at Intersection of Exterior and Interior Partition Walls CEILING INSULATION A TAPED JOINT CEILING DRYWALLI S INSTALLED FIRST AND EDGES ARE CAULKED TO TOP PLATE INTERIOR DRYWALL I S INSTALLED LAST Figure 2-23: Interior Air Retarder Details at Intersection of Roof and Interior Partition Walls -I \CAULKING OR SEALANT OVER TOP OF INTERIOR PARTITION WALL POLYETHYLENE EXTENDED INTERIOR PARTITION WALL A PLASTIC OUTLET BOX (ELECTRIC WIRE CAULKED OR SEALED WHERE IT ENTERS BOX) JOINT COMPOUND USED TO SEAL BOXTO GYPSUM BOARD WOOD FRAME WALL WITH FIBERGLASS INSULATION POLYETHYLENE WRAPPED AROUND ELECTRIC BOX AND CAULKED TO THE POLYETHYLENE LAYER ON THE INSIDE OF THE WALL E 3 PLASTIC OUTLET BOX (ELECTRIC WIRE CAULKED OR SEALED WHERE IT ENTERS BOX) WOOD FRAME WALL WITH FlBERGLASS INSUL A T DN Figure 2-24 Interior Air Retarder Details at Electric Outlet Boxes in Exterior Walls Page 34 Chapter 2-Moisture Movement .EXTERIOR WALL EXTERIOR WALL INTERIOR WALL CAULKING OR SEALANT INTERIOR WALL B AIR SEALS (CAULKING.

Figure 2-25: Interstitial Air Retarder in Composite Wall CONTROLLING AIR PRESSURE The driving force for air movement is air pressure. Cantilevered floors 5 Plumbing vent pipes . Air moves from regions of higher air pressure to regions of lower air pressure. ] 29. referred to as the house-wrap approach . 2 Recessed lighting on insulated ceilings 3. The significant disadvantage of exterior air retarder systems is the inability to drain condensed moisture from within wall cavities. Dropped ceilings and cabinet bulkheads 4. and buildings that utilize face-sealing to control rain entry. an exterior housewrap should be sealed/ connected to the ceiling air retarder system through the top of the exterior perimeter wall. it will be carried along. exterior air retarder systems do not address the entry of air-transported moisture into assembly cavities from the interior due to air convection around poorly installed cavity insulation in heating climates or during heating periods. Air pressure differences across Moisture Control Handbook Page 35 . An additional advantage of exterior air retarder systems is the control of windwashing that an exterior air seal provides. If moisture is present in air. The significant advantage of exterior air retarder systems over interior air retarder systems is the ease of installation and the lack I AIR RETARDER SYSTEM 2 x 4 WOOD FRAME WALL SHEATHING AIR RETARDER SYSTEM I 2 x 4 WOOD FRAME WALL Common Problem Area Air Leakage Sites Some common problem area air leakage sites are listed below which require specific assembly details. exterior air retarder systems must deal with transitions where roof assemblies intersect exterior walls. precast concrete buildings. This limits mold and mildew growth on interior surfaces in heating climates or during the heating season. of detailing issues due to intersecting partition walls and service penetrations.However. For example. Other examples of exterior air seals are typically found in stucco-clad buildings. 1 Bathtubs located on exterior walls . In addition. Numerous practices are outlined in existing literature which deal with these locations [ .

Figure 2-26A Exterior Air Retarder Using the Air Sheathing Approach (ASA) Figure 2-26B: Exterior Air Retarder Using the House-Wrap Approach Page 36 Chapter 2-Moisture Movement .&MIL POLYETHYLENE DRYWALL CAULKED OR SEALED TO TOP PLATE EXTERIOR SHEATHING CAULKED OR SEALED TO TOP PLATE CAULKING/SEALANT BUILDING PAPER EXTERIOR SHEATHING CAULKED OR SEALED TO TOP PLATE CAULKINGOR SEALANT EXTERIOR SHEATHING CAULKED OR SEALED TO TOP PLATE II BUILDING PAPER TAPE. SEALANT. . OR CAULKING OVER JOINT IN EXTERIOR SHEATHING EXTERIOR SHEATHING CAULKED OR SEALED TO TOP PLAT€ SILL PLATE INSTALLED OVER POLYETHYLENE I FIBERGLASS SILL SEAL (POLYEIHYLENEI S FOLDED O M R A STRIP OF FIBERGLASSBATTINSULATION) NOTE: SHADED COMPONENTS DESIGNATE AIR RETARDER .

inside air pressure is greater than outside air pressure.10]. with warm air attempting to exfiltrate the upper portions of the building and infiltrate the lower portions (Figure 2-27). Supply fans can be used to pressurize a conditioned space. The stack effect explains why moisture problems are likely to be located high up in buildings in heating climates rather than down low. Also. this moisture will be carried along and can potentially be deposited within the building assemblies as the exfiltrating air is cooled. Exhaust every opening since they are all located FORCE OF EXFILTRATION INCREASES WITH HEIGHT NEUTRAL PRESSURE PLANE FORCE OF lNFlLTRATlON INCREASESWITH DEPTH Figure 2-27: Air Pressure Patterns Caused by the Stack Effect Moisture Control Handbook Page 37 . Therefore infiltration occurs through building can be visualized as a hot air balloon that is too heavy to leave the ground. Approximately half the openings in a tall building occur above the neutral pressure plane. the force of infiltration increases progressively in the lower portions of a building. or depressurized. At the lower portion of buildings. 2 Chimneys 3. leading to infiltration. a combustion appliance (furnace) connected to an active chimney can be described as an exhaust-only ventilation below the neutral pressure plane. The force of exfiltration becomes greater in taller buildings and increases with height. the stack effect is responsible for the exfiltration of warm interior air through building assemblies located at the upper portions of building The Stack Effect Chimneys natural buoyancy of the heated air. A fans can be used to depressurize a conditioned space. If the warm interior air also contains moisture. sealing openings further away from the neutral pressure plane has more effect than sealing those that are close. whereas sealing openings in the lower portion tends to raise it. Neither exfiltration nor infiltration would occur through an opening located at the neutral pressure plane [2. Sealing the upper openings thus reduces the total area available for flow. An active chimney ads similar to an exhaust fan. or pressurized. At the upper portion of the building. In heating climates. A conditioned space under a slight The stack effect is caused by the tendency negative pressure. but increases the pressure acting over the remaining openings which diminishes the effectiveness of the sealing action. In fact. The plane at which no pressure difference between the interior and the exterior exists is called the neutral pressure plane. leading to exfiltration.building assemblies can be influenced by the following: 1 The stack effect . Air exfiltrates through all openings located above the neutral pressure plane and infiltrates through all openings below the neutral pressure plane. Therefore exfiltration occurs through every opening since they are all located above the neutral pressure plane. has a neutral pressure plane located below the basement floor slab. Wind 4 Mechanical systems envelopes. inside air pressure is lower than outside air pressure. Conversely. has a of warm heated air to leak out of the upper neutral pressure plane located above its portions of a building as a result of the ceiling. Sealing openings in the upper portions of a building tends to lower the location of the neutral pressure plane. A conditioned space under a slight positive pressure.

Buildings without active chimneys can have neutral pressure planes located well below ceiling height. exposing a great deal of the surface area of the building envelope to exfiltration forces. moisturerelated problems are most likely up high on the leeward side of buildings rather than Figure 2-28 Change in the Neutral Pressure Plane Caused by the Chimney Effect down low on the windward side.-. In other words. ducted distribution systems (forced air heating and cooling systems) often have significant impacts on pressure differences across building assemblies and subsequently on air change rates and interior airborne moisture levels. Ducted distribution systems in conditioned spaces. inducing exfiltration. In buildings in Page 38 Chapfer2-Moisfure Movement . However. They have been viewed as interior circulation systems which move air from place to place within a conditioned space. Active chimneys tend to raise the location of the neutral pressure plane. inducing infiltration over the majority of the surface area of the building envelope (Figure 2-28). forced air heating system can be viewed as two systems-a supply duct system and a return duct system connected through a fan. with a neutral effect on the pressure differences between interior and exterior. inducing infiltration.11]. under typical design assumptions. . while supply systems tend to pressurize conditioned spaces. Buildings in heating climates with neutral pressure planes located above ceiling levels tend t have fewer air movement o moisture problems than buildings with neutral pressure planes located below ceiling levels.NEUTRAL PRESSURE PLANE CHIMNEY system. homes with active chimneys have fewer air movement moisture problems than buildings without them [2. When combined with the stack effect. A typical ducted. Mechanical Systems LEAKY RETURN DUCT TIGHT SUPPLY DUCT DEPRESSURIZED BASEMENT Figure 2-29: Air Pressurization Patterns in a House with the Mechanical System in the Basement Exhaust systems tend to depressurize conditioned spaces. have traditionally been thought not to alter interior air pressures.Wind When wind blows over a building it tends to exert a positive air pressure on the windward side and a negative air pressure on the leeward side. The effect of wind to induce exfiltration on the leeward side and infiltration on the windward side leads to greater incidences of air movement moisturerelated moisture problems on the leeward side of buildings in heating climates.

When basements are depressurized in heating climates. which is located in the attic space. Accordingly. most of the return air is drawn from the basement through the leaks in the return system. Basement depressurization can also lead to the spillage of combustion products from water heaters and furnaces with standard chimneys.heating climates most supply duct systems and air handlers (furnaces) are located in basement spaces. there is often only one common return for the whole building. the return system is usually relatively leaky and often utilizes partition wall stud spaces. which depressurizes the basement area relative to the exterior and the main level. In addition. humid air (Figures 2-30A. and the ceiling of the closet/utility room where the supply ductwork penetrates (Figure 2-31). it may be desirable to match return registers with supply registers in conditioned spaces to avoid pressurization in heating climates or during heating periods. Thus. Two buildings with identical levels of insulation and leakage openings in the same climate. They also dump cool conditioned air into the attic or crawl space. rooms with a supply register but no return register. exhaust systems. Furthermore. floor joist space cavities with sheet metal nailed to their lower surfaces (floor joist panned system). 230B). In cooling climates supply ductwork is often located outside of conditioned spaces in attics and vented. and that return ductwork be as tight as the supply ductwork. reducing the efficiency of the cooling systems. It is rare to find a return register in every room in which a supply register is also located. soil gas and associated airborne moisture can infiltrate along with air made moist by the humid ground. will have significantly different levels of energy use. and holes cut in floor sheathing with wood blocking as duct openings. In addition. It is recommended that basement spaces have sufficient supply registers to avoid depressurization. There are cases where the temperature of the conditioned space has actually gone up when the air conditioner/ air handler was turned on in similar installations. with supply ducts usually running to every room in the building. It may be desirable to utilize air handling systems. This Moisture Control Handbook Page 39 . possibly moisture-laden air may exfiltrate. radon gas is also likely to be carried along with the moisture in the infiltrating air. These ducts tend to depressurize the conditioned space. Return air for the system is drawn from the hot. A common example of an air pressure related moisture problem in a cooling climate is where a forced air cooling system air handler is located in a closet/utility room. unconditioned crawl spaces. and supply systems to deliberately pressurize and depressurize conditioned spaces. inducing the infiltration of exterior hot. air pressure differences in the conditioned space may not be present (Figure 2-3OC) and yet serious problems may still exist. humid attic space into the utility room through the opening around the ductwork and into the return grill of the air handler. ductwork for forced air heating and cooling systems installed within conditioned spaces is preferred. Ductwork should never be installed in attics or vented crawl spaces unless it is sealed airtight with mastic and then tested for leakage. The supply system is usually relatively tight. In heating climates where the abovegrade space is pressurized. If this airborne moisture condenses within building assemblies it can lead to moisture-related problems. In contrast. humid air drawn from the attic into the system was actually greater than the capacity of the cooling system. These elevated levels of air change as a result of the pressure effects of forced air systems can have significant impacts on energy consumption. Unfortunately this air change can lead to infiltration of moisture and radon below grade and the exfiltration of moisture above grade. Furthermore. but with one building with a forced air ducted system and the other a radiant system. The building with the forced air system I typically has much higher energy consumption levels due to the pressure effectsof leaky ductwork. such as bedrooms. A large unsealed opening exists between the supply ductwork. The cooling load increase from the hot. are pressurized when doors are closed (Figure 2-29). The process of inducing infiltration below grade and exfiltration above grade as a result of the pressure differences created by the forced air system in essence turns the forced air system into a ventilation system providing air change. interior. Where both leaky supply and leaky return ducts are located outside of conditioned spaces. Leaky return ducts in crawl spaces can also draw radon and pesticides into the enclosure.

controls the exfiltration of warm. moisture transport mechanism is vapor diffusion. Vapor diffusion is a function of the vapor permeability of a material and the driving force or vapor pressure differential acting across a material. Figure 2-30A Air Pressurization Pattern with Mechanical System Ducts in the Attic ' DEPRESSURIZED CONDITIONED SPACE LEAKY SUPPLY . The fadblower need only operate when the exterior temperature drops below the dew point temperature of the conditioned space [2. Vapor diffusion is the movement of moisture in the vapor state through a material. Pressurization can be maintained with a fan/ blower. In a cold climate where a building is being heated. Hence. then no moisture will move as a result of vapor diffusion. DUCTS CRAWL SPACE Vapor Diffusion The fourth. humid air exterior air blown into the building assembly is undesirable. and pesticides below grade. Exterior air can be used to pressurize a flat roof assembly to prevent the migration of airborne moisture from the conditioned space into the flat roof assembly (Figure 2-32). and the infiltration of soil gas. The vapor pressure differential refers to the difference in amount of moisture or difference in moisture concentration across a material. the term vapor difision retarder is appropriate. humid exterior air in cooling climates and/or during cooling periods. vapor diffusion typically moves moisture from within the conditioned System Ducts in the Crawl Space . or retard it. moisture. not vapor barrier. It can move moisture into building assemblies both from within the conditioned space as well as from the exterior. interior moisture-laden air in heating climates and/or during heating periods. and final.th Mechanical LEAKY SUPPLY DUCTS NEUTRAL PRESSURE IN CONDITIONED SPACE LEAKY RETURN DUCTS CRAWL SPACE Figure 2 3 0 C Air Pressurization Pattern with Mechanical System Ducts in the Attic and the Crawl Space Page 40 Chapter 2-Moisture Movement . This approach should be avoided in cooling climates where hot. caution should be exercised to prevent overpressurization and the potential of freezing pipes in interior partition walls or promoting mold and mildew on cooled interior surfaces. radon. LEAKY SUPPLY DUCTS DEPRESSURIZED CONDITIONED SPACE INDUCING INFILTRATION CRAWL SPACE Pressurizing Building Assemblies A method of active control of air pressures in flat roof assemblies can be utilized to control the exfiltration of interior air. the infiltration of warm.13]. Materials are not able to stop vapor diffusion. In cold climates. If no vapor pressure difference exists across a material. they are only able to slow the process down.

in heating climates to reduce the diffusion driving force by reducing interior moisture levels. It is possible -RETURN GRILL IN AIR HANDLER FOR COOLING SYSlEM a temperature gradient due to high exterior surface temperatures from incident solar radiation. In a warm climate with high ambient vapor pressures where cooling is occurring. (Recall that wood absorbs moisture according to ambient relative humidity. can move during the day and into the wall as a result of Figure 2-31:Warm. It is also practical to select the vapor permeability of materials to control moisture movement by diffusion. A . exceptions to the above two generalizations are common and often overlooked. Humid Air Drawn f r o m Attic through Opening Around Supply Duct w I I PLYWOOD ROOF SHEATHING . the opposite occurs. this approach is limited by human occupancy. The vapor pressure gradient. not vapor pressure. However. One such example is a sunlit wall in a heating climate with a brick veneer that has absorbed moisture from deposited rain or with a wood cladding that has absorbed moisture during the evening due to high ambient relative humidities or from rain or surface condensation.) This moisture can be driven out of claddings space into building assemblies. I I BETWEEN 2 x 12 JOISTS GYPSUM BOARD UNVENTED ROOF ASSEMBLY PRESSURIZED WITH OUTSIDE AIR MoisfureConfrolHandbook Page 41 . -2-IN. Vapor diffusion typically moves moisture from the exterior into building assemblies and subsequently into the conditioned space. However. I AIR SPACE ABOVE INSULATION . under these circumstances.

that vapor diffusion retarder is 90 percent effective. vinyl wall coverings. nor does it deal with vapor diffusion from the exterior migrating inwards due to incident solar radiation. impermeable rigid insulations. sheet metal. However. applied only on the interior exposed surface of a building envelope. VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER ON EXTERIOR OF CONCRETE OR MASONRY WALL CONTROL OF VAPOR DIFFUSION BELOW GRADE Figure 2-33: Vapor Diffusion Retarder on the Exterior of a Concrete or Masonry Foundation Wall and Beneath the Concrete Slab In general vapor diffusion retarders are located on the exterior of building assemblies below grade to retard the inward flow of water vapor by diffusion from the surrounding soil into the basement space.moisture by vapor diffusion from the exterior cladding into the building envelope during sunny periods. In foundations and below-grade building assemblies. will typically act as an effective vapor diffusion retarder. vapor diffusion can move moisture from the surrounding soil into the assembly as well as from the conditioned space into the assembly. then. Materials that have a high resistance to vapor flow (low vapor permeability) are referred to as vapor difision retarders. all other things being equal. CONTROL OF VAPOR DIFFUSION ABOVE GRADE Vapor diffusion is controlled above grade by selecting the vapor permeability of the components of building assemblies. this paint film vapor diffusion retarder does not deal with air-transported moisture which can leak through joints between the interior cladding (typically gypsum board) and wood framing elements. and waferboard. low permeability paints. for instance. where cladding elements (which can store a great deal of moisture) are utilized. dampproofing. Vapor diffusion is also a function of surface area. Continuity of a vapor diffusion retarder is not an overriding factor where vapor diffusion is concerned. aluminum foils. vapor diffusion retarders are located to the interior of building assemblies in heating climates and to the exterior of building assemblies in cooling climates. 90 percent of a building envelope surface area is covered with a specific vapor diffusion retarder. Commonly used vapor diffusion retarders are: polyethylene films. Dampproofing films typically have very high resistance to vapor flow and therefore also Page 42 Chapter 2-Moisture Movement . For instance. If. However. In general. plywood. it may also be desirable to locate a vapor diffusion retarder to the exterior (behind the cladding) of a building assembly in a heating climate to prevent the inward flow of vapor resultant from a solar-radiation-induced temperature gradient. a paint film of a appropriate permeance. or seasonal or other climatic effects.

Diffusion of construction moisture from concrete and from masonry foundation walls into basement wall framing can be controlled by locating a vapor diffusion retarder at the interior surface of the concrete and masonry foundation walls (Figure 2-35). Vapor diffusion from the surrounding soil into foundation walls can also be VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER ON INTERIOR OF C O N C R E OR MASONRY W A U Figure 2-34: Vapor Diffusion Retarder on the Interior of a Wood Frame Wall Inside of the Foundation Wall Figure 2-35 Vapor Diffusion Retarder on the Interior of a Concrete or Masonry Foundation Wall Moisture Control Handbook Page 43 .act as vapor diffusion retarders on the exterior of concrete and masonry foundation walls (Figure 2-33). Vapor diffusion under floor slabs is typically controlled by installing a polyethylene sheet between the concrete slab and the granular capillary break (Figure 233). Vapor diffusion from the basement space into basement wall framing on the inside of concrete and masonry foundation walls is controlled by locating a vapor diffusion retarder to the interior of the framing (Figure 2-34).

Canada. moisture will tend to Building Science Insight '86. G. . California. By insulating the foundation on the exterior.W. and Roofi for the Canadian Climate. Windows. Nelson.7 Lux. J.W.C. J. and Monaghan. "Pressure Differential: Measurement of the New 2. 2.5 White. reducing the equilibrium relative humidity in October 1987.W. 2. Ames. MA. Moyer. J. Victoria. masonry foundation wall into the soil.H. N. (NRCC 29943). and G. Rain Penetration and its Control.10 Hutcheon.. Mould.4 Lstiburek.K. 2. January 1990. ISBN 0-7743-1052-1. Macklin. Shen. 2. paper Conference. In other words. CMHC.8 Fitzgerald.. Canada..3 Timusk. the average 2. J.. October 1973 (NRCC 13487).E. J.. with exterior insulation.. IRC/NRCC migrate by diffusion out of the concrete and 1989.O.. and Brown. Indiana. Building Sciencefor a Cold Climate. and J. by being appreciably warmer than the 2. Iowa. paper Page 44 CItapfer2-Moisture Movement . DBR/NRCC.6 Lischkoff. J. "Insulation Induced Decade". Ventilation and Energy". DBR/NRCC. Canadian Building Digest 40... the foundation wall.12 Tooley. "Air surrounding soil. October 1983.W.. The temperature of the foundation wall will rise Airtight House.1 Garden. 2.11 Marshall.9 Lstiburek..2 Latta.K. J. Contractor's Field Guide. CHAPTER 2: REFERENCES 2. The foundation wall.. G. Home Energy Magazine. Construction Technology Centre Atlantic. Ottawa 1983. Berkeley. Walls.and L.. January 1983. University of Iowa relative to the surrounding soil. Inc. Indianapolis. 2. G. Control". communication. of Municipal Affairs and Housing. controlled by insulating the foundation wall Halifax.. Lstiburek. Ontario Ministry Housing. Building Science Corporation. September 1989.O. - . presented at CIB W40 Conference. than migrate from the soil into the "Sidewall Insulation and Air Leakage foundation wall (Figure 2-36). Insulation Retrofit o f Moisture Induced Problems in N H A Residential Basements.- Figure 2-36: Effect of Exterior Insulation on Basement Wall Temperature and Humidity Levels presented at ENERhouse 91 Conference. proceedings of soil. rather 2. March 1991. M. paper presented at EEBA Paint and Siding Failures".13 Handegord.-. thereby Research Foundation. 2. will tend to dry into the Leakage Control".. J. personal 2. Handegord. March 1991. "Moisture.K. Chestnut Hill. April 1983. and N. April 1991.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Huggins Symposium on Structural Engineering. R. Madison. External lnsulafion o Basement f Walls.G.A. NRCC/DBR. 1987.. 1965. 1964.Z. Torp. Moisfure Problems. Ottawa.RILEMKIB Symposium on Moisture Problems in Building. Condensation in Znsulated Masonry Walls in Summer. J. Hendricks. Atlanta. Reprint DBR/NRCC. 1989.CHAPTER 2: BIBLIOGRAPHY American Society of Heating. Moisfure Problems in the Home. Paul. A Sysfems Approach to Cold Climate Housing. Timusk.. 1986. Wilson. Merrill. Iowa. and L. ASHRAE Handbook: 1989 Fundamentals.N.T. Moisfure Control Handbook Page 45 .. 1981. University of Wisconsin . Quirouette. Timusk. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.W. Humidity.L. 1987. J. Minnesota.. Graee. 1988. Des Moines. M. Condesation and Ventilation in Houses. Minnesota Extension Service. Design of the Building Envelope. Ottawa. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. The Efect o Air f Currenfs in Moisture Migration and Condensationin Wood Frame Structures. J. Rousseau. Peterson. HUDAC Task Force on Basements. J. Ottawa.T. Canada. R. M.Extension. St. Inc. A Builder’s Guide to lowas ldea Homes. A. 1984. and T. Norwegian Building Research Institute. September 1981. Wisconsin.. Rousseau.. University of Toronto. (CD-FO-3566). CMHC. (NRC 9130). A. Helsinki.

or long-term service life. a technique effective at removing moisture may also allow moisture to enter. the industry has recognized that in many circumstances it may be impractical to design and build assemblies that never get wet. Acceptable performance implies the design and construction of building assemblies which may periodically get wet. has been covered in Chapter 2 .. moisture sources) Strategies effective in the control of moisture MOISTURE BALANCE Moisture accumulates when the rate of moisture entry into an assembly exceeds the rate of moisture removal. Numerous strategies can be implemented to minimize the risk of moisture damage. Repeated The first. Unfortunately. control of moisture entry. This has given rise to the concept of acceptable performance. Strategies in the three groupings can be utilized in combination and have been proven to be most effective in that manner. . poor workmanship. are often not effective if building assemblies start out wet. The strategies fall into the following three groups: 1 Control of moisture entry . Moisture entering from the exterior can be from four sources: 1 Liquid flow (rain and groundwater as . these conditions do not exist. . or occupants. or start out wet. Good design and practice involve controlling the wetting of building assemblies from the exterior and interior.. Conversely. useful service life. When moisture accumulation exceeds the ability of the assembly materials to store the moisture without significantlydegrading performance Page 46 Clmpter &Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . and would never get wet from imperfect design. but yet are still durable and wetting followed by repeated drying can provide acceptable performance if during the wet period.Moisture Movement. . 2 Control of moisture accumulation provide a long. entry. however. It has been accepted by the building industry that many building assemblies become wet during service. and in fact can be detrimental. This chapter covers the other two strategies. Moisture can enter from the interior in two ways: air movement and vapor diffusion. If a technique is effective at preventing moisture from entering an assembly. CHAPTER 3 Ideally. 3 Removal of moisture . Furthermore. moisture problems may result. it is also likely to be effective at preventing moisture from leaving an assembly. Building assemblies can get wet from the interior or exterior. building assemblies would always be built with dry materials under dry conditions.. Balance between entry and removal is the key. They may also involve drying building assemblies should they become wet during service or start out wet as a result of building with wet materials or under wet conditions. or they can start out wet as a result of the construction process due to wet building materials or construction under wet conditions. materials do not stay wet long enough under adverse conditions to deteriorate. and in many cases start out wet.

Some of the 4. Each of the four mechanisms mentioned (liquid flow due to gravity. or evaporates/sublimates from the liquid or solid state within an assembly. The above mechanisms can act singly or in combination. nonabsorptive building paper is installed over the exterior plywood sheathing. The conditioned space operates at a high interior vapor pressure (50 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit). its movement is principally governed by liquid flow due to gravity and capillarity. 1 Liquid flow due to gravity (drainage) . capillarity. moisture can be removed (dried) not intended to be comprehensive. a temperature/vapor pressure difference may result in vapor diffusion VAPOR DIFFUSION IN WALL ASSEMBLIES Figure 3-1 illustrates a wood frame wall in a heating cIimate with unfaced fiberglass batt insulation installed within the cavities.transporting moisture from the interior surfaces of an insulated wall cavity towards the exterior through the insulation. 2 Capillary suction (rain and groundwater as moisture sources) 2 Air movement (ventilation) 3. Gypsum board painted with a relatively vapor permeable latex is installed to the interior. permutations of the transport mechanisms 2 Capillary suction within building assemblies can occur under the driving forces imposed by both exterior 3. air transport. In this example vapor diffusion will Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 47 . To simplify matters assume that the wall is constructed airtight and that no air pressure difference exists between the interior and exterior of the wall in order to eliminate air movement as a moisture transport mechanism. resulting 3. MOISTURE REDISTRIBUTION AND ACCUMULATION WITHIN ASSEMBLIES Moisture typically enters an assembly in a liquid or vapor state. Vapor diffusion may be transporting some of the condensed moisture from the exterior surfaces back Moisture can be redistributed within an towards the interior surfaces through the assembly by four processes: cavity insulation. Wall Assemblies The behavior of moisture in wall assemblies transported by vapor diffusion or air transport is discussed below. Air movement in condensation on the exterior surfaces of the wall cavity. or when it changes from a vapor state within an assembly by condensing. Air movement and interior environments. When moisture enters an assembly in a vapor state. They are intended for illustrative purposes only. and the average exterior temperature during the month of January is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Vapor diffusion typical combinations are described in the following sections. At the same time capillarity 4. In addition. and the removal of moisture from building assemblies (drying). Under some limited circumstances moisture can also enter in the solid form. moisture accumulation within assemblies. This chapter includes discussions relating to the movement of moisture within building assemblies. such as wind-deposited snow in ventilated roof assemblies. Woodbased lap siding over a permeable. its movement is principally governed by air movement and vapor diffusion. wall convection effects will be ignored. Several drawings are provided to illustrate moisture behavior in some typical wall assemblies. Strategies for controlling moisture are then described. When moisture enters an assembly in a liquid state. Relatively impermeable plywood sheathing is installed to the exterior. Numerous combinations and 1 Liquid flow due to gravity . nor to the exterior or to the interior in three ways: complete. For example. The examples given are Finally. and diffusion) acts independently. Vapor diffusion (vapor pressure differences).

WOOD-BASED LAP SIDING PERMEABLE. Figure 3-1: Moisture'Movement in a Wood Frame Wall in a Heating Climate move moisture from the interior conditioned space through the painted gypsum wall board. this moisture may accumulate and become visible in the form of water or frost. moisture from the interior conditioned space migrates by vapor diffusion to the insulation/sheathing interface and accumulates in the form of frost. Condensation will typically be found at the first surface below the dew point temperature. through the fiberglass cavity insulation to the interior surface of the exterior plywood. in this case the cavity side of the exterior plywood sheathing. condensation may still occur on the cavity side of the permeable building paper (permeable compared to the plywood sheathing. If this surface-the insulation/sheathing interface-is below the dew point temperature of the air/vapor mix at the interface. the vapor may freeze. the frost melts and water drains down the sheathing to the bottom plate of the wall (Figure 3-2A). the permeance and moisture storage capability of the sheathing or building paper will affect the rate and quantity of moisture that subsequently passes through by diffusion and/or capillarity to the back of the siding. 50% R.siding. the vapor may condense to a liquid. the dew point temperature of the interior air/vapor mix is approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit.H. then capillary suction would draw Page 48 Chapter 3-Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . The permeance of the sheathing is not as significant in determining whether condensation will occur at the insulation/ sheathing interface as is the temperature of the interior surface of the sheathing. The condensed water does not wick back by capillary suction into the fiberglass batt insulation-due-tothe oriented nature of-the insulation fibers (the layered structure of the insulation emulates the fhafched-roofeffect). but impermeable compared to air). As the temperature of the sheathing rises due to incident solar radiation or a rise in the outside temperature. if the exterior plywood sheathing is eliminated. if the wall cavity were insulated with a nonoriented insulation such as cellulose. In Figure 3-1. If the insulation/sheathing interface temperature isbelow the freezing point of water. Once moisture condenses or freezes on the interior surface of the sheathing or building paper. In this particular example. This is because the building paper is below the dew point temperature of the air/vapor mix in the cavity. However. NONABSORPTIVE BUILDING PAPER IMPERMEABLE PLYWOOD SHEATHING FROST ACCUMULATION AT INSULATION / SHEATHING INTERFACE UNFACED FIBERGLASS B A T CAVITY INSULATION (PERMEA GYPSUM BOARD (PERMEABLE) WITH LATEX PAINT (PERMEABLE) MOISTURE MOVEMENT BY VAPOR DIFFUSION INTERIOR SPACE CONDITIONED TO 70°F. For example. If the rate of moisture movement to the insulation/sheathing interface is greater than the rate at which moisture is absorbed or passes through the sheathing. leaving only the permeable nonabsorptive building paper at the exterior of &e wal4 M i n d the wcod-based.

However. such as foil-faced sheathings or plastic sheathings (extruded and expanded polystyrenes).3-2B). HOMOGENEOUS MATERIAL) CONDENSED WATER ON THE FACE OF THE SHEATHING WICKS BACK INTO THE INSULATION (CAPILLARY SUCTION) Figure 3-2B:Condensation Pattern with Cellulose Cavity Insulation by ovendry weight). the insulation remains dry and its thermal FIBERGLASS BATT INSULATION (ORIENTED FIBERS) CONDENSED WATER DRAINS DOWN UNDER INFLUENCE OF GRAVITY (LIQUID FLOW) CONDENSED WATER COLLECTS ON BOTTOM PLATE Figure 3 . and (2) remains there long enough under conditions that support decay (above freezing temperatures. The vapor impermeable. nonabsorptive sheathings. In walls where the exterior sheathing is vapor impermeable and nonabsorptive. the condensed water from the insulation/ sheathing interface into the insulation (Figure resistance is not noticeably altered when interstitial condensation occurs. below Moisture Control Handbook Page 49 . However. This is because condensation and moisture/frost accumulation occur at the insulation/ sheathing interface. The bad news is that cavity moisture problems do not demonstrate visible exterior symptoms on the exterior sidings. Since the vapor impermeable and nonabsorptive sheathings do not absorb or transmit moisture. condensed water runs down the sheathing to the bottom plate of the wall. Moisture is not absorbed by the sheathings nor does it migrate through the sheathings to influence the exterior siding. they do not deteriorate when exposed to moisture. and also because of the lack of inward capillary moisture movement. where the impermeable sheathing also has an insulating value. nonabsorptive sheathings disconnect or uncouple the exterior siding from interior moisture-related problems. the wall cavity is often free from condensation problems due to elevated cavity temperatures.2 A Condensation Pattern with Fiberglass Cavity Insulation CELLULOSE INSULATION (NON-ORIENTED. not within the insulation. 30 percent moisture content With oriented fiberglass batt insulation. with cellulose cavity insulation. the wicking of condensed water into the insulation from the insulation/sheathing interface reduces the thermal resistance of the wall. The good news is that wood-based sidings and their painted or stained surfaces are not affected by interior moisture because of the impermeable. condensed water will either run down the interior face of the sheathings towards the bottom plate (wall cavities insulated with oriented fiberglass batts) or be wicked back into the cavity insulation and held there (wall cavities insulated with cellulose). However. serious problems can develop if the amount of moisture reaching the wood bottom plate (1)exceeds the plate's ability to absorb moisture without decaying (the fiber saturation point. In walls insulated with fiberglass batt insulation.

the rate of moisture migration from the interior to the sheathing has to be rather high before significant moisture accumulation at the sheathing can occur. such as peeling paint and buckled siding. In these types of walls. drainage. bottom plates. moisture accumulates within the sheathing. it will be wicked back into the cavity insulation and held there. the condensed water on the sheathing is held within the insulation and may not reach the bottom plate. drying out the siding. below 100 degrees Fahrenheit with spores present). Of of the sheathing is greater than the rate of moisture removal through the sheathing to the building paper and the cladding. In other Page 50 CIlapfer%Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . It is speculated that blisters and paint peeling are caused by the expansion a?d contraction of the wood cladding substrate due to changing or cycling of the moisture contents in the wood cladding [3. absorption. In wall cavities insulated with oriented fiberglass batts. and floor/rim joist assemblies. As such these sheathings tend to be more forgiving than vapor impermeable sheathings. Where moisture is transferred through the sheathing to the building paper. If the rate of moisture supply from the interior conditioned space to the cavity side asphalt-impregnated fiberboard). three characteristicsof the building papertemperature. diffusion. As such. or OSB sheathing (as in Figure 3-1). In wall cavities insulated with cellulose. drainage. The more permeable the paint film. some visible symptoms of interior cavity moisture problems may be present on exterior sidings. Once moisture has travelled to the back of the exterior cladding/siding. Condensation at the cladding/paint film interface may not occur unless a void or air space (blister) also exists. such as asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum board. waferboard. absorptive. and (2) remains there long enough under conditions which will support decay (above freezing temperatures. visible symptoms of interior cavity moisture problems typically are readily apparent on exterior sidings. the moisture doesn't push the paint off the siding. pushing the moisture back into the wall out of the siding. How much moisture passes through the paint film depends on the film's permeance. and evaporation can all occur at this location. the sheathings will absorb some condensed water. condensed water will be absorbed by the sheathings and transferred to the exterior building paper and cladding. the remaining condensed water will run down the interior face of the sheathing towards the bottom plate. In walls insulated with cellulose insulation. and woodbased. Furthermore. In walls where the exterior sheathing is vapor impermeable. rather the mechanical stresses on the paint film caused by the expansion and contraction of the wood substrate due to changing moisture content cause the paint to fail. Since these sheathings are vapor permeable. permeability.100 degrees Fahrenheit with spores present). condensation. Due to the relatively high permeance and lack of storage capacity of most building papers. In these types of walls. Moisture absorbed in the back of woodbased cladding tends to migrate through the wood towards the exterior cladding/paint film interface where it halts. and moisture storage capacity4etermine the amount of condensation. such as plywood. and moisture transfer that occurs at the sheathing/building paper interface. moisture is easily transferred to the back of the exterior cladding/siding. absorption. depending on the nature of the exterior cladding. Although these wood-based sheathings are impermeable when dry. Serious problems can occur if the amount of moisture accumulating within the sheathing exceeds its ability to absorb moisture without either long-term strength deterioration (in the case of gypsum board). the more moisture it will allow to pass. the sheathing may also deteriorate along with studs. since these exterior sheathings are vapor permeable. In walls where the exterior sheathing is vapor permeable and absorptive. Serious problems can occur if the amount of moisture accumulating at the exterior sheathing and bottom plate (1)exceeds their ability to absorb moisture without decaying (the fiber saturation point).1]. The permeance of the sheathing and the building paper (if present) determines the rate at which moisture can migrate to the cladding. as they absorb moisture they begin to transfer moisture through them to the exterior. the bottom plates and floor/rim joist assemblies may deteriorate first. Surfaces exposed to solar radiation are prone to more severe peeling and blistering as the sun warms the siding during the day. The expansion and contraction of the wood substrate causes the paint film to lift or separate from the wood as the paint film words. or potential decay and strength deterioration (in the case of attempts to stretch with the wood.

This gives builders an outlet opening typically must exist. On the cavity side of the interior gypsum wall assemblies. will carry moisture into the wall assembly. Where air movement exists it These vapor diffusion retarders are often tends to dominate vapor diffusion. Air and designers the option of manipulating both interior and exterior permeability. gypsum board (vapor barrier paint. When air movement as a moisture transport wetting mechanism from the interior is introduced.4]. the bottom edges of interior gypsum board cladding. Of course the paints also must be resistant to solar radiation. prevent water absorption (act as an exterior capillary break for the wood-based siding). and not for air-transported moisture. and cohesive (stretch) properties tend to be more durable than those that are not. When flaws or openings are introduced to the wall assembly coupled with an air pressure difference. Air outlet openings are usually the joints between sheets of exterior sheathings and the joints between top plates. deposition. and exterior sheathings. If the 1 Between the gypsum wall board and the interior air contains moisture. course at night the siding gets wet from the inside again. Specifically. This repeated wetting and drying of the siding swells and shrinks the wood substrate and stresses the paint film. bottom plates. these properties can be mutually exclusive. Air specified by building codes to have a movement is typically an order of magnitude permeability of 1perm or less [3. or openings. moisture and condensation accumulate at the interfaces 5 On the interior surface of the interior . the vapor diffusion retarder is located at the interior wall surface at one or more of the following locations: AIR MOVEMENT IN WALL ASSEMBLIES Moisture Control Handbook Page 51 . If the air flow is from the interior conditioned space towards the exterior. A more greater in significance than vapor diffusion with respect to moisture transfer into obscure recommendation specifies that the building assemblies as well as within permeability of the exterior sheathing/ building paper /cladding assembly should be building assemblies when both are present [3. wall framing (sheet polyethylene. condensation. and joints in interior air retarder systems.2]. there are differences between vapor diffusion and air permeability wall coverings) movement. its effects can be superimposed over those of vapor diffusion. low between materials. In practice. Within the interior gypsum board (vapor to the vapor diffusion examples previously barrier gypsum board) described. As such both an inlet opening and inlet openings are usually unsealed electrical outlet boxes. air must also leave the wall the interior conditioned space are reached assembly. Whether or not this air deposits moisture in aluminum foil) the wall depends on the moisture content 2 On the interior surface of the cavity and the surface temperature of each material insulation (foil-backed batt insulation) inside the wall. However. in addition to any construction flaws or service penetrations. five times the permeability of the interior sheathing /cladding assembly where dew In the majority of cases. the interior conditioned space must be at a greater air pressure than the exterior. Air movement has been ignored because the assumption was made that the wall assembly was constructed airtight with no openings. for air to get into point temperatures of the airhapor mix of a wall assembly. Paints that are vapor permeable (breathe). gaps. board (foil-backed gypsum board) and accumulation occur in a manner similar 4. Traditionally. this recommendation is not recognized in most codes and standards.within wall cavities [3. exfiltrating air . it is important to note that these recommendations are for controlling moisture transport by vapor diffusion from the interior only. only vapor diffusion as a moisture transport wetting mechanism from the interior has been considered in the wall assembly described in Figure 31. When air movement transports air within 3. to control the migration of moisture by vapor diffusion from interior moisture sources into wall assemblies constructed in heating climates. vapor diffusion retarders are installed on the warm side of the location of the wall assembly dew point. and have good aesthetic properties. with substantial adhesive (stick). Up to this point. air will move across the assembly. Unfortunately. ultimately leading to failure.3]. Unfortunately. Furthermore. and furthermore it was assumed that no air pressure difference across the wall exists.

the exfiltrating air leaves that condensing surface at 100 percent relative humidity.. AIR MOVEMENT ONLY OCCURS THROUGH OPENINGS/GAPS IN SHEATHING. considering both vapor diffusion and air movement as moisture transport wetting mechanisms from the interior. gaps. AND CLADDING..The significance of an air outlet opening in the mechanism of air-transported moisture exfiltrating into wall assemblies has to be considered when openings. 3. In this manner. Of course. it is clear that condensation. CONDENSATION AT SIDINGPAINT INTERFACE MAY NOT OCCUR UNLESS VOID OR AIR SPACE IS PRESENT. If flaws or openings (both inlet and outlet) and an outward-acting air pressure flow outward. In differenceare introduced to the multilayered dependent on the rate of air flow and the difference in moisture content between the wall described in Figure 3-1. coming in contact with surfaces (interfaces)at progressively lower temperatures.. indoor air will air arriving and leaving each interface.. capillarity/absorption (storage).. and vent strips are recommended at the exterior sheathing to facilitate the drying of wall assemblies..J (2) u A AIR MOVEMENT(VAP0R) (3) DIFFUSION (VAPOR) CAPILLARrPl/ABSORPTION (LIQUID) w DIFFUSION (VAPOR LIQUID FLOW DRAINAGE AT INSULATK)N/SHEATHING HTERFACE LIQUID FLOW DRAINAGE AT SHEATHING/BUILDING PAPER INTERFACE LIQUID FLOW DRAINAGE AT BUILDING PAPEW CLADDING INTERFACE . liquid flow (drainage). Also. 4. 1. Figure 3-3: Schematic of Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Wall with Wood Siding Page 52 Chapter %Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . latent heat is available to slow down subsequent condensation... gaps. since they allow more interior moisture-laden air to enter because they allow more wall cavity air to exit. this condensation may improve material conductivity allowing further chilling. SOME C A W INSULATIONS ARE NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO CAPILLARrPl. SOME BUILDING PAPERS ARE NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO CAPlLLARrPl AND ARE NONABSORPTIVE. simple straight-through openings through moderately insulating materials. The sensible heat available in the flowing air must also be considered as it can serve to heat the surfaces along the flow path potentially raising their temperatures above the dew point. as soon as condensation takes place. These openings. 2. all surfaces along the flow path may warm above the dew point temperature and no condensation will occur. and diffusion can all occur (singly or in concert) at each of the following interfaces: L AIR MOVEMENT (VAPOR) (3) CAVITY HSULATION SHEATHING (PERMEABLE AND ABSORPTIVE) PAINT FILM (1) BUILDING PAPER SlDlNGICIADDlNG (WOOD-BASED) OUTSIDE AIR b4 -DIFFUSION (VAPOR 0 0 4CAPILLARlTY(LIQUID) .. If condensation occurs at a surface. BUILDING PAPER. Condensation may occur whenever the temperature of a surface is below the dew point of the airhapor mixture arriving at that surface. each successive surface can dehumidify the moving air stream as it flows through the wall to the outside. air movement (re-evaporation). and vent strips can lead to an increase in wall moisture content when flaws or openings also exist in the interior sheathing. The amount of condensation at each interface will be SUMMARY OF MOISTURE BEHAVIOR IN WALLS In summary. but the air is at a lower moisture content (less the condensed moisture).

r OUTSIDE AIR AIR MOVEMENT(VAP0R) (1) AIR MOVEMENT(VAP0R) (1) AIR MOVEMENT(VAP0R) (1) * w -DIFFUSION (VAPOR 0 0 . and ignore the building paper components completely as the building paper is absent. not least of which are the material properties of the components of the wall assembly. We can. What actually happens at each interface depends on many factors.d UQUlD FLOW DRAINAGE AT INSULATK)N/SHEAlHING INTERFACE UQUlD FLOW DRAINAGE ATSHEATHINGJCLADDING INTERFACE NOTES: 1. Figure 3-4:Schematic of Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Wall with Vinyl or Aluminum Siding Moisture ConfrofHandbook Page 53 . for practical purposes. Obviously. concerns about its accumulation and removal are eliminated. MOISTURE CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR WALLS Control strategies for alleviating moisture problems in wall assemblies fall 1 Control of moisture entry . 2 The sheathing/building paper interface 3.5]. Some examples of control are examined below with respect to wetting from the interior coupled with drying to the exterior.. aluminum siding over a foil-faced sheathing. predicting. (Figure 34).. you control the assembly [3. complicating matters further. 4 C A W msuLAnoN w 4 SHEATHING (IMPERMEABLE AND NONABSORPTNE) b4 SIDING /CLADDING (VPIYL OR ALUMINUM) . AND CLADDING. The key to understanding. if moisture never gets into a building assembly. just knowing that if moisture appears it will appear at an interface is often all the knowledge required to know how to control the moisture problem... the schematic is simplified considerably It has been said that if you control the interfaces. and the length of time being considered. and controlling moisture redistribution and accumulation within building assemblies are the conditions existing at material interfaces.. and air pressure differences or driving forces). BUILDING PAPER. vapor pressure. control of f moisture entry has traditionally proven to be the most effective. the interior and exterior environmental conditions (temperature.. The building paper/cladding interface This is presented schematically in Figure 3-3. AIR MOVEMENTONLY OCCURS THROUGH OPENINGSIGAPS IN SHEATHING. 3 Removal of moisture .1 The insulation/sheathing interface . From a designer's or builder's perspective. ignore the vapor diffusion and capillary/ absorptive components of the cladding and sheathing due to their physical properties. In the case of a wall with vinyl or into three groups: 2 Control of moisture accumulation O these three groups. the geometry of the assembly itself. not static. 2 SOME CAVITY INSULATIONS ARE NOT SUSCEPTlBLE TO CAPILLARITY. It is also important to note that the interior and exterior environmental conditions are dynamic. The importance of the control of moisture entry cannot be understated.

These moisture control strategies could be used for an assembly such as shown in Figure 3-5. and the impact of occupants. Permeable exterior sheathings and various attempts at wall ventilation also have a long history. nonabsorptive building paper is Page 54 Chapter &Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . In the future it may prove to be a powerful moisture control strategy. The strategy of moisture removal once it has entered the building assembly has a long historical basis. Gypsum board painted with a relatively vapor permeable latex is installed over a 6-mil polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder to the interior. This is an informed practitioner. requiring careful consideration by both practitioners and code officials. the influence of climate. the technique of wall cavity drainage is being adapted to residential applications. drainage techniques for removing moisture from building assemblies have been developed. NONABSORPTIVE BUILDING PAPER IMPERMEABLE PLYWOOD SHEATHING BMIL POLYETHYLEN VAPOR DIFFUSION RE CONDENSATION AT INSULATION / SHEATHING INTERFACE EXFILTRATION THROUGH ELECTRICAL BOX UNFACED FIBERGLASS BATT INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD 70°F. It is a wood frame wall with unfaced fiberglass batt insulation installed within the cavities. It therefore needs to be addressed. but because it is beginning to be utilized in commercial high-rise applications as a cost-effective alternative to the rain screen approach and face-sealing. The wall is located in a heating as a potential solution to wall cavity moisture assemblies. Relatively impermeable plywood sheathing is installed installed over the exterior plywood sheathing. More recently. Wood-based lap siding over a permeable. Attic and crawl space ventilation as well as permeable sheathings have a proven track record of performance in the removal of moisture from building within building assemblies. Likewise. the limitations of workmanship. wall cavity drainage is discussed in this section not because it has a proven track record. but concerns about the approach need to be addressed.H. Wall cavity ventilation is discussed in this section not because it is recommended by the author but because it is often considered by practitioners problems. Consequently.WOODBASED LAP SIDING PERMEABLE. Attic and crawl space ventilation techniques can be traced back over several decades. 50% R. The ventilation and drainage of wall assembliesdo not have a proven track record of successful performance and should be attempted only with caution by the to the exterior. Techniques arising from this strategy may conflict with traditional practice. INTERIOR CONDITIONS: Figure 3-5: Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Wall with an Electrical Outlet Box The development of new materials and the increasing complexity of building designs have led to the increasing acceptance of the strategy of controlling moisture accumulation effective strategy where the practitioner understands the moisture transport mechanisms involved.

vapor diffusion can be effectively discounted as a major moisture transport problem in this assembly. In other words. Approach 3: Control moisture in the interior air The third approach is to control the amount of moisture in the interior air. Further assume that this moisture sources. If the relative humidity of the interior conditioned space is maintained below 20 percent at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Approach 2: Eliminate inlet/outlet openings The second approach is to eliminate the inlet and outlet openings. The dew point line is also plotted on Figure 3-6. and sheathing are small compared with the thermal resistance of the insulation in the wall cavity. the vapor diffusion retarder does not eliminate the air movement problem. the potential for condensation exists at that interface should moisture migrate from the interior conditioned space via vapor diffusion and/or air movement. The following pages describe eight strategies for moisture control for wall assemblies in heating climates with interior Control of Moisture Entry Approach 1: lnstall interior vapor dz&ion retarder Moisture can enter the wall from the interior in only two ways (other than plumbing leaks and water spills). The dew point temperature of the interior air/vapor mix is approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be accomplished in Chicago with source control of moisture and with dilution (air change via controlled ventilation). as the balance of the wall assembly is covered with a very effective vapor diffusion retarder. However. providing the driving force for the exfiltration of warm. Vapor diffusion is also occurring. since the thermal resistance values of the siding. in this particular climate will likely suffer distress. Since the surface area of this flaw (with respect to diffusion only) is small compared to the total surface area covered with the 6mil vapor diffusion retarder. the air will not carry moisture into the assembly. and/or the assembly should be filled with a cavity insulation that completely fills the voids with density sufficient to eliminate air movement. the dew point temperature of this airhapor mixture is below the mean daily insulation/sheathing temperature for the year (Figure 3-6). by vapor diffusion and air movement. To simplify matters. specifically Chicago. From the description of the wall assembly it is clear that moisture from the interior is in fact accessing the insulation/sheathing interface via air movement through the electrical outlet box. Vapor diffusion is controlled by installing a &mil polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. assume that the temperature of the insulation/sheathing interface is approximately equivalent to the mean daily ambient temperature. or weffing potential for this assembly should moisture from the interior access the insulation/sheathing interface. Figure 3-6 plots mean daily ambient temperature over a one-year period in Chicago. The shaded area under the dew point line is the potential for condensation. Illinois. since 20 percent relative humidity is uncomfortably Moisture Control Handbook Page 55 . From the plot it is clear that the mean daily insulation/sheathing interface temperature drops below the dew point temperature during early October and does not go above the dew point temperature until late March. Assume that the wall is not airtight and contains an unsealed electrical outlet box is located above the neutral pressure plane in the building so that an outward-acting air pressure exists across this opening. This approach guarantees no condensation.climate. specifically the 6-mil sheet polyethylene. These strategies fall into three groups: Control of Moisture Entry Control of Moisture Accumulation Removal of Moisture fhesecondifions. If there are no openings for the air to pass through. building paper. The conditioned space operates at a high interior vapor pressure (50 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit). but only through the electrical outlet box. whenever the insulation/ sheathing interface drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The electrical outlet opening and/or exterior sheathing to the frame assembly should be air sealed. Of course this may prove to be uncomfortable. and this wall assembly. moist interior air. under electrical outlet box. However. air movement cannot be discounted.

(R-12 SHEATHING. Illinois) [3. AS 5 n 330 t20 10 0 a4o APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR Figure 3-6: Potential for Condensation in Wood Frame Walls in a Heating Climate (Chicago.6] APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR Figure 3-7: Potential for Condensation in Wood Frame Walls in a Heating Climate (Chicago.6] Page 56 Chapfer3-Weffing and Drying of Building Assemblies . Illinois) [3.80 70 INSULATION/SHEATHING INTERFACE TEMPERATURE. 60 G UI e50 R-11 CAVITY INSULATION i INTERFACE TEMP.

condensation is not possible. The enclosure can be depressurized by installing exhaust-only ventilation. if the cost of mechanical ventilation includes operating costs. namely the insulation/sheathing interface. which has a negligible thermal resistance. Conversely the wall assembly can be mechanically pressurized with exterior air.7l. This wall assembly typically translates to a 2 x 4 wall with 2 1/2 to 3 inches of rigid insulation to the exterior. causing infiltration under all conditions. the insulation/sheathing interface remains above the interior dew point temperature (Figure 36). With this type of wall assembly. It may also be expensive to implement. is replaced with insulating sheathing of a thermal resistance of R-12 or greater. WOOD-BASED SIDING (BACK-PRIMED) 1 x 4 FURRING STRIPS (OPEN TOP AND B O T VENTILATION DIFFUSION THROUGH ING Moisture Confro1Handbook Page 57 . Control of Moisture Accumulation Approach 5: Control temperature ofthe interstitial condensing surface Approach 4: Control air pressure diferenfial The fourth approach is to control the pressure differential across the wall assembly. The temperature of this interface is proportional to the thermal resistance to the exterior of the interface compared'with the total thermal resistance for any given temperature difference. however. spillage and backdrafting in combustion appliances and potential radon gas entry must be addressed. Although this is not typically practical in wall assemblies. it is an option available for roof/ attic assemblies.low for many individuals. If the temperature of this interface is raised above the interior dew point temperature. This air pressure control would only be necessary during the period when the insulation/sheathing interface is below the interior dew point temperature [3. an interior vapor diffusion The fifth approach is to control the temperature of the first condensing surface. If the plywood sheathing. and the cavity insulation is R-11 or less. Where depressurization strategies are employed.

SIDING 1 x 4 FURRING STRIPS (OPEN TOP AND BOTT VENTILATION CAVITY INSULATIONIN WOOD FRAME WALL A retarder or air retarder is not necessary as the temperature of the first condensing surface is controlled. -) Removal of Moisture Approach 6: Remove moisture by vapor di@ion M N T HOLES IN SHEATHING A 5 AIR SPACE BETWEENCAVITY INSULATION AND SHEATHING IS REQUIRED FOR EFFECTIVE VENTILATION z SLOTS IN SHEATHING The sixth approach is to remove any condensed moisture by relying on vapor diffusion. which will allow the transfer of moisture to the building paper and ultimately to the cladding. building paper. There are several Clzapfer3-Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . Installing the cladding on furring. diffusion through the sheathing. which links ventilation of the siding/cladding with more effective than relying on diffusion acting alone through the sheathing. asphalt-impregnated fiberboard. This also limits capillary effects at siding laps. and cavity insulation of thermal resistance of R-11 or less (Figure 3 7 . is much INSTEAD OF REMOVING MOISTURE BY VENTING. Vinyl and aluminum sidings allow more moisture to migrate to the exterior (due to the air spaces and air circulation behind these claddings) than wood-based claddings. The nature of the cladding system and its associated geometry wilI determine the rate of moisture removal from the building paper /cladding and sheathing/building paper interfaces. A more economical approach may be to limit interior moisture levels to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees (a dew point temperature of approximately 40 degrees) and couple this with a wall with sheathing of thermal resistance of R-7 or greater. This may not be the most economical wall assembIy to build. This approach. and cladding. in effect. unless the woodbased claddings are installed over furring (Figure 3-8). HOLES OR SLOTS IN SHEATHING ARE LIKELY TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF AIR-TRANSPORTED MOISTURE ENTERINGTHE WALL FROM THE INTERIOR Approach 7: Remove moisture by air movement Figure 3-9: Removal of Moisture with Ventilation Page 58 The seventh approach is to utilize air movement (ventilation) to remove moisture from the wall assembly. but it does control condensation under the conditions specified. It may be desirable to paint the back of wood-based claddings (backpriming) to protect the siding from absorbing moisture that passes through the vapor permeable sheathing. ventilates both the back of the siding and front face of the sheathing. The exterior plywood sheathing can be replaced with vapor permeable.

The arguments against this approach are that it will increase exfiltration/infiltration through the wall assembly if openings or flaws are present at the interior surface. with dense cavity insulation (or a building paper over typical cavity insulation). An alternative strategy is not to install any sheathing or building paper and provide air flow over the outer surface of the cavity insulation between the insulation and the exterior cladding (Figure 3-9A). This approach also works well. The first has already been described in Figure 3-8. This approach will only be effective if an air space exists between the sheathing and the exterior face of the cavity insulation and an airtight interior cladding is provided. In practice this is rarely the case. with no exterior sheathing. a tight interior cladding. the approach can be effective. However. which links the ventilation of siding with diffusion through a vapor permeable sheathing. Since condensation will occur at the insulation/ sheathing interface. Furthermore. SHEET METAL. OR FOIL-BACKED RIGID SHEATHING) DRAINING INSULATION VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER PROTECTING INTERIOR CLADDING a CONDENSATION wind-washing. However. An additional strategy is to provide openings in the sheathing (Figure 3-9B). OPENING AT BASE OF WALL FLASHING TO DRAIN -4 WALL CAVITY \ Figure 3-10 Conceptual Illustration of the Drain Screen Technique Applied to a Wood Frame Wall Approach 8: Provide drainage of condensed moisture The eighth approach is to allow the condensation to occur but drain it from the wall assembly before deterioration in performance or durability occurs. If greater exfiltration is the result. It is an approach typically utilized in numerous commercial wall systems. provisions for racking strength and cladding support may be necessary. provisions for wall racking strength and cladding support may need to be provided when replacing the exterior sheathing with a building paper. A variation of this approach is to install only a vapor permeable building paper in place of a vapor permeable sheathing. and in assemblies which provide alternative methods (other than sheathing) for racking strength. and significantly reduce the thermal effectiveness of low density cavity insulations due to NONABSORPTIVE SHEATHING (BACK PRIMED PLYWOOD. the back of the plywood Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 59 .basic strategies for providing ventilation to wall assemblies. and provisions for drainage and protection against moisture absorption by the exterior sheathing are not present. serious moisture accumulation problems may result. and more often than not the openings in the sheathing lead to either rain entry or greater exfiltration of interior air (Figure 3-9C).

providing openings at the exterior of the assembly will increase the through-flow of air. Control of air pressure differentials Control of Moisture Accumulation 5. Drainage will not work with nonoriented cavity insulations such as cellulose. and that no attic bypasses exist. Provision for drainage of condensed moisture Roof Assemblies assemblies. drainage will not remove absorbed moisture from asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum board. eight control strategies for moisture control for wall assemblies in heating climates with interior moisture sources have been discussed. outlet. or with non-back-primed or sealed wood-based sheathings. If flaws or openings are present at the interior surfaces of a wall assembly. exfiltration of air through the wall assembly increases. and the roof assembly is not deliberately vented. Also included is a description of roofing assembly ventilation strategies. Vapor diffusion. Provision for moisture removal by air movement (ventilation) 8. or air flow . and drainage at the bottom of the wall assembly should be provided with an appropriate opening and flashing (Figure 310). Control of Moisture Entry 1 Control of moisture entry by vapor . . and lists strategies for controlling any moisture-related problems. paths/openings 3 Control of moisture in the interior air .. Control of the temperatures of the interstitial condensing surfaces Figure 3-11 illustrates an attic assembly located in a heating climate (Chicago). 4. It will only remove condensed water from nonabsorbent materials. this moisture is absorbed by the wood sheathing Page 60 Chapfer3-Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . In addition. transport mechanisms that may affect roof This section describes the moisture ASSEMBLIES MOISTURE BEHAVIOR IN ROOF Summary of Moisture Control Strategies for Walls In summary. The conditioned space operates at a high interior vapor pressure (50 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Removal of Moisture 6. assume that no air pressure difference exists between the interior conditioned space and the unconditioned attic in order to eliminate air movement as a moisture transport mechanism. Condensation will still take place at the insulation/sheathing interface. diffusion by controlling the permeability of the interior surfaces (installing a vapor diffusion retarder) 2 Control of air inlet. The drainage strategy is successfully utilized in commercial metal buildings. but now more of it will occur. and drainage will still occur to alleviate the problem. No flaws or openings between the conditioned space and the unconditioned attic are present which would allow for air movement through the attic ceiling. will move moisture from the interior conditioned space through the painted ceiling gypsum board and into the ceiling fiberglass batt insulation. It is important to note that drainage will not remove absorbed water from a material. The roof sheathing is plywood. during the heating season. Ceiling insulation consists of unfaced fiberglass batts of thermal resistance R-30. Provision for moisture removal by vapor diffusion 7. The first surface below the dew point temperature that this vapor comes in contact with is the underside of the roof sheathing (Figure 3-11). thermal performance will likely be reduced due to the air flow. Gypsum board painted with a relatively vapor permeable latex is installed to the underside of the bottom chords of wood roof trusses. sheathing can be sealed to prevent capillarity and absorption of condensed water into the plywood. Protection of wood studs is also necessary. These strategies fall into three groups. Furthermore. Assume that the ceiling gypsum board has been installed in an airtight manner. The principle argument against drainage is that by providing drainage openings. However. If the roof sheathing is wood.

Specific air inlet and outlet openings are provided for this ventilation air f o . moisture enters the attic from below. and the wetting of ceiling insulation follows (Figure 3-12) [3. F is t interesting to note that this wetting of the insulation is from above (the dripping of condensed moisture from the underside of roof sheathing) rather than from below (vapor diffusion from the interior). When solar radiation elevates the above the temperature of the upper surface of size and location of the ventilation openings temperature of the sheathing so that it is the ceiling insulation. Dripping of condensed moisture (or frost melted by solar radiation) from the underside of the roof sheathing is common.weight). In this approach.md. Serious problems can occur if the amount of moisture reaching the roof sheathing and roof framing members (1)exceeds the ability of these members to absorb moisture without the potential for decay (greater than 30 percent moistwe-contentby .The lw FROST FORMED ON ROOF SHEATHING MELTS AND WATER DRIPS ONTO INSULATION F SHEATHING OF INSULATION MIGRATIONTO FROST L GYPSUM BOARD CEILING FIBERGLAS B A l T INSULATION Figure 3-11: Moisture Transport Wetting Mechanisms in a Roof Assembly Moisfrire ConfrolHandbook Page 61 . vapor diffusion can also transport moisture from the underside of the roof sheathing.8].(2) remains there long enough under conditions which will support decay. although in this case the original moisture source was from the interior conditioned space below.until the storage capability of the wood is exceeded and the moisture subsequently accumulates on the interior surface of the roof sheathing in the form of frost or condensation. The most traditional and widespread vapor diffusion control strategy is roof/attic ventilation. mixes with the air in the attic space. and is removed by ventilation.

moisture deposition/accumulation from air movement is usually concentrated at surfaces adjacent or opposite to flaws and openings. No additional measure is introduced in most cases to provide for an operative pressure difference across these openings to ensure flow. or the rate of moisture entry compared with the rate Approach 1: Prevent roof leaks The first and most obvious approach to roof moisture control is to prevent roof leakage. as the rate of moisture entry through leaks is typically much greater than the rate of removal by ventilation. other than the effect of wind or the difference in height. predicting. Some examples of control will now be examined with respect to roof assemblies. with half the vent area located at the upper portion of the attic and the remainder at the soffit areas. The roof is located in Chicago. In practice. From the interior by vapor diffusion 4. From the interior by air transport These factors can provide a starting point for control strategies. When air movement from the interior is introduced to the roof assembly described in Figure 3-11. 2. Roof leaks are typically addressed as a first priority. low permeability wall coverings) 3. interior moisture levels. as in the wall example. From the exterior by air transport On the attic side of the ceiling gypsum (ventilation) Within the ceiling gypsum board (vapor barrier gypsum board) On the interior surface of the ceiling gypsum board (vapor barrier paint. it tends to dominate vapor diffusion. as in wall assemblies. Like the wall examples. the issues of vapor diffusion retarders. The control strategies which can be implemented to alleviate the roof moisture problem. . Page 62 Chapfer3-Weffing and Drying of Building Assemblies . 2 Control of moisture accumulation Control of Moisture Entry Moisture can enter a roof assembly in four ways: On the interior surface of the roof insulation (foil-backed batt insulation) board (foil-backed gypsum board) 1 From the exterior by gravity (roof leaks) . A further traditional vapor diffusion control strategy. is understanding the moisture balance. As before. are typically specified in standards and codes. fall into three groups: 1 Control of moisture entry . .. and controlling moisture accumulation in roof assemblies. The key to understanding. aluminum foil. Moisture entry from the exterior by gravity or roof leaks is clearly the most significant and most obvious. Ventilation or any other moisture removal mechanism to control moisture entry and accumulation from roof leaks is not practical. MOISTURE CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR ROOFS 11)experiencing moisture distress from both This discussion assumes a roof (Figure 3- vapor diffusion and air movement. rigid impermeable insulation) of moisture removal. this ceiling vapor diffusion retarder can be installed at one or more of the following locations: Between the ceiling gypsum board and the bottom cords of roof trusses or the underside of the roof rafters (sheet polyethylene. The most common value specified is 1square foot of vent area for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. its effects can be superimposed over those of vapor diffusion in a manner similar to the previous wall examples. The requirements are usually presented as a ratio of free vent area to insulated ceiling area. as well as all building assemblies. roof ventilation versus no roof ventilation. 3 Removal of moisture . If a roof assembly is leaking. These vapor diffusion retarders are usually required by building codes to have a permeability of 1perm or less. and the interior space is conditioned to 50 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the heating season. as the other moisture entry mechanisms are comparatively insignificant. and effect of climate are insignificant. or a ratio of 1:300. and the inferred stack effect when the attic space and the outdoor air are at different temperatures. where air movement exists as a moisture transport mechanism.. is the installation of a vapor diffusion retarder.

the linearity of Fick's Law can be interpreted such that if 95 percent of the surface area of a ceiling or roof assembly is covered with a vapor diffusion retarder.210 P a . or other). rather than out. In this case. The effectiveness of a vapor diffusion retarder is dependent on both its resistance to moisture flow by diffusion (permeability)and its coverage (surface area). The roof sheathing can be at 0 degrees Fahrenheit pressure of approximately 0. night sky radiation on a clear winter night can cool roof surfaces and roof decking 10 degrees Fahrenheit or more below exterior ambient conditions (often below the dew point). the air entering the attic is moving moisture into the attic space because of the high relative humidity of the air. in extreme climates The second approach to roof moisture control is not to ventilate roof assemblies under conditions where ventilation brings moisture from the exterior. Thus. foil backing on gypsum board. the wood framing absorbs moisture. crawl space ventilation in hot. Although air transport is more significant than vapor diffusion. In other words. humid climates the ambient air often contains more moisture than the air within the roof assembly or cavity during cooling periods. and gaps in vapor diffusion retarders need not lead to catastrophic failure if their surface area is small relative to the total surface area of vapor diffusion retarder coverage. In roof spaces.Approach 2: Avoid roof assembly ventilation moisture to be added to the roof space by air movement from the exterior. and low permeance wall and ceiling coverings. Where attics are framed with wood sheathing. punctures. then that vapor diffusion retarder is 95 percent effective. The wood does not dry out.110 Wa. so air movement from the exterior is actually moving moisture into the attic space. however. they may take many other forms such as low permeance paint-on surfaces. When this is the case. This is a lower vapor pressure than the ambient. it is a direct or linear function of both surface area and permeability (Fick's Law). This corresponds to a vapor pressure of approximately 0. Cold air. roof ventilation can bring moisture into the roof assembly or cavity rather than remove it. In such cases. humid coastal regions where extensive this temperature corresponds to vapor mechanical cooling occurs. For example. An extension of this argument shows that several coats of paint on the exposed surfaces of ceilings are typically satisfactory to control Moisture Control Handbook Page 63 . Such conditions may be prevalent in extreme climates. In hot. normally has a high relative humidity. hostile. steel. in many cases vapor diffusion by itself can move sufficient moisture into a roof assembly to create moisture problems and should be addressed. tears. rips. Holes. and it can be a significant causal factor relating to mold and mildew problems on interior gypsum board surfaces. and subarctic climates with heavily insulated roof assemblies. and cold. Moisture from the interior can enter by air transport and vapor diffusion. Vapor diffusion retarders are typically sheet polyethylene (visqueen). When exterior cold. In heavily insulated roof assemblies in heating climates. regardless of the sheathing or framing materials (wood. low heat loss due to the insulation leads to attic spaces which operate at close to exterior or ambient temperatures. wood rafters. arctic. and trusses. such as due to night sky radiation. especially during evenings or cloudy. The permeability of a vapor diffusion retarder has been arbitrarily limited to a permeability of 1perm or less. overcast days. all other things being equal. ambient humid conditions can also reduce the removal rate from roof assemblies or cavities. Similarly. both the exterior air entering the attic space (ventilation air) and the roof sheathing are cold. rather than the vapor pressure. low vapor pressure air with a high relative humidity comes in contact with cold roof wood framing. although it typically has a low vapor pressure and as such is dry in the absolute sense. Where surface area is concerned. Approach 3: Install vapor difision retarder The third approach to roof moisture control is to install an interior vapor diffusion retarder. dry. Hence. humid climates also often brings moisture into crawl spaces. these wood materials absorb moisture according to the relative humidity present in the attic. it is typical for the exterior air may be at 15 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 80 percent. vapor diffusion retarders need not be perfect to control vapor diffusion. In mixed climates (where both heating and cooling occur for extended periods) and heating climates. and at saturation hot. foil backing on insulation batts.

Vapor diffusion and air transport subsequently move the moisture from within the roof assembly to the interior conditioned space. The distinction is important and often overlooked or misunderstood. space and the roof assembly is one of the Control of interior conditioned space most common and most effective techniques moisture levels can be a very powerful for the control of moisture entry from the strategy with respect to both vapor diffusion interior by air transport. Control of The fourth approach to roof moisture openings between the interior conditioned control is to control interior moisture levels. ductwork) or Page 64 Chapter 3-Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies I .moisture entry from the interior by vapor diffusion into roof assemblies in mixed and heating climates. resulting in a consrvative set of assumptions. Paint can act as an effective vapor diffusion retarder.9]. Dilution can take the following forms: Uncontrolled air change (natural ventilation in leaky buildings during heating periods) Controlled air change (fans providing mechanical ventilation during heating periods) Dehumidification (mechanical dehumidification or air conditioning during cooling periods) Dilution is more enerw intensive than source control. but it cannot act as an air retarder. Air movement (attic ventilation) is typically responsible for moving moisture from the exterior into the roof assembly (attic). This maintains the dew point dense pack cellulose to completely fill temperature of the interior air/vapor mix cavities has been reported [3. This is a design stage for new construction. sealed. paint does not control the movement of moisture into roof assemblies by air transport. Vapor diffusion retarders are rarely installed in the ceilings of cooling climate enclosures to control moisture entry into roof assemblies from the interior. interior relative humidity during the winter significant success in controlling openings in is limited to less than 20 percent at 70 degrees flat roofs with cavities by utilizing dry blown Fahrenheit. Recently. If moisture is not present closed using continuous. As simple as this strategy is conceptually. Illinois. and high evaporation energies (high drying potentials through low insulation levels)-all consume significant amounts of energy. thus by relocation (electrical. However. The recognition that this vapor diffusion moisture flow from the ventilated attic cavity into the enclosure increases the latent cooling loads is leading to the requirement of installing ceiling vapor diffusion retarders even in cooling climates. although the trends towards higher levels of roof assembly insulation and the subsequent reduction of available energy to evaporate moisture has increased the number of vapor diffusion retarder installations in these climates. Almost all simplification that does not take into account roof assembly penetrations can be eliminated night sky radiation or solar heat gain. Approach 5: Eliminate air inlef/ouflet openings The fifth approach to roof moisture Approach 4: Confrol moisture in the inferior control is to control openings that allow air flow from the conditioned space through the air ceiling into the roof assembly. a sigificant component of any energy conservation program should be the source control of moisture. gypsum board in new construction. in practice it can become confusing. whereas dilution involves removing moisture after it has been generated or has entered the conditioned space. below the mean daily roof sheathing Openings are best controlled at the temperature (seeFigures 3-6.3-7). controlled ventilation. The altematives-uncontrolled ventilation. Vapor diffusion retarders are often not installed in mixed climates. Source control involves controlling moisture at the point of generation or entry. Interior moisture levels can be controlled in two ways (either separately or combined): source control and dilution. and spray foams. Openings are often and air transport. sheet in the first place then there is no moisture for polyethylene and/or continuous sealed vapor diffusion or air movement to transport. the caulks. sealants. Thus. In Since the roof assembly referred to in this existing construction they are closed with discussion is located in Chicago. It should be noted that vapor only moves from the attic to the conditioned space if the space is air conditioned or otherwise dehumidified. as the moisture flow by diffusion is in the opposite direction.

If the air pressure driving force is eliminated. This strategy is not dependent on total enclosure leakiness. mildew. this strategy would result in excessive Control of Moisture Accumulation Approach 7 Control temperatures o : f condensing surfaces within roof assembly The seventh approach is to control the temperature of condensing surfaces in roof assemblies. If access into a roof assembly is possible. air moisture transport and vapor diffusion are not concerns regardless of interior moisture levels. it is possible to freeze plumbing within interior partition walls under extreme conditions. Historically. However. This positive air pressure difference acts as a driving force for air transport into roof assemblies from the conditioned space. air-transported moisture between the conditioned space and the roof assembly can also be eliminated. However. this is often only enclosure negative pressures and be very energy wasteful. and the conditioned space operated at a negative air pressure relative to the roof assembly. If access is difficult or not possible. neutral pressure planes were often located above insulated ceilings in roof assemblies. Success is often determined by roof assembly geometry. This strategy has proven effective with flat roof cavities where roof vents have been sealed and exterior air is used to pressurize the cavities. Finally. As mentioned earlier. Furthermore. moisture problems can occur when the moisture storage capacity of roof assembly materials is finally exceeded. Consequently there has been an increase in roof assembly air-transported moisture problems. Roof assemblies that have attics of sufficient volume to accommodate tradesmen are readily airtightened from within with simple tools and techniques. Most building enclosures in heating climates today operate at a positive air pressure relative to roof assemblies due to the stack effect and the conditioned space pressurization capabilities of forced air ductwork systems. The trend away from active chimneys has eliminated this source of enclosure depressurization. exhaust air volume in order to maintain practical when the building enclosure is relatively tight. When this conditioned air contains sufficient moisture and roof assembly surfaces are below the dew point temperature of the interior air. Control of openings in existing roof Approach 6: Control air pressure diferen tials The sixth approach to roof moisture control is to control air pressure differentials which act across ceilings. The pressurization fan typically operates only when the exterior air temperature drops the moisture accumulation surface (usually the roof sheathing) temperatures below the conditioned space dew point temperature. It is also possible to deliberately maintain a r a d assembly at a slight positive air pressure relative to the conditioned space by the use of supply ventilation directly from the exterior into roof assembly cavities. and surface condensation. interior enclosure surfaces may be cooled sufficiently to lead to mold. Balancing ductwork and sealing leaky ducts can lead to significant reductions in the air pressure driving forces influencing air-transported moisture. and where supply ducts are not matched to return ducts on a room by room basis. control of apenings is also typically nat possible. if overpressurization of the roof cavities leads to significant air flow from the roof cavities into the enclosure. The most successful strategies employ fan depressurization/ pressurization equipment to identify air leakage sites. In building enclosures which contain forced air ductwork. Moisture Control Handbook Page 65 . depressurization strategies must also consider impacts on fuel-fired appliances and the ingress of radon gas. openings.identified and accommodated (plumbing vents) for sealing during the construction process. supply air ducts tend to pressurize condition& spaces relative to the exterior and roof assemblies. In leaky building enclosures. and air pressures. in building enclosures with fuel-fired combustion appliances coupled to active chimneys. If moisture accumulation surface temperatures do not fall below the interior air dew point temperature. care must be taken not to blow insulation material into the living space. then closing openings is typically possible. A building enclosure can be deliberately maintained at a slight negative air pressure relative to the roof assembly to control airtransported moisture by the use of exhaust ventilation. assemblies is much more difficult than at the design stage for new construction.

the possibility of surface condensation on roof assembly surfaces is greater in more hostile climates. The roof membrane is installed either over the top of this thermal insulation than 70 percent over an extended period of (visible membrane) or under the thermal insulation directly on the sheathing (inverted roof membrane) (Figure 3-12). Condensation will not occur at the roof sheathing if all the thermal insulation is above it. Surfaces become warmer as the amount of thermal resistance to the exterior of the surface increases. wood decay can also be prevented. Condensation on a surface (and surface relative humidity) can be controlled by either limiting the amount of moisture accessing that surface. Furthermore. or occurs in such limited quantities that moisture problems do not occur. if surface relative humidities can be limited to 70 percent. moisture accumulation surface in a roof assembly is determined by both the temperature difference between the interior conditioned space and the exterior and the ratio of the amount of thermal insulation (thermal resistance) to the exterior of the surface compared to the total thermal resistance of the assembly.VAPOR DIFFUSIONRETARDER) Figure 3-12: Inverted Roof Membrane Surface relative humidities of 100 percent are typically necessary for wood to decay. the more moderate the climate. Therefore. compared to the interior. or by controlling the surface temperatures such that condensation does not occur. between the interior conditioned space and the exterior. Conversely. Therefore if condensation can be prevented or at least limited in roof assemblies. condensation can occur if exterior temperatures are sufficiently low and sufficient moisture can access the sheathing surfaces. and surface relative humidities of greater time are required for surface mold. which is typically the principle moisture accumulation surface in a roof assembly. Using thermal insulation to increase roof assembly moisture accumulation surface temperatures can be effective in the deterioration. Where all the thermal insulation is below the roof sheathing. the less likely surface condensation will occur. and corrosion. the greater the possibility of surface condensation. This strategy is effective regardless of whether the moisture transport The temperature of the principle prevention of moisture-induced roof The greater the temperature difference Page 66 Chapfer&Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies .STONE BALLAST FILTER RIGID INSULATION (LOOSE LAID) WATERPROOF MEMBRANE (AIR RETARDER. corrosion and surface mold growth can also be controlled. The most common example of this strategy is the installation of thermal insulation above roof sheathing in flat roofs and cathedral ceiling construction. mildew. thereby raising the surface temperature of the sheathing.

As an example. This may not be the most economical cathedral ceiling assembly to build.mechanism to the sheathing is vapor diffusion or air transport. Illinois (Figure 3-13) exposed to the same interior conditions as the roof assembly described by Figure 3-11. and the cavity insulation is R-19 or less. The temperature of the insulation/sheathing interface is proportional to the thermal resistance to the exterior of the interface compared to the thermal resistance to the interior of the interface for any given temperature difference. and WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTION) ROOF SHEATHING R-20 RIGID INSULATION y POLYE M YLENE (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED) ROOF SHEATHING RIGID INSULATION NOTCHED AROUND RAFTERS VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION CAVITY INSULATION R-19 CEILING INSULATlOt BETWEEN 2 x 6 RAFTERS GYPSUM BOARD CAULKING OR SEALANT -GYPSUM BOARD Figure 3-13: Unvented Cathedral Ceiling with R-20 Rigid Insulation Above R-19 Batt Insulation Moisture Control Handbook Page 67 . A more economical approach may be to limit interior moisture levels to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees (a dew point temperature of approximately 40 degrees) and couple this with an insulating sheathing of thermal resistance of R-12 or greater. With this type of cathedral ceiling assembly. This is analogous to the wall assembly described in Figure 3.10].7. This roof assembly typically translates to 2 x 6 rafters with 4 inches of rigid insulation to the exterior. consider an unvented cathedral ceiling constructed in Chicago. an interior vapor diffusion retarder or air retarder is not necessary as the temperature of the first condensing surface is controlled. If the insulation above the sheathing has a thermal resistance of R-20 or greater. the insulation/sheathing interface remains above the interior dew point temperature (Figure 37). but it does control condensation under the conditions specified [3.

. the ambient air is not always drier than the air within the roof it to the exterior. pick up moisture when it is within the Approach 8: Remove moisture by venfilation Roof ventilation is the most common means of removing moisture from roof assemblies and controlling moisture accumulation. AT 70" F Figure 3-14: Unvented Cathedral Ceiling with R-12 Rigid Insulation Above R-28 Batt Insulation Page 68 Chapfer%Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . -.. When this is the case. exterior air must be able to . roof ventilation has been 2 The rate of removal of moisture from the WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTION) ROOF SHEATHING R-12 RIGID INSULATION POLYETHYLENE (CONTINUOUS ROOF SHEATHING RIGID INSULATION NOTCHED AROUND VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION CAVITY INSULATION CEILING INSULATION (R-28) BETWEEN 2 x 8 RAFTERS GYPSUM BOARD CAULKING OR SEALANT GYPSUM BOARD NOTE: MOISTURE LEVELS IN CONDITIONED SPACE MUST BE LIMITED TO 35 % R. ambient air from the exterior enters the roof assembly or cavity and subsequently leaves the roof cavity. . This approach relies on the ability of roof assembly or cavity. However. .. the following conditions must prevail: or less (Figure 3-14)..H. The first condition implies that the ambient air is drier than the air within the roof assembly or cavity. and when this is coupled with the second condition. when it is within the roof assembly and carry successful. Removal of Moisture 1 The ambient.- cavity insulation of thermal resistance of R-28 successful. With this approach. For this approach to be assembly or cavity. and ventilation air exterior ambient air to pick up moisture roof assembly or cavity must be greater than the rate of moisture accumulation.

or when incident solar radiation is intense. Solar radiation can raise roof cavity and assembly surface temperatures and provide energy for the evaporation of moisture. Where the rate of moisture entry into a roof assembly or cavity exceeds the rate of moisture removal. roof assemblies have not contained significant levels of insulation and during heating periods. it was warmed by the heat loss from the If roof assemblies are initially constructed dry and prevented from getting wet during service. In such climates it has been common to build successfully performing roof assemblies without vapor diffusion retarders and relatively leaky (to air) ceilings. then the rate of moisture entry is zero.11]. When cold. However. Ventilation is more effective in removing moisture from roof assemblies and cavities where insulation levels are low. roof assemblies do not need to be ventilated to control vapor diffusion. ventilation can balance the vapor diffusion and air transport (interior) moisture entry mechanisms. Varying degrees of success have been reported where not all the moisture entry moisture removal (ventilation) is used to offset or balance moisture entry [3.12]. The ability of ambient air to pick up moisture depends on both the amount of moisture already contained in the ambient air and the temperature of the ambient air. enhancing its ability to pick up moisture. Experience has shown that where vapor diffusion retarders have been installed. Historically. but significant amounts of moisture from well- transported moisture from the interior. the less moisture it can hold. Experience has also shown that where roof assemblies are constructed tight. roof assemblies in climatic regions that get a great deal of solar radiation are less prone to moisture problems than those that do not. conditioned space. roof assemblies do not need to be ventilated to control airquestion of how "tight" is necessary is important. ambient air entered these roof assemblies and cavities. Unfortunately. The trend towards higher levels of insulation has reduced the heat or energy flow from the conditioned space and therefore reduced the effectiveness of ventilation in removing moisture from roof assemblies and cavities. or during periods when the ambient air is sufficiently warm and dry to pick up moisture. where the rates of moisture entry and accumulation are low and the rate of moisture removal is high. The colder air is. Experience has shown that ventilation cannot be relied upon to balance the gravity moisture entry mechanism (roof assemblies leaking rainwater). It is common practice to build unvented flat roof assemblies with air and vapor retarder systems. Several arguments against roof ventilation can be made because of the mechanisms have been controlled. heat loss from within the conditioned space has warmed roof assemblies and cavities. It is also possible to build unvented cathedral ceilings where air-transported moisture and vapor diffusion are controlled. It is important to note that these roof assemblies have typically been constructed with relatively low levels of insulation and that as insulation levels increase. Unvented roof assemblies have historically proven successful when the moisture entry mechanisms-gravity.entering roof assemblies may actually carry moisture into the roof assemblies as discussed previously. This is often the case in roof assemblies located in mixed climates. and removal of moisture is not necessary. and interior moisture levels are often not limited or controlled. Ventilation may not be effective in removing insulated assemblies where the ventilation air remains cold and unable to pick up moisture. In well-insulated roofs. and air transport (either exterior/ ventilation or interior/air leakagebhave been controlled. Examples of this can be found in hot humid climates and during humid periods in mixed and heating climates during cloudy or overcast periods. roof assembly leakage areas are rarely known. Similarly. vapor diffusion. The second condition listed above relates to moisture balance. moisture accumulates. or where ambient air is humid and already saturated with moisture. sufficient energy may not be available to facilitate moisture evaporation from roof assembly materials. A psychrometric mixing model can be utilized to match roof assembly/ cavity ventilation needed on a climate-toclimate basis when roof assembly leakage areas are known and interior moisture levels are specified [3. The Moisture Confro1Handbook Page 69 . moisture problems may appear. The same argument holds for roofs constructed with dark surfaces (therefore warmer) compared with light-colored surfaces. Roof assemblies that receive direct solar radiation (south-facing surfaces and unshaded roofs) are therefore less prone to moisture problems than other roofs.

High attic air change through turbine ventilation does not provide a significant cooling effect. If the attic space remains cold due to attic insulation. These devices can vent the entire house through the attic if ceilings are leaky. Ventilation of well-insulated roof spaces that are over leaky ceilings can actually draw moisture-laden air out of the building enclosure into the cold roof cavity. moisture would not be moved into the space due to air movement. Control of the temperatures of the condensing surfaces in roof assemblies Removal ofMoisfure 8. diffusion (installing an interior vapor 4. as most of the heat gain in a summer attic is due to radiation. The resultant exfiltration of moisture-laden air through the leaky ceiling will not be removed from the attic by ventilation due to the ineffectiveness of ventilation in cold attics. The new attic vents dramatically increase the air leakage into the attic from the house through the leaky ceiling and hence increase the total energy cost due to the increased air change is often greater than the energy savings from a reduced conductive heat loss. It should be noted however. Control of moisture entry by vapor diffusion retarder) 5. The magnitude of this effect is even greater if powered or turbine vents are installed. 2 Control of moisture entry by not ventilating roof assemblies in extreme climates house air change [3. more moisture will be carried into the attic space as a result of the air pressure difference between the interior conditioned space and attic space. Where the turbine vents are coupled with a leaky ceiling during the summer conditions. Control of air pressure differentials Confrol o MoisfureAccumulation f 7. are often practical for summertime cooling of poorly insulated attics as long as the attic ceiling remains leaky. The irony is that if these two requirements are implemented. This usually explains the fairly common phenomenon of homeowners' heating bills increasing after the installation of additional attic insulation coupled with attic ventilation and a leaky ceiling. Provision for moisture removal by air movement (ventilation) Page 70 Chapfer&Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies .13]. There is poor coupling with the thermal mass of the attic air and the thermal mass of the shingle/ sheathing complex. outlet or air flow paths/openings 6. a turbine vent is no longer necessary. These strategies fall into three groups and are listed below. Power ventilation in an attic during the summer to reduce cooling loads is not very effective in a house with a tight ceiling. Confrol ofMoisture Entry 1 Control of roof leaks (gravity) . the turbine vents increase the air change by ventilating the house through the leaky ceiling. Control of moisture in the interior air Control of air inlet. To make these turbine vents cost-effective from an operating perspective. This is analogous to the problems experienced with the ventilation of wall assemblies. that most local building codes require roof ventilation. Summary of Roof Moisture Control Strategies Eight control strategies for moisture control for roof assemblies in heating climates have been discussed. Powered attic vents. The heat loss is often so great that the house furnace is not large enough to heat the house when the wind is blowing. and that builders omitting ventilation may be in violation of local code requirements. should the ceiling be extremely f leaky and the exfiltrating air flows large.potential for creating rather than alleviating moisture problems. the ceiling has to be tight and additional openings or vents may be necessary to provide make-up air from the exterior for the attic. As a result it is not uncommon to see plastic bags placed over these vents in the winter to stop them from operating. the exfiltrating air flows may carry sufficient heat with them to warm the attic to such an extent that the attic ventilation may now be effective. O course. In such a case if ventilation were not present. although not practical for heating season moisture control. The increased 3. The hot roof sheathing (160degrees Fahrenheit plus) radiates heat to the top of the attic insulation.

the sensations of comfort that operating surface temperatures of roof are felt by occupants when roof assemblies membranes. traditional However.14]. interior moisture-laden air Moisture removal has already been examined. 4. In some regions. shingle. Consequently. If service life is a concern. roofs and roof cavities have traditionally been vented to reduce cooling loads during the cooling season. roof membranes. The higher the operating surface temperature. occupant comfort. ventilation of roof assemblies has a the cavity is typically much cooler than the significant effect on reducing cooling loads. it does not make and insulation sense to ventilate roof assemblies to enhance OTHER CONSIDERATIONS RELATED TO ROOF ASSEMBLY VENTILATION 2 Enhancement of roofing life span by a lighter-colored roof membranes and shingles have been shown to have much longer 3 Reduction of cooling loads and increased service lives since they operate at lower . the upper surface temperature of cavity The operating surface temperatures of insulation. practice. A ventilation rate of anywhere from 1 to 15 air changes per hour has a negligible effect on membrane. and sheathing can reduce cooling loads by 25 percent. occupant comfort during the cooling season reduction of roofing and roof sheathing temperatures service life. the impact is reduced when the directly influence their service lives. (but only recently accepted) that the Furthermore. the underside of roof sheathings transfers heat principally by radiation to the negligible impact on cooling loads. shingle. cavities. this is not the case. In roof assemblies that are leaky and poorly top of the insulation. orientation. space by drawing warm air out of the Roof membranes and shingles are conditioned space through the roof cavity to warmed directly by solar radiation. The intervening air in insulated. where the effect of roof solar intensity. shorter the service life. surface temperatures. and sheathing Roofs and roof cavities traditionally have temperatures. and wind exposure than on ventilation also ventilates the conditioned roof ventilation [3. Enhancement of roofing life span.between the underside of the sheathing and the air in the cavity. However. and sheathing temperatures if good thermal coupling exists drawing warm. and sheathings are far are ventilated has been attributed to leaky more dependent on their color. tradition aside. It also chills the ceiling surface. and sheathing operating surface temperatures.14]. Typical average air change been vented for four reasons: rates in ventilated roof assemblies range from 3 to 6 air changes per hour over the year 1 Removal of moisture from assembly . As such. In cavity roof insulated. shingles. coupling between the conditioned Cavity ventilation can only remove space exists. structural members. sheathings. Control of ice damming Reduction of Cooling Loads Moisture Control Handbook Page 72 . ceiling assemblies. shingle. membrane. and the exterior. transfer heat to sheathings and rigid Where roof assemblies are tight and well insulation by conduction. and sheathings However. underside of the sheathing and the upper However. loads. This also affects cooling loads. this same significant heat from the roof assembly and ventilation is likely to be responsible for lower shingle. Although roof ventilation has a negligible impact on membrane. Unfortunately. shingles. ventilation of roof assemblies has a assemblies. cooling load reduction. roof ventilation does affect roof assembly cavity Enhancement of Roofing Life Span air temperatures and to a lesser extent. in any roof assembly where surface of the insulation due to the radiant ventilation significantlyimpacts cooling heat transfer. temperatures. It has been known for some time ventilation has a negligible effect [3. when these assemblies have physics and recent evidence question this thermal resistances of greater than R-25. Roof ventilation has In roof cavity assemblieswhich are traditionally been employed to control roof poorly insulated (less than R-lo). the levels of roof assembly insulation and assembly ceiling airtightness are increased. [3. and control of ice damming are discussed below.14]. ventilation membrane.

ASHRAE Handbook: 1989 the assembly in an airtight manner.Sources and Control Methods. personal communication 3. 1989. G. 3.W. Fundamentals. Vol. is to select 3.8 Marshall. This heat loss can occur from either a lack of thermal insulation where exterior walls intersect roof and attic assemblies. ASHRAE Transactions. CMHC. P. preventing it from melting accumulated snow on the roof and thus controlling the formation of ice dams. J.4 Quirouette. California... and Monaghan.. The ice dam causes the water to back up and potentially leak under overlapped shingles and through roof sheathing.. presented at CIB W40 Conference. London 1984. Canada. 3. January 1990. where sufficient heat loss occurs at the roof perimeter above insulated wall assemblies. ASHRAE Transactions. Air Leakage and Ventilafion. 1990. coupled with controlling air leakage up and out of walls.1985. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning insulate the roof assembly well. from the conditioned space into the roof CHAPTER 3: REFERENCES Control of Ice Damming In heating climates..and Giroux. and J. Chapter 21. 3. or from air leakage up and out of exterior walls. Page 72 Chapter >Wetting and Drying of Building Assemblies . 3.9 Fitzgerald.6 Handegord.12 Handegord. reflective roof membranes or shingles. Ottawa.. The most effective strategy to reduce Victoria.O. The heat loss can melt snow on the roof causing water to run down over the roof overhang. 3.1 Lstiburek. Ice damming can also be controlled by providing sufficient thermal insulation at the intersection of perimeter walls and ceilings. Georgia. G. Moisture Induced Problems in NHA Housing..A. paper presented at Second CSCE Conference on Building Science and Technology.and L.2 American Society of Heating. 1985. "Moisture and Thermal Aspects of Insulating Sheathing".5 Lischkoff. "Sidewall Insulation and Air Leakage Control".O. Technical Paper N089. J. and construct Engineers. 3. "Prediction of the Moisture Performance of Walls".1951. cooling loads through a roof assembly. 91. 3. Atlanta. 3.O. An Attic CondensafionVentilafionModel. The Dzjkmce Between a Vapor Barrier and an Air Barrier. 9. paper interior moisture levels are high. DBR/RRCC..ACEEE 1990 Summer Study. Vol.. tradition notwithstanding. DBR/NRCC. California. 3. R. Shen. where it can freeze forming a dam. 0. Basic Concepfsof Water Vapor Migration and Their Application to Frame Walls. G. F. Nelson. September 1989.13 Blasnik..10 Handegord.L.11 Cleary. Berkeley.. ice damming can occur.3 Joy.1985. G.assembly during the heating season. continuous 2-inch air space has been provided over the entire roof eve perimeter. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. 91. J. G. Building Practice Note 54. Vol. Continuous soffit ventilation has traditionally been used in heating climates to flush this heat away from the underside of the roof assembly. G. "Insulation Induced well insulated (low drying potential) and if Paint and Siding Failures". Macklin. Home Energy Magazine. Pacific Grove. 1983. M. "Prediction of the Moisture Performance of Walls". Inc. This strategy has proven to be very effective where a clear. January 1984. CA.7 Handegord. Pennsylvania State College Engineering Experiment Station. Timusk. leading to potential moisture problems if the space is 3. 1984. A f f i clnsulafion Perfmance. Humidity in Affics. 3.

Wilson. Atlanta. Venfilafion Accepfable Indoor Air for Qualify. Windowsand Roofs for fhe Canadian Climafe. Inc.. Handegord.14 Rose. Georgia.3. paper presented at second International CIB/ RILEM Symposium on Moisture Problems in Buildings... American Society of Heating. Chapter 21.Multi-Science Publications.G. Energy Design Update. Canada. G. November. G. (DBR/NRCC).. Tamura. Tamura.O. Rotterdam. 1989.DBR/NRCC. Y E . Building Practice Notes N057. f Roofs. Sfack Efecf and Building Design. ASHRAE Standard. Atlanta. (NRCC 13487).. Forgues. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. March 1991. A. 1973.The Venfilafiono lnsulafed . CHAPTER 3 BIBLIOGRAPHY : American Society of Heating.C. Kuester. Ltd. 1989. "Condensation Problems in Flat Wood Frame Roofs". Canadian Building Digest 107. and G. 1974. W. Roofs: Design. 62-1989.H. M. Baker. (NRCC 14589).. Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 73 .October..K. Walls. Application and Mainfainance.T. J... Inc. ASHRAE Handbook: 1989Fundamentals. 1968. 1980. and G. (NRCC/DBR).T. Latta. Montreal. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. "More Data on Shingle Overheating with Unvented Roofs".

The recommendations in this section will perform satisfactorily in both types of heating climates. not to dry heating climates. and interior mold and mildew linked to high interior levels of humidity. with foundation footings located below ground frost penetration depth. groundwater. although no distinction is made between the two in the accompanying map. The presence of ground frost penetration concerns in this climate has led to the widespread use of basement foundations. interstitial condensation (condensation within building assemblies). KEY CONCERNS AND CONTROL STRATEGIES In heating climates the principle moisture concerns are rain penetration. The design/construction practice recommendations in this section pertain to humid heating climates._- CHAPTER 4 Moisture Control Practices for Heating Climates Heating Climates This climate zone is defined as a heating climate with 4000 heating degree days or greater. Intermittent cooling (air conditioning) typically is necessary. Frostprotected crawl spaces are common in the Alaska i also included in s the heating dimate zone. Figure 4 1 Map of Heating Climate Zone in the United States -: Page 74 Chapter 4-Moisttae Control Practicesfor Heating Cliinafes .

Moisfiire Control Handbook Page 75 . This is caused by a lack of thermal insulation where exterior walls can cause the decay of structuraI framing intersect roof and attic assemblies as well as members. An example of this is the installation of gypsum board covered plumbed directly to the graywater system. building exposed to rain. such as brick. reduced air Building assemblies constructed with wet change. Above-grade frame walls predominate. combined with source control. air leakage up and out of exterior walls. Concrete and masonry foundations are common. As such. Reduced air change and assemblies must be designed and built so resultant higher levels of interior moisture that they can dry to the exterior or interior. the gypsum wall board is not protected from exterior Conditioned spaces are heated by both electric and fuel-fired appliances. and this warming creates and occupied. can lead to roof sheathing Heat loss at the perimeter of roof and decay. concerns with temperature gradients from the exterior to groundwater penetration and infiltration of the interior. When combined with the trend exterior or from construction moisture. roofs. and bath and kitchen exhaust systems. the above-grade conditioned spaces can be depressurized. wherever vinyl interior wall coverings reduced as a result of the trend away from are used in this climate zone. below). or have also led to elevated incidences of interior surface mold and mildew (discussed the materials must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. Without these. and stucco. careful site grading. this can cause problems if Another source of external water-air conditioning condensate drains-should be not taken into account. of interior surfaces. Air leakage openings can be limited. controlled in several ways. wood. incorporated in wall assemblies designed and built to deal with the inward migration of and subgrade drainage. this has led to concerns about the content by weight) or employing wet-applied exfiltration of interior moisture-laden air insulation (wet spray cellulose or wet blown causing condensation within insulated fiberglass) merit special attention. precautions active chimneys toward high efficiency must be taken to prevent gypsum wall board combustion appliances and electric heat from absorbing moisture either from the sources. masonry. negative interior air pressures have been Thus. and higher levels of interior lumber (greater than 19 percent moisture moisture. with vinyl wallpaper on the interior of a masonry block wall without provision for an Condensation within Building appropriate vapor diffusion retarder and air Assemblies barrier system. lead to ice damming. Rain and Groundwater Moisture movement by vapor diffusion from the interior is controlled by the use of Rain penetration and groundwater vapor diffusion retarders in walls. appropriate placement of flashings. should only be gutters.the interior moisture levels can be controlled by ventilation (dilution by air change). Air leakage into insulated attics during Ice Damming heating months. Solar radiation warms exterior Basement spaces are often conditioned wall surfaces. Source control involves direct venting of clothes dryers. Traditional moisture or from construction moisture which may be trapped in the masonry units. Air leakage into insulated wall attic assemblies during heating months can cavities during the heating months. and concerns are common to builders in all foundations. Along with the air conditioning soil gas (including radon) are common. as well as the use of sub-grade vapor retarders under concrete floor slabs. significant amounts of moisture when Examples include rain screens. and downspouts to direct water away from foundations. towards tighter enclosures. and more moderate regions of heating climates. coupled with an insufficient or limited drying ability. moisture. These assemblies. with some limited use of wood foundations. coupled with insufficient attic ventilation. papers. Moisture movement by air leakage (the coupled with insufficient or discontinuous exfiltration of interior moisture-laden air) is soffit ventilation. climates and the methods of control in this Cladding systems that can absorb climate are similar to those of other climates.

increasing cooling loads. Cold air is not capable of holding as much moisture as warm air. pesticides. and uninsulated (or poorly insulated) window lintels or headers. Cold interior surfaces during the heating months arising from thermal bridges or other thermal defects (wind blowing through insulation) create high interior surface relative humidities and often lead to mold and mildew at these locations. increases heating loads during the heating months and cooling loads during the cooling periods. dry air from the exterior infiltrates through random leakage openings in building enclosures or is brought into the building by controlled ventilation. it is picked up by this heated. increasing heating loads. heating loads increase. Mechanical System Concerns Ductwork for forced air heating and cooling systems should be installed only within conditioned spaces. and other pollutants into the conditioned spaces. the greater the removal rate of interior moisture. now containing moisture. During cooling periods. They also draw significant amounts of warm. During the heating season. such as the Pacific Northwest. moisture. and sufficient interior moisture is potentially supplied to attic and roof assemblies to create roof sheathing moisture and decay problems. Should moisture be available. and risks occupant health and safety. dry air. Leaky supply ducts located in attics or vented crawl spaces depressurize the conditioned space. exterior corners. Leaky return ducts located in vented crawl spaces draw significant amounts of soil gas.High Interior Humidity Resulting in Mold and Mildew The absence of a controlled ventilation system can lead to elevated moisture levels within the conditioned space during the heating months. Cold air is therefore typically dryer than warm air. Humidity is controlled within conditioned spaces by diluting interior moisture (air change). Gas stoves and cook tops without standing pilot lights should be installed in conjunction with vented range hoods or some other vent provision. This heated air. increasing cooling loads. However. As such. In Page 76 Clzapfer&Moisture Control Practicesfor Heating Cliinates . Leaky return ducts located in attics draw significant amounts of cold air into conditioned spaces during heating months. or is deliberately exhausted by controlled ventilation. moisture-laden air into the conditioned space from the attic during cooling periods. typical construction practice results in building enclosures which have air change rates from random leakage that are inadequate to control interior moisture levels. Most common locations are where exterior walls intersect insulated ceilings. warm. mechanical dehumidification is also practical. These elevated levels can lead to condensation on window surfaces and give rise to surface mold and mildew. exfiltrates to the exterior through other random leakage openings. The greater the air change rate. This cold. Ductwork should not be installed in attics or vented crawl spaces. Air change (infiltration/exfiltration combined with controlled ventilation) removes interior moisture from within building enclosures during the heating season. as well as concealed condensation within walls and roof spaces. the same mechanism can induce infiltration of exterior. radon. dry air is subsequently heated by the enclosure's heating system and becomes capable of holding appreciable amounts of moisture. moisture-laden air. This often creates moisture problems. Cold air thus infiltrates excessively during heating periods. Combustion Appliances Unvented combustion appliances such as gas stoves with standing pilot lights and room space heaters are significant sources of moisture as well as sources for other pollutants and should be avoided. Low air change during the heating season due to the construction of tight enclosures can lead to elevated interior levels of moisture. Combustion appliances should be aerodynamically uncoupled (not influenced by enclosure air pressures or supply air availability)from the conditioned space. Where ductwork is located in dropped ceilings adjacent to attics and exterior walls. cold. in heating climates it is desirable to ventilate enclosures in a controlled manner to limit interior moisture levels. In the more moderate heating regions with high exterior vapor pressures during the heating season. it is important that air barrier continuity is maintained above the dropped ceiling or at the exterior wall. along with controlled mechanical ventilation and source control.

Drying to the interior is possible. Positive pressurization of the basement eliminates the infiltration of soil gas. induced draft. Wood stoves should also have their own supply of exterior air ducted directly to their firebox. Ventilation of roof assemblies removes moisture in all but heavily insulated assemblies in the harshest climates. Fireplaces should have their own air supply from the exterior as well as tight-fitting glass doors. and above-grade 2 Buildings with basements and vented . Building 2 UNVENTED ROOF DEPRESSURIZE MAIN FLOOR PRESSURIZE BASEMENT Building 3 Figure 4-2: Whole House Concepts for Heating Climates Moisture Control Handbook Page 77 .other words. and other pollutants. Wall design and construction in this climate typically locates vapor diffusion retarders and measures to control air leakage towards the interior. but more difficult to facilitate and typically intermittent. Devices with traditional draft hoods should be avoided. Common features of the three systems CONTINUOUS SOFflTAND RIDGE VENTILATION DEPRESSURIZE MAIN FLOOR PRESSURIZE BASEMENT spaces maintained at a negative air pressure to the exterior. Buildings with basements and unvented cathedral ceilings are basement spaces maintained at a positive air pressure to the exterior. In this climate it is convenient to allow walls to dry to the exterior in the direction of typical vapor flow during the heating season. condensing. PRESSURIZE BASEMENT attics Building 1 cathedral ceilings 3. combustion devices that are sealed. Depressurization of the above-grade conditioned spaces eliminates the exfiltration of interior moisture-laden air. radon. power vented. or pulse should be used. AlTlC VENTILATION DEPRESSURIZE MAIN FLOOR WHOLE BUILDING SYSTEMS Three examples of desirable whole building systems for this climate zone are (see Figure 4-2): 1 Buildings with basements and vented .

In heating climates. comments concerning the ability of walls with siding. or aluminum siding Aluminum or vinyl siding waferboard (impermeable) Rigid insulation Plywood or Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion Limited Limited (Impermeable) retarder (Interior) Limited To the exterior WALL 3 Wood frame Wood. veneer. summarized in Table 4-1. moisture accumulation on condensing in some cases. and a fifth wood frame the wall to dry and other limitations of each wall with brick veneer. (2) rain absorption. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1)rain In this section six wall assemblies are penetration.Each wall assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. There are four wood frame addition. A key difference between the wood except where specifically noted to control frame walls is the type of sheathing used and. the type of siding. or aluminum siding Wood siding Rigid fiberglass insulation (Permeable) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Impermeable paint or wall covering Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) WALL 4 Wood frame Wood frame Concrete block over air space Brick veneer over cavity Brick veneer over cavity Rigid insulation (Impermeable) WALL 5 Asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Rigid insulation Limited To the WALL 6 exterior Page 78 Clmpfer4-Moisture Control Pracficesfor Heating Clitnafes . and (4) vapor diffusion. A final case wall assembly are summarized. (3) air shown that can be used successfully in movement. The basic surfaces. are left to the judgement of the characteristicsof the wall assemblies are reader. vinyl. Wall Construction in Heating Climates Table 4-1: Characteristics of Wall Assemblies for Heating Climates WALL TYPE EXTERIOR COMPONENT SHEATHING OTHER FEATURES DRYING WALL 1 WALL 2 Wood frame Wood frame Wood. vinyl. illustrates a concrete block wall with brick Insulation levels in wall assemblies.

or aliiminuni-can be applied. exterior holes are eliminated instead. the exterior sheathing must be significantly tighter than the cladding. In this wall assembly either the interior gypsum wall board or polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is sealed to the wall framing.WALL 1 -HEATING CLIMATE (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) WOOD-BASED. V ALUMINUM SlDlN BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL &MIL POLYETHYLENEVAPOR 0 I L SEALED AT ALL PENETRATIONS1 GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP AND SOLE PLATE INTERIOR LIMITED DRYING Figure 4-3: Wall 1-Heating Climate Wall 2-Heafing Cliniafe: This conveiifioiial woodfraine wall asseiiibly ufilizesa n iipenneable. it is installed vertically. Rain In this wall assembly. Air Movement with insulation material or support material are not recommended. Cavities are created behind the vinyl or aluminum siding as a result of the siding cross sections. noniiisrilafing sheathing iiraferial consisfing of plywood or waferboard covered by building paper. and capillarity effects. or interior of the wall controls air-transported An air seal (retarder) at either the exterior Moisture Control Handbook Page 79 . In this assembly a vapor permeable. nonabsorptive building paper should be used. with the option of utilizing a sealant or adhesive at sheathing joints/edges. (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) words. Alternatively. The rain screen principle requires a pressure-equalized cavity behind the cladding. Cross sections filled Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction Building paper controls rain absorption by the exterior structural use panels (the plywood. a building paper installed in a tight manner (lapped or taped joints) may be utilized to equalize pressure. or the exterior structural use panels (the plywood. so the exterior sheathing is installed in an airtight manner. Vinyl. Any type of siding-wood-based. A polyefliylene vapor diffiisiori retarder i placed on s flie inside of fhe wall beneath fliegwsiiiiz board. In other moisture from the interior. ideally tucking in behind exterior sheathings or building papers. the rain screen principle is applied to control rain penetration if the siding used is vinyl or aluminum. waferboard. In this example vinyl or aluminum siding is instalted over a tight sheathing. For a similar wall assembly with wood-based siding. with all joints falling on framing members. Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings is critical in rain screen assemblies. For pressure to be equalized in these cavities. or OSB sheathing).

WALL 1-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) service. either the interior or exterior is limited by back-prime the siding. Comments Where wood siding is utilized over plywood. Alternatively. Should manufacturers' recommended installation practices. and nail according to a vapor impermeable exterior sheathing and an interior vapor diffusion retarder. it may not dry. This will interior during heating periods. the wall assembly become wet during waferboard. Accordingly. a vapor diffusion retarder is installed at the interior of further control air-transported moisture and the wall. the following In this wall assembly. waferboard. drying towards steps are recommended: utilize dry materials. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended. caulk. An exterior air seal at the exterior structural use panels in this example would facilitate pressure equalization of the exterior cladding. A continuous polyethylene sheet is vapor diffusion with this wall assembly. or some other sealant. or be built wet due to wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Page 80 Chapter 4-Moisttire Control Practicesfor Heating Climates . or OSB sheathing. or OSB sheathing) are sealed to the wall framing. Vapor Diffusion Interior moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees To control vapor diffusion from the Fahrenheit during heating periods. impermeable interior surface finishes may be used in conjunction with this wall assembly. installed between the interior gypsum board since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. This air sealing can be accomplished with adhesive. and the wall framing and acts as the vapor Either vapor permeable or vapor diffusion retarder.

Vinyl or aliiininirm siding is applied over fleslzeaflzing.WALL 2-HEATING CLIMATE (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL 4 IMPERMEABLE RIGID tNsuLATioN 1- RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT ALL PENETRATIONS) GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING Figure 4-4: Wall 2-Heating (ImpermeableInsulating Sheathing) Vapor Diffusion To control vapor diffusion from the interior during heating periods. the cavity side of the exterior sheathing. Alternatively. Should the wall assembly be built wet due to wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). A building paper. a polyeflzylenevapor diffiision retarder is placed on flieinside of flre wall beneafh fliegypsiiin board. In this example an insulating sheathing is installed to limit periods of potential condensation. Comments In this wall assembly. Climate LIMITED DRYING Wall 2-Heating Cliinate: birperiiieable rigid insiilafion is used as the slreafhirig iriaferial in fhis woodframe wall asseinbly. is not required in this assembly for the same reason. Interior moisture levels should be limited Air Movement In this wall assembly the air seal is a continuous 6-mil polyethylene sheet on the interior. Moisture accumulation within the wall assembly transported by vapor diffusion is also controlled by elevating the temperature of the first condensing surface within the wall assembly. installed only to protect the impermeable rigid insulation from water absorption. it may not dry. a vapor diffusion retarder is installed at the interior of the wall. Accordingly. Moisfiire Confrol Haridbook Page 81 . Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction Rain absorption by the vinyl or aluminum siding and siding capillarity effects are not a concern in this wall assembly as a result of the inherent material properties of the vinyl and aluminum. Similar f o Wall 1. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry applied insulations are recommended. drying towards either the interior or exterior is limited by a vapor impermeable exterior sheathing and an interior vapor diffusion retarder. Rain The rain screen principle is used in this wall assembly to control rain penetration. namely.

WALL 2-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) conjunction with this wall assembly. the following steps are recommended: utilize dry materials. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. . to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. Where wood siding is utilized over impermeable rigid insulation.. This will further control air-transported moisture and vapor diffusion with this wall assembly. backprime the siding.. and nail according to manufacturers' recommended installation practices. Either vapor permeable or vapor impermeable surface finishes may be used in Page 82 Chapter 4-Moisture Control Pracficesfor Heating Cliinafes .

Any type o siding-wood-based. fiberglass insulating sheathing provides a The rain screen requires a pressurereceptor for both siding capillary moisture and siding absorbed moisture driven inward equalized cavity behind the cladding to by incident solar radiation.WALL %HEATING CLIMATE (Permeable Insulating Sheathing) VINYL . Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings is critical in drain screen assemblies (as in rain screen assemblies) to direct rainwater to the exterior of the assembly. a polyefliylenevapor dijhsioiz retarder is placed on flie inside o tlie wall beneath the gypsrim f board. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction Rain absorption by the vinyl or aluminum siding and siding capillarity effects are not a concern in this wall assembly Rain penetration in this wall assembly as a result of the inherent material properties can be controlled two ways: by the application of the rain screen principle or by of the vinyl and aluminum. Back-priming of perform satisfactorily. ideally tucking in behind the exterior sheathing. This penneable slieathiizg pei-riiits tlie wall assnnbly to dnj toward tlze exterior. pressure-equalized cavity (rain screen). or f aluiiziniimn-can be applied. the permeable rigid providing a drainage medium behind the exterior cladding (the drain screen principle). The fiber orientation of the rigid fiberglass drains Air Movement incident rainwater. A s 7UifhWalls 1 and 2. The approach is also compatible with vinyl or aluminum siding. This approach is compatible with wood-based siding where Air-transported moisture from the the wood-based siding does not provide for a interior is controlled by an air seal (air Rain Moisture Control Handbook Page 83 . permeable rigid fiberglass insulating sheathing behind the exterior cladding. The back surfaces) can also be utilized to limit approach in this example is to install capillary and vapor absorption by the siding. The drain screen wood-based siding (painting or coating the requires a drainage material or path.ALUMINUM OR WOOD-BASED SIDING RIGID FIBERGLASS INSULATING SHEAT CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL 6MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPO DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TQP AND SOLE PLATE INTERIOR DRYING TO EXTERIOR Figure 4-5: Wall 3-Heating Climate (Permeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall 3-Hea fiiig Clinzafe: Rigid jiberglass insiilatiiig board is used as a periiieable exterior sheathing inaferial in this woodfraiize wall asseinbly. vinyl. Where woodbased siding is utilized.

An exterior air seal can be provided where the sheathing material comes with permeable sheet facing material and this material is utilized as the exterior air seal. Vapor Diffusion A vapor diffusion retarder at the wall interior controls vapor diffusion from the interior during heating periods. vapor diffusion from the exterior in this wall assembly is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall assembly between the wall framing and the interior gypsum board.WALL 3-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) interior vapor diffusion retarder should be continuous to provide satisfactory performance. Furthermore. Although installing a vapor diffusion retarder at this location does not prevent moisture from entering the wall. Foil-backed interior gypsum board and foil-backed cavity insulation may not be effective due to discontinuities at joints. Once the interior cavity moisture has migrated to the exterior cladding it can either drain to the exterior or evaporate. Page 84 Chapter &Moisture Confrol Practices for Heating Cliinafes . Since intermittent wetting of the vapor diffusion retarder may occur in this assembly. the exterior cladding in essence "sees" the wall cavity and framing members. Either vapor permeable or vapor impermeable interior surface finishes may be used in conjunction with this wall assembly. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet due to wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). During cooling periods and under the action of incident solar radiation. they should be protected from this moisture migration towards their back surfaces from the interior by back-priming. Where wood-based sidings are used. it attracts interior cavity and framing moisture. This moisture then typically migrates outward in the evening when the temperature gradient reverses. When the cladding is cold. it dries rapidly to the exterior during the heating season or during evenings. This interior vapor diffusion retarder can get wet on the cavity side during the day as a result of exterior absorbed moisture in the permeable rigid fiberglass insulating sheathing driven inward by incident solar radiation and the air conditioned interior. This wall assembly can get intermittently wet from the exterior as well dry intermittently to the exterior. this Comments A vapor permeable sheathing on the exterior of the wall framing helps dry the wall towards the exterior in this wall assembly. A continuous polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder has proven to be effective in this type of assembly. the vapor diffusion retarder effectively protects the interior gypsum board and any interior finishes from moisture damage. An insulating sheathing also elevates the cavity temperature and acts as a receptor for interior cavity moisture. In this example a continuous polyethylene sheet is installed between the interior gypsum board and the wall framing. effectively freeze drying the wall. retarder) at the interior of the wall. since the rigid insulating sheathing is close to the permeability of air.

Wood-based siding can also be back-primed to limit capillary and vapor absorption of moisture by the siding. Moisture CoiifrolHandbook Page 85 . is not required in this assembly for the same reason. Unlike Wall 2. Air Movement Appropriate installation of flashings over An air seal (air retarder) at either the window and door openings is critical in rain interior or exterior of the wall controls airscreen assemblies. an impermeable rigid insulation is ilsed as the exterior sheafhing inaferial in fliis woodframe wall assnnbly. Rain (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) The rain screen principle controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. Woodbased siding on furring strips is installed to create an air space open at the top and bottom of the wall. liowever. rigid. and must extend to the transported moisture from the interior. impermeable insulating sheathing are not a concern in this wall assembly as a result of the inherent material properties of the insulating sheathing. A building paper. Rain absorption and capillarity effects by the exterior. woodbased siding is applied and an air space between flie wood-based siding and flte iinpelrneable slieafhing is a receptorfor moisfure.interior during heating periods. The siding acts as a receptor for both siding capillary moisture and siding absorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. and wood-based siding capillarity effects. a low permeabilify pairif or wall covering semes as flu?vapor difiision refarder in this case. back of the air space.WALL 4-HEATING CLIMATE (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) CAULKING OR SEALA ON TOP PLATE INTER WOOD-BASED SIDING 1 x 4 FURRING STRIPS (OPEN TOP AND BO77 IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL GYPSUM BOARD WITH LOW PERMEABILITY P OR WALL COVERING ON SOLE PLATE INTERIOR LIMITED DRYING CAULKING OR SEALANT Figure 4-6: Wall 4-Heating Climate Wall 4-Heafing Climate: Siirrilar f o Wall 2. Vapor Diffusion Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction A vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall controls vapor diffusion from the An air space behind the wood-based siding controls rain absorption by the wood. In this based siding. ideally tucking in behind sheathings. I n contrast fo flte polyefhylene wed in flu?previoiis fhreewall assetnblies. installed only to protect the impermeable rigid insulation from water absorption.

namely the cavity side of the exterior sheathing. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. Accordingly. This is accomplished in this example by installing an insulating sheathing which limits periods of potential condensation Comments In this wall assembly. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry applied insulations are recommended. Page 86 Chapter 4-Moisture Control Practicesfor Heating Climates . it may not dry. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. drying towards Vapor impermeable interior surface either the interior or exterior is limited by a finishes must be used in conjunction with this vapor impermeableexterior sheathing and an interior vapor diffusion retarder. Moisture accumulation within the wall assembly transported by vapor diffusion from the interior during heating periods is also controlled by elevating the temperature of the first condensing surface within the wall assembly. example a low permeability paint or wall covering acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. Alternatively. wall assembly.WALL 4-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Should the wall assembly be built wet due to wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Interior moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods to further control air-transported moisture and vapor diffusion with this wall assembly.

Two methods are used to do this. Flashings at the base of brick veneer These vertical open joints serve two functions. This involves a brick The sheathing is sometimes further veneer over a minimum 1-inch air space in this example. this wall assembly. In other words. Second. TIE permeable noninsiila fing shea flring (asphaltimpregnated jberboard or gypsum) pertnits the wall assembly to dry toward the exterior. the brick veneer is deliberately made leaky by installing it over an air space open at the bottom (by using Rain open vertical masonry joints) and open at the A rain screen controls rain penetration in top (by the use of similar openings). An air space between the brick arid the wood pame assanbly is a receptorfor rnoisture. ideally vertical mortar joint in the first course of tucking in behind sheathings or building brick open. Like most other woodfranie wall assemblies. it is installed vertically.WALL C H E A T I N G CLIMATE (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) BRICKVENEER BUILDING PAPER I I / / 1 ASPHALT IMPREGNATED FIBERBOARD OR GYPSUM CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER I AIR RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT ALL PENETRATIONS) GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING 7bg1 / CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP AND SOLE PLATE INTERIOR + EXTERIOR 6 DRYING TO Figure 4-7: Wall 5-Heating Climate (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall 5-Heating Climate: l7iis woodfianie wall is covered on the exterior by a brick veneer. Moisture Control Handbook Page 87 . first to allow inward air movement walls are also critical so that cavity moisture to facilitate pressure equalization and second can be directed to the exterior through the to provide a weep or drainage function. a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is placed on flreinside of the wall beneath fhegypsum board. Such brick veneer walls should be of flashings over window and door openings is critical in rain screen assemblies. or by venting the air space into a soffit assembly. with the option of utilizing a sealant or adhesive at sheathing joints/edges. with all joints falling on framing members. papers. First. For weep holes under the influence of gravity. the asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum sheathing is installed in an airtight manner. pressure equalization in the cavity to occur. This air space must be clear of tightened relative to the brick veneer by the mortar droppings and should be open at the installation of a building paper in a top of the brick veneer wall as well as vented continuous manner. Appropriate installation at its base. the sheathing must be significantly tighter than the cladding. and must vented at their base by leaving every other extend to the back of the air space.

the vapor diffusion retarder Rain AbsorptiodCapillarySuction An air space behind the brick veneer controls rain absorption and brick veneer capillarity effects. board and any interior finishes from moisture damage. Should A vapor diffusion retarder at the interior the wall assembly become wet during service of the wall controls vapor diffusion from the or be built wet due to wet framing materials interior. An exterior air seal at the asphalt-impregnated fiberboard sheathing in this example would facilitate pressure Comments equalization of the exterior cladding. A continuous polyethylene vapor framing. retarder at the interior of the wall assembly between the wall framing and the interior gypsum board. A continuous polyethylene sheet is or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray installed between the interior gypsum board cellulose or blown fiberglass). the interior gypsum wall performance. This interior vapor diffusion retarder can get wet on the cavity side during the day as a result of exterior absorbed moisture in the brick veneer driven inward by incident solar radiation and the air conditioned interior. other sealant. polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. assembly is controlled by a vapor diffusion effectively protects the interior gypsum Page 88 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Heating Climates . Although installing a vapor diffusion retarder at this location does not prevent moisture from entering the wall from the outside. this An air seal (air retarder) at either the interior vapor diffusion retarder should be interior or exterior of the wall controls aircontinuous to provide satisfactory transported moisture from the interior. or some diffusion retarder has proven to be effective in this type of assembly. In this wall assembly. In such cases a vapor permeable. This moisture then typically migrates outward in the evening when the temperature gradient reverses. caulk. Since Air Movement intermittent wetting of the vapor diffusion retarder may occur in this assembly. it can dry to the exterior into the air space behind the and the wall framing and acts as the vapor brick veneer during the heating season or diffusion retarder. The air space also acts as a receptor for both brick veneer capillary moisture and absorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. This wall assembly can get intermittently wet from the exterior as well dry intermittently to the exterior.WALL %-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) These base flashings must extend to the back of the rain screen cavity and be placed behind the sheathing or building paper. Exterior A vapor permeable sheathing on the air seals typically feature a continuous exterior of the wall framing helps dry the exterior building paper (vapor permeable wall towards the exterior in this wall and nonabsorptive is desirable). assembly. A building paper is installed in some assemblies to limit rain absorption by the asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum sheathing. An air space between the cladding (brick veneer) and the sheathing acts as a Vapor Diffusion receptor for interior cavity moisture. board and foil-backed cavity insulation may not be effective due to discontinuities at or exterior sheathing is sealed to the wall joints. vapor impermeable interior surface finishes may be diffusion from the exterior in this wall used in conjunction with this wall assembly. During cooling periods and under the Either vapor permeable or vapor action of incident solar radiation. Foil-backed interior gypsum board. This air sealing can be accomplished with adhesive. nonabsorptive building paper should be used. during evenings.

An air retarder system on the exterior of followed by the application of the air retarder the masonry block wall controls airconstruction of the brick veneer. cavity moisture can be directed to the exterior through the weep holes under the influence of gravity. An air space between the brick and the insulation is a recepforfor moisture. Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings is critical in rain screen assemblies. humid air during the cooling season) in this wall assembly. The air space acts as a receptor for both brick veneer capillary moisture and brick veneer absorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. Flashings at the base of brick veneer walls are also critical so that system and rigid insulation. and then by the wall assembly. The air retarder also controls airtransported moisture from the exterior (infiltration of warm. Utilizing the rigid insulation as an integral air retarder system has in practice proven to be difficult due to the dimensional instability of rigid insulations. PRESSURE EQUALIZED) RIGID INSULATION AIR RETARDER SYSTEM (TROWEL-ON MASTIC. This transported moisture from the interior in this Moisfiire Control Handbook Page 89 . SHEET-ADHERED MEMBRANE) MASONRY BLOCK 1 x 4 FURRING STRIPS GYPSUM BOARD WITH PAINT OR WALL COVE - I X X X X X ~I r I I LIMITED DRYING Figure 4-8: Wall &Heating Climate (Masonry Wall with Exterior Insulation) Wall &Heating Climate: This concrete block wall assembly wifhbrick veneer is the only one that is not woodfiame consfrricfion. Rain Rain penetration in this wall assembly is controlled by the application of the rain screen principle. AIR SPACE (RAIN SCREEN. Either permeable or impermeable rigid insulation is placed in fhecavity between fhe block wall and brick veneer.WALL &HEATING CLIMATE (Masonry Wall with Exterior Insulation) BRICK VENEER l-IN. ideally regletted into the masonry block wall or set into the masonry wall mortar joints. Air Movement This approach necessitates the construction of the masonry block wall first. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction An air space behind the brick veneer controls rain absorption and brick veneer capillarity effects. and must extend to the back of the air space. These base flashings must also extend to the back of the rain screen cavity behind the rigid insulation and set into the masonry wall mortar joints. An air retarder system (trowel-on mastic or a sheetadhered membrane) is applied fo fheexterior face of the masonry wall to confrol vapor diflrision and air leakage.

it should be noted that only limited drying towards the interior may of the masonry block wall between the occur. within the wall assembly transported by vapor diffusion is controlled by elevating the Alternatively. Moisture accumulation temperature of the first condensing surface within the wall assembly. allowed to dry prior to enclosure. A vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the masonry block wall controls vapor diffusion from the exterior. namely. In this example the air coverings and impermeable paints. masonry and the rigid insulation controls In cases where impermeable interior vapor diffusion from the interior during surface treatments are utilized.WALL +HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) masonry block wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet masonry. In this example an insulating sheathing is installed on the exterior of the masonry block wall. This vapor diffusion retarder is the air retarder system installed on the exterior of the masonry block wall. the retarder system also acts as the vapor masonry block wall assembly should be diffusion retarder. However. such as wall heating periods. Should the retarder may be installed between the interior gypsum wall board and the interior surface of the masonry wall to retard the inward migration of construction moisture and reduce the possibIe damage to interior surface finishes. Page 90 Clupfer4-Moisfure Coiitrol Pracficesfor Heafing C h a f e s . moisture transport mechanism can lead to moisture damage where significant moisture has been stored in the brick veneer. an additional vapor diffusion Comments A vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board promotes wall drying towards the interior from within the masonry block wall assembly. it can dry to the interior due to an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air Vapor Diffusion conditioning the enclosure during the cooling A vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior season. the masonry block wall. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. Where wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments have been performing satisfactorily in service and are subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments (repainting with impermeable paints or wall coverings by new or subsequent owners or tenants).

assemblies are shown that can be used (3) air movement. comments concerning the ability of seven basement wall assemblies and one the wall to dry and other limitations of each slab-on-grade foundation. A key control moisture accumulation on difference between the basement walls is the condensing surfaces. In successfully in heating climates. Guidance the interior or exterior of the wall. while the remaining two utilize assemblies. Foundation Construction in Heating Climates Table 4-2: Characteristicsof Foundation Assemblies for Heating Climates TYPE BASEMENT 1 FOUNDATION FOUNDATIONWALL INSULATION FLOOR INSULATION Rigid insulation beneath slab DRYING Concrete Concrete Concrete masonry Concrete masonry Concrete supporting Cavity insulation in wood frame wall (Interior) Limited BASEMENT 2 Draining rigid fiberglass insulation (Exterior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wall (Interior) Rigid insulation None None None To the exterior Limited Limited BASEMENT 3 BASEMENT 4 (Exterior) BASEMENT 5 BASEMENT 6 brick veneer wood frame wall (Interior) Cavity insulation in Rigid insulation beneath slab Rigid insulation beneath wood floor Limited Limited Pressuretreated wood frame Pressuretreated Cavity insulation in wood frame wallExterior draining rigid fiberglass insulation Cavity insulation in wood frame wallExterior draining rigid BASEMENT 7 wood frame SLAB 1 Rigid insulation beneath wood floor Limited fiberglass insulation Slab with Grade Beam Rigid insulation covers grade beam and extends horizontally into soil Rigid insulation beneath slab Limited Moistlire ConfrolHandbook Page 91 . as well as regarding optimum insulation levels for in the rim joist area and under the floor slab.Each foundation assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. are left to the type and placement of insulation on either judgement of the reader. foundation assemblies can be found in the The basic characteristics of the foundation Builder's Foiindation Handbook [4. except where specifically noted to pressure-treated wood walls. assemblies are summarized in Table 4-2. basement walls are concrete or masonry Insulation levels in foundation construction.1]. (2) capillary suction. There are addition. and (4) vapor diffusion. Five of the foundation assembly are summarized. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1) In this section eight foundation rain and groundwater.

BASEMENT 1-HEATING ~~~~ CLIMATE (Interior Insulation) &MIL POLYETHYLENEVAPOR DIFFUSIONRETARDER I AIR RETARDER (CONTIUOUS AND SEALED AT PENETRATIONS) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULAT CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARDWITH ANY SEALANT OR CAULKING PAINT OR WALL COVERING IN Y CAPILLARY BREAK I SILL GASKET AT TOP OF WALL (POLYETHYLENEFOLDED OVER A STRIP OF B INSULATION) ADHESIVE. SEALANT OR 2 x 4 T O P PLATE GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER I AIR RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT PENETRATIONS) CAVITY INSULATION IN 2 x 3 WOOD FRAME WALL OPTIONAL DAMPPROOFING TO TOP OF WALL Figure 4-9: Basement 1-Heating Climate (InteriorInsulation) Page 92 Chapter 4-Moisture Coizfrol Pracficesfor Heafing C h a f e s .

The abovegrade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 2 in flieprevious section. break (dampproofing or polyethylene) over A tight-fitting. storm sewer. or to daylight. concrete surfaces during both heating and cooling periods. the basement is pressurized relative to the surrounding soil and air leakage openings are limited (tight construction). Coarse gravel should surround the perimeter drain pipe and in turn be surrounded by a filter fabric. Rain and Groundwater from basement perimeters. A subgrade drainage system controls groundwater entry into basements. This consists of a drain pipe located at the perimeter of the concrete footings coupled with free-draining backfill material. A vapor diffusionretarder covers all insulation on the interior side of the wall assembly. The insulation pillow is formed by placing batt insulation in a plastic bag and snugly fitting the bag containing the insulation between the floor Capillary Suction joists.BASEMENT 1-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Basement 1-Heating Climate: This concrete basement wall assembly illusfrates the use of cavity insulation in a woodfiame wall on the interior of thefoundation wall. air leakage openings at the rim joist/floor assembly are controlled by sealing the joints of the elements which form the sill/rim joist/floor assembly. The drain pipe and the free-draining backfill material act together to provide a drain screen. (2) concrete floor from the interior basement space to the slab and underslab insulation. Cavity insulation is placed betweenjoists on the rim joist interior. which direct water away Gutters and downspouts. along wt ih Air Movement In basement assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the surrounding soil and the basement space. Filter fabric should be located both below and above the perimeter drain pipe. careful site grading. as drain pipe perforations face down and often clog from underneath. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering basements. the top of the concrete footing. which deal with both exterior and interior moisture-laden air. In addition. and sump openings are foundation wall as well as by a capillary also sealed or closed with tight covers. The footings can also be constructed on a granular pad. Pipe sill/rim joist/floor assembly. Gaps at this location around the Capillary moisture may move into (1)the insulation pillow need to be minimized to control potential convective moisture transfer concrete foundation wall. Where perimeter concrete foundation walls are insulated on the interior. moisture-laden air from the basement space from coming in contact with cold. The concrete foundation wall is protected by a dampproof penetrations and electrical conduits through concrete floor slabs and perimeter concrete coating on the exterior of the concrete walls. are limited by sealing the floor slab polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder to the foundation wall perimeter polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. The drain pipe is connected to a sump. floor drains. assembly between floor joists. The movement of construction moisture from the perimeter concrete foundation wall into the sill/rim joist/floor assembly is controlled by a capillary break at the top of the perimeter concrete foundation wall. A layer o rigid insulation is also f shown beneath the concrefefloorslab. Capillary moisture movement into the floor slab and underslab insulation is controlled by a granular capillary break under the slab. insulation "pillow" is installed at the interior of the rim joist Moisture Control Handbook Page 93 . Surface water penetration into the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable backfill material.to 6inch-thick layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines removed. The break is a 4-inch. interior. it is also important to prevent warm. Perforations in the perimeter drain pipe should be installed with the holes down to allow groundwater to rise up into the drain pipe and be carried away. yet still be below the bottom surface of the basement floor slab. and rigid insulation covers fhe rim joist on the exterior as well. Air leakage openings in this basement construction. To control airtransported moisture infiltrating into the basement space. Drain tile should have at least 2 inches of gravel underneath. and (3) the interior surface of the rim joist.

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BASEMENT 1-HEATING
Vapor Diffusion

CLIMATE (CONTINUED)
framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended. Alternatively, wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. The perimeter foundation frame wall is held away from the concrete in order to enhance the durability of the wood members.

Moisture movement by vapor diffusion can affect various basement assemblies, depending on the moisture source. When moisture moves from the surrounding soil into the concrete foundation wall, it is controlled by installing a vapor diffusion

retarder on the exterior of the concrete

foundation wall. In this example, the dampproofing on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall also acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. When moisture diffuses from the surrounding soil into the concrete floor slab, it is controlled with a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the slab. Construction moisture contained in the perimeter concrete foundation wall is prevented from diffusing into the perimeter foundation frame wall cavity by dampproofing on the interior of the perimeter foundation wall. Alternatively, the wall can be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. Moisture from the interior basement space is prevented from diffusing into the perimeter foundation wall framing by installing a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder on the interior of the perimeter foundation wall framing. Finally, moisture diffusing from the interior basement space into the perimeter rim joist assembly during the heating season batt insulation, which acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. Moisture accumulation from vapor diffusion migrating from within the interior basement space at the rim joist assembly is limited by installing insulating sheathing at the exterior of the rim joist. This elevates the temperature of the first condensing surface at this location (the interior surface of the rim joist).

This is accomplished by using a 2 x 4 top

plate with 2 x 3 studs and a 2 x 3 bottom plate. The cavity insulation, however, fills the entire void and touches the interior face of the concrete foundation wall. Fiberglass batt insulation is recommended as the cavity insulation by virtue of its draining characteristicsand nonhygroscopic nature. Interior basement space moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. This is needed to further control air-transported moisture and vapor diffusion with this wall assembly, since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. Either vapor permeable or vapor impermeable interior surface finishes may be used in conjunction with this foundation wall assembly. The concrete floor slab contains significant quantities of moisture when initially placed. Covering this surface with an impermeable surface finish or floor covering may lead to deterioration of these

is controlled by the plastic bag facing on the

construction moisture contained in concrete may also lead to elevated interior moisture levels during the first few months of occupancy. Installing carpets on cold, damp, concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm; that is, carpet relative Comments humidities should be kept below 40 percent [4.2]. In practice this is typically not possible In this perimeter foundation frame wall assembly, drying towards either the interior unless floor slab assemblies are insulated and or exterior is limited by the impermeability of basement areas are conditioned. The granular drainage pad located under the perimeter foundation wall concrete and the basement concrete floor slab can be the interior polyethylene vapor diffusion integrated into a subslab ventilation system retarder. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet due to wet to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust framing materials or wet-applied cavity fan. insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass), it may not drv. Accordinglv, drv

surfaces if the construction moisture is not allowed to dry. Initial drying of the

Page 94

Chapfer4-Moisfure Confro1 Practices for Heating C h a f e s

BASEMENT 2-HEATING
~

CLIMATE (Exterior Insulation)

WOOD-BASED SIDING FURRING SPACE IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULA CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH LOW PERMEABILITY PAINT OR WALL COVERING

CAULKING OR SEALANT

INSULATION 'PILLOW' ( S A T INSULATION PLACED IN A PLASTIC BAG AND SNUGLY FIT BETWEEN JOISTS) PROTECTION BOARD

OR COATING

GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT5% (6' IN 10 FT)

2

,::. -;-

OPTIONAL LOW PERMEABILITY PAINT OR DAMPPROOFING TO TOP OF WALL CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL

SEALANT OVER BOND BREAK MATERIAL /&IN. CONCRETE SLAB

POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER

Figure 4-10: Basement 2-Heating Climate (Exterior Insulation)
Moisture Control Handbook
Page 95

BASEMENT 2-HEATING

CLIMATE (CONTINUED)
Vapor Diffusion

f exferioro fhis concrete basement wall. Rigid insulafioncovers fhe exfeiior of fhe rim jokf, and cavity insulafion(wifha vapor diffusion refarder) is placed betweenjoisfs on the rim joisf inferior. This is the onlyfoundafion wall assembly fhaf dries to fhe exferior. The above-grade wall shown here corresponds f o Wall 4 in fhe preuioils secfion.

rigid fiberglass insulation board covers the

Basement 2-Heating Climate: Draining

Moisture may diffuse into several building assemblies. Rigid insulation on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall controls moisture entering from the surrounding soil. The rigid insulation raises the temperature of the concrete, lowers its equilibrium relative humidity, and thereby allows the concrete foundation wall to dry into the surrounding soil. A vapor diffusion Rain and Groundwater retarder on the exterior of this foundation wall is therefore not necessary. Gutters and downspouts, along with A polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder careful site grading, which direct water away under the concrete floor slab controls from basement perimeters, should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering moisture diffusing into this slab. Moisture accumulation from vapor basements. Surface water penetration into diffusion migrating from within the interior the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable basement space at the rim joist assembly is limited by installing insulating sheathing at backfill material (not shown). the exterior of the rim joist. This elevates the A subgrade drainage system controls temperature of the first condensing surface at groundwater entry into basements. This this location (the interior surface of the rim consists of a drain pipe located at the joist). perimeter of the concrete footings coupled with free-draining insulation board. The drain pipe and the free-draining rigid Comments fiberglass insulation board act together to Rigid insulation is installed on the provide a drain screen. exterior of the perimeter concrete foundation wall to reduce heating and cooling loads and Capillary Suction is protected above grade on its exterior from mechanical damage. This rigid insulation Several methods are used to control can act as a conduit for insects to enter the moisture movement by capillarity into the enclosure, and as such appropriate flashings foundation wall. Rigid draining fiberglass insulation, which acts as a capillary break, is or other protection may be necessary. Rigid insulation installed on the exterior installed on the exterior of the concrete of the rim joist assembly elevates the foundation wall, and a capillary break temperature of the first condensing surface (dampproofing or polyethylene) is placed during the heating season (the inside face of over the top of the concrete footing. Alternatively, the footings can be constructed the rim joist) and thereby limits the potential for condensation at this location. on a granular pad. A tight-fitting, insulation "pillow" is A granular capillary break is installed installed at the interior of the rim joist under the slab to control capillary moisture assembly between floor joists. The insulation moving into the floor slab and underslab pillow is formed by placing batt insulation in insulation. The break is a 4-inch- to 6-incha plastic bag and snugly fitting the bag thick layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines containing the insulation between the floor removed. joists. Gaps at this location around the insulation pillow need to be minimized to Air Movement control potential convective moisture transfer from the interior basement space to the To limit air leakage openings in this basement, the concrete floor slab is sealed to interior surface of the rim joist. If convective the perimeter concrete foundation wall with moisture transfer is inhibited at this location caulking, and the joints of the elements which and the facing on the insulation acts as an interior vapor diffusion retarder, the thermal form the sill/rim joist/floor assembly are resistance of the rigid insulation on the sealed.

Page 96

Chapfer4-Moisfure Control Pracficesfor Hearing Climafes

BASEMENT 2-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED)
exterior of the rim joist can be reduced and the thermal resistance of the insulation at the interior of the rim joist can be increased. The concrete floor slab and perimeter concrete foundation wall contain significant quantities of moisture when initially placed. reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm; that is, carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [4.2]. In practice this is typically not possible Covering these surfaces with impermeable unless floor assemblies are insulated and surface finishes or floor coverings may lead basement areas are conditioned. to deterioration of these surfaces if the The granular drainage pad located under construction moisture is not allowed to dry. the basement concrete floor slab can be Initial drying of the construction moisture integrated into a subslab ventilation system contained in concrete may lead to elevated to control radon migration by adding a vent interior moisture levels during the first few pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust months of occupancy. Installing carpets on cold, damp, concrete fan. floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic

Moistrire Control Handbook

Page 97

BASEMENT %HEATING CLIMATE (Interior Insulation)
VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION CAVITY INSULATION 6 M I L POLYETHM-ENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR RETARDER (CONTIUOUS AND SEALED AT PENETRATIONS) GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR W A U COVERING

INSULATION (VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER FACED AND TIGHTLY FIT) IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATI CEMENT PARGE COAT GROUND SLOP AWAY FROM W AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR W A U COVERING

6MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT

PENETRATIONS)

CAVITY INSULATION IN 2 x 3 WOOD FRAME W A U MASONRY W A U FIRST COURSE FILLED SOLID

Figure 4-11: Basement 3-Heating Climate (InteriorInsulation)
Chpfer4-Moisture Control Practices for Heafing C h a f e s
~

which direct water away diffusion retarder under the concrete floor from basement perimeters. polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is flrroiigh fhe rim joisf area. Alternatively. The break is a 4-inch. extending over the Vapor diffusion may carry moisture into Moisfure Control Handbook Page 99 . A subgrade drainage framing. should be used to slab. wet framing materials. system controls groundwater entry into Moisture accumulation from vapor basements. Moisture movement from the Rain and Groundwater surrounding soil into the concrete floor slab is controlled by a polyethylene vapor Gutters and downspouts. and then beneath the slab. the floor slab insulations are recommended. In this example.BASEMENT 3-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) sealed to the foundation wall perimeter polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder.to 6-inch-thick retarder. Basetnent %Heating Climate: Unlike the previous examples.and rigid insulation covers the riin joist on the exterior as well. Moisture movement from the interior prevent rain and surface water from entering basement space into the perimeter basements. drying towards either the interior can be constructed on a granular pad. wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet masonry units. A dampproof coating is installed on the exterior of the masonry block joist). the footings assembly. Vapor Diffusion several building compqnents. In addition the rim joist/floor assembly is wrapped by polyethylene and this polyethylene is sealed to both the foundation wall perimeter vapor diffusion retarder and the above-grade wall vapor diffusion retarder. To prevent moisture from the surrounding soil from entering the masonry block foundation wall. Accordingly. or exterior is limited by the impermeability of Moisture movement by capillarity into the perimeter masonry block wall and the the concrete floor slab is controlled by interior polyethylene vapor diffusion installing a granular capillary break under the slab. foundation wall (bitumen over a cement parge). This elevates the Several methods are used to control temperature of the first condensing surface at moisture movement by capillarity into the this location (the interior surface of the rim foundation wall. fhisfoundation assembly illustrates a concrete masony basement wall. cavify insulafion in a woodframe wall on the inferiorof fhefoundation wall. Alternatively. the dampproofing on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. The unique aspect o this is the r m joist area f i where siificiently thick rigid insulation on the exterior pennifs fhe polyefhylene f o be placed in the iriiclclle of the assembly. or wet-applied cavity insulations Air Movement (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). basement wall interior. The above-gradewall shown here corresponds to Wall 2 in the previous section. Similar to Basetnent 1. dry framing To limit air leakage openings in this basement. a vapor diffusion retarder is installed on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall. Unlike previous Itaseinenf wall assemblies. Should the wall assembly become layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines removed. Cavity insulation is placed between joists on fhe riin joisf inferior. the polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is continuousfrom fheabove-grade wall interior. Surface water penetration into foundation wall framing is controlled by a the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder on the interior of the perimeter foundation wall backfill material. it may not dry. diffusion migrating from within the interior basement space at the rim joist assembly is Capillary Suction limited by installing insulating sheathing at the exterior of the rim joist. and a capillary break (dampproofing Comments or polyethylene) is placed over the top of the In this perimeter foundation frame wall concrete footing. which deal with both exterior and materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied interior moisture-laden air. along with careful site grading.

The cavity insulation. Interior basement space moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. This is needed to further control air-transported moisture and vapor diffusion with this wall assembly. Page 100 Chapter 4-Moisfure Control Practices for Heating Climates . on the exterior of the rim joist can be reduced and the thermal resistance of the insulation at the interior of the rim joist can be increased. the thermal resistance of the rigid insulation joist assembly in from the face of the masonry dry and warm. Installing carpets on cold. damp. Initial drying of the construction moisture contained in concrete may also lead to elevated interior moisture levels during the first few months of occupancy. This is facilitated at this location by setting the rim enhance the durability of the wood members.BASEMENT %HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) wall assemblies should be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. Tight-fitting faced insulation should be installed at the interior of the rim joist assembly between floor joists. that is. The concrete floor slab contains significant quantities of moisture when initially placed. Covering this surface with an impermeable surface finish or floor covering may lead to deterioration of these surfaces if the construction moisture is not allowed to dry. Fiberglass batt insulation is recommended as the cavity insulation by virtue of its draining characteristicsand nonhygroscopic nature. The perimeter foundation frame wall is held away from the masonry in order to If convective moisture transfer is inhibited at this location and the facing on the insulation acts as an interior vapor diffusion retarder. In practice this is typically not possible unless floor slab assemblies are insulated and basement areas are conditioned. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. The granular drainage pad located under the basement concrete floor slab can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. Rigid insulation installed on the exterior of the rim joist assembly elevates the temperature of the first condensing surface during the heating season (the inside face of the rim joist) and thereby limits the potential for condensation at this location. This is accomplished by using a 2 x 4 top plate with 2 x 3 studs and a 2 x 3 bottom plate. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept [4. Either vapor permeable or vapor impermeable interior surface finishes may be used with this foundation wall assembly. concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. however. fills the entire void and touches the interior face of the masonry foundation wall. Gaps at this location in the insulation need to be minimized to control potential convective moisture transfer from the interior basement space to the interior surface of the rim joist.2]. carpet relative block wall to allow space for additional humidities should be kept below 40 percent exterior rigid insulation.

BASEMENT &HEATING CLIMATE (Exterior Insulation) WOOD-BASED SID FURRING s m i p s IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION CAVITY INSULATl IN WOOD FRAME GYPSUM BOARD WITH LOW PERM PAINT OR WALL COVERING SEALANT OR CAULKING GALVANIZED FLASHING (TERMITE PROTECTION) OR COATING PROTECTION BOARD GASKET UNDER GALVANIZED FLASHING MASONRY WALL GROUND SLOPES FIRST COURSE FILLED SOLID /SEALANT OR AB iNE Figure 4-12 Basement &Heating Climate (ExteriorInsulation) \ Moisture Confro1 Handbook Page 101 .

and careful site grading. basements is limited by a cap of impermeable joist). The insulation the slab. which direct water away from basement space at the rim joist assembly is limited by installing insulating sheathing at basement perimeters. a plastic bag and snugly fitting the bag containing the insulation between the floor joists. downspouts. the first course of masonry is and the facing on the insulation acts as an filled with mortar. insulation "pillow" is Moisture movement by capillarity into the concrete floor slab is controlled by installed at the interior of the rim joist installing a granular capillary break under assembly between floor joists. This is sommhat similar to basement 2 where a rigid drainingfiberglassboard is used on the exterior. the thermal slab vapor retarder is extended over the top resistance of the rigid insulation on the of the concrete footings. exterior of the perimeter concrete foundation Capillary Suction wall to reduce heating and cooling loads and is protected above grade on its exterior from Several methods are used to control mechanical damage. backfill material.to 6-inch-thick pillow is formed by placing batt insulation in layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines removed. Rigid insulation is installed on the . The above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 4 in the previous section. over a cement parge). should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering the exterior of the rim joist. This rigid insulation moisture movement by capillarity into the masonry foundation wall. This elevates the basements. and a capillary break is Rigid insulation installed on the exterior placed over the top of the concrete footing by of the rim joist assembly elevates the extending the basement floor slab temperature of the first condensing surface polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. the footings can be constructed the rim joist) and thereby limits the potential on a granular pad. the dampproofing on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall also acts as a vapor diffusion retarder.BASEMENT 4-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) elements which form the sill/rim joist/floor assembly are also sealed. and cavity insulation (with a vapor diffusion retarder) is placed between joists an the rim joist interior. A dampproof can act as a conduit for insects to enter the coating is installed on the exterior of the enclosure.. Like all previous foundation assemblies. rigid insulation covers the exterior ofthe rim joist. however granular backfill is necessay in this case (Basement 4)since the rigid insulation has no drainage characteristics. and the basement floor interior vapor diffusion retarder. Surface water penetration into temperature of the first condensing surface at the ground immediately adjacent to this location (the interior surface of the rim . A subgrade drainage system controls Comments groundwater entry into basements. the concrete floor slab is sealed to from the interior basement space to the the perimeter masqnry block foundation wall interior surface of the rim joist. for condensation at this location. Gaps at this location around the Air Movement insulation pillow need to be minimized to control potential convective moisture transfer To limit air leakage openings in this basement. If convective moisture transfer is inhibited at this location with caulking. A vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall controls moisture entering the wall from the surrounding soil. The joints of the ~~ Page 102 Chapfer&Moisture Control Practicesfor Heafing Climates . Rain a n d Groundwater Moisture accumulation from vapor diffusion migrating from within the interior Gutters. during the heating season (the inside face of Alternatively. In this example. Moisture diffusing into the concrete floor slab is controlled by a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the slab. A tight-fitting. The break is a 4-inch. and as such appropriate flashings masonry block foundation wall (bitumen or other protection may be necessary. Basement &Heating Climate: This concrete masony basement wall assembly illustrates the use ofrigid insulation board on the exterior. Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion may carry moisture into several building components.

Initial drying of the construction moisture contained in concrete may lead to elevated interior moisture levels during the first few months of occupancy. In practice this is typically not possible unless floor assemblies are insulated and basement areas are conditioned.BASEMENT "HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm. Installing carpets on cold. carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [4. concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic Moisfiire Confrol Handbook Page 103 . exterior of the rim joist can be reduced and the thermal resistance of the insulation at the interior of the rim joist can be increased.2]. The granular drainage pad located under the basement concrete floor slab can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. damp. Covering these surfaces with impermeable surface finishes or floor coverings may lead to deterioration of these surfaces if the construction moisture is not allowed to dry. The concrete floor slab and perimeter concrete foundation wall contain significant quantities of moisture when initially placed. that is.

AIR SPAC PRESSURE EQ RIGID INSULATION CLIMATE (Interior Insulation) FOIL-BACKED GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CAVITY INSULATION SEALANT OR CAULKING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION WEEP HOLES VERTICAL JOI OTHER BRICK GROUND SLOP SEALANT/ CAULKING FOIL-BACKED GYPSUM BOARD CAVITY INSULATION IN 2 x 3 WOOD FRAME WALL OPTIONAL DAMPPROOFING TO TOP OF WALL (&MIL POLY DRAPED FROM UNDER SILL PLATE TO BOTTOM OF WALL) 2 x 4 TOP PLATE Figure 4-13: Basement &Heating Climate (Interior Insulation) Page 104 Chapter 4-Moisture Control Pracficesfor Heating Climates .BASEMENT +HEATING BRICK VENEER GALVANIZED NAILS AS TIES (PENETRATING SH TO WOOD FRAMING) 1-IN.

In this foundation assembly. The foundation perimeter interior gypsum wall board is basement perimeters. which deal with both exterior and interior moisture-laden air. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering sealed to the perimeter framing. flashing is installed at the base of the brick concrete foundation wall controls moisture veneer wall extending to the back of the rain entering the wall from the surrounding soil. the floor slab Rain and Groundwater polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is sealed to the foundation wall perimeter Gutters. a layer of rigid insulation is shown beneath the concretefloor slab. The break is a 4-inch. To do diffusion retarder on the exterior of the so. This flashing exterior of the concrete foundation wall also directs water to the exterior of the assembly. which direct water away from interior gypsum wall board. the footings can be constructed on a granular pad. basement frame wall and the underside of A subgrade drainage system controls the subfloor sheathing. groundwater entry.and belowgrade wall assemblies.there is cavity insulation in a wood frame wall on the interior of the foundation wall. In addition the rim joist/floor assembly air leakage basements. Siinilar to Basement 1. the dampproofing on the concrete foundation wall.BASEMENT !&HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Basement &Heating Climate: In this exainple. Capillary moisture from the concrete foundation wall migrating into the brick veneer is controlled by an impermeable flashing at the base of the brick veneer and the rain screen cavity. The movement of construction moisture from the concrete foundation wall into the sill/rim joist/floor assembly is controlled by a capillary break at the top of the perimeter concrete foundation wall. is the use of iirrpenneable rigid insulation as a vapor difusion retarder inside the rim joist cavity insulation (in Alternatively. To limit air leakage openings in this basement. Construction moisture in the perimeter concrete foundation wall can be prevented from diffusing into the perimeter wall foundation interior frame wall cavities by a vapor diffusion retarder (dampproofing the interior surface of the perimeter concrete from the surrounding soil into the concrete Moisture Control Handbook Page 105 . screen cavity and up over the top of the In this example. A dampproof coating is installed on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall. Rather than a polyethylene sheet on the interior walls. The above-grade wall s iown here is similar to Wall 5 in the preuioiis section.to 6inch-thick layer of 3/4inch gravel with fines removed. Also. openings are controlled by installing blocks Surface water penetration into the ground immediately adjacent to basements is of rigid insulation between floor joists and limited by a cap of impermeable backfill sealing them to the top of the perimeter material. A variation shown here. a concrete basement wall assembly supports a woodfrarne wall with brick veneer. Moisture movement into the concrete floor slab and underslab insulation is controlled by a granular capillary break under the slab. downspouts and careful site grading. Moisture movement by vapor diffusion r Capillary Suction Several methods are used to control moisture movement by capillarity into the foundation wall. Like all previous foundation assemblies. and cavity insulation is placed betweenjoists on the rim joist interior. acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. however. place o faced cavity insulation). exceptfor the use of iinpmneable Air Movement rigid insulation sheathing and foil-backed gypsum board. rigid insulation covers the exterior of the rim joist. and a capillary break (dampproofing or polyethylene) is placed over the top of the concrete footing. foil-backed gypsum board is used as a vapor difiision retarder in both the above. rainwater Vapor Diffusion from the above-grade wall assembly controlled by the rain screen must be Vapor diffusion may carry moisture into prevented from draining into the top of the several building assemblies. floor slab is controlled by a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the slab. A vapor perimeter concrete foundation wall.

integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent This is accomplished by using a 2 x 4 top pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust plate with 2 x 3 studs and a 2 x 3 bottom fan. It is not wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Either vapor permeable or vapor used with this foundation wall assembly.. concrete backing on the interior drywall). The cavity insulation. Covering this surface with temperature of the first condensing surface an impermeable surface finish or floor during the heating season (the inside face of the rim joist) and thereby limits the potential covering may lead to deterioration of these surfaces if the construction moisture is not for condensation at this location. In practice this is typically not possible recommended. carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent lower) and dry-applied insulations are [4. . and interior basement space moisture levels are limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. BASEMENT %HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) foundation wall). The granular drainage pad located under The perimeter foundation frame wall is the basement concrete floor slab can be held away from the concrete in order to enhance the durability of the wood members. the concrete foundation wall can be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. Alternatively. . allowed to dry. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic be built wet due to wet framing materials or reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. wall unless floor assemblies are insulated and assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to basement areas are conditioned. however. drying towards either the interior construction moisture contained in concrete or exterior is limited by the impermeability of may also lead to elevated interior moisture levels during the first few months of the perimeter foundation wall concrete and occupancy. the interior vapor diffusion retarder (foil Installing carpets on cold. Two methods control moisture movement by vapor diffusion from the interior basement space into the perimeter foundation wall framing.~ . it may not dry. Fiberglass batt insulation is recommended as the cavity insulation by virtue of its draining characteristicsand nonhygroscopic nature. A vapor diffusion retarder is installed (the foil backing on foilfaced gypsum wall board). dry framing materials (wood at concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or dry and warm. Alternatively. Interior basement space moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. damp. that is.2]. The concrete floor slab contains significant quantities of moisture when of the rim joist assembly elevates the initially placed. fills Rigid insulation installed on the exterior Comments impermeable interior surface finishes may be Page I06 Chapfer4-Moisfure Confro1 Practicesfor Hearing Climafes . . . Initial drying of the In this perimeter foundation frame wall assembly. plate. recommended that carpets be installed on Accordingly. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. enclosure. the entire void and touches the interior face of the concrete foundation wall. This is needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this wall assembly.

BASEMENT &HEATING CLIMATE (Wood Wall with Exterior Insulation) Figure 4-14: Basement &Heating Climate (Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Moistrire Control Handbook Page 107 .

the insulated wood foundation wall extends over the rim joist on the exterior. Rigid draining fiberglass insulation. The foundation perimeter interior gypsum wall board is sealed to the perimeter framing. Surface water penetration into the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable backfill material. In this example. break. potential condensing surfaces during the interior. which acts as a capillary interior paint acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. the impermeability of the sheathing on the exterior of the wood foundation wall also acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. Moisture diffusing from the surrounding soil into the wood floor framing is controlled by a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the wood floor framing. vapor diffusion concrete foundation wall. Rigid insulation covers the rim joist on the exterior as well. Gypsum board wifh low permeabilifypainf or wall covering s m e s as a vapor diffusion retarder on the interior side of the wall assembly. moisture-laden air from the Page I08 Chapfer4-Moisfure Control PracficesforHeating Climates . Air Movement Comments Rigid insulation on the exterior of the rim Where wood foundation wall cavities are joist assembly as well as balloon framing this assembly elevates the temperature of insulated. The above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 4 in the previous section. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the wall assembly on a granular pad.BASEMENT &-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) basement space from coming in contact with cold sheathing surfaces during both heating and cooling periods. it is important to prevent warm. low permeability wood foundation wall. the footings can be constructed control this. To limit air leakage openings in this basement. downspouts. is installed on the exterior of the During heating periods. which limits periods of potential condensation 4-inch. Moisture movement from the interior Capillary Suction basement space into the perimeter foundation wall framing is controlled by a Several systems are used to control vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the moisture movement by capillarity into the framing. A vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wood foundation wall controls moisture entering the wood foundation wall from the surrounding soil. and careful site grading. In addition. where is accumulates. This system consists of a drainpipe located at the perimeter of the concrete footings coupled with freedraining insulation board. the cavity side of the Moisture movement by capillarity into exterior wood foundation wall sheathing. A subgrade drainage system controls groundwater entry. which deal with both exterior and interior moisture-laden air. the rim joist/floor assembly is balloon framed and the perimeter rim joist is sealed to the foundation wall perimeter interior gypsum wall board and to the underside of the subfloor sheathing. To placed over the top of the concrete footing. Because of the balloon-stylefiaming at the rim joist. In this example. namely. In the basement wood floor and underslab this example a rigid insulation is installed on insulation is controlled by a granular capillary break under the slab. and a capillary from the interior may transmit moisture into break (dampproofing or polyethylene) is the wall assembly. the floor slab polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is sealed to the wood foundation wall perimeter interior gypsum wall board. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering basements. The break is a the exterior of the foundation. Rain and Groundwater Gutters.to &inch-thick layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines removed. which direct water away from basement perimeters. Alternatively. Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion may carry moisture into several building assemblies. A layer of rigid insulation is placed beneath the wood floor. Cauifyinsulation is placed within the woodfiame wall and draining rigid fiberglass board covers the exterior. is elevated. Basement &Heating Climate: This pressure-treated wood foundation wall rests on a concrete footing.

This is needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this basement wall assembly. this rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. depending on the permeance of the facing material. wall assemblies could be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. it may not dry. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. dry framing materials (wood at moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended.BASEMENT &HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) heating season (the inside face of exterior wood sheathing.4] Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 109 . and the inside face of the perimeter rim joist). Alternatively. be built wet due to wet framing materials. However. Readers should also consult the relevant publications of the National Forest Products Association including P m a n e n f Wood FoundafionSysfem: Design. The rigid insulation under the basement floor framing requires a compressive strength of 25 psi to control settling. The granular drainage pad located under the basement floor can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. Should the wall assembly become wet during service. Interior basement space moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. drying towards either the exterior or interior is limited by the installation of an interior vapor diffusion retarder and an impermeable exterior sheathing (pressure-treated plywood). In this foundation wall assembly. or become wet due to wetapplied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). The facing material on faced insulations installed with the facing towards the interior of the wall can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder. and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary. Accordingly. and thereby limits the potential for condensation at this location. Fabrication and lnsfallafion Manual [4.

BASEMENT 7-HEATING WOOD-BASED SIDING RIGID FIBERGLASS INSULATION CLIMATE (Wood Wall with Exterior Insulation) GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CAVITY INSULATl IN WOOD FRAME &MIL POLYETHYLENEVAPOR DIFFUSIONRETARDER SEALANT OR CAULKING PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING GROUND SLOP AWAY FROM W AT 5% (6' IN 10 SEALANTOR CAULKING GYPSUM BOARD WITH LOW PERMEABILITY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CAVITY INSULATION IN PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD FRAME WALL PRESSURE-TREATED PLYWOOD SHEATHING Figure 4-15: Basement 7-Heating Climate (Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Page 11 0 Cluzpfer&Moisture Control Practices for Heating Climates .

BASEMENT 7-HEATING

CLIMATE (CONTINUED)
perimeter interior gypsum wall board. The
floor slab polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder to the wood foundation wall

within the woodfiame wall and draining rigid fiberglass board covers the exterior. A layer o f rigid insulation i placed beneath the woodfloor. s Unlike Basanent 6, this assembly illustrates fhe wood wall resting directly on a gravel drainage pad rather than on a concretefooting. Another difluence is that the rim joist insulation shown here is conventional platf0rmframing rather than fhe ballooiiframing of Basement 6. Cavity insulation is placed betweenjoists on the rim joist interior, and rigid insulation covers the rim joist on the exterior as well. Gypsum board with low permeability paint or wall covering serves as a vapor dffiision retarder on the interior side ofthe basement wall assembly, The above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 3 in the previous secfion.

folnzdafioiz wall, Cavify insulation is placed

Basement 7-Heating Climate: Similar to Basanent 6, this is a pressure-treated wood

foundation perimeter interior gypsum wall board is sealed to the perimeter framing. The joints of the elements that form the sill/rim joist/floor assembly are also sealed.

Vapor Diffusion
Vapor diffusion may carry moisture from several sources into building assemblies. A vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wood foundation wall controls moisture entering the wood foundation from the surrounding soil. In this example, the impermeability of the sheathing on the exterior of the wood foundation wall also acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. Capillarity moisture moving from the surrounding soil into the wood floor framing is controlled by a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the wood floor framing and over the rigid insulation. Moisture movement from the interior basement space into the perimeter foundation wall framing is controlled by a

Rain and Groundwater
Gutters, downspouts, and careful site grading, which direct water away from basement perimeters, should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering

basements is limited by a cap of impermeable permeability paint acts as a vapor diffusion backfill material. retarder. A subgrade drainage system controls During heating periods, vapor diffusion groundwater entry. from the interior carries moisture into the foundation wall assembly, where it accumulates. It is controlled by elevating the Capillary Suction temperature of the first condensing surface within the wall assembly, namely, the cavity To control moisture movement by side of the exterior wood foundation wall capillarity into the wood foundation wall, sheathing. In this example by installing a rigid draining fiberglass insulation, which rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of acts as a capillary break, is installed on the the foundation, which limits periods of exterior of the wood foundation wall. A potential condensation capillary break is installed below the wood footings by constructing the wood footings on a granular pad. Comments Moisture movement by capillarity into the basement wood floor and underslab Rigid insulation is installed on the insulation is controlled by a granular exterior of the perimeter wood foundation capillary break under the slab. The break is a wall to reduce heating and cooling loads and 4-inch- to 6-inch-thick layer of 3/4-inch is protected on its exterior from mechanical gravel with fines removed. damage. This rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure, and as such appropriate flashings or other Air Movement protection may be necessary.

basements. Surfacewater penetration into the ground immediately adjacent to

vapor diffusion retarder at the interior face of the framing. In this example, low

deal with both exterior and interior moisture- of the rim joist assembly elevates the
laden air. They are limited by sealing the

Air leakage openings in this basement

Rigid insulation installed on the exterior

temperature of the first condensing surface

Moisfure Control Handbook

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BASEMENT 7-HEATING

CLIMATE (CONTINUED)
Accordingly, dry framing materials (wood at moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended. Alternatively, wall assemblies could be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. Interior basement space moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. This is needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this basement wall assembly, since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. The facing material on faced insulations installed with the facing towards the interior of the wall can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder, depending on the permeance of the facing material. The rigid insulation under the basement

during the heating season (the inside face of the rim joist), and thereby limits the potential for condensation at this location. A tight-fitting, insulation "pillow" is installed at the interior of the rim joist assembly between floor joists. The insulation pillow is formed by placing batt insulation in a plastic bag and snugly fitting the bag containing the insulation between the floor joists. Gaps at this location around the insulation pillow need to be minimized to control potential convective moisture transfer from the interior basement space to the interior surface of the rim joist. If convective moisture transfer is inhibited at this location and the facing on the insulation acts as an interior vapor diffusion retarder, the thermal resistance of the rigid insulation on the exterior of the rim joist can be reduced and the thermal resistance ofthe insulation at the interior of the rim joist can be increased. .In this foundation wall assembly, drying towards either the exterior or the interior is limited by an interior vapor diffusion retarder and an impermeable exterior sheathing (pressure-treated plywood). Should the wall assembly become wet during service, be built wet through the use of wet framing materials, or become wet due to wetapplied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass), it may not dry.

of 25 psi to control settling. The granular drainage pad located under the basement floor can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. Readers should also consult the relevant publications of the National Forest Products Association including Permanent Wood Foundation System: Design, Fabrication and Installation Manual [4.4]

floor framing requires a compressive strength

Page 2 2 2

Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Heating Climates

SLAB 1-HEATING CLIMATE (Exterior Insulation)

STUCCO CLA GALVANIZED BUILDING PAPER BOND BREAKER RIGID INSULATIO GALVANIZED FLASHING (TERMITE PROTECTION)

FOIL-BACKED GYPSUM BOARD WITH LATEX PAINT CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL PRESSURE-TREATED PLATE SEALANT OR CAULKING QIN. CONCRETE SLAB OPTIONAL W.W. MESH

OR COATING

PROTECTION

EXTRUDEDPOLYSTYRENE RIGID INSULATION

Figure 4-16: Slab 1-Heating Climate (Exterior Insulation)

Slab &-Heating Clinrafe: This slab-on-grade foundation assembly illustrates the use of a shallow grade beam insulated for protectionfrom fiost penetration. Rigid insulation covers the verticalface of thegrade beam and then extends lwrizontally into the soil surrounding the foundation perimeter, Additional rigid insulation

use of gutters and downspouts along with careful site grading, which direct water away from slab perimeters.

Air Movement and Vapor Diffusion

In slab assemblies it is important to eliminate the moisture flow from the exterior into the enclosure by air flow and vapor correspond to any of tlw wall assemblies shown in diffusion. To do this, a vapor diffusion the previous section. retarder is installed under the slab and construction is tight. Ductwork should be avoided in slabs, as groundwater and soil gas Rain and Groundwater seepage into ducts and diffusion and capillarity into concrete slabs from Rain and surface water should be prevented from entering beneath slabs by the surrounding soil transferred to the ducts

is placed beneafh thefloor slab. The above-grade woodfrarne wall with sfucco cladding does not

Moisture Control Handbook

Page 113

.

SLAB 1-HEATING

CLIMATE (CONTINUED)

often become significant sources of moisture to the enclosure.

penetration and have a minimum thermal resistance determined by the local freezing degree days [4.3]. In addition, the rigid insulation should resist capillarity effects and Capillary Suction be sufficiently protected from mechanical damage during construction and during Moisture movement by capillarity into the slab from the ground is controlled by the service. Specific information regarding frostprotected slab foundations should be placement of a capillary break, in this case the granular layer under the slab. Where slab obtained from local authorities. The concrete floor slab contains construction is utilized with a perimeter concrete grade beam, the slab vapor diffusion significant quantities of moisture when retarder is extended under the concrete grade initially placed. Covering this surface with an impermeable surface finish or floor beam to act as a capillary break at this covering may lead to deterioration of these location. Furthermore, dampproofing is

the grade beam also to act as a capillary break. This dampproofing, if it is fluid or spray applied, must be chemically compatible with any rigid insulation installed over it.

installed on the exterior of the perimeter of

Comments
Rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of the perimeter foundation assembly to reduce cooling loads and is protected above grade on its exterior from mechanical damage. This rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure, and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary. Perimeter rigid insulation installed horizontally protects this foundation assembly from frost. The rigid insulation should extend horizontally a distance equivalent to the depth of local frost

allowed to dry. Initial drying of the construction moisture contained in concrete may also lead to elevated interior moisture levels during the first few months of occupancy. Installing carpets on cold, damp, concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm; that is, carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [4.2]. In practice this is typically not possible unless floor assemblies are insulated and floor areas are conditioned. The granular drainage pad located under the concrete floor slab can also be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration, adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan.

surfaces if the construction moisture is not

Page 1 14

Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Heating Climates

Roof Construction in Heating Climates
In this section five roof assemblies are shown that can be used successfully in heating climates. There is one wood roof truss with a vented attic, and four examples of cathedral ceilings. Two of the cathedral ceiling assemblies are ventilated and the remaining two are unvented. The basic characteristicsof the roof assemblies are summarized in Table 4-3.

Each roof assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1) ventilation, (2) air movement, and (3) vapor diffusion. In addition, comments related to special concerns such as ice damming are summarized for each assembly. Insulation levels in roof assemblies, except where specifically noted to control moisture accumulation on condensing surfaces, are left to the judgement of the reader.

Table 4-3: Characteristicsof Roof Assemblies for Heating Climates
ROOF TYPE

VENTILATION

CEILING INSULATION
Cavity insulation

OTHER FEATURES
Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Between) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Between) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior)

DRYING

ROOF 1

Wood truss with flat ceiling Cathedral ceiling Cathedral ceiling Cathedral ceiling Cathedral ceiling

Vented attic

To the exterior
To the

ROOF 2

Vented

Cavity insulation

exterior

ROOF 3
ROOF 4

Vented

Cavity insulation with rigid insulation on the interior Cavity insulation with rigid insulation on the interior Rigid insulation

To the

exterior

Unvented

To the interior

ROOF 5

Unvented

To the interior

Moistlire Confro1 Handbook

Page 11 5

A polyefhylenevapor drfision refarder is placed above fhe ceiling gypsum board on flze inferior side offhe insulation. Ventilation should be provided. vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. MINIMUM SPACE WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTON) CONTINUOUS SOFFIT VENT GYPSUM BOARD WITH CONTINUOUSCEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR RETARDER SEALED TO PERIMETER WALL VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR BARRIER (&MIL POLYETHYLENE) CEILING INSULATION CAVITY INSULATION &MIL POLYETHYLENEVAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT ALL PENETRATIONS) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING GYPSUM BOARD WM ANY I PAINT OR WALL COVERING Figure 4-17: Roof 1-Heating Climate (Vented Attic) Roof I-Hearing Climate: This convenfional wood friiss roof system is insulated above fheflaf ceiling. according to the 1/ 300 ratio. The wall shown here corresponds f o Wall 2 in a previous secfionof this chapfer. The attic space is venfilafed. at a minimum. to a limited extent. This is best accomplished by not installing any forced air Page 116 ChapferGMoisfure Control PracficesforHeafing C h a f e s . The attic needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within the building enclosure influence the attic to a minimum. Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated to remove moisture from attic spaces and. Air Movement In vented roof assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between conditioned spaces and the attic. In addition.ROOF 1-HEATING CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. where 1 square foot of vent area is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly.

kitchen cabinet bulkheads should be sealed. which can lead to snow insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall melt. Exterior ventilation air entering soffit To control airborne moisture exfiltrating during the heating season from the enclosure assemblies experiences a pressure drop. dropped ceilings. furnaces. as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion into the attic. In this space away from the roof sheathing to climate. This pressure drop induces the Moisture movement by diffusion during ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets and snow in the soffit assembly the heating season from the enclosure into rather than transport them farther into the the attic is retarded by a continuous ceiling roof assembly. or air conditioners in attics. perimeter wall vapor diffusion retarder. the enclosure is depressurized space. subsequently causing interior mold and plumbing. wind-washing during the heating maintain a cold deck.ROOF 1-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) season can cool the perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces. Accordingly. and air narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively leakage openings are limited (tight ceiling large volume soffit assembly and then being construction). In addition. Ice damming in this climate is controlled by a water protection membrane at the eve Comments and by providing sufficient thermal insulation and air tightening at the A wind baffle should be installed at the intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling perimeter of the roof area where the to reduce heat loss. and mildew growth. squeezed into a narrow space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the wind Vapor Diffusion baffle. it may be vapor diffusion retarder sealed to the desirable to back prime wood soffit materials. the soffit assembly is to prevent thermal short-circuiting of the vented to flush heat from the conditioned insulation by wind (wind-washing). penetrations for Moisfiire Control Handbook Page 117 - . This is due to the combination of a relative to the attic and the exterior. In addition. wiring. ductwork.

cavify insulation is placed befween2 x 12 rafrers. Vapor Diffusion Moisture movement by diffusion during the heating season from the enclosure into the cathedral ceiling space is retarded by the installation of a continuous ceiling vapor Page 2 18 Clmpter 4-Moisfure Control Practicesfor Heating Climafes . MINIMUM SPACE WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTON) CONTINUOUS SOFFITVENT CONTINUOUS RIDGE VENTILA'IION - GYPSUM BOARD WITH CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER I A1R RETARDER INSTALLED SHINGLE FASHION AND EXTENDED OVER TOP OF VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING PERIMETERWALL (&MIL POLYETHYLENE) CAVITY INSULATION PERIMETER WALLVAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER / AI RETARDER SEALED TO CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER 1AIR BARRIER (&MIL POLYETHYLENE) CEILING INSULATION BETWEEN 2 x 12 RAFTERS GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING Figure 4-18: Roof 2-Heating Climate (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof 2-Heating Climate: In this roof assembly with a Cathedral ceiling. at a minimum. Continuous soffit and ridge vents should be installed with a minimum 2-inch space between the top of the insulation and the underside of the roof sheathing. and air leakage openings are limited (tight ceiling Ventilation ventilated. In addition. A polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder i placed above the ceiling s gypsum board on the interior side of the insulation. f distributed between the soffit and ridge and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. The wall shown here corresponds to Wall 2 in a previous secfiono this chapter.ROOF 2-HEATING CLIMATE (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) INSULATIONWIND BAFFLE 2-IN. Venfilationis provided through a 2-inch air space above fhe insulation. Air Movement To control airborne moisture exfiltrating during the heating season from the enclosure into the cathedral ceiling space. the enclosure is depressurized relative to the cathedral ceiling and the exterior. according to the 1/ 150 ratio. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 150 square feet of insulated ceiling area. vents should be Cathedral ceiling assemblies should be construction).

roof assembly. In this climate. Accordingly. Ice damming in this climate is controlled the insulated cathedral ceiling intersects the by a water protection membrane at the eve exterior wall to prevent thermal shortand by providing sufficient thermal circuiting of the insulation by wind (windinsulation and air tightening at the washing). it may be A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the cathedral ceiling area where desirable to back prime wood soffit materials. This is due to the combination of a Comments narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively large volume soffit assembly and then being The continuous ceiling vapor diffusion squeezed into a narrow space between the retarder is installed shingle fashion and underside of the roof sheathing and the wind extended over the top of the exterior baffle. diffusion retarder sealed to the perimeter wall vapor diffusion retarder. wind-washing intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling during the heating season can cool the perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum to reduce heat loss. This pressure drop induces the perimeter wall to allow for drainage of any condensed moisture on the top surface and to ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets and snow in the soffit assembly provide secondary protection for roof rather than transport them farther into the rainwater leakage. the soffit assembly is vented to flush heat from the conditioned mold and mildew growth. as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. space away from the roof sheathing to maintain a cold deck. which can lead to snow board surfaces. subsequently causing interior melt. In addition. Moisture Control Handbook Page 1 19 .ROOF 2-HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Exterior ventilation air entering soffit assemblies experiences a pressure drop.

Air Movement openings are limited (tight ceiling Cathedral ceiling assemblies should be construction). A polyethylene vapor dzfision retarder is placed between the rigid board and cavify insulafion layers. and air leakage To control airborne moisture exfiltrating during the heating season from the enclosure into the cathedral ceiling space. Continuous soffit and Moisture movement by diffusion during ridge vents should be installed with a the heating season from the enclosure into minimum 2-inch space between the top of the Ventilation is depressurized relative to the cathedral ceiling and the exterior. . In addition vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. ROOF >HEATING CLIMATE (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. The wall slwwn here corresponds to Wall 2 in a previous section o this chapfer. at a minimum. this is a roof assanbly with a ventilated cathedral ceiling. The key difference between this and Roof 2 is fhe rigid insulafionplaced beneafh fhe rafters.. where 1square foot of vent area is Vapor Diffusion provided for every 150 square feet of insulated ceiling area. Cavifyinsulation is placed between 2 x 10 rafters and ventilation is provided through a 2inch air space above the insulation. MINIMUM SPACE CONTINUOUS RlDG VENTILATION WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTON) CONTINUOUS SOFFIT VENT VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULA CAVlTY INSULATION PERIMETER WALL VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER1 AI RETARDER SEALED TO CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION \ I RIGID INSULATION \CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER / AIR RETARDER INSTALLED SHINGLE FASHION AND EXTENDED OVER TOP OF PERIMETERWALL (&MIL POLYETHYLENE) ‘CEILING INSULATION . f insulation and the underside of the roof sheathing. ventilated. BETWEEN 2 x 10 RAFTERS GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY RETARDER / AIR BARRIER (&MIL POLYETHYLENE) PAINT OR WALL COVERING Figure 4-19:Roof %Heating Climate (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof 3-Heating Climate: Siinilar to Roof 2.. . the enclosure Page 120 Chapter &Moisture Confrol Practicesfor Heating Climates . according to the 1/ 150 ratio.

and the melt. In addition. retarder is installed shingle fashion and Exterior ventilation air entering soffit extended over the top of the exterior assemblies experiences a pressure drop. narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively In this vented cathedral ceiling. In cases where attachment of the interior. Accordingly.ROOF %HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) perimeter of the cathedral ceiling area where the insulated cathedral ceiling intersects the exterior wall to prevent thermal shortcircuiting of the insulation by wind (windwashing). Moistlire Confrol Handbook Page 121 . as perimeter wall. It is roof assembly. which can lead to snow interior of the rigid insulation). the sheet droplets and snow in the soffit assembly polyethylene ceiling vapor retarder is rather than transport them farther into the replaced by the rigid insulation alone. This pressure drop induces the thermal resistance.by a water protection membrane at the eve and by providing sufficient thermal applied rigid insulation and ceiling gypsum board is a concern. I the cathedral ceiling space is retarded by a continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder sealed to the perimeter wall vapor diffusion retarder. This is due to the combination of a protection for roof rainwater leakage. subsequently The continuous ceiling vapor diffusion causing interior mold and mildew growth. This allows any condensed the soffit assembly acts as an expansion moisture to drain and provides secondary space. space away from the roof sheathing to A wind baffle should be installed at the maintain a cold deck. the soffit assembly is gypsum board subsequently fastened to the vented to flush heat from the conditioned furring. wind-washing by cold air during the heating season can cool Comments the perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces. rigid large volume soffit assembly and then being insulation on the interior side of the roof rafters beneath the sheet polyethylene vapor squeezed into a narrow space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the wind diffusion retarder provides additional baffle. sealed) and sealed to the perimeter wall Ice damming in this climate is controlled vapor diffusion retarder or air retarder. In this climate. In cases where the rigid ventilation air to deposit airborne rain insulation is impermeable. the rigid insulation can be insulation and air tightening at the intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling held in place by furring (installed to the to reduce heat loss. it may be installed in a continuous fashion (edges desirable to back prime wood soffit materials.

the enclosure is depressurized relative to the cathedral ceiling and the exterior. This air sealing can be an on the prevention of moisture movement into adhesive. Cavity iilsulation is placed between 2 x 8 rapers. Foil-backed gypsum board s m e s as a vapor difision retarder on the inside of fhe ceiling insulation. caulk. warm. the emphasis is joists. the exterior rigid insulation to the roof as in most wall assemblies. except for fhefoil-backed gypsum board. In this cathedral ceiling assembly. may not be compatible with sealing techniques which provide little allowance for Page 122 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Heating Climates . or sealant.ROOF &HEATING CLIMATE (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE OCE DAM PROTECTION) ROOF SHEATHING RIGID INSULATION POLYEMYLEN E AND SEALED) ROOF SHEATHING RIGID INSULATION NOTCHED AROUND VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE CAWTY INSULATION CEILING INSULATION BETWEEN 2 x 8 RAFTERS FOIL-BACKED GYPSUM CAULKING OR SEALANT FOIL-BACKED GYPSUM Figure 4-20: Roof 4--Heating Climate (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof &-Heating Climate: This roof assembly illustratesa cathedral ceiling that is unvenfed. The wall shown here corresponds to Wall 2 in a previous section of this chapter. moisture-laden air exfiltrates from the interior during the heating season. the assembly rather than the removal of Experience has shown that some exterior moisture Once it has entered the by rigid insulations are thermally unstable. It is Ventilation controlled by sealing both the interior gypsum wall board to the roof joists framing In unvented cathedral ceiling assemblies. Above the roof sheathing is a layer of rigid insulation with a sheet of polyethylene beneath it. and air leakage openings are limited (tight ceiling construction). and ventilation. Air Movement To control airborne moisture exfiltrating during the heating season from the enclosure into the cathedral ceiling space.

The rigid insulation installed in the roof assembly is typically fastened with long wood screws passing through the Ice damming in this climate is controlled by a water protection membrane at the eve and by providing sufficient thermal insulation and air tightening at the intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling to reduce heat loss. In this particular example. where it accumulates. needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this cathedral ceiling assembly. Alternatively. light. it may not dry. In addition. This prevents thermal shortcircuiting of the insulation by wind (windwashing). it may be desirable to install roofing papers to provide additional protection against rainwater entry should shakes and shingles deteriorate prematurely. Accordingly. Windwashing by cold air during the heating season can cool the perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces and cause subsequent interior mold and mildew growth. extending the exterior rigid insulation on the perimeter wall up so that it intersects the underside of the rigid insulation installed on top the roof joists will effectively control wind-washing. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. Some unvented roof assemblies have led to an elevation of shingle/shake/sheathing temperatures and subsequently to premature degradation of shingles/shakes/sheathings and a reduced service life [4. which can lead to snow melt. vapor diffusion from the interior may carry moisture into the wall assembly. Comments towards either the interior or exterior is limited by the vapor impermeable rigid insuIation and an interior vapor diffusion retarder. A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the cathedral ceiling area where the insulated cathedral ceiling intersects the exterior wall. Accordingly. Should the cathedral ceiling assembly be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). movement. In this climate. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry. This is controlled by elevating the temperature of the first condensing surface within the cathedral ceiling assembly. This is .colored shakes and shingles should be utilized. In this example rigid insulation is installed to limit periods of potentia1 condensation. wind-washing by hot. drying upper roof sheathing. In this example the foil backing on the ceiling gypsum board acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. and the joints in the roof sheathing installed over the rigid insulation are staggered over the joints in the rigid insulation to enhance air tightness. cathedral ceiling assemblies should be allowed to dry prior to enclosure.applied insulations are recommended. Accordingly. namely. polyethylene is Vapor Diffusion A vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the cathedral ceiling assembly controls vapor diffusion from the interior during heating periods. Fahrenheit during heating periods.ROOF &HEATING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) installed under the rigid insulation. humid air during the cooling season can induce moisture deposition on perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning. Interior moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees In this cathedral ceiling assembly. During heating periods.5]. the cavity side of the roof sheathing.

The wall shown here corresponds to Wall 2 in a previous section of this chapter. In addition.ROOF EHEATING CLIMATE (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) ROOF SHEATHING WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTION) RIGID INSULATION- > Figure 4-21: Roof %Heating Climate (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof 5-Heafing Climafe: Similar fo Roof 4. fhis roof assembly illusfrafesa cafhedral ceiliizg fhaf is unuenfed. In this example the sheet polyethylene acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. the joints in the roof sheathing installed over the rigid insulation are staggered over the joints in the rigid insulation to enhance air tightness. Ventilation In unvented cathedral ceiling assemblies. A polyefhylenevapor difusion refarderis placed beneath fhe rigid insulafion. Page 124 Chapfer4-Moisfure Control Practicesfor Heating Climates . the emphasis is on the prevention of moisture movement into the assembly rather than the removal of moisture once it has entered the assembly by ventilation. Air Movement To control airborne moisture from the interior. The joints in this sheet polyethylene should be taped or sealed to provide air retarder continuity. as in most wall assemblies. excepffor the use of low permeability painf as a vapor diffusion refarder. In fhis case. a sheet polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder/ air retarder is installed that extends from the ridge to the eve. Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion from the interior during heating periods is controlled by installing a vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the cathedral ceiling assembly. rafters are exposed on fhe interior o fhe space and a layer o rigid f f insulafion is placed above fhe rafters.

Builder's Foundation Handbook.1991. Accordingly. light. the rafters are exposed to facilitate drying of the wood framing towards the interior.. 1989. Christian. Maryland. W. Permanent Wood Foundation System: Design.. Michigan.3 National Association of Home Builders. Some unvented roof assemblies have led to an elevation of shingle/shake/sheathing temperatures and subsequently to premature degradation of shingles/shakes/sheathings and a reduced service life. J. Chelsea. Ice damming in this climate is controlled by a water protection membrane at the eve and by providing sufficient thermal insulation and air tightening at the intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling to reduce heat loss. 4. Washington. ORNL/ CON-295. Frost-ProtecfedShallow Foundations: Design Details Deueloped by fhe Nomegian Building Research Insfifufe. 4.C. "More Data on Shingle Overheating with Unvented Roofs". Lewis Publishers. 1987. March 1991.. which can lead to snow melt. 4.2 Godish. Indoor Air Pollution Control. Energy Design Update.to &inch wood screws penetrating into the rafters.4 National Forest Products Association. it may be desirable to install roofing papers to provide additional protection against rainwater entry should shakes and shingles deteriorate prematurely. January 1988. Rigid insulation is fastened with 5. Moisfiire ConfrolHandbook Page 125 .colored shakes and shingles should be utilized. J.1 Carmody. Labs. The rigid insulation installed in the roof assembly is typically fastened with long wood screws passing through the upper roof sheathing. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. and K. In addition. T. CHAPTER 4 REFERENCES 4.. D.ROOF E H E A T I N G CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Comments In this cathedral ceiling assembly. 4.5 Rose. Upper Marlboro. NAHB Research Center. Fabrication and Installation Manual.

groundwater. the principle moisture concerns are rain penetration. It also should be noted that the recommendations in this Section Will also perform Satisfactorily in warm. humid climates. This is in essence a mixed climate where both heating and cooling are needed for significant periods of Time. concealed condensation within wall and roof spaces. dry climates. not to mixed.CHAPTER 5 Moisture Control Practices for Mixed Climates Mixed Climates This climate zone is defined as a heating climate with up to 4000 heating degree days combined with a simificant number of cooling (air conditigning) hours. Figure 5-1: Map of Mixed Climate Zone in the United States u Page 126 Chapter 5-Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates . although no distinction is made between the two in the accompanying map. dry climates- KEY CONCERNS AND CONTROL STRATEGIES In mixed climates where both heating and cooling occur for significant periods of time. the recommendations in this section will perform satisfactorily in both climates. Accordingly. The design/ionstruction practice recommendations in this section are geared to mixed.

High inward flow of moisture during cooling periods can increase energy costs due to high cooling loads. can also outdoor vapor pressure is higher than indoor vapor pressure. appropriate placement of flashings. masonry. diffusion thus carry moisture from the Problems often arise where this is not taken exterior to the interior cooled area. i. gutters. coupled with insufficient attic ventilation. Such assemblies are designed and built to deal of interior surface mold and mildew during with the inward migration of moisture driven heating periods. and subgrade drainage. interior moisture levels are controlled during cooling periods Conditioned spaces are heated by both by the dehumidification capabilities of electric and fuel-fired appliances. careful site grading. Air movement and vapor with the air conditioning of interior surfaces. insulated assemblies. and downspouts to direct water away from foundations. and foundations. Leakage of warm.e. as do high exterior levels of humidity and cool interior surfaces due to the air conditioning of enclosures during cooling periods. and stucco. the above-grade conditioned space is depressurized during heating periods. roofs. can lead to roof sheathing decay. as well as increase building fabric deterioration from decay and corrosion and health and safety concerns from mold and mildew growth. These include the rain screen. These vapor pressure differences during cooling periods in this climate can be greater than the indoor to outdoor vapor pressure differences during heating periods in this same climate. High interior levels of humidity during heating periods encourage mold and mildew growth. this climate is marked by a mix of basement foundations and frost. Solar radiation warming exterior cooling coupled with dehumidification is wall surfaces creates those gradients. away from active chimneys towards high Moisture movement by vapor diffusion efficiencycombustion appliances and electric from the interior and from the exterior is heat sources. mechanical the interior. In addition. concerns have grown about air significant amounts of moisture when exfiltration leading to condensation within exposed to rain. because are similar to those of other climates. the above-grade conditioned space is pressurized during cooling periods.. Basement spaces are typically conditioned and occupied. building papers. should only be and resultant higher levels of interior moisture have also led to elevated incidences incorporated in certain wall assemblies. reduced air walls. Due to shallow ground frost penetration. Another source of external water-air conditioning condensate drains--should be plumbed directly to the graywater system. such as brick. change.protected crawl spaces. mechanical cooling systems and by limiting Traditional negative interior air pressures controlled ventilation to minimum values have been reduced as a result of the trend established by indoor air quality concerns. Concrete and masonry foundations are common. interior moistureladen air during heating periods into insulated attics. by temperature gradients from the exterior to During cooling periods. and control methods in this climate Rain penetration and groundwater concerns are common to builders in all insufficient or limited drying ability.and interior mold and mildew. Leakage of this warm air into insulated wall cavities. the exfiltration of interior moisture-laden air during heating periods and the infiltration of exterior moisture-laden air during cooling periods. and interior moisture levels during heating periods are controlled by ventilation (dilution by air change) combined with source control (direct venting of clothes dryers as well as the use of subgrade vapor retarders under concrete Condensation within Building floor slabs. Several methods are used to control this movement: air leakage openings are limited. Concerns with groundwater penetration and infiltration of soil gas and radon are common with this type of construction. and bath and kitchen exhaust Assemblies systems). along widespread. with some limited use of wood foundations and wood crawl spaces. When combined with the trend controlled by vapor diffusion retarders in towards tighter enclosures. and higher levels of interior Cladding systems which can absorb moisture. Rain and Groundwater lead to decay of structural framing members. Reduced air change wood. Frame walls predominate. climates. coupled with an Moisture Coiifrol Handbook Page 127 . Moisture can move by air leakage.

[. This is due to high exterior humidity conditions during the cooling season. duct leakage. the greater the amount of Mold and Mildew moisture brought in with it. The retarder and barrier protect the gypsum wall board from this exterior moisture or from construction moisture. or the materials must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. lead to high interior humidity problems.] 51. Page 128 Chapfer S M o i s f u r e Confro1Pracficesfor Mixed Climates . controlled rate. systems can be higher than sensible cooling Low air change during heating periods loads. and uninsulated (or poorly Since latent cooling loads on air conditioning insulated) window lintels or headers. and mold and and source control. dehumidify less than properly sized equipment. so cold air is Oversizing of air conditioning equipment can typically dryer. proper sizing of air conditioning due to tight enclosures can elevate interior systems. such as the installation of vinylwallpaper-covered gypsum wall board on the interior of a masonry block wall without provision for an appropriate vapor diffusion retarder and air barrier system. during heating periods it is desirable to ventilate enclosures in a controlled manner. This cold. Cold air is not capable of holding dehumidification capabilities. precautions must be taken to prevent the gypsum wall board from absorbing moisture from the exterior or construction moisture. During cooling periods mildew will often grow at these locations. as much moisture as warm air. dry air. The greater the amount of exterior air brought into an enclosure during High Interior Humidity Resulting in cooling periods. The greater the air change rate during heating periods. which may be trapped in the masonry units. If thermal bridges or other thermal Humidity within conditioned spaces is defects such as wind blowing through insulation create cold interior surface during controlled during heating periods by the dilution of interior moisture (air change) heating months. During heating periods. This into account. comers. As such. and excessive ventilation can lead to elevated interior moisture levels. These typically are established by indoor air quality elevated levels can cause condensation on issues and are often stipulated by ASHRAE window surfaces and give rise to surface guidelines. Should moisture be available. exterior conditioning systems and source control. humidity is controlled by the Most common locations are where exterior dehumidification capabilities of air walls intersect insulated ceilings. dry air from the exterior infiltrates because oversized equipment will not through random leakage openings in operate as often. exfiltrates to the exterior through other random leakage openings. in Without a controlled ventilation system. Thus. now containing moisture. dry air is subsequently heated by the enclosure's heating system and becomes capable of holding appreciable amounts of moisture. Air change (infiltration/exfiltration combined with controlled ventilation) removes moisture from within building enclosures during heating periods. interior surfaces will have along with controlled mechanical ventilation high relative humidities. mixed climates it is desirable to build tight moisture levels within the conditioned space enclosures and ventilate them during cooling can be elevated during the heating months as periods with outside air at a minimum. cold. with consideration of moisture. and/or local authorities condensation within walls and roof spaces. is important.heated air. wherever vinyl interior wall coverings are used in this climate zone. the greater the removal rate of interior moisture. Where wet lumber (greater than 19 percent moisture content by weight) or wetapplied insulations (wet spray cellulose or wet blown fiberglass) are installed in building assemblies. the strength of pollutant sources moId and mildew and concealed within enclosures. it is picked up by this heated. or is deliberately exhausted by controlled ventilation. Typical construction practice results in building enclosures which have air change rates inadequate to control interior moisture levels by random leakage alone. High air change during cooling periods due to infiltration/exfiltration. As such. those assemblies must be designed and built so that they can dry to the exterior or interior. Minimum ventilation rates a result of a low air change rate. and therefore will building enclosures or is brought into the building by controlled ventilation.

often creating moisture problems and increasing cooling loads.Mechanical System Concerns Ductwork for forced air heating and cooling systems should be installed only within conditioned spaces. it is important that air barrier continuity is maintained above the dropped ceiling or at the exterior wall. Air conditioning supply ductwork should be insulated and protected with an exterior vapor diffusion retarder to control condensation on cold duct surfaces. A m C VENTILATION PRESSURIZE DURING AIR CONDITIONING DEPRESSURIZE DURING HEATING VENTED UNCONDITIONED CRAWL SPACE Building 1 ATTIC VENTILATION 00004 0000- PRESSURIZEDURING AIR CONDITIONING DEPRESSURIZE DURING HEATING PRESSURIZE UNVENTED CONDITIONED CRAWL SPACE Building 2 VENTILATION SOFFITAND RIDGE CONTINUOUS 0000 PRESSURIZE DURING AIR CONDITIONING DEPRESSURIZE MAIN FLOOR Building 3 Figure 5-2: Whole House Concepts for Mixed Climates Moisfrtre Control Handbook Page 129 . During heating periods these same leaky return ducts draw cold air into the conditioned space. humid air during the cooling season. leading to the infiltration of exterior warm air. Ductwork should not be installed in attics or vented crawl spaces. humid cooling periods. This often creates moisture problems. During hot. During heating periods the same mechanism can deposit sufficient interior moisture into attic assemblies to create roof sheathing moisture and decay problems. increases cooling loads during cooling periods and heating loads during heating periods. This could cause condensation or high surface relative humidities and potential mold and mildew growth. moisture. as well as risks occupant health and safety. often creating moisture problems and increasing cooling loads. Where ductwork is located in dropped ceilings adjacent to attics and exterior walls. leading to infiltration and increasing heating loads. Leaky return ducts in vented crawl spaces draw significant amounts of soil gas. It may also depressurize the conditioned space. Leaky supply ducts in attics or vented crawl spaces during cooling periods depressurize the conditioned space. possibly pesticides. Cold water piping may need to be insulated if exposed to warm. moisture-laden air into the conditioned space from the attic. Air conditioning supply air registers should be located so that cold air is not blown directly across wall and ceiling surfaces. increasing heating loads. radon. potentially chilling the surfaces below dew point temperatures. and other pollutants into the conditioned spaces. leaky return ducts located in attics draw significant amounts of warm.

crawl spaces and vented attics 3. unconditioned . measures to control air leakage towards both 1 Buildings with vented. 2 Buildings with unvented. Above-grade spaces are maintained at a negative air pressure to the exterior during heating periods and at a positive air pressure to the exterior during cooling periods. radon. conditioned . Where vented combustion appliances are installed they should be aerodynamically uncoupled (not influenced by enclosure air pressures or supply air availability) from the conditioned space. condensing.Combustion Appliances Unvented combustion appliances such as gas stoves with standing pilot lights and room space heaters are significant sources of moisture as well as sources for other pollutants and should be avoided. Devices with traditional draft hoods should be avoided. Ventilation of roof assemblies removes moisture continuously during heating months and intermittently during cooling months. and other pollutants. Depressurization of the abovegrade conditioned spaces during heating periods eliminates the exfiltration of interior moisture-laden air. In other words. In this climate it is convenient to allow walls to dry to either the interior or the exterior. Positive pressurization of the basement spaces and crawl spaces eliminates the infiltration of soil gas. or pulse combustion devices should be used. Wall design and construction in this climate locates vapor diffusion retarders and the exterior and interior. Buildings with basements and vented cathedral ceilings WHOLE BUILDING SYSTEMS Three examples of desirable whole building systems for this climate zone are (see Figure 5-2): Common features of the three systems are basement spaces and crawl spafes maintained at a positive air pressure to the exterior. Gas stoves and cook tops without standing pilot lights should be installed with vented range hoods or some other vent provision. crawl spaces and vented attics Page 130 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed C h a f e s . Pressurization of the above-grade conditioned space during cooling periods eliminates the infiltration of exterior moisture-laden air. induced draft. Vented roofs are also common to the three systems. sealed combustion. power vented. Fireplaces should have their own air supply from the exterior as well as tight-fitting glass doors. Wood stoves should also have their own supply of exterior air ducted directly to their firebox.

In addition. vinyl.. one with brick veneer. and (4) vapor diffusion. The basic characteristicsof the wall assemblies are summarized in Table 5-1. (3)air movement. Wall Construction in Mixed Climates Each wall assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. (2) rain absorption. Other differences between the wood frame walls include the type of sheathing and whether an interior vapor diffusion retarder is used. Table 5-1: Characteristicsof Wall Assemblies for Mixed Climates WALL TYPE COMPONENT Wood. and one with stucco cladding. In this section five wall assemblies are shown that can be used successfully in mixed climates. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1) rain penetration. except where specifically noted to control moisture accumulation on condensing surfaces. comments concerning the ability of the wall to dry and other limitations of each wall assembly are summarized. All five examples are wood frame walls-three with siding. or aluminum siding Aluminum or vinyl siding Brick veneer over cavity Aluminum or vinyl siding Stucco cladding EXTERIOR SHEATHING OTHER FEATURES Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (I nterior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior DRYING WALL 1 Wood frame Plywood or waferboard (Impermeable) Asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Rigid insulation (Impermeable) Rigid insulation (Impermeable) Limited WALL 2 Wood frame Limited WALL 3 Wood frame Limited WALL 4 Wood frame To the interior To the exterior WALL 5 Wood frame Moisture ConfrolHandbook Page 131 . are left to the judgement of the reader.. Insulation levels in wall assemblies.- .

_. Where A rain screen system controls rain exterior sheathing must be significantly tighter than the cladding. . A polyefhylenevapor difision retarder is placed on the inside of the wall beneath the gypsum board. __ WALL 1-MIXED CLIMATE (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) WOODBASED. This wall assembly is identical to Wall 1for heating climates.VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL 7 d mI LIMITED DRYING 6MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING GASKET OR SEALANT ON INTERIOR TOP AND SOLE PLATE Figure 5-3: Wall 1-Mixed Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall 1-Mixed Climate: This conventional woodfiame wall assembly utilizes an impermeable. or OSB sheathing) and capillarity effects. nonabsorptive building paper should be used. rain penetration is controlled by eliminating exterior holes. Any type of siding-wood-based. Cross sections filled with insulation material or support material are not recommended.. . or aluminum-can be applied.vertically. This is accomplished by installing the exterior sheathing in an airtight manner . Cavities are created behind the vinyl or aluminum siding as a result of the siding cross sections. They should ideally tuck in behind exterior sheathings or building papers. Air Movement Air may transport moisture from the exterior during the cooling season (infiltration of warm humid air) or from the Page 132 Chapter 5-Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates .. with optional sealant or adhesive at sheathing joints/edges. .noninsulating sheathing material consisting of plywood or waferboard covered by building paper. Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings is critical in rain screen assemblies. . Alternatively. Rain wood-based siding is utilized. with all joints falling on framing members. waferboard. the penetration in this wall assembly where vinyl or aluminum siding is utilized. . In this example vinyl or aluminum siding is installed over a tight sheathing. vinyl. Rain AbsorptiodCapillarySuction A building paper controls rain absorption by the exterior structural use panels (the plywood. To equalize pressure in these cavities. The rain screen principle requires a pressure-equalized cavity behind the cladding to perform satisfactorily. In this assembly a vapor permeable. a building paper may be installed in a tight manner (lapped or taped joints) to equalize pressure.

applied insulations are recommended. To control this moisture. vapor diffusion from the interior is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. or OSB sheathing) are sealed to the wall framing. Either vapor permeable or vapor impermeable interior surface finishes may be used with this wall assembly. Structural use panels such as plywood. Where wood siding is utilized over plywood. Comments In this wall assembly. or the interior gypsum wall board or polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is sealed to the wall framing. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry. This can be accomplished with adhesive. caulk. or OSB sheathings are impermeable and act as effective vapor diffusion retarders. and nail according to manufacturer's recommended installation practices. or OSB sheathing. back-prime the siding. Alternatively.WALL 1-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) sheet is installed between the interior gypsum board and the wall framing and acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. interior during the heating season (exfiltration of warm moisture-laden interior air). an air seal (air retarder) is installed at either the interior or exterior of the wall. An exterior air seal at the exterior structural use panels in this example would equalize the exterior air space pressure. In this example a continuous polyethylene Moisfiire Control Handbook Page 133 . waferboard. During heating periods. or some other sealant. In this assembly either the exterior structural use panels (the plywood. vapor diffusion from the exterior is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wall. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Accordingly. waferboard. drying towards either the interior or exterior is limited by a vapor impermeable exterior sheathing and an interior vapor diffusion retarder. it is recommended to utilize dry materials. waferboard. it may not dry. Vapor Diffusion During cooling periods.

vapor diffusion from the exterior in this wall assembly is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall assembly between the wall framing and the interior gypsum board. permeable noninsiilafing shea thing (asphalf impregnafedjiberboardor gypsum covered wifh building paper) pmnifs fhe wall assembly f o dry toward the exferior f o some extent. a polyethylene vapor difusion retarder is placed on the inside of the wall beneath the gypsunz board. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction A building paper controls rain absorption by the exterior asphaltimpregnated fiberboard or gypsum sheathing. and capillarity effects. In this assembly a vapor permeable. Vinyl or aluminum siding is applied over the sheathing. nonabsorptive building paper should be used. Although a vapor diffusion retarder at this location in this climate does not prevent moisture from diffusing into the wall from the exterior. Air Movement Air may transport moisture from the exterior during the cooling season Page 234 Chapfer 5 M i f lire Conf rol Practices for Mixed Clima f es -os - . This moisture then typically migrates outward in the evening when the temperature gradient reverses. an air seal (air retarder) is provided at either the interior or exterior of the wall. Similar f o Wall 1. This wall assembly can get wet intermittently from the Rain A rain screen system controls rain penetration in this wall assembly.WALL 2-MIXED CLIMATE (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT IMPREGNATED FIBERBOARD OR GYPSUM SHEATHING (PERMEABLE) WOOD FRAME WALL 3 1 LIMITED DRYING TO EXTERIOR CAVITY INSULATION IN 6MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING GASKET OR SEALANT ON SOLE PLATE INTERIOR Figure 5-4: Wall 2-Mixed Climate (PermeableNoninsulating Sheathing) Wall 2-Mixed Cli7nafe: In fhiswoodfranze wall. This interior vapor diffusion retarder can get wet on the cavity side during the day if incident solar radiation drives inward the exterior absorbed moisture in the fiberboard or gypsum sheathing. (infiltration of warm humid air) or from the interior during the heating season (exfiltration of warm moisture-laden interior air). it effectively protects the interior gypsum board and any interior finishes from moisture damage and also reduces the latent cooling load of the structure. Vapor Diffusion During cooing periods. To control this moisture.

the wall assembly will dry to the exterior. vapor diffusion from the interior is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall. Drying towards the interior is limited by an interior vapor diffusion retarder. Since intermittent wetting of the vapor diffusion retarder may occur. it may be desirable to use dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations. the rate of drying may not be sufficient to prevent problems. wall assemblies could be allowed to dry prior to impermeable interior surface finishes may be In this wall assembly. However. this interior vapor diffusion retarder should be continuous to provide satisfactory performance. Foil-backed interior gypsum board may not be sufficiently effective due to discontinuities at joints. drying towards the used with this wall assembly. Either vapor permeable or vapor Moisfiire Confro1Handbook Page 135 . During heating periods. In the absence of prior experience or local historical experience. Foil-back insulation batts may not be effective for the same reason. A continuous polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder has proven to be effective in this type of assembly.WALL 2-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) exterior as well as dry intermittently to the exterior. exterior through the vapor permeable Comments enclosure. In this example a continuous polyethylene sheet is installed between the interior gypsum board and the wall framing and acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. exterior sheathing (asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum board) occurs but is limited somewhat by a vapor impermeable exterior cladding (vinyl or aluminum siding). Alternatively. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass).

also be vented at their base by leaving open Flashings at the base of brick veneer walls are also critical so that cavity moisture can be every other vertical mortar joint in the first course of brick. they must extend to the top of the brick veneer wall as well as vented back of the air space. the sheathing must be significantly tighter than the cladding. first to allow inward air movement to equalize pressure and second to provide a weep or drainage function. For pressure in the cavity to be equalized.I SEALANT OR GASKET ON INTERIOR TOP AND SOLE PLATE DRYING TO EXTERIOR Figure 5-5: Wall %Mixed Climate (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall &Mixed Climate: This woodframe wall is covered on the exterior by a brick veneer. The s permeable noninsulating sheathing (asphaltimpregnated fiberboard or gypsum) permits the wall assembly to d y toward the exterior. ideally tucking in at its base. The rain screen principle requires a pressureThe sheathing relative to the brick veneer is equalized cavity behind the cladding to sometimes further tightened by the perform satisfactorily.a fiberboard or gypsum sheathing is installed Page 136 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates . An air space between the brick and the wood frame assembly i a receptorfor moisture.. with all joints falling on framing members. PRESSURE EQUALIZED) BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT IMPREGNATED FIBERBOARD OR GYPSUM SHEATHING IPERMEABLE) CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL 6MlL POLYETHYLENEVAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING . f This wall assembly i identical to Wall 5for s hearing climates. the brick veneer is made leaky by installing it over an air space (1)open at the bottom by the use of open Rain vertical masonry joints and (2) open at the A rain screen system controls rain top by the use of similar openings or by venting the air space into a soffit assembly. the asphalt-impregnated in airtight (vertically. penetration in this wall assembly. AIR SPACE (RAIN SCREEN. Two methods accomplish this. WALL %MIXED CLIMATE (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) BRICK VENEER ~-q//l 1-IN. This air space must be clear of window and door openings is critical in rain mortar droppings and should be open at the screen assemblies. First. In this example a continuous installation of a building paper. These vertical open joints directed to the exterior through the weep two preuioiis wood hame wall assemblies. Appropriate installation of flashings over brick veneer is installed over a minimum 1inch air space. Such brick veneer walls should behind sheathings or building papers. Like the polyethylene vapor difision retarder is placed on the inside o flze wall beneath the gypsum board. Second. serve two functions. with the option of utilizing a sealant or adhesive at sheathing joints/edges).

or the interior of the wall will be effective. it can dry intermittently to the exterior into the air space behind the brick veneer during cool weather or during evenings. vapor diffusion from the exterior is controlled by a vapor Moisture Control Handbook Page 137 . To control this moisture. caulk. This wall permeable. either the vapor diffusion retarder has proven to be exterior asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or effective in this type of assembly. the plane of airtightness is often located to the interior of the wall assembly at the interior gypsum board or polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. two components foster wall drying towards the exterior: a vapor permeable sheathing on the exterior of the wall framing. Alternatively. from the exterior and dries intermittently to the exterior. An exterior air seal at the asphalt- Comments In this wall assembly. Although a vapor diffusion retarder at this location in this climate does not prevent moisture from Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction diffusing into the wall. As a practical note of caution. A continuous polyethylene air). The air structure. gypsum board and’the wall framing and acts An air seal located at either the exterior as the vapor diffusion retarder. Vapor Diffusion During cooling periods. In such cases a vapor temperature gradient reverses. or the interior gypsum wall board or from the interior is controlled by a vapor polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall. in wall assemblies with asphalt-impregnated fiberboard sheathing. This can be accomplished with adhesive. gypsum sheathing is sealed to the wall During heating periods. sealed to the wall framing. vapor diffusion framing. This interior vapor diffusion space receives capillary moisture and retarder can get wet on the cavity side during moisture driven inward by incident solar the day if incident solar radiation drives radiation. This moisture then typically the asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or migrates outward in the evening when the gypsum sheathing. nonabsorptive building paper assembly typically gets wet intermittently should be used. this interior vapor diffusion retarder must be Air may transport moisture from the continuous to perform satisfactorily. These diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall base flashings must also extend to the back of assembly between the wall framing and the the rain screen cavity. and an air space between the cladding (brick veneer) and the sheathing that acts as a receptor for interior cavity moisture. it effectively protects the interior gypsum board and any interior An air space behind the brick veneer controls rain absorption by the brick veneer finishes from moisture damage and also reduces the latent cooling load of the and brick veneer capillarity effects.WALL %MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) holes under the influence of gravity. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wetapplied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Since intermittent wetting of the Air Movement vapor diffusion retarder is common. or some In this example a continuous polyethylene sheet is installed between the interior other sealant. Foilexterior during the cooling season backed interior gypsum board is typically not (infiltration of warm humid air) or from the effective due to discontinuities at joints. Either vapor permeable or vapor impermeable interior surface finishes may be used with this wall assembly. As such. it has proven difficult in practice to seal asphaltimpregnated fiberboard sheathing. A building paper is installed in inward the exterior absorbed moisture in the some assemblies to limit rain absorption by brick veneer. impregnated fiberboard or gypsum sheathing would equalize pressure of the exterior air space. a tightly sealed exterior building paper in this climate can also be effective in reducing air transported moisture. interior gypsum board. Foilinterior during the heating season (exfiltration of warm moisture-laden interior back insulation batts are also not effective for the same reason.

the temperature of the first due to of the inherent material properties of Rain installed only to protect the impermeable rigid insulation from water absorption. namely. During heating periods. This approach is dependen f on liiirifingthe cavify insulafion f o R-11. To control this. Insfead. vapor diffusion Rain absorption by the vinyl or from the interior may transport moisture into aluminum siding and siding capillarity effects are not a concern in this wall assembly the wall assembly where it accumulates. is not required for the same reason. Unlike fheprevious wall assemblies. vapor diffusion from the exterior is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wall. the cavity side of the exterior sheathing. The rigid insulafionserves as a vapor difiusion refarderon flieexferior. A rain screen system controls rain In this example an impermeable rigid penetration in this wall assembly. To control this moisture. while installing at leasf R-7 rigid insulation. the vinyl and aluminum. IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION S1/2-IN. A building paper. Vapor Diffusion During cooling periods. Vinyl or aluininrim siding is applied over fhe sheafhing. In this example an insulating sheathing of sufficient thermal resistance is installed to limit periods of condensing surface within the wall assembly Page 138 Chapter 5-Moisture ConfrolPractices for Mixed Climates . is elevated. (R-11) CAVITY INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WOOD FRAME WALL GYPSUM BOARD PERMEABLE LAT CAULKING OR SEALANT ON SOLE PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) DRYING TO INTERIOR Figure 5-6: Wall 4-Mixed Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) insulafioni used as fhe slzeafhiizg inaferial in this s woodfiame wall assembly. Wall 4-Mixed Cfimafe:bripertiiealtle rigid Air Movement Air may transport moisture from the exterior during the cooling season (infiltration of warm humid air) or from the interior during the heating season (exfiltration of warm moisture-laden interior air). insulation is installed as the exterior wall sheathing and acts as the exterior vapor Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction diffusion retarder.permeable lafexpainf on gypsum board permits drying f o fhe inferior. fliereis no vapor difision refarderon the inside of flie wall. an air seal (air retarder) is provided at either the interior or exterior of the wall.WALL 4-MIXED CLIMATE (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SI R-7 MIN.

In these cases. For example. For this wall assembly in this climate zone. An acceptable period would be sufficiently brief so that wood decay does not begin or interior surface water stain marks or mold or mildew do not appear. The temperature of the first condensing surface is determined by the ratio of the amount of thermal insulation installed to the exterior of the condensing surface compared to the amount of thermal insulation installed to the interior of the condensing surface. Dry-applied insulations and dry framing materials are recommended where impermeable surface treatments are utilized. This is needed to further control airborne moisture paints. and the thermal resistance of cavity insulation should be R-11or less. An interior vapor diffusion retarder would significantly reduce the potential for condensation on the cavity side of the exterior insulating sheathing during the heating season. and (2) ambient climatic conditions during the spring and fall. Faced cavity insulations can be installed where drying to the interior is not required. However. Wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorilyin service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. since limited drying of the assembly can only occur to the interior. where an interior vapor diffusion retarder is not utilized. This period is determined by the temperature of the first condensing surface and the interior moisture level. and vapor diffusion with this wall assembly. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wetapplied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Comments In this wall assembly. or alternatively. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. this same interior vapor retarder would also significantly reduce drying to the interior. Alternatively.WALL 4-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) potential condensation to acceptable levels. Interior moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. the cavity insulation can be installed with the facing material towards the outside of the cavity If the facing material is installed with the facing towards the interior of the wall. such as wall coverings and impermeable retarders are installed (faced cavity insulations or sheet polyethylene). The facing material on faced cavity insulations can retard drying to the interior if the facing is installed towards the wall interior. it can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. This is due to (1)an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air conditioning the enclosure during the cooling season. new owners or tenants are repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. it can dry to the interior. depending on the permeance of the facing material. Furthermore. or where interior vapor diffusion Moisfure Control Handbook Page 139 . therefore reducing the amount of thermal resistance of the insulating sheathing needed for limiting wetting potential. a vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board promotes wall drying towards the interior. the thermal resistance of insulating sheathings should be R-7or greater. interior moisture levels during heating periods should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

there is no vapor difusion refarder on the inside of the wall. and both absorptive and nonabsorptive building papers. Traditional stuccos. This approach is dependent on limiting the cavity insulation fo R-1 I. Control joint detailing is important as control joints often provide entry points for rainwater. In this wall assembly. Thus. Alternative effective bond breakers are sheet polyethylene. which Page 140 Chapfer!&Moisture Confrol Practicesfor Mixed Climates . IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION 3-1/2-IN. Where a bond breaker is not utilized. The bond breaker between the stucco and the sheathing allows control joints to be spaced farther apart and also provides more predictability to controlled cracking. breaker between the stucco cladding and any sheathing material. the impermeable rigid insulation. The formulation and material properties of the stucco cladding itself are also important. Stucco over galvanized lath is applied over fhesheathing. This stucco cladding needs to be continuous and sealed at all penetrations such as at window and door openings. This approach requires the elimination of all exterior openings. control joints need to be spaced closer together. Rain A barrier approach. Similar to Wall 4. selection of appropriate sealants and/or flashings for use at these locations is critical. lnsfead. while installing at least R-7 rigid insulafion. The rigid insulation s m e s as a vapor difusion retarder on the exterior. so control joints are often utilized. (R-11) CAVITY INSULATION IN 2 x 4 WOOD FRAME WALL GYPSUM BOARD PERMEABLE LAT CAULKING OR SEALANT ON SOLE PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) DRYING TO INTERIOR Figure 5-7: Wall &Mixed Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall %Mixed Climate: Impermeable rigid insulation is used as fhe sheafhing mafm-a1in this woodframe wall assembly. The effectivenessof stucco control joints is often dependent on an effective bond Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction Rain absorption by the stucco cladding and stucco capillarity effects are controlled by the installation of capillary break behind the stucco. namely. the bond breaker is typically the facing material installed on some impermeable rigid insulating sheathings. an exterior stucco cladding is installed. Uncontrolled cracking of the exterior stucco cladding can lead to significant rain penetration. controls rain penetration in this wall assembly.WALL %MIXED CLIMATE (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) STUCCO ON GALVANIZE R-7 MIN.permeable lafexpaint on gypsum board permifsdrying to fhe interior. in this example. or face-sealing.

it can dry to the interior. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the wall assembly is elevated. limited drying of the assembly can only occur towards the interior. where each diffusion retarder. The facing material on faced cavity insulations can retard drying to the interior if the facing is installed towards the interior. the thermal resistance of insulating sheathings should be R-7or greater. the more difficult it becomes for the water to go farther. they also often retard the drying of the wall assembly to the exterior if it gets wet through other mechanisms such as interior moisture or failure at control joints. where it accumulates. stains or colorants added to stuccos during stucco application are often more successful than paint films subsequently applied. an air seal (air retarder) is provided at either the interior or exterior of the wall. weakest and most permeable of the three. namely. as such. a vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board promotes wall drying towards the interior. However. and the thermal resistance of cavity insulation should be R-11 or less. any paint finishes or hydrophobic sealants installed over the outermost surface of a stucco cladding need to be more permeable than the outermost surface of the stucco cladding. have provided the best service life. have been insulation is installed as the exterior wall sheathing and acts as the exterior vapor composed of three layers. This is due to (1)an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air conditioning the enclosure during the cooling season. and the finish coat is the thinnest. This is typically very difficult to achieve in practice. To control this. and therefore is the most impermeable. The second coat is thinner and weaker (more permeable) than the base coat. Comments In this wall assembly.WALL C M I X E D CLIMATE (CONTINUED) successive layer to the exterior has been weaker and more permeable than the layer under it. vapor diffusion from the exterior is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wall. Rain absorption by the stucco cladding and stucco capillarity effects can also be controlled by exterior paint films and hydrophobic coatings. This is needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this wall assembly since. once water has penetrated the stucco it is always easier for it to migrate to the exterior than any farther to the interior. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wetapplied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). During heating periods. Air Movement Air may transport moisture from either the exterior during the cooling season (infiltration of warm humid air) or from the interior during the heating season (exfiltration of warm moisture-laden interior air). This period is determined by the temperature of the first condensing surface. Interior moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. Accordingly. and (2) ambient climatic conditions during the spring and fall. To control this moisture. In this example an impermeable rigid Moistlire Coizfrol Handbook Page 141 . the cavity side of the exterior sheathing. An acceptable period would be sufficiently brief so that wood decay does not begin or interior surface water stain marks or mold or mildew do not appear. In other words. caution and judgment need to be exercised in the application of this control strategy. Conversely. Vapor Diffusion During cooling periods. For this wall assembly in this climate zone. The rationale for this approach is that the farther inward from the exterior that water penetrates. Although these coatings reduce rain absorption and capillarity. In this example an insulating sheathing of sufficient thermal resistance is installed to limit periods of potential condensation to acceptable levels. vapor diffusion from the interior may transport moisture into the wall assembly. the base coat is the thickest and has the lowest water to cement ratio. which in this wall assembly is determined by the ratio of the amount of thermal insulation installed to the exterior of the condensing surface compared to the amount of thermal insulation installed to the interior of the condensing surface.

and therefore reduce the amount of thermal resistance of the insulating sheathing needed for limiting wetting potential. this same interior vapor diffusion retarder would also significantly reduce drying to the interior. For example. In these cases. Alternatively. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. However. the cavity insulation can be installed with the facing material towards the outside of the cavity. or (2) where interior vapor diffusion retarders are installed (faced cavity insulations or sheet polyethylene). such as wall coverings and impermeable paints. Wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorilyin service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. Page 142 Chapfer5-Moisfure Confrol Pracficesfor Mixed C h a f e s .WALL E M I X E D CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Faced cavity insulations can be installed where drying to the interior is not required. Dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended (1)where impermeable surface treatments are utilized. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. it can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder. depending on the permeance of the facing material. An interior vapor diffusion retarder would significantly reduce the potential for condensation on the cavity side of the exterior insulating sheathing during the heating season. If he facing material is installed with the facing towards the interior of the wall. new owners or tenants may repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. or alternatively.

(3) air movement. comments concerning the ability of the wall to dry and other limitations of each foundation assembly are summarized. A key difference between the foundation assemblies is the type and placement of insulation on either the interior or exterior of the wall.2]. All four crawl spaces are unventedtwo utilize concrete or masonry walls. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1) rain and groundwater. and two are pressure-treated wood construction. Each foundation assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. except where specifically noted to control moisture accumulation on condensing surfaces. In addition. able 5-2: Characteristics of Foundation Assemblies for Mixed Climates FOUNDATION TYPE BASEMENT 1 Concrete Concrete FOUNDATIONWALL INSULATION Rigid insulation (Exterior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wall (Intenor) FLOOR INSULATION None None DRYING Limited Limited BASEMENT 2 BASEMENT 3 Concrete masonry supporting brick Pressuretreated wood frame Concrete Concrete masonry Pressuretreated wood frame Cavity insulation in wood frame wall (Interior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wallRigid insulation (Exterior) Rigid insulation (Exterior) Faced batt insulation over wall (Interior) Cavity insulation in wood frame wallRigid insulation (Exterior) None Limited BASEMENT 4 Rigid insulation beneath wood floor Limited CRAWL SPACE 1 CRAWL SPACE 2 None Faced batt insulation extends onto floor perimeter None To the interior To the interior To the interior CRAWL SPACE 3 CRAWL SPACE 4 Pressuretreated wood frame wood frame wallRigid insulation (Exterior) Cavity insulation in floor perimeter Faced batt insulation extends onto To the interior MoisfureCoiifrolHandbook Page 143 . Insulation levels in foundation assemblies. and (4) vapor diffusion. while the other utilizes pressure-treated wood walls. (2) capillary suction. The basic characteristicsof the foundation assemblies are summarized in Table 5-2. There are four basement wall assemblies and four crawl spaces. are left to the judgement of the reader.Foundation Construction in Mixed Climates In this section eight foundation assemblies are shown that can be used successfully in mixed climates. Guidance regarding optimum insulation levels for foundation assemblies can be found in the Builder's Foundafioiz Handbook [5. as well as in the rim joist area and the floor. Three of the basement walls are concrete or masonry construction.

BASEMENT 1-MIXED CLIMATE (Exterior Insulation) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULA FLOOR ASSEMBLY CANTILEVERED OVER FOUNDATION WALL TO ACCOUNT FOR THICKNESS OF EXTERIO BASEMENT INSULATION SILL GASKET AT TOP 0 WALL (POLYETHYLENE FOLDED OVER A STRIP OF BATT INSULATION) PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING TERMITE SHEILD FOUNDATION WALL CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT INSULATION "PILLOW' (BATT INSULATION PLACED IN A P L A s n c BAG AND SNUGLY FIT BETWEEN JOISTS) Figure 5-8: Basement 1-Mixed Climate (Exterior Insulation) Page 144 C h p f e rS-Moisftue Confro1Practices for Mixed Climates .

and above the perimeter drain pipe. or to daylight. should surround the perimeter drain pipe the dampproofing on the exterior of the and in turn be surrounded by a filter fabric. The drainpipe and the free-draining backfill material act together to provide a drain Vapor Diffusion screen. and sump consists of a drainpipe located at the openings are sealed or closed with tight perimeter of the concrete footings coupled covers.BASEMENT 1-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Basement 1-Mixed Climafe: This concrefe to &inch-thick layer of 3/4-inch gravel with basemenfwall assembly illusfrates the use of rigid fines removed. Coarse gravel concrete foundation wall. which limits periods capillary break (dampproofing or of potential condensation. the Capillarity may transmit moisture into the concrete foundation wall. storm sewer. concrete foundation wall also acts as a vapor Filter fabric should be located both below retarder. downspouts. Alternatively. transport moisture into the perimeter foundation wall rim joist framing where it accumulates. pipe penetrations and electrical conduits A subgrade drainage system controls through concrete floor slabs. Rigid insulation covers fhe exterior of the rim joist. backfill material. the Capillary Suction temperature of the first condensing surface within the rim joist assembly. and careful site construction). and cavity Air Movement insulafion(with a vapor diffusion refarder)is placed between joists on fhe rim joisf inferior. To control moisture. perimeter groundwater entry into basements. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering construction are limited by (1)sealing with caulking the concrete floor slab to the basements. which direct water away from Air leakage openings in this basement basement perimeters. The drain pipe is connected to a sump. polyethylene) is placed over the top of the concrete footing. To control airborne moisture infiltrating into the basement space. In basement assemblies it is important to "'lieabove-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 4 in the previous section. This concrete walls. namely. Moisture may move by vapor diffusion Perforations in the perimeter drain pipe from the surrounding soil into the concrete should be installed with the holes down to foundation wall. soil and the basement space. as drain A polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder pipe perforations face down and often clog under the concrete floor slab controls f o underneath. the basement space is Rain and Ground Water pressurized relative to the surrounding soil and air leakage openings are limited (tight Gutters. The break is a 4-inchwall to reduce heating and cooling loads and is protected above grade on its exterior from eliminate air flow between the surrounding Moisfrire Control Handbook Page 145 . rm least 2 inches of gravel underneath. Capillary moisture movement into the Rigid insulation is installed on the floor slab is controlled by a granular capillary exterior of the perimeter concrete foundation break under the slab. cavity side of the rim joist is elevated. the footings Comments may be constructed on a granular pad. grading. In this example rigid insulation is installed on the a dampproof coating is installed on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall and a exterior of the rim joist. In this example. with free-draining backfill material. Drainpipes should have at moisture carried by diffusion into the slab. yet still During heating periods. and (2) the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable sealing the joints of the elements which form the sill/rim joist/floor assembly. Surface water penetration into perimeter concrete foundation wall. vapor diffusion be below the bottom surface of the basement from the interior of the basement may floor slab. insulation board on fhe exferior. It is controlled by a vapor allow groundwater to rise up into the drain diffusion retarder on the exterior of the pipe and be carried away. In addition. floor drains. To control this.

Installing carpets on cold. damp. Covering these surfaces with impermeable surface finishes or floor coverings may lead to deterioration of these surfaces if the construction moisture is not allowed to dry. concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. unless floor assemblies are insulated and basements areas are conditioned. The granular drainage pad located under the basement floor slab can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. ] In practice this is typically not possible 53. This rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm. Initial drying of the construction moisture contained in concrete may elevate interior moisture levels during the first few months of occupancy. and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary. Page 146 Chapter 5-Moisfure Confrol Practicesfor Mixed Climates .BASEMENT 1-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) mechanical damage. The concrete floor slab and perimeter concrete foundation wall contain significant quantities of moisture when initially placed. carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [ . that is.

BASEMENT 2-MIXED CLIMATE (Interior Insulation) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING CAVITY INSULATIO &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER / AIR RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT PENETRATIONS) GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING RIGID INSULATION CAPILLARY BR AT TOP OF WALL GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL 2 x 4 TOP PLATE GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER 1 AIR RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT PENETRATIONS) CAVITY INSULATION IN PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD FRAME WALL OPTIONAL DAMPPROOFING TO TOP OF WALL (&MIL POLY SHEET DRAPED FROM UNDER SILL PLATE TO BOTTOM OF WALL) Figure 5-9: Basement 2-Mixed Climate (InteriorInsulation) Moistiire ConfrolHandbook Puge 147 .

Rain and Ground Water Gutters. Construction moisture contained in the perimeter concrete foundation wall may move by capillarity into the sill/rim joist/ floor assembly. which limits periods of potential condensation Capillary Suction Capillarity may transmit moisture into the concrete foundation wall. They are limited by sealing the floor slab polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder to the foundation wall perimeter polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. concrete Page 148 Chapter 5-Moisture Control Practices for Mixed Climates . To control this. Air leakage openings in this basement deal with both exterior and interior moistureladen air. downspouts. Unlike other basement wall assemblies. and rigid insulation covers the rim joist on the exterior as well. the vapor diffusion retarder is continuousfrom the above-grade wall interior. The break is a $-inchto 6-inch-thick layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines removed. During heating periods. To control this.BASEMENT 2-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) surfaces during both heating and cooling periods. A subgrade drainage system controls groundwater entry. Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion may carry moisture into several building components. Construction moisture contained in the perimeter concrete foundation wall may diffuse into the perimeter foundation frame wall cavity. and then beneath the slab. which direct water away from basement perimeters. the rim joist/floor assembly is wrapped by polyethylene and this polyethylene is sealed to both the foundation wall perimeter polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder and the above-grade wall polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. Alternatively. extending over the i basement wall interior. To prevent moisture from the surrounding soil from entering the concrete foundation wall. In addition. Capillary moisture movement into the floor slab is controlled by a granular capillary break under the slab. A polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the concrete floor slab controls moisture carried by diffusion from the surrounding soil into the slab. and careful site grading. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering basements. a vapor diffusion retarder is installed on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall. namely. vapor diffusion from the interior of the basement may transport moisture into the perimeter foundation wall rim joist framing. Alternatively. the dampproofing on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall also acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. interior. In this example rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of the rim joist. In this example. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the rim joist assembly is elevated. The above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 1 in the previous section. the cavity side of the rim joist. Moisture moving from the interior basement space into the perimeter foundation wall framing is controlled by a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder on the interior of the perimeter foundation wall framing. It is controlled by installing a capillary break at the top of the perimeter concrete foundation wall. Cavity insulation is placed betweenjoists on the rim joist inten'or. the concrete foundation wall can be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. where it accumulates. it is important to prevent warm. Basement 2-Mixed Climate: This concrete basement wall assembly illustrates the use of cavity insulation in a woodfiame wall on the interior of thefoundation wall. It is controlled by installing dampproofing on the interior of the perimeter concrete foundation wall. moisture-laden air from the basement space from coming in contact with cold. through the r m joist area. Surface water penetration into the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable backfill material. the footings may be constructed on a granular pad. a dampproof coating is installed on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall and a capillary break (dampproofing or polyethylene) is placed over the top of the concrete footing. Air Movement Where perimeter concrete foundation walls are insulated on the interior.

damp. Initial drying of the Accordingly. assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to Installing carpets on cold. Covering this surface with wet during service or be built wet through an impermeable surface finish or floor the use of wet framing materials or wetcovering may lead to deterioration of these applied cavity insulations (wet spray surfaces if the construction moisture is not cellulose or blown fiberglass). Should the wall assembly become initially placed. Fiberglass batt insulation is recommended as the cavity insulation by virtue of its draining characteristicsand nonhygroscopic nature. however. The granular drainage pad located under the basement floor slab can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. The perimeter foundation frame wall is health-related consequences. that is. dry framing materials (wood at construction moisture contained in concrete a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or may also lead to elevated interior moisture lower) and dry-applied insulations are levels during the first few months of recommended. concrete held away from the concrete in order to enhance the durability of the wood members. This is needed to further In this perimeter foundation frame wall control airborne moisture and vapor assembly. fills the entire void and touches the interior face of the concrete foundation wall. allowed to dry. Interior basement space moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative enclosure. ] In practice this is typically not possible 53. the perimeter foundation wall concrete and The concrete floor slab contains the interior polyethylene vapor diffusion significant quantities of moisture when retarder.BASEMENT 2-MIXED Comments CLIMATE (CONTINUED) humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. since only or exterior is limited by the impermeability of limited drying of the assembly occurs. floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other Moisture Control Handbook Page 149 . drying towards either the interior diffusion with this wall assembly. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm. This is accomplished by using a 2 x 4 top plate with 2 x 3 studs and a 2 x 3 bottom plate. The cavity insulation. unless floor assemblies are insulated and basements areas are conditioned. carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [ . it may not dry. wall occupancy. Alternatively.

SOLID Figure 5-10 Basement M i x e d Climate (Interior Insulation) Page 150 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates . AIR SPAC PRESSURE EQ BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT IMPREGNATED FIBERBOARD &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER CAVITY INSULATION SEALANT OR CAULKING ING RIGID INSULATION REINFORCED F POLYETHYLENE FLASHING WEEP HOLES (OPEN VERTICAL JOINT EVERY GROUND SLOP AWAY FROM W INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD SEALANT/ CAULKING GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER CAVITY INSULATION IN PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD FRAME WALL FILL TOP COURSE OF 12-IN.BASEMENT >MIXED CLIMATE (Interior Insulation) BRICK VENEE 1-IN.

The foundation grading. Capillary moisture from the masonry In this perimeter foundation frame wall block foundation wall migrating into the assembly. To do so. Construction moisture contained in the masonry block foundation wall may move into the sill/rim joist/floor assembly. downspouts. perimeter block foundation wall. however. In addition. It is controlled by a capillary break at the top of the perimeter concrete foundation wall. there is no rigid insulation covering the exterior ofthe rim joist. the footings can be constructed Comments on a granular pad. Surface water penetration into openings are controlled by installing blocks the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable of rigid insulation between floor joists and sealing them to the top of the perimeter backfill material. is the use of impermeable rigid insulation as a vapor di@sion retarder inside the rim joist cavity insulation (in place of faced cavity insulation). The break is a 4-inchto &inch-thick layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines removed. A vapor difision retarder covers the interior side of the above. Alternatively. They are limited by sealing the Rain and Ground Water floor slab polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder to the foundation wall perimeter Gutters. and careful site interior gypsum wall board. This flashing directs water to the exterior of the assembly. groundwater entry. drying towards either the exterior several building components. U l k the previous nie foundation assemblies. diffusion retarder on the exterior of the masonry block foundation wall controls moisture entering the masonry wall from the surrounding soil. (dampproofing or polyethylene) is placed over the top of the concrete footing. moisture movement by capillarity into the Moisture movement from the interior masonry foundation wall. The above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 3 in the previous section. rainwater from the above-grade wall assembly Vapor Diffusion controlled by the rain screen must be prevented from draining into the top of the Vapor diffusion may carry moisture into flashing is installed at the base of the brick veneer wall extending to the back of the rain screen cavity and up over the top of the upper course of blocks in the masonry wall. and a capillary break interior of the perimeter wall framing.BASEMENT %MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Basement &Mixed Climate: In this example. A dampproof coating (bitumen over a cement parge coat) is basement space into the perimeter foundation wall framing is controlled by a installed on the exterior of the concrete polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder on the foundation wall. lwwever cavity insulation is still placed befweenjoists on the rim joist interior. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering sealed to the perimeter framing. A variation shown here. basement frame wall and the underside of A subgrade drainage system controls the subfloor sheathing. In this foundation assembly. brick veneer is controlled by an impermeable flashing at the base of the brick veneer and the rain screen cavity. the rim joist/floor assembly air leakage basements. Air Movement Air leakage openings in this basement deal with both exterior and interior moistureladen air. Similar to Basement 2. a concrete masonry basement wall assembly supports a wood frame wall with brick veneer.and below-grade walls. A vapor Moisture Control Handbook Page 151 . In this example. Capillary moisture movement into the floor slab is controlled by a granular capillary break under the slab. Moisture movement from the Capillary Suction surrounding soil into the concrete floor slab is controlled by a polyethylene vapor Several methods are used to control diffusion retarder under the slab. the dampproofing on the exterior of the masonry block foundation wall also acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. which direct water away from perimeter interior gypsum wall board is basement perimeters. there is cavity insulation in a woodframe wall on the interior of thefoundation wall.

BASEMENT 3-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) or the interior is limited by the impermeability of the concrete block assembly and the interior polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder. fills the entire void and touches the interior face of the masonry foundation wall. Accordingly. Initial drying of the construction moisture contained in concrete may also elevate interior moisture levels during the first few months of occupancy. Covering this surface with an impermeable surface finish or floor covering may lead to deterioration of these surfaces if the construction moisture is not allowed to dry. Should this wall assembly become wet during service. This is needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this basement wall assembly. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. installed with the facing towards the interior of the wall. In practice this is typically not possible unless floor assemblies are insulated and basements areas are conditioned. or become wet through the use of wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm. however. Installing carpets on cold. The cavity insulation.3]. The granular drainage pad located under the basement concrete floor slab can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. that is. it may not dry. concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. wall assemblies can be permitted to dry prior to enclosure. damp. the facing material on faced cavity insulations. Fiberglass batt insulation is recommended as the cavity insulation by virtue of its draining characteristics and nonhygroscopic nature. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended. Page 152 ChapferS M o i s f u r eConfrol Practices for Mixed Climates . This is accomplished by using a 2 x 4 top plate with 2 x 3 studs and a 2 x 3 bottom plate. be built with wet framing materials. Interior basement space moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. Alternatively. carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [5. The concrete floor slab contains significant quantities of moisture when initially placed. Depending on its permeance. The perimeter foundation frame wall is held away from the masonry in order to enhance the durability of the wood members. can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder.

BASEMENT "MIXED CLIMATE (Wood Wall with Exterior Insulation) WOOD-BASED SIDING FURRRING STRIPS WALL COVERING CAVITY INSULATI IN WOOD FRAME GYPSUM BOARD WITH LOW PERMEABILITY PAINT OR SEALANT OR CAULKING ADHESIVE. SEALANT OR CAULKING PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING SEALANT OR CAULKING GYPSUM BOARD WITH LOW PERMEABILITY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CAVITY INSULATION IN PRESSURE-TREATED WOOD FRAME WALL PRESSURE-TREATED PLYWOOD SHEATHING SEALANT OR CAULKING 2 x 4 FLOOR JOISTS 2 x 6 WOOD SLEEPERS PRESSURE-TREATED Figure 5-11: Basement "Mixed Climate (Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Moisture Control Handbook Page 153 .

In addition. Comments Rain and Ground Water Air Movement During the heating season. and the inside and cooling periods. It is controlled by Fahrenheit during heating periods.to 6-inch-thick layer of 3/4-inch gravel with fines removed. Surface water penetration into vapor diffusion retarder. This limits the potential for condensation at this location (the inside face cold sheathing surfaces during both heating of exterior wood sheathing. it is important to prevent warm. To control this. exterior wood foundation wall sheathing. vapor diffusion the exterior of the foundation wood from the interior may transport moisture into sheathing and a capillary break (dampproofing or polyethylene) over the top the wall assembly. which direct water away from surrounding soil. assembly. sheet polyethylene (moisture protection) on During heating periods. namely. the condensing surface within the wall assembly concrete footing can be constructed on a is elevated. In this example. moisture-laden air from the basement space from coming in contact with framed. Cavify insulafionis placed wifhin flre woodfraine wall and rigid insulafionboard covers the exfm’or. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering polyethylene on the exterior of the wood foundation wall sheathing also acts as a basements. Because of the balloonsfylefiaming a f the rim joisf. and careful site the wood foundation wall from the grading. The foundation perimeter interior gypsum wall board is sealed to the perimeter framing. the cavity side of the granular pad. fhe insiilafedwood foundation wall extends over fhe r m joist on fhe i exferior. Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion may transmit moisture into several building assemblies. Page 154 Chapfer&Moisture Control Pracficesfor Mixed Climafes . interior basement space moisture levels are limited to Capillary moisture may move into the 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees wood foundation wall. the sheet basement perimeters. groundwater entry. Alternatively. A vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wood foundation wall controls moisture entering Gutters. They are limited by sealing the floor slab polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder to the wood foundation wall perimeter interior gypsum wall board. The above-grade wall shown here is similar f o Wall 4 in the previous section. the rim joist/floor assembly is balloon framed and the perimeter rim joist is sealed to the foundation wall perimeter interior gypsum wall board and to the underside of the subfloor sheathing. To control capillary moisture movement from the interior basement space into the Capillary Suction perimeter foundation wall framing. A subgrade drainage system controls is controlled by a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the framing. downspouts. Gypsum board wifh low permeability painf or wall covering serves as a vapor difision retarder on the interior side of the wall assembly. and (2) this assembly is balloon interior. A layer of rigid insulation is placed beneafhflre woodjloor. Basmenf &Mixed Climate: This pressuretreafed wood foundation wall rests on a concrefe footing. Rigid insulation covers the rim joist on fhe exterior as well. which limits insulation is controlled by a granular capillary break under the slab. the ground immediately adjacent to basements is limited by a cap of impermeable Moisture movement from the surrounding soil into the wood floor framing backfill material.BASEMENT 4-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Air leakage openings in this basement construction deal with both exterior and interior moisture-laden air. the temperature of the first of the concrete footing. where it accumulates. except fhf wood siding with an air space behind it is shown instead of vinyl or alunrinunr siding. In Moisture movement by capillarity into this example rigid insulation is installed on the wood floor framing and rigid floor the exterior of the foundation. two systems elevate the temperature of potential Where wood foundation wall cavities are condensing surfaces: (1)rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of the rim joist insulated. The break is a periods of potential condensation 4-inch.

Interior basement space moisture levels humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods.4] face of the perimeter rim joist). Alternatively. However. and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary. However. Readers should also consult the relevant publications of the National Forest Products Association including P m a n e n f Wood FoiindafionS y s f m :Design. the rate of drying may not be sufficient to prevent problems where wetapplied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass) are utilized. In this foundation wall assembly. the facing material on faced cavity insulations. drying to the interior is limited. Alternatively. Foundation wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorilyin service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder. In these cases. it may be desirable to use dry-applied insulations. However. In the absence of prior experience or local historical experience. this rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. this same interior vapor diffusion retarder would also significantly reduce drying to the interior should it be required. An interior vapor diffusion retarder would significantly reduce condensation potential on the interior surface should be limited to 35 percent relative may appear at the gypsum board/surface Moisture Confro1Handbook Page 155 . or (2) where interior vapor diffusion retarders are installed (faced cavity insulations or sheet polyethylene). Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials.BASEMENT "MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) of the wood foundation wall sheathing. mold and mildew problems treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. such as wall coverings and impermeable paints. installed with the facing towards the interior of the wall. wall assemblies could be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. For example. Dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or less and dry-applied insulations are recommended (1)where impermeable interior surface treatments are utilized. This is needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this basement wall assembly. new owners or tenants may repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. drying towards the interior is promoted by a vapor permeable interior surface finish on the interior perimeter gypsum wall board. Depending on its permeance. Fabricafion and Insfallation Manila1 [5. The granular drainage pad located under the basement floor slab can be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan.

. ...- . .. .. CRAWL SPACE 1-MIXED CLIMATE (Unvented with Exterior Insulation) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEA RIGID INSU CAVITY INSULATION CAULKING OR SEALANT ON EXTERIOR (ALTERNA SEAL AROUND BEAM POCKETS TO PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE GALVANIZED FLASHING (WHERE REQUIRED FOR b R M l T E PROTECTION) PROTECTIONBOARD OR COATING RIGID INSULATION CRAWL SPACE ACCESS SHOULD OCCUR THROUGH SUBFLOOR NOT PERIMETER WALL GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT - SILL GASKET (6-MIL POLY FOLDED OVER A STRIP OF B A T INSULATION) CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL DAMPPROOFING SEALANT CONTINUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER / AIR RETARDER (TAPE GROUND COVER TO POLY STRIP OVER FOOTING) Figure 5-12: Crawl Space 1-Mixed Climate (Unvented with Exterior Insulation) Page 156 Chapter 5-Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates .

downspouts. construction). concrete footing controls groundwater entry. In enclosures without forced vapor diffusion retarder as a ground cover. or other air seals. capillary break at the top of the foundation Pressurization will only occur when the wall. Moisture movement by vapor diffusion Airborne moisture infiltrating into the crawl space is controlled by pressurizing the crawl from the surrounding soil into the concrete space relative to the surrounding soil and by foundation wall is controlled by installing a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the limiting air leakage openings (tight concrete foundation wall. including crawl space ground cover over the top of the the crawl space during cooling periods. and careful site grading. can be installed. In addition. air register in the crawl space. gaskets. with no Moisture movement by vapor diffusion corresponding return air register. and (2) a capillary words. air taken from the building to concrete footing). Crawl spaces in this climate zone should Two systems are installed to control not be pressurized at the expense of capillary moisture entering the concrete foundation wall. the entire building should be break (dampproofing or polyethylene) over the top of the concrete footing (extending the pressurized relative to the exterior. Exterior wall sheathing is also extended down over the rim joist assembly to further Rain and Ground Water reduce air leakage at this location. taking air from the other conditioned spaces. The f above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 4 in the pratious section. the rim joist assembly is sealed against air leakage with adhesive. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the the sill/rim joist/floor assembly. the the dampproofing on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall also acts as a vapor crawl space can be pressurized by a supply diffusion retarder. (The sheet metal flashing doubles as forced air distribution fan is operating (when termite protection) mechanical cooling or heating is occurring).CRAWL SPACE 1-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Crawl Space 1-Mixed Climafe: This unvented crawl space illustrates a concrete foundafion wall with rigid insulation board on fhe exterior. This exterior wall sheathing can be utilized as the Gutters. a separate fan for this purpose rain and surface water from entering crawl rim joist if the exterior wall sheathing is Moisture Control Handbook Page 157 . In this approach the air distribution fan should run into the crawl space from the soil is controlled by a continuous polyethylene continuously. To do so. should be used to prevent sealed directly to the exterior of the sill plate spaces. Rigid insulation covers the exterior of fhe rim joist. and sump openings are sealed or Capillary Suction closed with tight covers. (1)a dampproof coating on depressurizing the rest of the conditioned space during cooling periods. caulking. typically to the air concrete foundation wall is controlled by a conditioning duct system. As such. As such it is desirable to build as tight as is practical. pipe penetrations and electrical conduits through perimeter concrete walls. air systems. and cavity insulation (wifha vapor dqusion refarder)is placed behoeen joisfs on fhe rtm joist interior. the less air that has to be introduced to pressurize the crawl space. In addition. The tighter the space construction. This should be effective under most Air Movernent conditions. floor drains. In unvented crawl space assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the Vapor Diffusion surrounding soil and the crawl space. In enclosures with forced air systems. In this example. In other the exterior of the wall. the ground cover/vapor diffusion retarder is extended up over the top of the footings and all joints are sealed. pressurize the crawl space needs to be Capillary moisture entering the replaced by outside air introduced in a perimeter framing assembly from the controlled manner. A continuous vapor dzfusion refarderis placed on fhejloor of fhe crawl space and extends over the top o the footing. which direct water away from crawl principal air seal at this location and hence to eliminate seals at the top and bottom of the space perimeters.

which limits periods of potential condensation. During heating periods. Page 158 Chapter 5-Moisture Confro1 Pracficesfor Mixed Cliinafes . plumbing. since concerns about the effects of duct leakage and freezing pipes are minimized. namely. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the rim joist assembly is elevated.CRAWL SPACE 1-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Comments Rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of the perimeter concrete foundation wall to reduce heating and cooling loads and is protected on its exterior from mechanical damage. where it accumulates. To control this. In this example rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of the rim joist. This rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. the cavity side of the rim joist. In unvented conditioned crawl spaces it is convenient to install ductwork. vapor diffusion from the interior of the crawl space may transport moisture into the perimeter foundation wall rim joist framing. and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary. and other mechanical components.

CRAWL SPACE 2-MIXED CLIMATE (Unvented with Interior Insulation) FURRING SPACE CRAWL SPACE ACCESS SHOULD OCCUR THROUGH SUBFLOOR NOT PERIMETER WALL GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT CAVITY INSULATION CAULKING OR ON EXTERIOR SEAL AROUND BEAM POCKETS TO PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE GALVANIZED FLASHING (WHERE REQUIRED FOR TERMITE PROTECTION) CEMENT PARGE GROUND SLOP AWAY FROM W FOLDED OVER A STRIP OF BATT INSULATION) CONCRETE MASONRY FOUNDATION WALL CONTINUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR RETARDEREXTENDEDOVER TOP OF FOUNDATIONWALL BATT INSULATION (FOIL FACEiD) STAPLED TO SILL PLATE wini ALL SEAMS TAPED Figure 5-13: Crawl Space 2-Mixed Climate (Unvented with Interior Insulation) Moisture Control Handbook Page 259 .

The above-grade wall shown here is similar to Wall 4 in the previous section. In enclosures with forced air systems. and sump openings are sealed or closed with tight covers. downspouts. with no Moisture may also diffuse from the soil corresponding return air register. A continuous vapor difusion retarder is placed on thefloor o the crawl space and extends over the f interiorface and top of thefoundation wall. air register in the crawl space. To do so. should be used to prevent is sealed directly to the exterior of the sill/ rain and surface water from entering crawl rim joist/floor assembly. Rain and Ground Water This exterior wall sheathing can be utilized as the principal air seal at this location and Gutters. by extending the crawl space ground Pressurization will only occur when the cover over the top of the masonry block forced air distribution fan is operating (when foundation wall. The tighter the space construction. and f cavify insulation (with a vapor difusion retarder) is placed between joists on the rim joist interior. including the concrete foundation wall. wall. except that wood siding f with an air space behind it is shown instead o vinyl or aluminum siding. pipe spaces. In this construction). Exterior wall sheathing is also extended down over the rim joist assembly to further reduce air leakage at this location. Capillary Suction Crawl spaces in this climate zone should not be pressurized at the expense of Moisture movement by capillarity into depressurizing the rest of the conditioned the masonry block foundation wall is controlled by a dampproof coating (bitumen space during cooling periods. caulking.CRAWL SPACE 2-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) insulation covering the interior wall and extending over thefloor perimeter. perimeter concrete masonry walls. Rigid insulation covers the exterior o the rim joist. which direct water away from crawl hence to eliminate seals at the top and bottom of the rim joist if the exterior wall sheathing space perimeters. Vapor diffusion may carry moisture from Airborne moisture infiltrating into the crawl space is controlled by pressurizing the crawl the surrounding soil into the masonry block space relative to the surrounding soil and by foundation wall. and careful site grading. or other air seals. a separate fan for this purpose approach the air distribution fan should run Page 160 Chapter 5-Moisture Control Practices for Mixed Climates . gaskets. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the penetrations and electrical conduits through concrete footing controls groundwater entry. In addition. In addition. the crawl space during cooling periods. In unvented crawl space assemblies it is Vapor Diffusion important to eliminate air flow between the surrounding soil and the crawl space. air taken from the building to masonry block foundation wall may move pressurize the crawl space needs to be into the sill/rim joist/floor assembly. In enclosures without forced air systems. the example. the rim joist assembly is sealed against air leakage with adhesive. It is replaced by outside air introduced in a controlled by installing a capillary break at the top of the perimeter concrete foundation controlled manner. the less air that has to be introduced to pressurize the crawl space. the entire building should be over a cement parge coat) on the exterior of pressurized relative to the exterior. In this mason y foundafion wall with faced baff Crawl Space 2-Mixed Climate: This unvented crawl space illustrates a concrete continuously. the ground cover/vapor diffusion retarder is extended up over the top of the perimeter masonry block foundation wall and all joints are sealed. taking air from the other conditioned spaces. can be installed. It is controlled by installing a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of limiting air leakage openings (tight the concrete foundation wall. mechanical cooling or heating is occurring). As such it is desirable to build as tight as is practical. floor drains. typically to the air conditioning duct system. This should be effective under most Air Movement conditions. As Construction moisture contained in the such. the dampproofing on the exterior of the masonry block foundation wall also acts crawl space can be pressurized by a supply as a vapor diffusion retarder. In other words.

During heating periods. and other mechanical components. Moisture Control Handbook Page 161 . the cavity side of the rim joist. In this example rigid insulation is installed on Moisture movement from w t i the ihn Comments Insulation is installed on the interior of the perimeter concrete foundation wall to reduce heating and cooling loads. To control this. It is controlled by a continuous polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder as a ground cover. since concerns about the effects of duct leakage and freezing pipes are minimized. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the rim joist assembly is elevated. plumbing. where it accumulates. and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary. vapor diffusion from the interior of the crawl space may transport moisture into the perimeter foundation wall rim joist framing. This insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the rim joist assembly. In unvented conditioned crawl spaces it is convenient to install ductwork. which limits periods of potential condensation into the crawl space. namely.CRAWL SPACE 2-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) the exterior of the rim joist. crawl space into the perimeter batt insulation is controlled by choosing a batt insulation with an impermeable facing that can act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder.

MOISTURE PROTECTION PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING GROUND SLOP AWAY FROM W CRAWL SPACE ACCESS SHOULD OCCUR THROUGH SUBFLOOR NOT PERIMETER WALL GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT OR SEALANT PRESSURE-TREATED PLYWOOD SHEATHING PRESURE-TREATEDWOOD FOUNDATION WALL CAVITY INSULATION (VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER FACED) CAULKING OR SEALANT ANCHOR BOLT CONTlNUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER / AIR RETARDER (TAPE GROUND COVER TO POLY STRIP OVER FOOTING) Figure 5-14: Crawl Space %Mixed Climate (UnventedWood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Page 162 Chapter 5-Moisture Control Pracficesfor Mixed Climates .CRAWL SPACE %MIXED CLIMATE (Unvented Wood Foundation Wall) WOOD SIDING FURRING SPACE CAVITY INSULATl IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATlO SEAL AROUND BEAM POCKETS TO PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE &MIL POLYETHYLENE AIR RETARDER.

the ground cover/vapor diffusion retarder is extended up over the top of the concrete footing and all joints are sealed. it is also important to prevent foundation wall sheathing also acts as a warm. moisture-laden crawl space air from coming in contact wt cold sheathing ih surfaces during both heating and cooling periods. which direct water away f o crawl framing. forced air distribution fan is operating (when mechanical cooling or heating is occurring). Alternatively. The f above-grade wall shown here is similar to Wall 4 in the previous section. Moisture may also diffuse from the surrounding soil into the wood floor framing. by extending the controlled manner. pressurize the crawl space needs to be and (2) a capillary break over the top of the replaced by outside air introduced in a concrete footing. including foundation crawl space wall: (1)sheet the crawl space during cooling periods. In enclosures without forced air systems. The tighter the space construction. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the openings are sealed or closed with tight concrete footing controls groundwater entry. Cavity insulation Vaced with a vapor dijfusion retarder) is placed within the wood frame wall and rigid insulation board covers the exterior. In this example. the sheet polyethylene on the exterior of the wood insulated. Crawl spaces in this climate zone should not be pressurized at the expense of Capillary Suction depressurizing the rest of the conditioned space during cooling periods. the crawl space can be pressurized by a supply air register in the crawl space. the entire building should be capillary moisture entering the wood pressurized relative to the exterior. A continuous vapor diffusion i retarder is placed on fhefloor of the crawl space and extends over the fop o thefooting.CRAWL SPACE &MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Crawl Space &Mixed Climate: This unvenfed crawl space illustrates a pressuretreafed wood foundation wall on a concrete foofing. except that wood siding with an air space behind it is shown instead of vinyl or aluminum siding. Moisfure Control Handbook Page 163 . and careful site grading. rain and surface water from entering crawl Pipe penetrations. vapor diffusion retarder. It is controlled by a vapor soil and by limiting air leakage openings diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wood (tight construction). Where wood foundation wall cavities are foundation wall. covers. In addition. floor drains. downspouts. In this approach the air distribution fan should run continuously. the footings can Pressurization will only occur when the be constructed on a granular pad. and sump spaces. and cavifyinsulation (with a vapor diffusion retarder) is placed between joists on the r m joist interior. the perimeter sheet polyethylene moisture protection on the exterior of the wood crawl space foundation Rain and Ground Water wall sheathing is sealed to the polyethylene ground cover and to the above-grade wall Gutters. typically to the air polyethylene ground cover over the top of conditioning duct system. with no corresponding return air register. As such it is desirable to build as tight as is practical. In other Two systems are installed to control words. In enclosures with forced air systems. Air Movement This should be effective under most In unvented crawl space assemblies it is conditions. To do so. the footings. Exterior wall sheathing is also rm extended down over the rim joist assembly to space perimeters. air taken from the building to exterior of the foundation wood sheathing. taking air from the other conditioned spaces. the less air that has to be introduced to pressurize the crawl space. important to eliminate air flow between the Vapor Diffusion surrounding soil and the crawl space. a separate fan for this purpose can be installed. As polyethylene (moisture protection) on the such. Airborne moisture infiltrating into the crawl Vapor diffusion may carry moisture from space is controlled by pressurizing the the surrounding soil into the wood basement space relative to the surrounding foundation wall. should be used to prevent further reduce air leakage at this location. Rigid insulation covers the exterior of the rim joist.

Page 164 Chapter SMoistiire Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates .CRAWL SPACE &MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) protection may be necessary. drying to the interior can occur. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Readers should also consult the relevant publications of the National Forest Products Association including Permanent Wood Foundation System: Design. installed with the facing towards the interior of the wall. the cavity side of the exterior wood crawl space foundation wall sheathing. An interior vapor diffusion retarder would significantly reduce the potential for condensation on the interior Comments surface of the wood crawl space foundation Rigid insulation on the exterior of the rim wall sheathing. To control this. During heating periods. However. drying towards the interior is promoted by the lack of an interior surface on the perimeter crawl space framing. Fabrication and lnsfalhfionManual [5. where it accumulates. vapor diffusion from the crawl space interior may carry moisture into the crawl space wall assembly. namely. can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder. which limits periods of potential condensation potential condensing surfaces during the should it be required. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the crawl space wall assembly is elevated. In this foundation wall assembly. the facing material on faced cavity insulations. this same interior vapor diffusion retarder would also joist assembly elevates the temperature of heating season (the inside face of the perimeter rim joist) and thereby limits the potential for condensation at this location. Depending on its permeance. In this example rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of the crawl space foundation. However.4] significantly reduce drying to the interior. and as such appropriate flashings or other It is controlled by installing a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder under the wood floor framing. this rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure.

CRAWL SPACE "MIXED CLIMATE (Unvented Wood Foundation Wall) VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING CRAWL SPACE ACCESS SHOULD OCCUR THROUGH SUBFLOOR NOT PERIMETER WALL GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT CAVITY INSULATION SEAL AROUND BEAM POCKETS TO PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE 1 PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING PRESSURE-TREATED PLYWOOD SHEATHING WOOD FOUNDATION WALL CAVITY INSULATION CONTINUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER I AIR RETARDER EXTENDED OVER TOP OF FOUNDATION WALL (JOINTS SEALED) FACED BAlTlNSULATION PRESURE-TREATED Figure 5-15: Crawl Space &Mixed Climate (Unvented Wood Foundation Wall with Exterior Insulation) Moisture Control Handbook Page 165 .

Alternatively.faced batt insulation is laid on the perimeter of the crawl spacefloor. the sheet polyethylene on the exterior of the wood foundation wall sheathing also acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. Moisture may also diffuse from the surrounding soil into the wood floor framing. It is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wood foundation wall.CRAWL SPACE &MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Crawl Space &Mixed Climate: Similar to Crawl Space 3. downspouts. As such it is desirable to build as tight as is practical. Rigid insulation covers the exterior ofthe rim joist. In addition. The exterior wall sheathing is extended down over the rim joist assembly to further reduce air leakage at this location. should be used to prevent depressurizing the rest of the conditioned rain and surface water from entering crawl space during cooling periods. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the words. which direct water away from crawl not be pressurized at the expense of space perimeters. Gutters. air taken from the building to Capillary Suction pressurize the crawl space needs to be replaced by outside air introduced in a To control moisture movement by controlled manner. a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder is installed under the wood floor framing. In other spaces. space wall. with no corresponding return air register. taking air from the other conditioned spaces. Unlike Crawl Space 3. it is also important to prevent warm. floor drains. and sump Rain and Ground Water openings are sealed or closed with tight covers. Pipe penetrations. and cavity insulation (with a vapor difusion retarder) is placed between joists on the rim joist interior. Where wood foundation wall cavities are insulated. and careful site Crawl spaces in this climate zone should grading. In this example. Moisture movement from within the crawl space into the perimeter foundation Chapter %Moisture Confrol Practicesfor Mixed Climafes . crawl space can be pressurized by a supply air register in the crawl space. Air Movement In unvented crawl space assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the surrounding soil and the crawl space. The abovegrade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 4 in the previous section. To control this. sheet polyethylene (moisture Pressurization will only occur when the protection) is installed on the exterior of the forced air distribution fan is operating (when foundation wood sheathing. the ground cover/vapor diffusion retarder is extended up over the top of the perimeter crawl space wood foundation wall and all joints are sealed. the footings can be conditions. typically to the air capillarity into the wood foundation crawl conditioning duct system. the less air that has to be introduced to pressurize the crawl space. including the crawl space during cooling periods. the entire building should be concrete footing controls groundwater entry. In enclosures with forced air systems. constructed on a granular pad. this unvented crawl space illustrates a pressure-treated wood foundation wall on a concretefooting. the Page 266 Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion may carry moisture from the surrounding soil into the wood foundation wall. break is placed over the top of the concrete This should be effective under most footing. In enclosures without forced air systems. the vapor difision retarder placed on the floor of the crawl space continues up over the insideface and top of thefoundation wall. The tighter the space construction. a separate fan for this purpose can be installed. Airborne moisture infiltrating into the crawl space is controlled by pressurizing the crawl space relative to the surrounding soil and by limiting air leakage openings (tight construction). To do so. pressurized relative to the exterior. and a capillary mechanical cooling or heating is occurring). As such. In this approach the air distribution fan should run continuously. Cavity insulation raced with a vapor diffusion retarder) is placed within the wood frame wall and rigid insulation board covers the exterior. moisture-laden crawl space air from coming in contact with cold sheathing surfaces during both heating and cooling periods.

publications of the National Forest Products Association including Permanent Wood FoiindafionSysfem: Design. In this example rigid insulation is installed on the exterior of the crawl space foundation. In this crawl space foundation wall assembly. namely. this rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. where it accumulates. Should the crawl space foundation wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). crawl space foundation wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. However. In this particular example. which limits periods of potential condensation potential for condensation at this location. Alternatively.CRAWL SPACE &MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) wall framing is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder. To control this. it may not dry. Accordingly. the cavity side of the exterior wood crawl space foundation wall sheathing. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry applied insulations are recommended. ] 54 Comments joist assembly elevates the temperature of potential condensing surfaces during the heating season (the inside face of the perimeter rim joist) and thereby limits the Rigid insulation on the exterior of the rim Readers should also consult the relevant Moisture Confrol Handbook ~ ~ _ _ Page 167 . and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the crawl space wall assembly is elevated. During heating periods. the ground cover which is extended up over the top of the perimeter foundation wall framing also acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. Fabricafionand lnsfallafionManual [ . vapor diffusion from the crawl space interior may carry moisture into the wood crawl space wall assembly. drying towards either the interior or exterior is limited a vapor impermeable exterior sheathing and an interior vapor diffusion retarder.

reader. Roof Construction in Mixed Climates I Table 5-3: Characteristics of Roof Assemblies for Mixed Climates ROOF TYPE VENTILATION CEILING INSULATlON Cavity insulation OTHER FEATURES Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Gypsum board sealed to framing acts as air retarder Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Between) DRYING ROOF 1 with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Cathedral ceiIing Cathedral ceiling Wood truss Vented attic To the exterior ROOF 2 Vented attic Cavity insulation To the exterior ROOF 3 Vented Cavity insulation To the exterior ROOF 4 hvented Cavity insulation with rigid insulation on the exterior To the interior I Page 168 ChupferS-Moisfiire Confro1Practices for Mixed Climafes . and two assembly.is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1) ventilation. shown that can be used successfully in mixed comments related to special concerns such as climates. The basic moisture accumulation on condensing characteristicsof the roof assemblies are surfaces. The discussion for Roof 4 also addresses rain penetration and rain In this section four roof assemblies are absorption/capillary suction. can be found in the Builder's Foundafion Included is a discussion of how the assembly Handbook [5. are left to the judgement of the summarized in Table 5-3. cathedral ceiling assemblies is ventilated and except where specifically noted to control the other one is unvented. One of the Insulation levels in roof assemblies. (2) air movement. examples of cathedral ceilings.2]. In addition. There are two assemblies with ice damming are summarized for each wood roof trusses and vented attics. Guidance regarding optimum Each roof assembly is illustrated and insulation levels for foundation assemblies described in the remainder of this section. and (3) vapor diffusion.

MINIMUM SPACE W A E R PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTON) CONTINUOUS SOFFIT VENT ATTIC VENTILATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER / AIR RETARDER SEALED TO PERIMETER WALL VAPOR DIFFUSION'RETARDER/ AIR RETARDER CEILING INSULATION &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR RETARDER (CONTINUOUS AND SEALED AT ALL PENETRATIONS) BRICK VENEER 1-IN. Roof assemblies in this climate are However. f a minimum. humid periods. loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. Ventilation should be provided. The woodframe wall with f brick veneer shown here corresponds to Wall 3 in a previous section o this chapter. It should be noted that during hot. The attic space is ventilated. during cooler periods this ventilated to remove moisture from attics moisture is subsequently removed by and to a limited extent.ROOF 1-MIXED CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. AIR SPAC (PRESSURE EQUALIZED) BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT IMPREGNATED FIBERBOARD OR GYPSUM SHEATHING C A V I N INSULATION c -GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING Figure 5-16: Roof 1-Mixed Climate (Vented Attic) Roof I-Mixed Climate: This conventional wood truss roof system is insulated above theflat ceiling. according to the 1 / 3 0 ratio. vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. A polyetliylene vapor difision retarder is placed above the ceiling gypsum board on the interior side o fhe insulation. at Moisture Control Handbook Page 169 . ventilation air into the attic Ventilation will bring limited amounts of moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. to reduce cooling ventilation. In addition.

the soffit assembly is ventilated to flush heat from the conditioned space away from the roof sheathing to maintain a cold deck. moisture diffuses from the attic into the enclosure. insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. and textured treatments may be installed. . which can lead to snow melt. moisture droplets and snow in the soffit assembly rather transport them farther into the roof During the cooling season. as well as subsequent mold and mildew growth or Page 170 Chapter 5-Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates . or airconditioners in attics. furnaces. dropped ceilings. Two methods control airborne moisture exfiltrating during the heating season from the enclosure into the attic. .. .. humid air during the cooling season can induce moisture deposition on perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning. In both seasons. In addition. This continuous ceiling vapor retarder can also act as the air retarder system. and air leakage openings are limited (tight ceiling construction). The pressure-equalized air space behind the brick veneer is open to the soffit assembly to promote moisture removal from the air space by ventilation. wind-washing by hot. It is controlled by pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic and the exterior and by limiting air leakage openings. Vapor Diffusion diffuses from the enclosure into the attic. . Accordingly. and kitchen cabinet bulkheads should be sealed. Ice damming in this climate is controlled by a water protection membrane at the eave and by providing sufficient thermal insulation and air tightening at the intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling to reduce heat loss. moisture infiltrates from the attic into the enclosure. water staining. The enclosure is depressurized relative to the attic and the exterior. . This is best accomplished by not installing any forced air ductwork. __ ROOF 1-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Air Movement In vented roof assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the attic and the conditioned space. In addition. Wind-washing by cold air during the heating season can cool the perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces and cause subsequent interior mold and mildew growth. Exterior ventilation air entering soffit assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space.. This pressure drop induces the ventilation air to deposit airborne rain assembly. impermeable wall/ceiling coverings. Therefore. wiring. paints. During the heating season. During the cooling season... In this climate. it may be desirable to back prime wood soffit materials. . this moisture is retarded by a continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder sealed to the perimeter wall vapor diffusion retarder. The attic needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within the attic influence the building enclosure to a minimum. penetrations for plumbing. This is due to the combination of a narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively large volume soffit assembly and then being squeezed into a narrow space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the wind baffle.. A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the roof area where the This prevents thermal short-circuiting of the insulation by wind (wind-washing). Comments This continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder protects the ceiling gypsum board from moisture accumulation from the exterior during the cooling season.

It should be noted that during hot. Ventilation should be provided. this convenfionalwood fruss roofsysfem is insulafedabove fhejlafceiling. Moisfure ConfrolHandbook Page 171 . ventilation air into the attic will bring limited amounts of moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area.ROOF 2-MIXED CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. there is no polyefhylenevapor difusion refarderon fhe inferiorside offheceiling insulation. Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated to remove moisture from attics and to a limited extent. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. However. humid periods. and fhea f f i c space is venfilafed. ELECTRICAL PENETRATIONSSEALED AT INTERIOR TOP PLATES) CEILING INSULATION CAULKING OR SEALANT GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT Figure 5-17: Roof 2-Mixed Climate (Vented Attic) Roof2-Mixed Climafe: Similar f o X o o f l . In addition. Unlike Roofl. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by ventilation. vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. at a minimum. MINIMUM SPACE WATER PROTECTION MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTON) A l l l C VENTILATION VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION C A V I N INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD CEILING ACTS AS AIR RETARDER (SEALED TO INTERIOR PARTITION TOP PLATESVENT PIPES. The wall assembly shown here corresponds f o Wall 4 in a prm'ous secfion offhischapfer. according to the 1/300ratio. The pjpsum board ceiling is sealed fo fhe woodframe construction in order f oacf as an air refarder.

the enclosure is depressurized relative to the attic and the exterior.ROOF 2-MIXED Air Movement CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Comments A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the roof area where the insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. Wind-washing by cold air during the heating season can cool the perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces and cause subsequent interior mold and mildew growth. In addition. Vapor Diffusion Exterior ventilation air entering soffit Moisture diffuses from the enclosure into assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. This is controlled by pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic and the exterior and limiting air leakage openings (tight ceiling construction). moisture movement by underside of the roof sheathing and the wind diffusion from the attic into the enclosure baffle. During the cooling season. wind-washing by hot. and textured treatments are also not installed. it may be desirable to back prime wood soffit materials. there is no ceiling vapor provides acceptable assembly performance when impermeable ceiling finishes. airborne moisture infiltrates from the attic into the enclosure. During the heating season. airborne moisture exfiltrates from the enclosure into the attic. ventilation air to deposit airborne rain In other words. diffusionretarder. It is This is due to the combination of a narrow controlled by limiting enclosure moisture soffit vent opening up to a relatively large levels to below 35 percent relative humidity volume soffit assembly and then being at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. the soffit assembly is ventilated to flush heat from the conditioned space away from the roof sheathing to maintain a cold deck. paints. and air leakage openings are limited (tight ceiling construction). To control this. droplets and snow in the soffit assembly rather transport them farther into the roof Page 172 Clmpfer%Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates . the attic during the heating season. squeezed into a narrow space between the In this example. In this climate. Accordingly. these impermeable interior ceiling surface finishes should be avoided if this approach is utilized. which can lead to snow melt. Omitting the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder in this climate assembly. This pressure drop induces the during the cooling season is not controlled. This prevents thermal short -circuiting of the insulation by wind (wind-washing). Accordingly. humid air during the cooling season can induce moisture deposition on perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning. Ice damming in this climate is controlled by a water protection membrane at the eave and by providing sufficient thermal insulation and air tightening at the intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling to reduce heat loss.

vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. installed with a minimum 2-inch space Ventilation Cathedral ceiling assemblies in this climate a ventilated to remove moisture from ceiling spaces and. humid periods. A polyefhylene vapor diffusionrefarder i placed above fhe ceiling s insulation. Continuous soffit and ridge vents should be between the top of the insulation and the underside of the roof sheathing. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat Moisfiire Confrol Handbook Page 173 . according to the 1/150 ratio. Venfilafionis provided fhrougha 2-inch air space above fhe insulafion. In addition. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 150 square feet of insulated ceiling area. to a limited extent. It should be noted that during hot. Ventilation should be provided. at a minimum.ROOF 3-MIXED CLIMATE (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. cavify insulafionis placed befween 2 x 12 rafers. ventilation air into the attic will bring limited amounts of moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. The wall shown here corresponds f o Wall 1 in a pran'ous section o this chapter. MINIMUM SPACE CONTINUOUS RIDGE VENTILATION - WATER PROTECTION CONTINUOUS SOFFIT VENT MEMBRANE (ICE DAM PROTECTON) GYPSUM BOARD WITH CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING CAVITY INSULATION RETARDER INSTALLED SHINGLE FASHION AND EXTENDED OVER TOP OF PERIMETER WALL DIFFUSION RETARDER /AIR CEILING INSULATION BETWEEN 2 x 12 RAFTERS PERIMETER WALL VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER 1AIR RETARDER SEALED TO CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER 1AIR RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING Zgure 5-18:Roof %Mixed Climate (Vented Cathedral Ceiling) gIJPPSlNI Roof3-Mixed Climafe: In fhis roof assembly wifha cafhedralceiling. f board on fhe inferior side offhe gain through the assembly.

impermeable wall/ceiling coverings. and textured Air Movement treatments may be installed. which can lead to snow moisture to drain and provides secondary melt. induce moisture deposition on perimeter During the cooling season. In addition. assembly. it may be desirable to back prime wood soffit materials. wind-washing by leakage openings are limited (tight ceiling hot. This allows any condensed to reduce heat loss. Therefore. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by the same ventilation air. During the heating season. This pressure drop induces the vapor diffusion retarder sealed to the ventilation air to deposit airborne rain perimeter wall vapor retarder. To control this. However. Accordingly. as well as subsequent mold and mildew growth or water staining. and air washing). volume soffit assembly and then being moisture diffuses from the cathedral ceiling squeezed into a narrow space between the space into the enclosure. It is controlled by washing by cold air during the heating pressurizing the enclosure relative to the season can cool the perimeter wall top plate cathedral ceiling and the exterior and and ceiling gypsum board surfaces and cause limiting air leakage openings (tight ceiling subsequent interior mold and mildew construction). Comments Ice damming in this climate is controlled by a water protection membrane at the eave The continuous ceiling vapor diffusion and by providing sufficient thermal retarder is installed shingle fashion and insulation and air tightening at the extended over the top of the exterior intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling perimeter wall. moisture diffuses from the enclosure into the cathedral This is due to the combination of a narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively large ceiling space. Exterior ventilation air entering soffit Vapor Diffusion assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. This prevents thermal shortcircuiting of the insulation by wind (windcathedral ceiling and the exterior.ROOF %MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) board from moisture accumulation from the exterior during the cooling season. moisture wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board infiltrates from the cathedral ceiling space surfaces cooled by air conditioning. Page 174 Chpfer5-Moisture Control Practicesfor Mixed Climates . In both cases. this moisture is retarded by a continuous ceiling underside of the roof sheathing and the wind baffle. the enclosure is depressurized relative to the exterior wall. the soffit assembly is protection for roof rainwater leakage. growth. ventilated to flush heat from the conditioned This continuous ceiling vapor diffusion space away from the roof sheathing to retarder also protects the ceiling gypsum maintain a cold deck. In this climate. humid air during the cooling season can construction). paints. A wind baffle should be installed at the During the heating season. Windinto the enclosure. This droplets and snow in the soffit assembly continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder rather transport them farther into the roof can also act as the air retarder system. During the cooling season. airborne perimeter of the cathedral ceiling area where moisture exfiltrates from the enclosure into the insulated cathedral ceiling intersects the the cathedral ceiling space.

Cavity insulation is placed between 2 x 8 rafters. Unvented cathedral ceiling assemblies eliminate moisture movement by ventilation air into the assemblies during hot.ROOF &MIXED CLIMATE (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) WOOD SHAKE / SHINGLE ROOF ROOFING PAPER 1 x 4 FURRING STRIPS RIGID INSULATION POLYETHYLENE OR BUILDING PAPER AND SEALED) ROOF SHEATHING RIGID INSULATION VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING ROOF JOISTS WITH CEILING INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH IMPERMEABLE PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT R-7 MIN. IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION CAVITY INSULATIO Figure 5-19: Roof "Mixed Climate (Unvented Cathedral Ceiling) Roof &Mixed Climate: This roof assembly illustrates a cafhedralceiling that is unvenfed. This brings limited amounts of moisture into the roof assembly rather than removing it. Gypsum board with itnpenneable paint serves as a vapor diffusion retarder on fhe inside ofthe ceiling insulafion. airborne the cathedral ceiling space. moisture exfiltrates from the enclosure into Moisture Control Handbook Page 175 . Above the roof sheathing i a layer of rigid s insulation wifha sheet of polyefhyleneor building paper beneafhit. The wall shown here corresponds f o Wall 4 in a previous secfionof fhk chapter. the assembly rather than the removal of moisture once it has entered the assembly by ventilation. the emphasis is on the prevention of moisture movement into the enclosure is depressurized relative to the In unvented cathedral ceiling assemblies. as in most wall assemblies. humid periods. Ventilation Air Movement During the heating season. To control this.

Interior moisture levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. the cavity side of the rigid insulation installed on top of the roof joists. and the thermal resistance of cavity insulation should be R-28 or less. since only limited drying of the assembly occurs. To control moisture movement in this assembly. vapor diffusion Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction the wood shakes/shingles. where it During heating periods. the roofing paper is tight. Experience has shown that some exterior rigid insulations are thermally unstable. interior moisture from the interior may transmit moisture into the cathedral ceiling assembly. During the cooling season. ROOF &MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) cathedral ceiling and the exterior. airborne moisture infiltrates from the cathedral ceiling space into the enclosure. The temperature of the first condensing surface is determined by the ratio of the amount of thermal insulation installed to the exterior of the condensing surface compared to the amount of thermal insulation installed to the interior of the condensing surface. acts as a receptor for both shake/shingle capillary moisture and shake/shingle absorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. This is needed to further control airborne moisture and vapor diffusion with this cathedral ceiling assembly. and wood shake/ shingle capillarity effects. It is controlled by pressurizing the enclosure relative to the cathedral ceiling and the exterior and by limiting air leakage openings. Furthermore. behind the wood shakes/shingles. while during the cooling season hot. The rain screen principle requires a pressure-equalized cavity behind the wood shakes/shingles to perform satisfactorily. and polyethylene is installed under the exterior rigid insulation. the facing material on faced batt insulations installed with the facing towards the interior can also act as an interior vapor diffusion retarder. Depending on its permeance. moisture diffuses from the exterior into the cathedral ceiling assembly. Appropriate installation of flashings is critical in rain screen wood shake/shingle assemblies. the interior gypsum wall board is sealed to the roof joist framing. A roofing paper woven into the shakes/shingles installed over the top of the furring strips also helps drain rainwater to the exterior. humid air infiltrates. In this example wood shakes/ shingles are installed over a roofing paper. the thermal resistance of the rigid insulation should be R15 or greater. or some other sealant. An air space controls rain absorption by Comments Impermeable rigid insulation on the exterior of the roof framing limits drying towards the exterior. An acceptable period would be sufficiently brief so that wood does not begin to decay or interior surface water stain marks or mold or mildew do not appear. During the heating season. where an interior vapor diffusion retarder is not utilized. the temperature of the first condensing surface within the cathedral ceiling assembly is elevated. The shakes/shingles are loose. To control this. In this example rigid insulation of sufficient thermal resistance is installed to limit periods of potential condensation to acceptable levels. levels should be limited to 35 percent relative humidity at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during heating periods. The air space. During the cooling season.. namely. Confrol Pracficesfor Mixed Climates Page 176 Chapter !+Moisture . This air sealing can be adhesive. Rain A rain screen controls rain penetration in this roof assembly. For this cathedral ceiling assembly in this climate zone. Vapor Diffusion accumulates. and may not be compatible with sealing techniques which provide little allowance for movement. Rigid insulation over the top of the roof joists is installed to retard this movement (the rigid insulation acts as a vapor diffusion retarder). Wood shakes/shingles can also be dipped (painting or coating the front and back surfaces) to limit their capillary and vapor absorption of moisture. caulk. warm moisture-laden interior air exfiltrates. and air leakage openings are limited (tight ceiling construction). This period is determined by the temperature of the first condensing surface and the interior moisture level.

Michigan. new owners or tenants may repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. Windwashing by cold air during the heating 5. Alternatively. season can cool the perimeter wall top plate Lewis Publishers. and (2) providing sufficient thermal insulation and air tightening at the intersection of the perimeter wall and ceiling to reduce heat loss. ASHRAE Standard 62 circuiting of the insulation by wind (wind. Atlanta. which can lead to snow melt.3 Godish. such as wall with long wood screws passing through the 1 x 4 furring strips. The rigid insulation installed in this roof assembly is typically fastened coverings and impermeable paints. or (2) if it becomes wet during service or is built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). 1987. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. Indoor Air Pollution Control.1 American Society of Heating. In addition. Chelsea.. Inc. Oak induce moisture deposition on perimeter Ridge National Laboratory. Builder's Foundafion Handbook. wind-washing by hot. surfaces cooled by air conditioning. subsequent interior mold and mildew growth. Accordingly.1989. This prevents thermal shortIndoor Air Quality.4 National Forest Products Association.C. CHAPTER 5 REFERENCES 5. cathedral ceiling assemblies should be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. washing). Labs. Georgia.. In this climate. 1989.2 Carmody.. T. Permanent Wood Foundation System: extending the exterior rigid insulation on the Design. A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the cathedral ceiling area where treatments are utilized. 5. it may be desirable to install roofing papers to provide additional protection against rainwater entry should shakes/shingles deteriorate prematurely. dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended in such applications. In this particular example. humid air during the cooling season can 5.1991.. light-colored shakes/shingles should be utilized. Christian. and K. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning exterior wall. J. ORNL/ wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board CON-295. J. Washington. Venfilafionfor Acceptable Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 177 . will effectively control the insulated cathedral ceiling intersects the Engineers. Fabrication and Installation perimeter wall up so that it intersects the underside of the rigid insulation installed on Manual. Some unvented roof assemblies have led to an elevation of shingle/shake/sheathing temperatures and subsequently to premature degradation of shingles/shakes /sheathings and a reduced service life. In these cases.ROOF 4-MIXED CLIMATE (CONTINUED) The cathedral ceiling assembly may not dry (1)where impermeable interior surface wind-washing. Accordingly. Ice damming in this climate is controlled by (1)a water protection membrane at the eave (the roofing paper woven into the wood shakes/shingles). Cathedral ceiling assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorily in service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. D. and ceiling gypsum board surfaces and cause 1989. top the roof joists. For example.

Hawaii is also included i n the cooling climate zone. designers and builders should consult weather records. temperature for 3000 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year. A 73°F (22.8"C) or higher wet bulb This climate zone is defined as a warm. dry climates although these climates are not noted in the accompanying map.CHAPTER 6 Moisture Control Practices for Cooling Climates Cooling Climates humid climate with a significant number of cooling (air conditioning) hours. temperature for 1500 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year. 2. Figure 6-1:Map of Cooling Climate Zone in the United States Page 178 Chapter 6-Moisfure Coizfrol Practicesfor Cooling Climates . Fringe areas of the ASHRAE humid climate definition are also included based on local experience with moisture problems.4"C) or higher wet bulb . It generally follows the ASHRAE definition of a humid climate where one or both of the following conditions occur: 1 A 67°F (19. For any specific locations. The recommendations in this section will also perform satisfactorily in warm.

because outdoor vapor pressure is higher than indoor vapor pressure. wherever vinyl interior wall coverings are used in this climate zone. building papers. Where wet lumber (greater than 19 percent moisture content by weight) or wetapplied insulations (wet spray cellulose or wet blown fiberglass) are installed in building assemblies. humid climates it is desirable to build tight enclosures and to ventilate Puge 179 Rain and Groundwater Rain penetration and groundwater concerns are common to builders in all climates. wood. should only be incorporated in certain wall assemblies. and control methods are similar in this climate to those of other climates. High Interior Humidity Resulting i n Mold and Mildew The practice of mechanical cooling coupled with some dehumidification for comfort reasons is widespread. Basement foundations are rare. Solar radiation warming exterior wall surfaces creates these gradients. Moisture movement by vapor diffusion from the exterior is controlled by vapor diffusion retarders in walls. where the same mechanisms lead to low levels of interior moisture. masonry. and mold and mildew. roofs. such as the installation of vinylwallpaper-covered gypsum wall board on the interior of a masonry block wall without provision for an appropriate vapor diffusion retarder and air barrier system. These include the rain screen. the greater the amount of moisture brought in with it. This is due to the high exterior humidity conditions present for most of the year in warm humid climates. which may be trapped in the masonry units. Another source of external water-air conditioning condensate drains--should be plumbed directly to the graywater system. precautions must be taken to prevent Moisture ConfroI Handbook . Such assemblies are designed and built to deal with the inward migration of moisture driven by temperature gradients from the exterior to the interior. Thus. Both frame walls and masonry walls are common. The greater the amount of exterior air brought into an enclosure. Problems often arise where this is not taken into account. As such. and stucco. the infiltration of exterior moisture-laden air. careful site grading.gutters.e. such as brick. and subgrade drainage.KEY CONCERNS AND CONTROL STRATEGIES In warm humid climates the principle moisture concerns are rain penetration. appropriate placement of flashings. a positive air pressure is maintained within conditioned spaces relative to the exterior (pressurization). groundwater. carry moisture continuously to the interior Moisture within Building Assemblies Cladding systems which can absorb significant amounts of moisture when exposed to rain. and excessive ventilation can lead to elevated interior moisture levels.and forced air ductwork is located within conditioned spaces to limit the effects of duct leakage. The impacts of this high inward moisture flow are manifested as elevated energy costs due to high cooling loads. The retarder and barrier protect the gypsum wall board from this exterior moisture or from construction moisture. or the materials must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. and downspouts which direct water away from foundations. Air leakage and vapor diffusion from the exterior thus cooled area. as do cool interior surfaces due to the air conditioning of enclosures. if not completely nonexistent. The absence of ground frost penetration concerns in this climate zone has created a preponderance of crawl space and ground slab construction. gypsum wall board from absorbing moisture from the exterior or from construction moisture. The outdoor to indoor vapor pressure differences in humid climates are typically much greater than the vapor pressure differences in cold climates. i. This is contrary to heating climates. along with the air conditioning of interior surfaces. Moisture may move by air leakage. duct leakage. High air change due to infiltration/ exfiltration. Several methods are used to control this movement: air leakage openings are limited.. building fabric deterioration from decay and corrosion. and crawl spaces. in warm. High exterior levels of humidity encourage mold and mildew growth. and health and safety concerns from mold and mildew growth. those assemblies must be designed and built so that they can dry to either the interior or exterior.

Leaky supply ducts in attics or vented crawl spaces depressurize the conditioned space. Where ductwork is located in dropped ceilings adjacent to attics and exterior walls. with consideration of dehumidification capabilities is important. radon. proper sizing of air conditioning systems. leading to the infiltration of exterior warm moistureladen air. it is important that air barrier continuity is maintained above the dropped ceiling or at the exterior wall. and kitchen exhaust systems. controlled rate. Source control typically involves direct venting of clothes dryers.PRESSURIZE DURING AIR CONDITIONING Building 1 nAm VENTED UNCONDITIONED CRAWL S P A C E VENTILATION PRESSURIZE DURING AIR CONDITIONING PRESSURIZE UNMNTED CONDITIONED CRAWL S P A C E these enclosures with outside air at a minimum. increases cooling loads. Air conditioning supply air registers should be located so that cold air is not blown directly across wall and ceiling Page 180 Chapfer6-Moisfure Confrol Practicesfor Cooliiig Clirnafes . This often creates moisture problems. and therefore will dehumidify less than properly sized equipment. as well as the use of crawl space ground covers and subslab vapor diffusion retarders. Leaky return ducts in attics draw significant amounts of warm. Mechanical System Concerns Building 2 ATllC VENTILATION CBOOO- PRESSURIZE DURING AIR CONDITIONING Figure 6-2: Whole House Concepts for Cooling Climates Ductwork for forced air heating and cooling systems should be installed only within conditioned spaces. As such. possibly pesticides. moisture. often creating moisture problems and increasing cooling loads. bath.1]. Over sizing air conditioning equipment can lead to high interior humidity problems. and other pollutants into the conditioned spaces. Humidity within conditioned spaces is controlled by the dehumidification capabilities of air conditioning systems and source control. because oversized equipment will not operate as often. the strength of pollutant sources within enclosures. Minimum ventilation rates typically are established by indoor air quality issues and are often stipulated by ASHRAE guidelines. and risks occupant health and safety. often creating moisture problems and increasing cooling loads. Ductwork should not be installed in attics or vented crawl spaces. moisture-laden air into the conditioned space from the attic. Latent cooling loads on air conditioning systems can be higher than sensible cooling loads in these climates. and/or authorities having jurisdiction [6. Leaky return ducts in vented crawl spaces draw significant amounts of soil gas.

sealed Ventilation of roof assemblies reduces combustion. Where retarders and measures to control air leakage fireplaces are installed. Devices with traditional climate typically locate vapor diffusion draft hoods should be avoided. or non conditioned air.surfaces. Positive installed they should be aerodynamically pressurization of crawl space eliminates the uncoupled (not influenced by enclosure air infiltration of soil gas. unconditioned . radon. and other pressures or supply air availability) from the pollutants. room space heaters are significant sources of Buildings with unvented. cooling loads. Wood stoves interior in the direction of typical vapor flow. should be insulated and protected with an crawl spaces and vented attics exterior vapor diffusion retarder to control condensation on cold duct surfaces. they should have towards the exterior. Common features of the three systems are vented roofs and conditioned spaces Moisture Control Handbook Page 181 . 62: -) Air conditioning supply ductwork 1 Buildings with vented. power vented. conditioned space. Gas were part of the living area. humid ambient 3 Buildings built on ground slabs and . should also have their own supply of exterior Drying to the exterior is possible. but more air ducted directly to their firebox. lights should be installed with vented range Positive air pressurization of the hoods or some other vent provision. condensing. vented attics Combustion Appliances Unvented combustion appliances such as maintained at a positive air pressure to the gas stoves with standing pilot lights and exterior. conditioned moisture as well as sources for other crawl spaces treat the crawl space as if it pollutants and should be avoided. This could cause condensation or high surface relative Three typical whole building systems for humidities and potential mold and mildew this climate zone are listed below (see Figure growth. conditioned Cold water piping may need to be crawl spaces and vented attics insulated if exposed to warm. induced draft. conditioned space eliminates the infiltration Where vented combustion appliances are of exterior moisture-laden air. potentially chilling the surfaces WHOLE BUILDING SYSTEMS below dew point temperatures. 2 Buildings with unvented. In other words. or pulse combustion devices Wall design and construction in this should be used. In this climate it is their own air supply from the exterior as well convenient to allow walls to dry to the as tight-fitting glass doors. (connected to the stoves and cook tops without standing pilot living area). difficult to facilitate and is usually intermittent.

wood frame walls-three with siding. The basic characteristics of the wall assemblies are summarized in Table 6-1. and (4) vapor diffusion. and three with stucco cladding. are left to the judgement of the reader. Each wall assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. In addition. waferboard. The last five wall assemblies are concrete masonry-two with brick veneer. (3) air movement. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1)rain penetration. and one with stucco cladding. Other differences between the wall assemblies include the type of sheathing as well as the use and location of a vapor diffusion retarder. (2) rain absorption/capillary the ability of the wall to dry and other limitations of each wall assembly are summarized. The first five examples are with brick veneer. vinyl. except where specifically noted to control moisture accumulation on condensing surfaces. one suction. or aluminum siding Wood siding over air space None Rigid insulation (Impermeable) Plywood or waferboard (Impermeable) Asphalt-impregnated Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior To the To the interior interior Wood frame To the interior Wood kame over cavity Brick veneer fiberboard or gypsum (Permeable) Plywood. Insulation levels in wall assemblies. comments concerning Table 6-1: Characteristics of Wall Assemblies for Cooling Climates WALL TYPE EXTERIOR COMPONENT SHEATHING OTHER FEATURES DRYING WALL 1 WALL 2 WALL 3 WALL 4 Wood frame Wood frame Plywood siding (Impermeable) Wood.Wall Construction in Cooling Climates In this section ten wall assemblies are shown that can be used successfully in cooling climates. or gypsum covered with polyethylene None vapor diffusion Polyethylene To the retarder (Interior) Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder between masonry wall and cavity insulation interior WALL 5 WALL 6 Wood frame Stucco cladding To the exterior Concrete block with wood frame wall on interior Concrete block with wood frame wall on interior Concrete block with wood frame wall on interior Concrete block Concrete block Brick veneer over cavity Brick veneer over cavity Stucco cladding To the interior WALL 7 WALL 8 None Coating or membrane on block exterior is vapor diffusion retarder Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder between masonry wall and cavity insulation Permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Rigid insulation on block wall interior To the exterior None To the interior WALL 9 WALL 10 Stucco cladding Stucco cladding Rigid insulation (Impermeable) None To the exterior To the interior Page 182 Chapter 6-Moisfure Confrol Pracficesfor Cooling Climates .

The insulated cavity also acts as a receptor for absorbed siding moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. In this example either the exterior plywood siding or the interior gypsum wall board is sealed to the wall framing. in this example.WALL 1-COOLING CLIMATE (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) PLYWOOD SIDING (IMPERMEABLE) CAVITY INSULATIO GYPSUM PERMEA CAULKING OR SEALANT ON SOLE PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) DRYING TO INTERIOR Figure 6-3: Wall l-Cooling Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall I-Cooling Climate: P l p o o d siding with no sheathing material underneath is used in this wood flame wall assembly. This air sealing can be an adhesive. Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion from the exterior in this wall assembly is controlled by installing a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wall (the plywood siding acts as an effective vapor diffusion retarder). or facesealing. which Moisfiire Control Handbook Page 2 83 . sealed at all penetrations and openings such as at windows and exterior doors. Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings is critical. or some other sealant. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction Rain absorption by the exterior plywood siding and plywood siding capillarity effects are controlled by appropriate exterior surface treatments such as paints and stains. Air Movement Airborne moisture in this wall assembly is controlled by providing an air seal (air retarder) at either the interior or exterior of the wall. seal capillary pores in the exterior plywood siding. Permeable h f e x paint on gypsum board permits dying fo the interior. controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. an exterior plywood siding. caulk. is installed. Rain A barrier approach. This approach requires the elimination of all exterior openings. The impermeable siding semes as a vapor d r f i i o n retarder on the exferior.

Wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorily in service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. Alternatively. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. mildew. a vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board dries the wall toward the interior. or alternatively. Faced cavity insulations can be installed where drying to the interior is not required. and (2) ambient climatic conditions. In this wall assembly. Where significant rain absorption occurs and is coupled with incident solar radiation and an air conditioned enclosure. An interior polyethylene sheet has proven effective in protecting interior gypsum board and interior finishes in such situations. the cavity insulation can be installed with the facing material towards the outside of the cavity. In these cases. However. moisture can be driven from the exterior across the entire cavity and lead to potential interior surface problems such as mold. it should be noted that an interior polyethylene sheet can also reduce the drying of the wall towards the interior and should only be utilized with dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or less) and dry-applied insulations. impermeable paints or wall coverings. it can dry to the interior. The facing material on faced cavity insulations can retard drying to the interior if new owners or tenants may repaint with Page 184 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . For example. Alternatively. Dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended where impermeable surface treatments are utilized. faced cavity insulations installed with the facing material towards the outside of the cavity can protect the interior gypsum board and interior surface finishes from sidingabsorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. such as wall coverings and impermeable paints. and paint peeling. This is due to (1) an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air conditioning the enclosure. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized.WALL 1-COOLING Comments CLIMATE (CONTINUED) the facing is installed towards the interior. In this wall assembly.

A building paper.vinyl. is not required in this assembly exterior sheathing must be significantly of the vinyl and aluminum. The rain screen principle requires a pressureequalized cavity behind the cladding to Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction perform satisfactorily. the tight sheathing or aluminum siding is used. Alternatively. Wall 2-Cooling Climate (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) Wall 2-Cooling Climate: Impermeable rigid insulafionis used as fhe sheafhingmaferial in fhis woodji-amewall assembly. the impermeable rigid insulation from water absorption. tighter than the cladding. and/or building paper control the rain. The barrier approach is used if the siding is wood-based. Where woodbased sidings are used. Wood-based.WALL 2-COOLING CLIMATE (Impermeable Insulating Sheathing) CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) . To equalize pressure in these cavities. In this example vinyl Rain absorption by the vinyl or or aluminum siding is installed over a tight aluminum siding and siding capillarity sheathing. Cavities are created behind the effects are not a concern in this wall assembly vinyl or aluminum siding as a result of the as a result of the inherent material properties siding cross sections. s TIte rigid insulafionserves CIS a vapor difusion refarderon the exferz'or. WOOD-BASED. This is accomplished by installing the impermeable rigid insulation (the exterior sheathing) in an airtight manner (vertically. permeable lafex painf on gypsum board permits drying fo the inferior. Similar f o Wall 1. installed only to protect the Moisfitre ConfrolHandbook Page 185 . Cross sections filled with insulation material or support material are not recommended.VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD PERMEABLE LAT CAULKING OR SEALANT ON SOLE PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) DRYING TO INTERIOR Figure 6 4 . They should ideally tuck in behind exterior A rain screen system controls rain penetration in this wall assembly where vinyl sheathings or building papers. Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings Rain is critical in rain screen assemblies. a building paper may be installed tightly (lapped or taped joints) to equalize pressure. with optional sealant or adhesive at sheathing joints/ edges). or aluminurn siding i applied mer fhe sheafhing. with all joints falling on framing members.

it can dry to the interior. Faced moisture from the exterior (infiltration of cavity insulations can be installed where warm humid air) is controlled by providing drying to the interior is not required.WALL 2-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) on the interior gypsum wall board. This is due to (1) an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air conditioning the enclosure. dry-applied insulations Wall assemblies with permeable interior Comments Wall drying towards the interior is promoted by a vapor permeable paint finish Page 186 Chapter 6-Moistiire Control Pracficesfor Cooling Climates . wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. rain absorption and siding capillarity effects are a potential concern. surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorily in service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. An for the same reason. new owners or tenants repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. the cavity insulation can be the exterior impermeable rigid insulation or installed with the facing material towards the outside of the cavity the interior gypsum wall board is sealed to Where impermeable surface treatments the wall framing. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. impermeable paints. etc. such as wall coverings and adhesive. This air sealing can be an are utilized. exterior air seal at the exterior rigid insulation in this example equalize pressure of the vinyl or aluminum siding itself. caulk. clips. In these cases. Alternatively. wedges. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). If wood-based siding is used. and (2) ambient climatic conditions. or some other sealant. In this example. For example. either alternatively. Vapor Diffusion Vapor diffusion from the exterior is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wall. Opening the siding laps with spacers. Air Movement The facing material on faced cavity insulations can retard drying to the interior if During the cooling season. Wood-based siding should be back-primed with the bottom edges carefully painted. airborne the facing is towards the wall interior. should also be considered. In this example an impermeable rigid insulation is installed as the exterior wall sheathing and acts as the vapor diffusion retarder. or a air seal (air retarder) at either the interior n or exterior of the wall. and dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) are recommended.

Rain A rain screen system controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. In such cases a vapor permeable. waferboard.WALL SCOOLING CLIMATE (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathinn) CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) WOOD-BASED SIDING 1 x 4 FURRING STRIPS (OPEN TOP AND BOTTOM) PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD (IMPERMEABLE) CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD PERMEABLE IAT CAULKING OR SEALANT ON SOLE PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) INTERIOR Figure 6-5: Wall M o o l i n g Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall H o o l i n g Climate: Plywood or waferboard i used as the Sheathing material in s this woodfiame wall assembly. permeable latex paint on gypsum board permits drying to the inferior. The impermeable Sheathing semes as a vapor difision retarder on the exterior. Back-priming woodbased siding (painting or coating the back surfaces) can also limit capillary and vapor absorption of moisture by the siding. or OSB sheathing). An exterior air seal at the exterior sheathing also equalizes pressure of the exterior air space. Air Movement Airborne moisture from the exterior (infiltration of warm. The air space. Moisture Control Handbook Page 187 . humid air during the cooling season) is controlled by an air seal (air retarder) at either the interior or exterior of the wall. In this is a receptor for siding capillary moisture and siding-absorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. example wood-based siding is installed on furring strips to create an air space open at the top and bottom of the wall. behind the wood-based siding. nonabsorptive building paper should be used. Similar to the previous wall assemblies. A building paper is installed in some assemblies to limit rain absorption by the structural use panels (the plywood. Wood-based siding is applied and an air space between the siding and the sheathing i a receptor for s moisture. This space may be screened to prevent insect entry. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction An air space controls rain absorption by the wood-based siding and capillarity effects.

and (2) ambient climatic conditions. the cavity insulation can be installed with the facing material towards the outside of the cavity. lower) are recommended. The facing material on faced cavity insulations can retard drying to the interior if assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure.WALL 3-COOLING Vapor Diffusion CLIMATE (CONTINUED) the facing is installed towards the wall interior. Alternatively. waferboard or OSB sheathings are impermeable and act as effective vapor diffusion retarders. it can dry to the interior. such as wall coverings and impermeable paints. Comments A vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board dries the wall towards the interior. dry-applied insulations and dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or Vapor diffusion from the exterior is controlled by installing a vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wall. Wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorilyin service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. Faced cavity insulations can be installed where drying to the interior is not required. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). In these cases. This is due to (1) an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air conditioning the enclosure. new owners or tenants may repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. Structural use panels such as plywood. Alternatively. wall Page 188 Chapter &Moisture CoitfrolPracticesfor Cooling Cliinafes . For example. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. Where impermeable surface treatments are utilized.

a polyethylene vapor difision retarder is placed on the inside o the wall beneath thegypsum board. The sheathing relative to the brick veneer is sometimes further tightened by the installation of a building paper in a Rain A rain screen system controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. AIR SPACE (RAIN SCREEN. Unlike the previous woodframe wall assemblies. In this example a brick veneer is installed over a should be open at the top of the brick veneer wall. First. For pressure to be equalized in the cavity. with the option of utilizing a sealant or adhesive at sheathing joints/edges). Such brick veneer walls should be vented at their base by leaving open every other vertical mortar joint in the first course of brick.WALL &COOLING CLIMATE (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) BRICK VENEER l-IN. with all joints falling on framing members. Second. PRESSURE EQUALIZED) BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT IMP FIBERBOARD SHEATHING CAVITY INSULATION &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING SEALANT OR GASKET ON INTERIOR TOP AND SOLE INTERMITTENT DRYING TO EXTERIOR Figure 6-6: Wall M o o l i n g Climate (Permeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall M o o l i n g Climate: This wood frame wall i covered on the exterior by a brick veneer. as well as vented at its base. s An air space between the brick and the wood fiatne assembly is a receptorfor moisture. minimum 1inch air space. The permeable noninsulating sheathing (asphaltimpregnatedfiberboard or gypsum) p m i t s the wall assembly to dry toward the exterior. they must extend to the back of the air space. This air space must be clear of mortar droppings and continuous manner. the asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum sheathing is installed in airtight (vertically. These base flashings must also extend to the back of the rain screen cavity. first to allow inward air movement to equalize pressure and second to provide a weep or drainage function. Moistitre Control Handbook Page 189 . These vertical open joints serve two functions. Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings is critical in rain screen assemblies. Two methods accomplish this. the brick veneer is made leaky by installing it over an air space (1)open at the bottom by the use of open vertical masonry joints and (2) open at the top by the use of similar openings or by venting the air space into a soffit assembly. f the sheathing must be significantly tighter than the cladding. ideally tucking in behind sheathings or building papers. Flashings at the base of brick veneer walls are also critical so that cavity moisture can be directed to the exterior through the weep holes under the influence of gravity.

A continuous polyethylene interior gypsum wall board or polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder has proven to be vapor diffusion retarder is sealed to the wall effective in this type of assembly. the vapor diffusion retarder effectively migrates outward in the evening when the Page 190 Chapter &Moisture CoiifrolPracficesfor Cooliiig Climates . It is diffusion retarder must be continuous to controlled by providing an air seal (air provide satisfactory performance. proven difficult in practice to seal asphaltSignificant condensation may occur at the impregnated fiberboard sheathing. Foilasphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum back insulation batts are also not effective for sheathing is sealed to the wall framing. it has the enclosure is heavily air conditioned. The air space acts as a receptor for both brick veneer capillary moisture and brick veneer absorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. This air sealing can be with an In extreme hot. gypsum board. Since Air may transport moisture from the intermittent wetting of the vapor diffusion exterior during the cooling season retarder is common. As a practical note of caution. or the the same reason. the adhesive. or some other sealant. interior vapor diffusion retarder under such in wall assemblies with asphalt-impregnated extreme conditions. as a receptor for interior cavity moisture. retarder. In this example either the exterior effective due to discontinuities at joints. Alternatively. humid air). Comments The interior vapor diffusion retarder often gets wet on the cavity side during the day as a result of exterior absorbed moisture in the brick veneer driven inward by incident solar radiation. humid conditions. In such cases a vapor protects the interior gypsum board and any interior finishes from moisture damage and also reduces the latent cooling load of the structure. This wall assembly in this climate typically gets intermittently wet from the exterior and also Air Movement dries intermittently to the exterior. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet Vapor Diffusion framing materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown Vapor diffusion from the exterior is fiberglass). Although a vapor diffusion Either vapor permeable or vapor retarder at this location in this climate does not prevent moisture diffusion into the wall. impermeable surface finishes may be used with this wall assembly. which acts used to provide the air seal. As such. and alternative control fiberboard sheathing. temperature of the interior vapor diffusion An exterior air seal at the asphaltretarder and the interior gypsum board may impregnated fiberboard or gypsum sheathing be below the dew point temperature of the also equalizes the pressure of the exterior air ambient air for extended periods of time if space. this interior vapor (infiltration of warm. temperature gradient reverses. a building paper as does an air space between the cladding located to the exterior of the sheathing can be (brick veneer) and the sheathing. framing. it can dry intermittently to the controlled by installing a vapor diffusion exterior into the air space behind the brick retarder at the interior of the wall assembly veneer during cool weather or during between the wall framing and the interior evenings. A building paper is installed in some assemblies to limit rain absorption by the asphalt-impregnated fiberboard or gypsum sheathing. nonabsorptive building paper should be used. airtightness is often located to the interior of A vapor permeable sheathing on the the wall assembly at the interior gypsum exterior of the wall framing promotes board or polyethylene vapor diffusion intermittent wall drying towards the exterior. This moisture then typically permeable. the plane of strategies may need to be considered. caulk. Foilretarder) at either the interior or exterior of backed interior gypsum board is typically not the wall.WALL &COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction An air space behind the brick veneer controls rain absorption by the brick veneer and brick veneer capillarity effects.

often provide entry points for rainwater. cladding and any sheathing material. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction Rain absorption by the stucco cladding and stucco capillarity effects are controlled by the installation of capillary break between the stucco and the sheathing. in this example.WALL ECOOLING CLIMATE (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) CAULKING OR SEALANT ON TOP PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR) STUCCO ON GALVANIZED LATH 6-MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER AND BONDBREAKER PLYWOOD . The formulation and material properties of the stucco cladding itself are also important. permeable latex paint on joint detailing is important as control joints gjpsuin board pmnifs dying to the inferior. which have provided the best service life. Similar to need to be spaced closer together. The waferboard. Stucco over sheathing allows control joints to be spaced galvanized lath is up lied over fhesheathing. This stucco cladding needs to be continuous and sealed at all penetrations such as at window and door openings. selection of appropriate sealants and/ or flashings for use at these locations is Rain P A barrier approach. and 3. so control joints in the stucco cladding are often utilized. controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. or face-sealing. have been of three-layer Moisture ConfrolHandbook Page 292 .WAFERBOARD OR GYPSUM SHEATHING CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD PERMEABLE LAT CAULKING OR SEALANT ON SOLE PLATE (EXTERIOR OR INTERIOR DRYING TO INTERIOR Figure 6-7: Wall M o o l i n g Climate (Impermeable Noninsulating Sheathing) Wall S-Cooling Climate: P l p o o d . Thus. or gypsum Sheathing material is used bond breaker between the stucco and the in this woodframe wall assembly.2. This approach requires the elimination of all exterior openings. Where and the stiicco cladding s m e s as a vapor a bond break is not utilized. Uncontrolled cracking of the exterior stucco cladding can lead to significant rain penetration. Traditional stuccos. The effectiveness of stucco control joints is often dependent on an effective bond breaker between the stucco critical. control joints difusion retarder on the exterior. Control Walls 1. A farther apart and also provides more polyethylene sheet p aced between the sheathing predictability to controlled cracking. an exterior stucco cladding is installed. The break is a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder which also acts as a bond breaker between the stucco and the sheathing.

The rationale for this approach is that the farther inward from the exterior that water penetrates. The facing material on faced cavity insulations can retard drying to the interior. the vapor diffusion retarder is the polyethylene sheet that also acts as the capillary break and the bond breaker between the stucco cladding and the sheathing. any paint finishes or hydrophobic sealants installed over the outermost surface of a stucco cladding need to be more permeable than the outermost surface of the stucco cladding. a vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board promotes wall drying towards the interior. as such. This is typically very difficult to achieve in practice. Conversely. Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing materials or wetapplied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). stains or colorants added to stuccos during stucco application are often more successful than paint films subsequently applied. the base coat is the thickest and has the lowest water to cement ratio. mechanisms. and the finish coat is the thinnest. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. Comments In this wall assembly. if the facing is installed towards the interior of the wall. The second coat is thinner and weaker (more permeable) than the base coat. these cases. In retarder) at either the interior or exterior of the wall. humid air during the subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. it can dry to the interior. Faced cavity insulations can be installed where drying to the interior is not required. Accordingly. In this assembly. Rain absorption by the stucco cladding and stucco capillarity effects can also be controlled by exterior paint films and hydrophobic coatings. waIl assembly is controlled by a vapor Puge 192 ~~ Chapter &Moisture Coiztrol Practicesfor Cooliizg Cliiirates . Wall assemblies with permeable interior Air Movement surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorily in service are sometimes Airborne moisture from the exterior (infiltration of warm. and therefore is the most impermeable. cooling season) in this wall assembly is controlled by providing an air seal (air new owners or tenants may repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. these same coatings also often recommended where impermeable surface retard the drying of the wall assembly to the treatments are utilized. This is due to (1)an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air conditioning the enclosure. In other words. or alternatively. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously Vapor Diffusion mentioned moisture control strategies have Vapor diffusion from the exterior in this not been effectively utilized. Although moisture content of 19 percent by weight or these coatings reduce rain absorption and lower) and dry applied insulations are capillarity. caution and diffusion retarder on the exterior of the wall. the cavity insulation can be installed with the facing material towards the outside of the cavity judgment need to be exercised in the Dry framing materials (wood at a application of this control strategy. However. and (2) ambient climatic conditions.WALL E C O O L I N G CLIMATE (CONTINUED) composition. such as wall exterior should it become wet through other coverings and impermeable paints. weakest and most permeable of the three. the more difficult it becomes for the water to go farther. once water has penetrated the stucco it is always easier for it to migrate to the exterior than any farther to the interior. For example. Alternatively. where each successive layer to the exterior is weaker and more permeable than the layer under it.

the masonry block wall must be significantly tighter than the brick veneer. An air space between the brick and the block walls is a receptor for moisture. These base flashings must also extend to the back of the rain screen cavity. joints and open at the top by the use of similar openings or by venting the air space i t a soffit assembly. Two methods accomplish this. a thin cement parge coat is applied on An air space behind the brick veneer o the outside of the masonry block wall t increase its resistance to air flow. The air installing it over an air space open at the bottom by the use of open vertical masonry space acts as a receptor for both brick veneer capillary moisture and brick veneer absorbed Moisfitre Control Handbook Page 193 . Flashings at the base of brick veneer walls are also critical so that A rain screen system controls rain cavity moisture can be directed to the exterior penetration in this wall assembly. A polyethylene vapor diffusionretarder is placed befween fhe block wall and the inferiorwoodframe wall. ideally regletted into the masonry block wall or set into the masonry Rain wall mortar joints. This approach no necessitates the construction of the masonry block wall first. For pressure to be of gravity. they must extend to the back of the air space.WALL L C O O L I N G CLIMATE (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) INTERMIRENT DRYING TO EXTERIOR Figure 6-8: Wall M o o l i n g Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Wall 6-Cooling Climate: This concrefe block wall assembly wifhbrick veneer includes an interior woodframe wallfilled with cavify insulation. There is a cemenf parge coat on fhe outsideface of the concrete block wall. brick veneer is made deliberately leaky by and brick veneer capillarity effects. In this through the weep holes under the influence example a brick veneer is installed over a minimum 1inch air space. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction First. followed by the application of the parge coat. Second. equalized in the cavity. This p m i f s infermittenfdrying foulard fhe exterior. Appropriate installation of flashings over window and door openings is critical i rain screen n assemblies. the controls rain absorption by the brick veneer. and then by the construction of the brick veneer.

Comments In instances where the polyethylene has been installed discontinuously or where it Air Movement has been punctured (at electrical wall outlets). The facing material on faced cavity intermittently to the exterior. This moisture then typically migrates outward in inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air the evening when the temperature gradient conditioning the enclosure. Alternatively. A required. or alternatively. and (3) incident between the masonry blocks and the frame solar radiation drives moisture inward. intermittent wetting of the vapor diffusion if the facing is installed towards the wall retarder is common. the upper course of blocks should be diffusion retarder. humid exterior air has been Three strategies are used to control shown to infiltrate down the masonry airborne moisture from the exterior cavities and through the polyethylene (infiltration of warm.conditioned. filled with mortar. Should the wall the interior of the wall assembly between the assembly become wet during service or be wall framing and the interior surface of the built wet through the use of wet masonry masonry block wall. (2) the enclosure is air retarder system may be located towards the interior of the assembly and consist of the 6. To wall. diffusing into the wall. This is due to (1)an inward by incident solar radiation. Should the frame wall cooling load of the structure. such as wall coverings and impermeable paints. it veneer and masonry block wall driven can dry to the interior. A This causes mold and mildew on the interior cement parge coat (air retarder) is installed on the outside of the masonry block wall. the gypsum wall board. this interior vapor interior.WALL &COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. cooling season) in this wall assembly. the vapor diffusion A vapor permeable paint finish on the retarder effectively protects the interior gypsum board and any interior finishes from interior gypsum wall board promotes wall moisture damage and also reduces the latent drying towards the interior from within the frame assembly. The air space acts as a receptor controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder at for masonry block moisture. ceiling gypsum board is sealed to this conditions are present: (1)the masonry wall is saturated from rain penetration or masonry block wall. Since insulations can retard drying to the interior. dry Page 194 Chapter 6-Moisture Control Pracficesfor Cooling Clinzates . This wall assembly typically gets wet intermittently from the exterior and dries climatic conditions. This interior vapor diffusion retarder often gets wet on the assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet framing cavity side during the day as a result of materials or wet-applied cavity insulations exterior absorbed moisture in the brick (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). and (2) ambient reverses. hot. the cavity continuous polyethylene vapor diffusion insulation can be installed with the facing retarder has proven to be effectivein this material towards the outside of the cavity type of assembly. Although installing a blocks. Where impermeable interior surface treatments are utilized. the air construction moisture. It would be installed in a continuous reduce air migration down the masonry manner and sealed to the ceiling vapor cavities. This failure mechanism upper course of masonry blocks is filled with can be dramatically enhanced if several other mortar. humid air during the openings into the frame wall stud cavities. Faced cavity insulations can be diffusion retarder must be continuous to installed where drying to the interior is not provide satisfactory performance. it can dry intermittently to the vapor diffusion retarder at this location in exterior into the air space behind the brick this climate does not prevent moisture from veneer during cool weather or evenings. possibly under a slight negative air pressure due to poorly designed or mil polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder installed HVAC systems. An air space between the cladding (brick Vapor Diffusion veneer) and the masonry block wall promotes intermittent wall drying towards Vapor diffusionfrom the exterior is the exterior.

Wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorilyin service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. new owners or tenants may repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. For example.WALL LCOOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. In these cases. Alternatively. Moisture Control Handbook Page 195 .

this concrete block wall assenibly with brick veneer includes an interior wood frame wall filled with cavity insulation. TROWEL-. howmer. Rain The rain screen principle controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. the upper course of blocks of the masonry perimeter wall should be filled with mortar. Unlike Wall 6. This pmnits the wall to dry toward the interior. a coating or sheet membrane. TItere is a cnnent parge coat on the outside face of the concrete block wall. AIR S P A C E (RAIN SCREEN. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction An air space behind the brick veneer controls rain absorption by the brick veneer and brick veneer capillarity effects. trowel. humid air during the cooling season) is controlled by installing a cement parge coat (air retarder) on the outside of the masonry block wall. The air Page 196 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . To reduce the migration of hot. It is covered with a spray. Air Movement Airborne moisture from the exterior (infiltration of warm. OR FLUID-APPLIED COATING ON CEMENT PARGE COAT OR CONTINUOUSLY ADHERED SHEET SERVES A S A VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER MASONRY BLOCK CAVITY INSULATION AuI DRYING TO INTERIOR Figure 6-9: Wall 7-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Wall 7-Cooling Climate: Similar to Wall 6. which should be extended over the top of the masonry wall. which semes as a vapor diffiision retarder. PRESSURE EQUALIZED) SPRAY-.WALL 7-COOLING CLIMATE (Masonrv Wall with Interior Insulation) BRICK VENEER 1-IN. space acts as a receptor for both brick veneer capillary moisture and brick veneer absorbed moisture driven inward by incident solar radiation. Instead. or fluid-applied vapor diffusion retarder and sealed to the ceiling gypsum board (air retarder) or to the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder/air retarder. is applied to the exterior face of the cenmit parge coat on the block wall. humid exterior air down the masonry cavities from the attic space. there is no polyethylene vapor diffrisioii retarder placed between the block wall and the interior wood frame wall. An air space between the brick and the block walls is a receptorfor moisture.

pressure gradient present as a result of air conditioning the enclosure. not trapped within the wall assembly prior to installation of the interior gypsum wall board. gypsum wall board installed on the perimeter masonry walls should not be covered with impermeable wall coverings or paints unless the following conditions are satisfied: construction moisture. and (3) incident solar radiation drives moisture inward. 1 The gypsum wall board is protected with . it can dry to the interior. or wet-applied cavity retarder can be spray. or insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown alternatively a continuously adhered sheet fiberglass). In this final approach. construction moisture is not been effectively utilized. and (2) ambient climatic conditions. In this example. these cases. or where provisions installed where drying to the interior is not for air tightening the perimeter masonry wall required. hot. Should the frame wall assembly become wet during service or be the exterior of the masonry block wall. dry framing and dry insulation are still necessary. Wall assemblies with permeable interior a continuous vapor diffusion retarder surface treatments that have been performing located between it and the exterior satisfactorilyin service are sometimes cladding. sufficiently continuous. In this particular assembly this vapor diffusion built wet through the use of wet masonry. humid material towards the outside of the cavity exterior air has been shown to infiltrate In cases where impermeable interior through openings into the masonry wall. This failure mechanism coverings and impermeable paints. such as wall gypsum wall board. This causes mold and mildew on the interior surface treatments are utilized. wet framing materials. Foil-backed gypsum board or subsequently covered with impermeable foil-backed insulation batts are not interior surface treatments. or fluidapplied over a cement parge coat. Moisture Control Handbook Page 197 . the cavity insulation can be installed with the facing have not been implemented. dry can be dramatically enhanced if several other framing materials (wood at a moisture conditions are present: (1)the masonry wall content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended. wall assemblies (masonry and frame) must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. Faced cavity insulations can be discontinuously where it intersects the perimeter masonry wall. For example. This retards the inward migration of construction moisture in the masonry and reduces possible damage to interior surface finishes.WALL 7-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Vapor Diffusion A vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board promotes wall Vapor diffusion from the exterior is drying towards the interior from within the controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder on frame assembly. or alternatively. This is vapor diffusion retarder or air retarder due to (1)an inward temperature and vapor system. In the outside of the masonry block wall. Another option is to install an additional vapor diffusion retarder between the interior frame structure and the interior surface of the masonry wall. Accordingly. Comments The facing material on faced cavity insulations can retard drying to the interior In instances where the ceiling when the facing is installed towards the wall polyethylene has been installed interior. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface 2 If the vapor diffusion retarder is located treatment interface if the previously to the exterior of the masonry block mentioned moisture control strategies have perimeter wall. (2) the enclosure is air Alternatively. is saturated from rain penetration or conditioned (possibly under a slight negative air pressure due to poorly designed or installed W A C systems). trowel. new owners or tenants may repaint with the vapor diffusion retarder is located on impermeable paints or wall coverings.

Rain controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. the more difficult it becomes for the water to go farther. This permits intermittent drying toward the exterior. there is stucco cladding rather than brick on the exterior of the concrete block A polyethylene vapor difision retarder is placed between the block wall and the interior wood$-amewall. Accordingly. Unlike the previous two wall assemblies. The rationale for this approach is that the farther inward from the exterior h i water penetrates. however. or face-sealing. which have applied. In other words. any paint finishes or hydrophobic sealants installed over the outermost surface of a stucco cladding need Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction to be more permeable than the outermost surface of the stucco cladding. and most permeable of the three. stains or colorants added to stuccos a limited extent by the formulation and during stucco application are often more material properties of the stucco cladding successful than paint films subsequently itself. the base coat is the thickest and has the lowest water to cement ratio. have been of The barrier approach. provided the best service life. three-layer composition. once water has Page 198 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . The second coat is thinner and weaker (more permeable) than the base coat. weakest. where each successive layer to the exterior is weaker and more permeable than the layer under it. penetrated the stucco it is always easier for it to migrate to the exterior than any farther to the interior. and therefore is the most impermeable. this is a concrete block wall assembly with an interior wood frame wall filled with cavity insulation.. / INTERMITENT DRYING TO EXTERIOR Figure 6-10: Wall M o o l i n g Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Wall 8-Cooling Climate: Similar to Walls 6 and 7. This approach requires the elimination of all exterior openings. as such. and the finish coat is the thinnest.WALL &COOLING CLIMATE (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER CAVITY INSULATION IN FRAME WALL GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING : . Conversely. This is Rain absorption by the stucco cladding and stucco capillarity effectsare controlled to typically very difficult to achieve in practice.-. Traditional stuccos. .

The first is the airtightness of board. wall framing and the interior surface of the A vapor permeable paint finish on the masonry block wall. humid exterior air has been shown to Air Movement infiltrate down the masonry cavities and Several factors control airborne moisture through the polyethylene openings into the from the exterior (infiltration of warm. This causes mold humid air during the cooling season) in this and mildew on the interior gypsum wall wall assembly. (2) the enclosure is air sealed to this masonry block wall. Only vapor permeable surface finishes are installed on the stucco cladding. Although these coatings reduce rain absorption and capillarity. which promotes intermittent wall drying towards Vapor Diffusion the exterior. and third. these also often retard the drying of the wall assembly to the exterior should it become wet through other mechanisms. Faced cavity insulations can be installed where drying to the interior is not intermittently to the exterior. ceiling gypsum board is construction moisture. This wall assembly typically gets wet intermittently from the exterior and dries interior. and (3) incident and consist of the 6-mil polyethylene vapor solar radiation drives moisture inward. the vapor diffusion assembly become wet during service or be retarder effectively protects the interior gypsum board and any interior finishes from built wet through the use of wet framing moisture damage and also reduces the latent materials or wet-applied cavity insulations (wet spray cellulose or blown fiberglass). Should the frame wall diffusing into the wall. Since required. the upper conditions are present: (1)the masonry wall course of masonry blocks are filled with is saturated f o rain penetration or rm mortar. the air retarder system may be air pressure due to poorly designed or located towards the interior of the assembly installed W A C systems. conditioned. A continuous polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder has proven to be effective in this type of assembly. However. Second. Although installing a interior gypsum wall board promotes wall vapor diffusion retarder at this location in drying towards the interior from within the this climate does not prevent moisture from frame assembly. diffusion retarder must be continuous to provide satisfactory performance. this interior vapor Moisture ConfrolHandbook Page 199 . the cavity intermittent wetting of the vapor diffusion insulation can be installed with the facing retarder is common. It would be masonry cavities. ceiling vapor diffusion retarder. This The facing material on faced cavity moisture then typically migrates outward in insulations can retard drying to the interior the evening when the temperature gradient when the facing is installed towards the wall reverses. hot. or alternatively. This interior vapor diffusion retarder often gets wet on the can dry to the interior due to (1)an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient cavity side during the day as a result of present as a result of air conditioning the exterior absorbed moisture in the brick enclosure. To diffusion retarder between the masonry reduce the migration of air down the blocks and the frame wall. the upper course of blocks installed continuously and sealed to the should be filled with mortar. This failure mechanism can be the stucco cladding on the outside of the dramatically enhanced if several other masonry block wall. it cooling load of the structure. caution and judgment need to be exercised in the application of this control strategy. inward by incident solar radiation.WALL &COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Stucco rain absorption and capillarity effects can also be controlled by exterior paint films and hydrophobic coatings. or has been punctured (at electrical wall outlets). Should the wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet Vapor diffusion from the exterior is through the use of wet masonry blocks. frame wall stud cavities. and (2) ambient climatic veneer and masonry block wall driven conditions. Comments In instances where the polyethylene is installed discontinuously. it can controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder at the interior of the wall assembly between the dry intermittently to the exterior during cool weather or during evenings. possibly under a slight negative Alternatively.

dry framing materials (wood at a moisture content of 19 percent by weight or lower) and dry-applied insulations are recommended. Wall assemblies with permeable interior surface treatments that have been performing Page 200 Chapter 6-Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . Where impermeable interior surface treatments are utilized. This may occur if new tenants or owners repaint with impermeable paints or wall coverings. Alternatively. such as wall coverings and impermeable paints.WALL &-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) satisfactorily in service are sometimes subsequently covered with impermeable interior surface treatments. mold and mildew problems may appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously mentioned moisture control strategies have not been effectively utilized. In these cases. the frame wall assemblies must be allowed to dry prior to enclosure. material towards the outside of the cavity.

in this case rigid insulafion is placed on the exterior o the concrete f block. The first is the airtightness of the stucco cladding on the outside of the rigid insulation and masonry block wall. and third. Second. the upper course of masonry blocks are filled with mortar. controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. caution and judgment need to be exercised in the application of this control strategy.WALL 9-COOLING CLIMATE (Masonry Wall with Exterior Insulation) STUCCO CLADDING ON GALVANIZED STUCCO LATH IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION MASONRY BLOCK FURRING STRIPS w GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT Figure 6-11: Wall 9-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Exterior Insulation) DRYING TO INTERIOR Wall 9-Cooling Climate: Similar to Wall 8. a capillary break-in this case. The impermeable rigid insulation semes (1s a vapor dijfusion retarder on fhe exferior. Air Movement Several factors control airborne moisture from the exterior (infiltration of warm. On fhe infm'oro fhe block wall. Rain formulation and material properties of the stucco cladding itself are also important. The barrier approach. Stucco rain absorption and capillarity. Although these coatings reduce rain absorption and capillarity. fhis concrete block wall assembly ufilizesstucco on fhe exterior. humid air during the cooling season) in this wall assembly. they also often retard the drying of the wall assembly to the exterior should it become wet through other mechanisms. However. Applying a cement parge coat (not shown in this detail) to the exterior of the Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction To control rain absorption by the stucco cladding and stucco capillarity effects. the impermeable rigid insulation-is installed between the stucco and the sheathing. The Moisfure Control Handbook Page 201 . effects can also be controlled by exterior paint films and hydrophobic coatings. or face-sealing. ceiling gypsum board is sealed to this masonry block wall. f gypsum board wifhpermeable latex painf permifs drying toward fhe inferior. However. This approach requires the elimination of all exterior openings. and then covered with stucco applied over galvanized lath.

the masonry electrical wall outlets). This is due to (1)an inward temperature and vapor pressure gradient present as a result of air Vapor Diffusion conditioning the enclosure. a polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder may be installed Comments between the gypsum board and the masonry wall with the express purpose to protect the When sheet polyethylene provides gypsum board and interior surface finishes airtightness provisions (not shown in this from construction moisture. drives moisture inward. Alternatively. these cases. and (2) ambient Vapor diffusion from the exterior in this climatic conditions. It would be installed in continuously and sealed to the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder. Where impermeable interior surface wall assembly is controlled by a vapor treatments are utilized. namely. masonry cavities and through the Wall assemblies with permeable interior polyethylene openings into the frame wall stud cavities. To reduce the migration of air down the masonry cavities. In from rain penetration or construction moisture. to enclosure. mold and mildew problems may possibly under a slight negative air pressure appear at the gypsum board/surface treatment interface if the previously due to poorly designed or installed W A C mentioned moisture control strategies have systems.WALL 9-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) masonry block wall can also serve to significantly retard air movement. such as wall diffusion retarder on the exterior of the coverings and impermeable paints. the air retarder system may be located towards the interior of the assembly and consist of a &mil polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (not shown in this detail) between the masonry blocks and the furring strips. or it has been punctured (at directly to the masonry wall. (2) the enclosure is air conditioned. detail) and this polyethylene is installed In cases where gypsum board is adhered discontinuously. it can dry to the interior. the upper course of blocks should be filled with mortar. A vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board promotes wall assembly become wet during service or be built wet through the use of wet masonry. the rigid masonry wall must be allowed to dry prior impermeable insulation. drying toward the interior. the masonry block wall. Alternatively. hot. Should the wall Page 2 02 Chapter &Moisture Control Pracficesfor Cooling Climates . This may occur if enhanced if several other conditions are new owners or tenants repaint with present: (1)the masonry wall is saturated impermeable paints or wall coverings. This causes mold and mildew surface treatments that have been performing satisfactorilyin service are sometimes on the interior gypsum wall board. humid exterior air wall should be allowed to dry prior to has been shown to infiltrate down the installation of the gypsum board. This subsequently covered with impermeable failure mechanism can be dramatically interior surface treatments. and (3) incident solar radiation not been effectivelv utilized.

the rigid wall insulation and the ceiling gypsum board are sealed to this masonry block wall. they also often retard the drying of the wall assembly to the exterior should it become wet through other mechanisms.WALL 10-COOLING CLIMATE (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) STUCCO CLADDING MASONRY BLOCK RIGID INSULATION WOOD FURRING STRIPS GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING INTERMllTENT DRYING TO EXTERIOR Figure 6-12 Wall 10-Cooling Climate (Masonry Wall with Interior Insulation) Wall IO-Cooling Climate: Similar to Walls 8 and 9. fhis concrete block wall assembly ufilizes stucco on the exterior. The first is the airtightness of the stucco cladding on the outside of the masonry block. It would consist of the rigid wall insulation installed continuously. This pennits intermittent drying toward the exterwr. and then covered with gypsum board. In this case. This approach requires the elimination of all exterior openings. Air Movement Several factors control airborne moisture from the exterior (infiltration of warm. However. Alternatively. Rigid insulation is placed on the inferior of fhe concrete block. Rain AbsorptiodCapillary Suction Stucco rain absorption and capillarity effects are controlled to a limited extent by the formulation and material properties of the stucco cladding itself. the sfucco is applied directly fo the exferiorface of fhe block wall. The impermeable rigid insulation serves as a vapor diffusion retarder on the interior. humid air during the cooling season) in this wall assembly. and sealed to the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder. the upper course of masonry blocks are filled with mortar. or face-sealing. the air retarder system may be located towards the interior of the assembly. Second. These rain effects can also be controlled by exterior paint films and hydrophobic Moistrue Confrol Handbook Page 203 . coatings. controls rain penetration in this wall assembly. Although these coatings reduce rain absorption and capillarity. caution and judgment need to be exercised in the application of this control strategy. and third. Rain The barrier approach. taped.

To reduce the wall assembly is controlled by the rigid migration of air down the masonry cavities. block wall. diffusing into the wall.WALL 10-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) due to poorly designed or installed W A C systems. mentioned moisture control strategies have possibly under a slight negative air pressure not been effectively utilized. Although installing a vapor Installing only vapor permeable surface diffusion retarder at this location in this finishes on the stucco cladding promotes climate does not prevent moisture from intermittent wall drying towards the exterior. This causes mold and interior surface treatments. the vapor diffusion Should the wall assembly become wet during retarder effectively protects the interior service or be built wet through the use of wet gypsum board and any interior finishes from masonry blocks. hot. humid exterior air has been shown to satisfactorily in service are sometimes infiltrate down the masonry cavities and subsequently covered with impermeable through the openings. Wall assemblies with permeable interior installed discontinuously. insulation. A vapor permeable paint finish on the interior gypsum wall board promotes wall Comments drying towards the interior from within the In instances where the rigid insulation is assembly. or has been surface treatments that have been performing punctured (at electrical wall outlets). it can dry intermittently to moisture damage and also reduces the latent the exterior during cool weather or during cooling load of the structure. which acts as a vapor diffusion the upper course of blocks should be filled retarder at the interior surface of the masonry with mortar. impermeable paints or wall coverings. In these cases. new tenants or owners repaint with Vapor Diffusion This failure mechanism can be dramatically enhanced if several other conditions are present: (1)the masonry wall is saturated appear at the gypsum board/surface from rain penetration or construction treatment interface if the previously moisture. cool dry evenings. (2) the enclosure is air conditioned. and (3) incident solar radiation Vapor diffusion from the exterior in this drives moisture inward. mold and mildew problems may Page 204 Chapfer &Moisture Control Pracfices Cooling Climafes for . This may occur if mildew on the interior gypsum wall board.

are summarized in Table 6-2. Two of the slab assemblies assemblies. and two are Insulation levels in foundation unvented. while the third illustrates a grade beam condensing surfaces. (2) capillary suction. and (4) vapor diffusion. The basic foundation assemblies can be found in the characteristicsof the foundation assemblies Builder's FoiindafionHandbook [6. successfully in cooling climates. All four of the crawl comments concerning other limitations of spaces are concrete or masonry each foundation assembly are summarized. Foundation Construction in Cooling Climates Table 6-2: Characteristics of Foundation Assemblies for Cooling Climates FOUNDATION NPE CRAWL SPACE 1 Concrete ('Vented) Concrete masonry (Unvented) Concrete masonry (Unvented) Concrete (Unvented) Concrete masonry wall supporting wood frame Concrete wall supporting block with brick veneer Grade beam supporting concrete block FOUNDATION INSULATION Faced batt insulation between ceiling joists between ceiling joists over rigid OTHER FEATURES Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder on floor diffusion retarder on floor DRYING Limited to the exterior CRAWL SPACE 2 Cavity insulation insulation Polyethylene vapor To the intenor CRAWL SPACE 3 Rigid insulation vertically on wall (Exterior) Rigid insulation vertically on wall (Interior) Rigid insulation vertically on wall (Exterior) Rigid insulation horizontally beneath slab perimeter and in walllfloor joint Rigid insulation covers exterior vertical face of grade beam Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder on floor and interior wall Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder on floor and interior wall Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder beneath slab Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder beneath slab Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder beneath slab and grade beam To the To the interior CRAWL SPACE 4 interior Limited SLAB 1 SLAB 2 Limited SLAB 3 Limited Moistlire Control Handbook Page 205 . on-grade foundations.Each foundation assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. are left to the foundation. assemblies are shown that can be used (3) air movement. A key difference between the judgement of the reader. Guidance foundation assemblies i the type and s regarding optimum insulation levels for placement of insulation.2]. There are Ventilation is also discussed for the two four crawl space assemblies and three slabvented crawl spaces. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical moisture problems in this climate: (1) In this section seven foundation rain and groundwater. construction-two are vented. In most cases. except where specifically noted to include concrete or masonry foundation control moisture accumulation on walls.

and careful site rm grading. BATT INSULATION BETWEEN JOISTS (VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER FACED AND TIGHTLY FIT) CONCRETE FOUNDATION WALL CONTINUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER (GROUND COVER) . Faced batt insulation (with fhefaced side down) is placed between fhejloorjoisfs above fhe crawl space. Rain and Ground Water Gutters. GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6" IN 10 FT) Figure 6-13: Crawl Space 1-Cooling Climate (Vented with Ceiling Insulation) Crawl Space l-Cooling Climate: This venfed crawl space utilizes a concrete foundation wall. downspouts. -* 4 . which direct water away f o crawl space perimeters.CRAWL SPACE 1-COOLING CLIMATE (Vented with Ceiling Insulation) VINYL OR ALUMINUMSIDING BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING SEAL AROUND BEAM POCKETS TO PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE CRAWL SPACE VENT AT TOP OF FOUNDATION WALL #I ' \I CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH LATEX PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT \ CAPILLARY BREAK BENEATH SILL PLATE L!3. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the concrete footing controls groundwater entry. This baft insulation parfiallycovers the rim joist on the interior. I . A continuous vapor diffusion retarder is placed on thefloor ofthe crawl space. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering crawl spaces. Exceptfor the type of siding used. the above-grade wall shown here is similar to Wall 3 in the previous section. Page 206 Chapter 6-Moisfure Confro1 Pracficesfor Cooling Climates .

Vapor diffusion retarder faced insulation is recommended to prevent moisture accumulation in the insulation by vapor diffusion (faced-sidedown). Moisture Control Handbook Page 207 . or to daylight. must be sealed. down and often clog from underneath. Airborne moisture infiltrating from the A continuous vapor diffusion retarder. Capillary Suction To control moisture movement by capillarity into the perimeter framing assembly from the concrete foundation wall. The break can be polyethylene. humid periods. The Vapor Diffusion The impermeability of the subfloor sheathing retards moisture movement by diffusion from the crawl space into the conditioned space. In addition. according to the 1/1500 ratio. storm sewer. plants. is essential as a groundcover to reduce moisture evaporation controlled by pressurizing the conditioned space relative to the crawl space and the from the soil into the crawl space. Unfaced insulation has traditionally been limited to climates with less extreme humidity. However. filter fabric. or a sheet metal also doubling as termite protection. In addition. Experience has shown that it is gravel should surround the perimeter difficult to seal such units or ductwork drainpipe and in turn be surrounded by a sufficiently to prevent leakage. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 1500 square feet of floor area. and by limiting air leakage openings (tight construction). Coarse crawl space. vents should be distributed over the crawl space perimeter to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by shrubs. or air conditioners in the drainpipe and be carried away. Filter fabric should be located penetrations for plumbing. the crawl space influence the building Perforations in the perimeter drainpipe enclosure to a minimum. Air Movement In vented crawl space assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the crawl space and the conditioned spaces. In less humid climates.CRAWL SPACE 1-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) The perimeter drainpipe is connected to a crawl space needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within sump. Ventilation Crawl space ventilation removes moisture and should be provided. wiring. or other obstructions. the subfloor sheathing acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. In other words. it is necessary to protect the floor system from this moisture or consider alternative strategies (See Crawl Space 2-Cooling Climate). However. both below and above the perimeter etc. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by ventilation. Local experience can determine the correct choice. a capillary break is placed at the top of the foundation wall. as drainpipe perforations face subfloor airtight.. the subfloor sheathing impermeability characteristicscan create moisture accumulation on the crawl space side of the subfloor. When this is combined with a heavily air conditioned enclosure. 6crawl space into the conditioned space is mil or greater polyethylene. Under severe ambient hot/humid conditions. This is best should be installed with the holes down to accomplished by not installing any forced air allow groundwater to rise up into the ductwork. bathtubs. at a minimum. furnaces. It should be noted that during hot. making the crawl space drainpipe. moisture accumulation in the crawl space from ventilation air can exceed moisture removal on a seasonal basis. unfaced insulation can be installed to promote drying should such moisture accumulate at the underside of the subfloor. exterior. ventilation air will often bring moisture into the crawl space rather than remove it.

this is a vented crawl space with insulation placed in the ceiling. This insulation partially covers the rim joist on the interior. thefoundation wall is concrete masony. In this case. and impermeable rigid insulation board is attached fo the underside iffhefloorjoists.CRAWL SPACE 2-COOLING CLIMATE (Vented with Ceiling Insulation) PINE CLAPBOARDS. the above-grade wall shown here is similar to Wall 2 in the previous section. SEALANTOR CAULKING CAULKING OR SEALANT ON EXTERIOR (ALTERNA CRAWL SPAC VENT AT TOP FOUNDATION CAVITY INSULATION CAPILLARY BREAK BENEATH SILL PLATE 7 IMPERMEABLERIGID \IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION tTAPED (TAPED OR SEALED JOINTS) S ) CONCRETE MASONRY FOUNDATIONWALL CONTINUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSIONRETARDER (GROUND COVER) GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT 5% (6' IN 10 F1) Figure 6-14: Crawl Space 2-Cooling Climate (Vented with Ceiling Insulation) Crawl Space 2-Cooling Climate: Similar to the previousfoundation assembly. Page 2 08 Rigid insulation sheathing also covers the exterior of the rim joist. A continuous vapor diffusion retarder is placed on fhefloor of the crawl space. CEDAR SIDING. Chapter 6-Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . Except for the air space beneath the wood siding. OR HARDBOARD SIDING 1x 4 FURRING CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH LATEX PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION SUBFLOOR ADHESIVE. Cavity insulation is placed between the floor joists above the crawl space.

However. The crawl space needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within the crawl space influence the building Vapor Diffusion Moisture movement by diffusion from the crawl space into the conditioned space is retarded by the impermeability of the rigid insulation installed on the underside of the floor joists. A continuous vapor diffusion retarder. It should be noted that during hot. This rigid insulation acts as both a vapor diffusion retarder and air retarder system. downspouts. The rigid insulation installed as wall sheathing is extended down to cover the rim joist and should be sealed to the sill plate. In addition. humid periods. furnaces. Ventilation Crawl space ventilation removes moisture from crawl spaces and should be provided. Air Movement In vented crawl space assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the crawl space and the conditioned space. bathtubs. Moisture Control Handbook Page 209 . wiring. plants. Gutters. vents should be distributed over the crawl space perimeter to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by shrubs. should be used to prevent rain and surface water from entering crawl spaces. according to the 11 1500 ratio. and by limiting air leakage openings (tight construction).. Airborne moisture infiltrating from the crawl space into the conditioned space is controlled by pressurizing the conditioned space relative to the crawl space and the exterior. the installation of impermeable rigid insulation on the underside of the floor joists protects the entire floor system from moisture brought into the crawl space by ventilation air. Cavity insulation within the floor joists (if installed) should be installed in contact with the rigid insulation. it is necessary to protect the floor system from this moisture. and careful site grading. must be sealed. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the concrete footing controls groundwater entry. ventilation air will often bring moisture into the crawl space rather than remove it. Under severe ambient hot/humid conditions.CRAWL SPACE 2-COOLING Rain and Ground Water CLIMATE (CONTINUED) enclosure to a minimum. which direct water away from crawl space perimeters. As such. Where vented crawl spaces experience extreme humid conditions during heavy air conditioning. it needs to be installed in airtight and should completely enclose any supporting beam structures. at a minimum. Capillary Suction To control moisture movement by capillarity into the perimeter framing assembly from the concrete foundation wall. or other obstructions. In addition penetrations for plumbing. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 1500 square feet of subfloor area. making the crawl space subfloor assembly airtight. When this is combined with a heavily air conditioned enclosure. or a sheet metal also doubling as termite protection. It is for this reason that rigid impermeable insulation is installed on the underside of the floor system in this example. moisture accumulation in the crawl space from ventilation air can exceed moisture removal on a seasonal basis. 6 mil or greater polyethylene is essential as a ground cover to reduce moisture evaporation from the soil into the crawl space. etc. This is best accomplished by not installing any forced air ductwork. Experience has shown that it is difficult to seal such units or dudwork sufficiently to prevent leakage. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by ventilation. a capillary break is placed at the top of the foundation wall. The break can be polyethylene. or air conditioners in the crawl space.

The concrete masony s foundafion wall is covered wifhrigid insulafion board on the exterior. unfaced cavifyinsulafion is placed betweenjoists on the rim joist interior. which direct water away from crawl Page 210 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climafes . Rain and Ground Water Gutters. A confinuousvapor difusion retarder is placed on thefloor of the crawl space and extends up the interiorface and over the top of thefoundation wall. T permit dying to O fhe inferior. this crawl space i unvenfed. The above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 2 in the previous section. Rigid insulation also covers fhe exterior Of the rim joist. and careful site grading.CRAWL SPACE %COOLING CLIMATE (Unvented / Exterior Insulation) CRAWL SPACE ACCESS SHOULD OCCUR THROUGH SUBFLOOR NOT PERIMETER WALL CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH LATEX PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT CAULKING OR SEALA ON EXTERIOR (ALTER SEAL AROUND BEAM POCKETS TO PREVENT AIR LEAKAGE GALVANIZED FLASHING (WHERE REQUIRED FOR TERMITE PROTECTION) PROTECTION BOARD OR COATING RIGID INSULATION - SILL GASKET (&MIL POLY FOLDED OVER A STRIP OF BATT INSULATION) CONCRETE MASONRY FOUNDATIONWALL GROUND SLOPES DIFFUSION RETARDER / AIR RETARDER EXTENDED OVER TOP OF FOUNDATIONWALL CONTINUOUS VAPOR Figure 6-15: Crawl Space 3-Cooling Climate (Unvented with Exterior Insulation) Crawl Space 3-Cooling Climate: Unlike the previous twofoundafion assemblies. downspouts.

This Air Movement should be effective under most conditions. the crawl space. against air leakage with adhesive. It location and hence to eliminate seals at the is protected above grade on its exterior from top and bottom of the rim joist if the exterior mechanical damage. It reduces moisture migration pressurized in enclosures with forced air systems by providing a supply air register in byevaporation from the soil into the crawl space. enclosure. should be used to prevent I Moisture Control Handbook Page 21 1 .manner. gaskets. typically spaces. the less air that has capillarity into the perimeter framing to be introduced to pressurize the crawl assembly from the concrete foundation wall. the ground cover/ foundation wall. The crawl space can be ground cover. limiting air leakage openings (tight 6 mil or greater polyethylene. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the to the air conditioning duct system. not be pressurized at the expense of In unvented. The break can be the vapor diffusion retarder is extended up over polyethylene ground cover extended up over the foundation wall and all joints are sealed. a separate fan for this Capillary Suction purpose can be installed. taking air from the other conditioned spaces. Pressurization will only occur when the concrete footing controls groundwater entry. In enclosures without forced air systems. space perimeters. As such. concerns about the effects of duct leakage including the crawl space. space. The tighter the To control moisture movement by crawl space construction. space. or the sheet metal flashing also In addition. because should be pressurized relative to the exterior. also acts as a construction). Airborne moisture infiltrating from the exterior is controlled by pressurizing the Vapor Diffusion crawl space relative to the exterior and by The continuous vapor diffusion retarder. the wall. or other air seals. As such it is desirable to build as tight a capillary break is placed at the top of the as is practical. This exterior wall sheathing can exterior of the perimeter crawl space be utilized as the principal air seal at this foundation walls to reduce cooling loads. with no corresponding return air register. air taken and freezing pipes are minimized. plumbing. To do so.CRAWL SPACE 3-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) from the building to pressurize the crawl space needs to be replaced by outside air rain and surface water from entering crawl introduced in a controlled. In other words. Exterior wall Comments sheathing is also extended down over the rim joist assembly to further reduce air leakage at Rigid insulation is installed on the this location. the rim joist assembly is sealed doubling as termite protection. forced air distribution fan is operating (when mechanical cooling is occurring). and as such appropriate flashings Crawl spaces in this climate zone should or other protection may be necessary. conditioned crawl spaces it depressurizing the rest of the conditioned is convenient to install ductwork. the entire building and other mechanical components. This rigid insulation wall sheathing is sealed directly to the can act as a conduit for insects to enter the exterior of the sill plate. caulking.

In this case.CRAWL SPACE 4-COOLING 'I I I CLIMATE (Unvented / Interior Insulation) STUCCO CLADDING ON GALVANIZED STUCCO LATH &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER AND BOND BREAKER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING CAULKING OR SEALANT ON EXTERIOR (ALTERNATE) -1 I CRAWL SPACE ACCESS SHOULD OCCUR THROUGH SUBFLOOR NOT PERIMETER WALL CAVlW INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH LATEX PAINT CAULKING OR SEALANT I I 1 J I I I I I GALVANIZED FLASHING (WHERE REQUIRED FOR TERMITE PROTECTION) CONCRETE FOUNDATIONWALL ' I I SILL GASKET (&MIL POLY FOLDED OVER A STRIP OF B A T INSULATION-POLY IS TAPED TO WALL INSULATION) AIR LEAKAGE SEAL AROUND BEAM POCKETS TO PREVENT RIGID INSULAllON (TAPE CONTINUOUS VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER I AIR RETARDER TAPED TO WALL INSULATION GROUND SLOPES AWAY FROM WALL AT5% (6' IN 10 Fl) -:-::u::::::1 1.. and over the top of thefoundation wall. fhis crawl space is also unvented. I * . To permit f 0 fhe inferior. . thefoundation wall is concrete and fhe rigid insulation board is placed on the interior rafher fhan the exterior. A continuous vapor diffusion retarder is placed on thefloor of fhe crawl space. . downspouts. extends up the Page 2 7 2 inferiorface ofthe insulafion board. The above-grade wall shown here corresponds to Wall 5 in the previous secfion. which direct water away from crawl Chapfer&Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling ClimafG . Figure 6-16: Crawl Space 4-Cooling Climate (Unvented with Interior Insulation) Crawl Space 4-Cooling Climate: Similar to Crawl Space 3. .unfaced Cavity inSuhtiOn is placed betweenjoists on the rim joist interior. 0 .. and careful site grading. Rain and Ground Water Gutters. . . however.

In addition. As such. In enclosures without forced air systems. typically space. with no corresponding return air register. Moisture Confrol Handbook Page 213 . conditioned crawl space foundation walls may need to be protected on its interior surface by gypsum wall board or some other treatment. Pressurization will only occur when the forced air distribution fan is operating (when mechanical cooling is occurring). Local authorities may need to be consulted.the ground cover/ vapor diffusion retarder is extended up over the foundation wall and all joints are sealed. In other words. To do so.CRAWL SPACE &COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) space perimeters. a separate fan for this purpose can be installed. Exterior wall sheathing is also extended down over the rim joist assembly to further reduce air leakage at this location. or other air seals. This should be effective under most conditions. including the crawl space. Crawl spaces in this climate zone should not be pressurized at the expense of depressurizing the rest of the conditioned space. a capillary break is placed at the top of the foundation wall. the less air that has to be introduced to pressurize the crawl Vapor Diffusion The continuous vapor diffusion retarder. gaskets. It reduces moisture migration by evaporation from the soil into the crawl space. The break can be the polyethylene ground cover extended up over doubling as termite protection. because concerns about the effects of duct leakage and freezing pipes are minimized. also acts as a ground cover. 6 mil or greater polyethylene. are used to prevent rain and surface water from entering crawl spaces. taking air from the other conditioned spaces. conditioned crawl spaces it is convenient to install ductwork. the entire building should be pressurized relative to the exterior. The crawl space can be pressurized in enclosures with forced air systems by providing a supply air register in the crawl space. As such it is desirable to build as tight the wall. to the air conditioning duct system. the rim joist assembly is sealed against air leakage with adhesive. Subgrade drainage at the perimeter of the concrete footing controls groundwater entry. caulking. The tighter the crawl space construction. As such. Capillary Suction To control moisture movement by capillarity into the perimeter framing assembly from the concrete foundation wall. as is practical. This exterior wall sheathing can be utilized as the principal air seal at this location and hence to eliminate seals at the top and bottom of the rim joist if the exterior wall sheathing is sealed directly to the exterior of the sill plate. rigid insulation installed on the interior of the perimeter of unvented. In unvented. or the sheet metal flashing also Comments As a result of fire code flame spread requirements. Air Movement Airborne moisture infiltrating from the exterior is controlled by pressurizing the crawl space relative to the exterior and by limiting air leakage openings (tight construction). air taken from the building to pressurize the crawl space needs to be replaced by outside air introduced in a controlled manner. and other mechanical components. Rigid insulation in this location can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. it should terminate at the upper edge of the concrete foundation wall to allow for insect pathways. plumbing.

.... the site should be graded carefully to direct water away from slab perimeters. as groundwater and soil gas seepage secfion... ......... .. To do this. into ducts along with diffusion and capillarity into concrete slabs from Rain and Ground Water surrounding soil transferred to the ducts can provide a significant source of moisture to To prevent rain and surface water from the enclosure. The above-grade woodframe the exterior........... gutters and downspouts directed away from the building should be used.... A polyefhylenevapor diffusion retarder is enclosure... .... entering beneath slabs located at grade... ........... Figure 6-17: Slab 1-Cooling Climate (Exterior Insulation) Slab 1-Cooling Climafe: This slab-oiz-grade Air Movement and Vapor Diffusion foundafion assembly illusfrafes flze use of a In slab assemblies it is important to concrete masonyfoundation wall.. Ductwork should be avoided in wall corresponds f o Wall 2 in fhe previous slabs..... SLAB 1-COOLING CLIMATE (Exterior Insulation) WNYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATI C A W N INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT PRESSURE-TREATED PLATE CAULKING OR SEALANT (INTERIOR OR EXTERIOR) VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER (EXTENDED OVER TOP OF MASONRY WALL) OR COATING GROUND SLOP AWAY FROM W AT 5% (6' IN 10 ...... a vapor diffusion placed beneafh fhejloor slab and confinues fhrough fhe walllslab joinf and over fhe fop of fhe retarder is installed under the slab and the building enclosure is pressurized relative to foundation wall... Rigid eliminate airborne moisture flow and insulation couers the exterior vertical face of the moisture diffusion from the exterior into the wall. Also................. Page 214 Chapter 6-Moisfure Control Practices for Cooling Climafes .....

which consists of the an impermeable surface finish or floor granular layer under the slab and the covering may lead to deterioration of these extension of the vapor diffusion retarder over surfaces if the construction moisture is not the top of the masonry perimeter wall. It is controlled by initially placed. damp. This rigid insulation Moisfure Confrol Handbook Page 215 . allowed to dry.SLAB 1-COOLING Capillary Suction CLIMATE (CONTINUED) can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. In such cases. Installing carpets on cold.3]. and as such appropriate flashings Moisture may move by capillarity into or other protection may be necessary. the cavities in the masonry blocks should be filled with mortar concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm. Covering this surface with a capillary break. framing to act as a capillary break. mechanical damage. The granular drainage pad located under Rigid insulation is installed on the the concrete floor slab can also be integrated exterior of the perimeter foundation into a subslab ventilation system to control assembly to reduce cooling loads and is radon migration by adding a vent pipe protected above grade on its exterior from connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. Initial drying of the construction moisture contained in concrete may also elevate interior moisture levels Comments during the first few months of occupancy. the slab and perimeter wall framing assembly The concrete floor slab contains from the ground and from the perimeter significant quantities of moisture when masonry foundation wall. concrete In some assemblies it may not be floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic practical or possible to extend the vapor reactions in sensitive individuals and other diffusion retarder over the top of the health-related consequences. It is not perimeter masonry wall foundation recommended that carpets be installed on assembly. that is. carpet relative to create an air seal with a strip of sheet humidities should be kept below 40 percent polyethylene installed under the wall [6.

Also. To do this. Rigid insulafionis laid horizontally beneafh the perimeter of fheconcretefloor slab. A polyefhylene vapor diffusion refarder is placed beneath fhefloor slab and continues through fhe wall/slab joinf and over the top of fhefoundation wall. OR FLUID-APPLIED VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT TERMITE SHElLD PRESSURE-TREATED PLATE CEMENT PARGE COAT OPENING IN E VERTICAL JOI &IN. a vapor diffusion retarder is installed under the slab and the building enclosure is pressurized relative to the exterior. The above-grade concrete block wall corresponds to Wall 7 in fheprevioiis secfion.SLAB 2-COOLING CLIMATE (Interior Insulation) BRICK VENEER MASONRY BLOCK CAVllY INSULATION GYPSUM SPRAY-. The rigid insulafionalso is placed in fhe verfical joint between the wall and the slab. Ductwork should be avoided in slabs. CONCRETE SLAB Figure 6-18: Slab 2-Cooling Climate (Interior Insulation) Slab 2-Cooling Climate: Dzis slab-on-grade foundation assernbly illustrates the use of a concrefefoundafionwall siipporfing a concrete block above-grade wall assembly with brick veneer. the building should be used. TROWEL-. Air Movement and Vapor Diffusion In slab assemblies it is important to eliminate airborne moisture flow and moisture diffusion from the exterior into the enclosure. the site should be graded carefully to direct water away from slab perimeters. gutters and downspouts directed away from Page 216 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . as two mechanisms-groundwater and soil gas seepage into ducts and diffusion and capillarity into concrete slabs from surrounding soil transferred to the ductsoften provide a significant source of moisture to the enclosure. Rain and Ground Water To prevent rain and surface water from entering beneath slabs located at grade.

SLAB 2-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Capillary Suction Moisture may move by capillarity into the slab and perimeter wall framing assembly from the ground and from the perimeter masonry foundation wall. impermeable wall coverings or impermeable paint finishes are not recommended unless the assembly has completely dried prior to enclosure or unless an additional vapor diffusion retarder (polyethylene film) is installed between the masonry and the gypsum board. The wall assembly shown does not have a capillary break. The concrete floor slab contains significant quantities of moisNre when initially placed. such as metal flashings or other treatments. it may not be sufficient to protect against insect migration. It can extend inwards horizontally several feet. Additional protection may be necessary. Installing carpets on cold. As such. damp. Construction moisture may be Comments In some assemblies it may not be practical or possible to extend the vapor diffusion retarder over the top of the perimeter concrete foundation wall assembly. Rigid insulation is installed on the interior of the perimeter foundation in this assembly to reduce cooling loads. Foil-backed gypsum board may not be sufficient protection in this application as a result of discontinuity at gypsum board joints.3]. that is. concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other . This wall assembly has a vapor diffusion retarder located on its exterior to control vapor diffusion migrating from the present in the masonry wall and may lead to moisture problems in the gypsum board interior finish as the wall dries to the interior. w i h consists of the hc Accordingly. It is controlled by a vapor diffusion retarder on the interior. Although the slab vapor diffusion retarder is extended up over this insulation and the perimeter foundation wall. This rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. or alternatively extend downwards vertically to the footing. Appropriate authorities having jurisdiction should be consulted. health-related conskquences. Structural considerations in certain jurisdictions may necessitate the placement of ties or reinforcing. exterior. carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [6. Moisture Control Handbook Page 21 7 . this wall will dry towards the interior. In such cases a strip of sheet polyethylene should be installed under the perimeter masonry block wall to act as a capillary break. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm. An appropriate flashing at this location can serve this function in addition to facilitating the drainage function of the rain screen. Initial drying of the construction moisture contained in concrete may also elevate interior moisture levels during the first few months of occupancy. Assemblies with brick veneers should use a capillary break at grade to protect the brick veneer from capillary rise. Covering this surface with an impermeable surface finish or floor covering may lead to deterioration of these surfaces if the construction moisture is not allowed to dry. The granular drainage pad located under the concrete floor slab can also be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. granular layer under the slab and the extension of the vapor diffusion retarder over the top of the concrete perimeter wall. puncturing this sheet polyethylene.

.. .. OR FLUID-APPLIEDVAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER CEMENT PARGE CO GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT &IN.. A dampproof coafingcouers the exteriorface o flze f grade beam. Also. TROWEL-.. . . should be graded carefully to direct water away from slab perimeters. CONCRETE (OPTIONAL W.. A polyethylene f vapor difision refarderis placed beneafhfhefloor slab and exfends under fhegrade beam.. Figure 6-19: Slab 3-Cooling Climate (Exterior Insulation) Slab 3-Cooling Climafe: This slab-on-grade foundation assenibly illustrafes fhe use of a shallow grade beam supporting an above-grade concrete block wall.. Rain and Ground Water To prevent rain and surface water from entering beneath slabs located at grade.. .. Rigid insulation couers the verticalface o fhegrade beam. as two mechanisms-groundwater and soil gas seepage into ducts along with diffusion and capillarity into concrete slabs from surrounding soil transferred to the ducts-often provides a significant source of moisture to the enclosure. To do this.SLAB S C O O L I N G CLIMATE (Exterior Insulation) STUCCO CLADDING ON GALVANIZED STUCCO MASONRY BLOCK FURRING STRIPS SPRAY-... The above-grade concrefeblock wall with stucco cladding corresponds f o Wall 5 in flze previous section.. PROTECTION BOAR OR COATING ...... a vapor diffusion retarder is installed under the slab and the building enclosure is pressurized relative to the exterior...... the site Page 2 1 8 Chapfer6-Moisfiire Control Practicesfor Cooling Climafes . . gutters and downspouts directed away from the building should be used.. .W. . Ductwork should be avoided in slabs.. .. . Air Movement and Vapor Diffusion In slab assemblies it is important to eliminate airborne moisture flow and moisture diffusion from the exterior into the enclosure..

This rigid insulation can act as a conduit for insects to enter the enclosure. (polyethylene film) is installed between the the slab vapor diffusion retarder is extended masonry and the gypsum board. This dampproofing. This wall assembly has a vapor diffusion retarder located on its exterior to control vapor diffusion migrating from the exterior. The granular drainage pad located under the concrete floor slab can also be integrated into a subslab ventilation system to control radon migration by adding a vent pipe connected to the surface and an exhaust fan. in this case the granular layer completely dried prior to enclosure or an under the slab. impermeable wall Capillary moisture movement into the coverings or impermeablepaint f i s h e s are slab from the ground is controlled by a not recommended unless the assembly has capillary break. As such. that is. if it significant quantities of moisture when is fluid or spray applied. It is not recommended that carpets be installed on concrete slabs unless the carpets can be kept dry and warm.3]. Where slab construction additional vapor diffusion retarder includes a perimeter concrete grade beam. concrete floor slabs can lead to serious allergenic reactions in sensitive individuals and other health-related consequences. also to act The concrete floor slab contains as a capillary break. Furthermore. may also elevate interior moisture levels Moisture Control Handbook Page 21 9 . Construction moisture may be present in the masonry wall and may lead to moisture problems in the gypsum exterior of the perimeter foundation Capillary Suction Rigid insulation is installed on the during the first few months of occupancy. Initial drying of the Comments construction moisture contained in concrete assembly to reduce cooling loads. protection in this application as a result of dampproofing is installed on the exterior of discontinuity at gypsum board joints. the perimeter of the grade beam. must be chemically initially placed. Installing carpets on cold. The wall assembly shown does not have a vapor diffusion retarder on the interior. Covering this surface with compatible with any rigid insulation installed an impermeable surface finish or floor covering may lead to deterioration of these over it. Accordingly. Foil-backed under the concrete grade beam to act as a gypsum board may not be sufficient capillary break at this location. damp. carpet relative humidities should be kept below 40 percent [6. surfaces if construction moisture is not allowed to dry. and as such appropriate flashings or other protection may be necessary.SLAB 3-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) board interior finish as the wall dries to the interior. It is protected on its exterior from mechanical damage. this wall will dry towards the interior in this climate.

illustrate ways of connecting to different wall Insulation levels in roof assemblies. The basic surfaces. and (3) vapor cooling climates. assemblies. The last two roof assemblies except where specifically noted to control illustrate different approaches to vapor moisture accumulation on condensing diffusion retarders and insulation.Roof Construction in Cooling Climates summarized in Table 6-3. Included is a discussion of how the assembly is designed to handle each of the critical In this section six roof assemblies are moisture problems in this climate: (1) shown that can be used successfully in ventilation. (2) air movement. comments related to wood roof trusses and vented attics. All six assemblies utilize diffusion. In addition. Each roof assembly is illustrated and described in the remainder of this section. The first special concerns are summarized for each four roofs are identical except that they assembly. are left to the judgement of the characteristicsof the roof assemblies are reader. Table 6-3: Characteristics of Roof Assemblies for Cooling Climates ROOF TYPE ROOF 1 VENTILATION CEILING INSULATION Cavity insulation OTHER FEATURES DRYING Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss Vented attic Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) To the exterior To the exterior ROOF 2 ROOF 3 ROOF 4 Vented attic Cavity insulation Vented attic Cavity insulation To the exterior with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Wood truss with flat ceiling Vented attic Cavity insulation vapor diffusion retarder (Interior) Gypsum board ceiling with permeable latex paint permits drying to the interior Impermeable rigid insulation serves as vapor diffusion retarder Polyethylene To the exterior To the exterior ROOF 5 Vented attic Cavity insulation ROOF 6 Vented attic Cavity insulation with rigid insulation beneath trusses To the exterior Page 220 Chapter &Moisture Control Prucficesfor Cooling Climates .

In addition. Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated. MINIMUM SPACE CONTINUOUS GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CEILING INSULATION VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL &MIL POLYETHYLENE CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER EXTENDED OVER TOP OF PERIMETER CAULKING OR SEALANT (INTERIOR OR EXTERIOR) GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT Figure 6-20 Roof 1-Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 1-Cooling Climate: This conventional wood truss roof system is insulated above t h e f i t ceiling. It should be noted that during hot. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. However. A polyethylene vapor difision retarder is placed above the ceiling gypsum board on the interior side of the insulation. This polyethylene extends over the top o the exterior wall. The woodframe f wall shown here corresponds to Wall 3 in a previous section of this chapter. at a minimum. The attic space is Ventilated.ROOF 1-COOLING CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by ventilation. Under severe conditions. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. Ventilation should be provided. according to the 1/ 300 ratio. except that a different type of siding is used. monthly. moisture accumulation in the attic from ventilation air will exceed moisture removal by the same ventilation air on a daily. ventilation air into the attic will bring moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. such as those experienced by some gulf coast regions. to a limited extent. vents Moisture Control Handbook Page 221 . humid periods. When this is combined with a heavily air conditioned enclosure. alternative strategies should be considered (see Roof 6Cooling Climate). or seasonal basis.

This underside of the roof sheathing and the wind continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder baffle. humid air can induce deposition of significant amounts of moisture on perimeter wall top plate and Vapor Diffusion ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning. As a result. the uncoupled from the conditioned space so temperature of the ceiling vapor diffusion that conditions within the attic influence the retarder in this location. climate. pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic This prevents thermal short-circuiting of the and the exterior. humid conditions. A wind baffle should be installed at the Airborne moisture infiltrating from the perimeter of the roof area where the attic into the enclosure is controlled by (1) insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. or air the ambient air if the enclosure is heavily air conditioners in attics. To retard moisture movement by Exterior ventilation air entering soffit diffusion from the attic into the enclosure. it may be desirable to back This continuous ceiling vapor diffusion prime wood soffit material. condensation or that it is difficult to seal such units or mold and mildew growth may occur. to eliminate air flow between the attic and and textured treatments to be installed. This is temperature of the ceiling gypsum board. The attic needs to be In severe hot. In such conditions alternative control strategies addition. furnaces. as well as the building enclosure to a minimum. paints. This also acts as the perimeter squeezed into a narrow space between the wall vapor diffusion retarder. This pressure drop induces the can also act as the air retarder system. penetrations for plumbing. bulkheads should be sealed. best accomplished by not installing any may be below the dew point temperature of forced air ductwork. and kitchen cabinet Climate). and (2) limiting air leakage insulation by wind (wind-washing).ROOF 1-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Air Movement exterior and subsequent mold and mildew growth or water staining. should be considered (see Roof 6-Cooling dropped ceilings. a continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder is assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffitassembly acts as an expansion space. the conditioned space. Accordingly. Experience has shown conditioned. wiring. wind-washing by hot. retarder protects the ceiling gypsum board from moisture accumulation from the Page 222 Chapter &Moisture Control Prucficesfor Cooling Climates . In this openings (tight ceiling construction). extended over the top of the exterior This is due to the combination of a narrow perimeter wall and sealed to the perimeter soffit vent opening up to a relatively large wall exterior plywood or waferboard volume soffit assembly and then being sheathing. It therefore allows In vented roof assemblies it is important impermeable wall/ceiling coverings. Under ductwork sufficiently to prevent leakage. ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets in the soffit assembly rather than Comments transport them farther into the roof assembly.

moisture accumulation in the attic from ventilation air will exceed moisture removal by the same ventilation air on a daily. to a limited extent. monthly. The attic space is venfilafed.except fhafwood siding over an air space is shown insfead of brick veneer. according to the 1/ 300 ratio. Under severe conditions. vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. the polyefhylene meets the vapor diffusion refarderon fhe infm'or face of fhe exterior wall. MINIMUM SPACE CONTINUOUS SOFFIT VENT GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING CEILING INSULATION WOOD-BASED SIDING &MIL POLYETHYLENE CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER EXTENDED OVER TOP OF PERIMETER 6MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER 1 x 4 FURRING S BUILDING PAPER ASPHALT-IMPREGNATED FIBERBOARD CAVITY INSULATION GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING Figure 6-21: Roof 2-Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof2-Cooling Climafe: This convenfional wood fricss roof sysfem. It should be noted that during hot.and a polyefhylenevapor diffusion refarderis placed above fhe ceiling gypsum board on fhe inferiorside of fhe insulafion. When this is combined with a heavily air conditioned enclosure. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. ventilation air into the attic will bring moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. The woodframe wall shown here i similar fo Wall 4 in a previous s secfionof this chapfer. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. alternative strategies should be considered (See Roof 6Cooling Climate). insulated above fhejlaf ceiling. However. Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated. or seasonal basis. humid periods. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by ventilation.ROOF 2-COOLING CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. In fhis case. however. is virtually identical to Wall 1. Ventilation should be provided. such as those experienced by some gulf coast regions. at a minimum. In addition. Moisture Control Handbook Page 223 .

uncoupled from the conditioned space so may be below the dew point temperature of that conditions within the attic influence the the ambient air if the enclosure is heavily air building enclosure to a minimum. wiring. To retard moisture movement by This is due to the combination of a narrow diffusion from the attic into the enclosure. Thus. humid air can pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic induce deposition of significant amounts of and the exterior. This continuous ceiling vapor retarder can also act as the air retarder underside of the roof sheathing and the wind system. bulkheads should be sealed. Under such forced air ductwork. humid conditions. as well as the the conditioned space. condensation or mold best accomplished by not installing any and mildew growth may result. a continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder is soffit vent opening up to a relatively large volume soffit assembly and then being sealed to the perimeter interior wall vapor squeezed into a narrow space between the diffusion retarder. or air extreme conditions alternative control conditioners in attics. This pressure drop induces the ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets in the soffit assembly rather than Comments transport them farther into the roof assembly. Air Movement Page 224 Chapter 6-Moisfure Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . it may be desirable to back This continuous ceiling vapor diffusion prime wood soffit material. This is conditioned. furnaces. wind-washing by hot. Experience has shown strategies should be considered (see Roof 6that it is difficult to seal such units or Cooling Climate).ROOF 2-COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) and textured treatments to be installed. penetrations for plumbing. In severe hot. retarder protects the ceiling gypsum board The pressure-equalized air space behind from moisture accumulation from the the wood-based siding is open to the soffit exterior and subsequent mold and mildew growth or water staining. ductwork sufficiently to prevent leakage. baffle. paints. and kitchen cabinet insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. It therefore allows assembly to facilitate moisture removal from impermeable wall/ceiling coverings. the air space by ventilation. The attic needs to be temperature of the ceiling gypsum board. perimeter of the roof area where the dropped ceilings. Accordingly. This prevents thermal short-circuiting of the Airborne moisture infiltrating from the insulation by wind (wind-washing). and (2)limiting air leakage moisture on perimeter wall top plate and openings (tight ceiling construction). the In vented roof assemblies it is important temperature of the ceiling vapor diffusion to eliminate air flow between the attic and retarder in this location. Exterior ventilation air entering soffit Vapor Diffusion assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. In A wind baffle should be installed at the addition. In this attic into the enclosure is controlled by (1) climate. ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning.

Moisture Control Handbook Page 225 . is virtually identical fo Walls 2 and 2. moisture accumulation in the attic from ventilation air will exceed moisture removal by the same ventilation air on a daily. to reduce o cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. When this is combined with a heavily air conditioned enclosure.and a polyethylene s vapor dificsion retarder is placed above the ceiling gypsum board on the interior side of the insulafion. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequentIy removed by ventilation. However. The attic space i venfilated. monthly. ventilation air into the attic will bring moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. alternative strategies should be considered (see Roof 6Cooling Climate). It should be noted that during hot. In addition. such as those experienced by some gulf coast regions. Ventilation should be provided. vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. t a limited extent. humid periods.ROOF %COOLING CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATIONWIND BAFFLE 2-IN. The polyethylene layer in the ceiling meets fhe vapor difision retarder between the masonry and woodframe portions of the wall assembly. insulated above thejlat ceiling. at a minimum. where 1square foot of vent area is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. MINIMUMSPACE CONTINUOUS GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINTOR WALL COVERING BRICK VENEER CEILING INSULATION &MIL POLY CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER/AIR RETARDER EXENDED OVER TOP OF PERIMETER WOOD FRAME GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINTOR WALL CEMENTPARGECOAT MASONRY BLOCK &MIL POLYETHYLENE VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER CAVITY INSULATI Figure 6-22: Roof 3-Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof 3-Cooling Climate: This conventional wood friiss roofsystem. or seasonal basis. according to the 1/300 ratio. Under severe conditions. Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated. This case illusfrafeshow fhis roof asseinbly is attached to a masony wall assembly with brick veneer. The wall shown here corresponds to Wall 6 in a previous section of fhis chapter.

dropped ceilings. In instances where the polyethylene is installed discontinuously. and kitchen cabinet bulkheads should be sealed. They are located towards the interior and consist of the 6-mil polyethylene vapor diffusion retarder between the masonry blocks and the frame wall. In this climate. Vapor Diffusion The pressure-equalized air space behind To control moisture movement by the brick veneer is open to the soffit assembly diffusion from the attic into the enclosure. penetrations for plumbing. This failure mechanism can be dramatically enhanced if three other conditions are present: (1)the masonry wall is saturated from rain penetration or construction moisture. A wind baffle shouId be installed at the perimeter of the roof area where the insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. hot. Thus. Under such extreme conditions alternative control strategies should be considered (see Roof 6Cooling Climate). humid air can induce deposition of significant amounts of moisture on perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning. and (2) limiting air leakage openings (tight ceiling construction). and textured treatments to be installed. it may be desirable to back prime wood soffit material. wiring. humid exterior air has been shown to infiltrate down the masonry cavities and through the polyethylene openings into the frame wall stud cavities. This prevents thermal short-circuiting of the insulation by wind (wind-washing). may be below the dew point temperature of the ambient air if the enclosure is heavily air conditioned. and (3) incident solar radiation drives moisture inward. humid conditions. This causes mold and mildew on the interior gypsum wall board. This is best accomplished by not installing any forced air ductwork. In addition. To reduce air migration down the masonry cavities. Exterior ventilation air entering soffit assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. This continuous ceiling vapor retarder can also act as the air retarder system. Experience has shown that it is difficult to seal such units or ductwork sufficiently to prevent leakage. It therefore allows impermeable wall/ceiling coverings. sealed to the perimeter wall vapor diffusion Page 226 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates . wind-washing by hot. Accordingly. the upper course of blocks should be filled with mortar. This is due to the combination of a narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively large volume soffit assembly and then being squeezed into a narrow space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the wind baffle. In this particular detail it important to note the airtightness provisions of the wall assembly (air barrier system). a to facilitate moisture removal from the air continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder is space by ventilation. installed continuously and sealed to the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder. Airborne moisture infiltrating from the attic into the enclosure is controlled by (1) pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic and the exterior. or air conditioners in attics. Comments This continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder protects the ceiling gypsum board from moisture accumulation from the exterior and subsequent mold and mildew growth or water staining. The attic needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within the attic space influence the building enclosure to a minimum. paints.ROOF 3-COOLING Air Movement CLIMATE (CONTINUED) retarder. In vented roof assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the attic and the conditioned space. (2) the enclosure is air conditioned. furnaces. condensation or mold and mildew growth may result. as well as the temperature of the ceiling gypsum board. or is punctured (at electrical wall outlets). the temperature of the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder in this location. This pressure drop induces the ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets in the soffit assembly rather than transport them farther into the roof assembly. In severe hot.

according to the 1/300 ratio. this conventional wood RoofGCooling Climafe: Similar fo fhe Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated. However. Yentilation should be provided. and a s polyethylene vapor difision retarder is placed above the ceilinggypsum board on the interior side of fhe insulation. previous roof assemblies. humid periods. When this is combined with a heavily air conditioned enclosure. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by ventilation. to a limited extent. The polyethylene layer in fhe ceiling meets the vapor diffusion retarder on the exterior face offhemasony wall. This case illusfrafeshow this roof assembly is attached to a masony wall assembly with sfucco. MINIMUM SPACE &MIL POLY CONTINUOUS CEILING VAPOR DIFFUSION RETARDER I AIR RETARDER EXTENDED OVER TOP OF MASONRY WALL GYPSUM BOARD ON CEILING EXTENDED TO MASONRY PERIMETER CAULKING OR SEALANT METAL TRUSS TIES (TOP COURSE OF MASONRY FILLED SOLID) CEMENT PARGE C MASONRY BLOCK FURRING STRIPS (STOP FURRING 4 IN. moisture accumulation in the attic from ventilation air will exceed moisture removal by the same ventilation air on a daily. or seasonal basis. where 1square foot of vent area Mois&e Control Handbook Page 227 . truss roof sysfem is insulated above fhej7at ceiling. Under severe conditions. ventilation air into the attic will bring moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. In addition. at a minimum.ROOF &COOLING CLIMATE (Vented Attic) CEILING INSULATION INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. monthly. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. such as those experienced by some gulf coast regions. The attic space i ventilated. It should be noted that during hot. alternative strategies should be considered (see Roof 6Cooling Climate). vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. FROM GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT GALVANIZED Figure 6-23: Roof &Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. The wall shown here corresponds to Wall 9 in a previous secfionof this chapter.

To reduce the migration of hot. penetrations for plumbing. possibly under a slight negative air pressure due to poorly designed or installed W A C systems. hot. construction moisture is not trapped within the wall assembly prior to installation of the interior gypsum wall board. In severe hot. Experience has shown that it is difficult to seal such units or ductwork sufficiently to prevent leakage. Foil-backed gypsum board or foil-backed insulation batts are not sufficiently continuous. a continuous vapor diffusion retarder located between it and the exterior cladding. assembly (air barrier system). in this example the exterior perimeter wall gypsum wall board is not similarly protected. humid exterior air has been shown to infiltrate through openings into the masonry wall. the vapor diffusion retarder is located on the outside of the masonry block wall. wiring. which has been extended over the top of the masonry wall. In addition. To further reduce the infiltration of hot. and kitchen cabinet bulkheads should be sealed. The furring strips on the masonry perimeter wall installed for the attachment of the interior gypsum wall board are cut short. This continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder can also act as the air retarder system. If the polyethylene is installed discontinuously where it intersects the perimeter masonry wall or provisions for airtightening the perimeter masonry wall are implemented. trowel. or air conditioners in attics. However. gypsum wall board installed on the perimeter masonry walls should not be covered with impermeable wall coverings or paints unless the following conditions are satisfied: 1 The gypsum wall board is protected with . the ceiling wall gypsum board is extended to the edge of the perimeter masonry block wall and sealed. It therefore allows impermeable wall/ceiling coverings. furnaces. paints. 2 If the vapor diffusion retarder is located to the exterior of the masonry block perimeter wall. The attic needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within the attic influence the building enclosure to a minimum. This causes mold and mildew on the interior gypsum wall board. The ceiling gypsum wall board is installed first. Accordingly. In this example. humid conditions. This failure mechanism can be dramatically enhanced if three other conditions are present: (1)the masonry wall is saturated moisture. the temperature of the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder in this location. In this particular detail it important to note the airtightness provisions of the wall located towards the exterior and consist of the spray. a continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder is sealed to the perimeter wall vapor diffusion retarder. and textured treatments to be installed. They are from rain penetration or construction Vapor Diffusion To control moisture movement by diffusion from the attic into the enclosure. the upper course of blocks of the masonry perimeter wall should be filled with mortar.ROOF &COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Comments This continuous ceiling vapor diffusion retarder protects the ceiling gypsum board from moisture accumulation from the exterior and subsequent mold and mildew growth or water staining. and (3) incident solar radiation drives moisture inward. humid exterior air down the masonry cavities from the attic space. and (2) limiting air leakage openings (tight ceiling construction). This is best accomplished by not installing any forced air ductwork. dropped ceilings. Air Movement In vented roof assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the attic and the conditioned space. and the perimeter wall gypsum wall board subsequently conceals the bead of sealant. may be below the dew point temperature of the ambient air if the enclosure is heavily air Page 228 Chapfer&Moisture Confrol Pracficesfor Cooling Climafes . or fluidapplied vapor diffusion retarder installed over a cement parge coat on the masonry blocks and sealed to the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder. humid air at the perimeter wall/ceiling interface. as well as the temperature of the ceiling gypsum board. Airborne moisture infiltrating from the attic into the enclosure is controlled by (1) pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic and the exterior. (2) the enclosure is air conditioned.

Thus. Exterior ventilation air entering soffit assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. This pressure drop induces the ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets in the soffit assembly rather than transport them farther into the roof assembly. This prevents thermal short-circuiting of the insulation by wind (wind-washing). wind-washing by hot. A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the roof area where the insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. Moisture Control Handbook Page 229 . Under such extreme conditions alternative control strategies should be considered (see Roof 6Cooling Climate). humid air can induce the deposition of significant amounts of moisture on perimeter ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning. In this climate. it may be desirable to back prime wood soffit material. Accordingly.ROOF &COOLING CLIMATE (CONTINUED) conditioned. condensation or mold and mildew growth may result. This is due to the combination of a narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively large volume soffit assembly and then being squeezed into a narrow space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the wind baffle.

RoofS-CooIing Climate: Similar f o the previous roof assemblies. fhegjpsum board ceiling with permeable latex paint permits drying ofthe roof assembly foward fhe interior. alternative strategies should be considered (see Roof 6Cooling Climate). ventilation air into the attic will bring moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. moisture accumulation in the attic from ventilation air will exceed moisture removal by the same ventilation air on a daily. flie ceiling gypslim board 011 the interior side of It should be noted that during hot. fhis conventional wood truss roof system is insulated above fhejlaf ceiling and fheatficspace is ventilated. When this is combined with a heavily air conditioned enclosure. exceptfor fhe type of siding used. Instead. ~~ Page 230 Chapter &Moisture Control Pracfices Cooling Climafes for . In addition. vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof humid periods. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. according to the 1/300 ratio.ROOF %COOLING CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. Ventilation should be provided. The wall shown here i similar fo Wall 3 in a previous s secfionof this chapter. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by ventilation. monthly. Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated. such as those experienced by some gulf coast regions. Under severe conditions. MINIMUM SPACE CONTINUOUS SOFFIT VENT GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLELATEX PAINT CEILING INSULATION VlNYL O R ALUMINUM SIDING BUILDING PAPER SHEATHING CAULKING OR SEALANT (INTERIOR OR EXTERIOR) GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT PLYWOOD O R WAFERBOARD CAVITY INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL Figure 6-24: Roof %Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) fhe insulation. Unlike fhe previous cases. at a minimum. where 1square foot of vent area polyethylene vapor difision refarder placed above assembly insulation or other obstructions. however. to a limited extent. However. or seasonal basis. fhere is no is provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area.

and (2) limiting air leakage openings (tight ceiling construction). In this climate. Vapor Diffusion In this example moisture movement by diffusion from the attic into the enclosure is not controlled. A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the roof area where the insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. paints. dropped ceilings. In addition. and kitchen cabinet bulkheads should be sealed. A ceiling vapor diffusion retarder has not been installed. This prevents thermal short-circuiting of the insulation by wind (wind-washing). Accordingly. Under such extreme conditions alternative control strategies should be considered (see Roof 6-Cooling Climate). humid conditions. Comments In severe hot. humid air can induce the deposition of significant amounts of moisture on perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning. penetrations for plumbing. This is best accomplished by not installing any forced air ductwork. Accordingly. Experience has shown that it is difficult to seal such units or ductwork sufficiently to prevent leakage. the temperature of the ceiling gypsum board may be below the dew point temperature of the ambient air if the enclosure is heavily air conditioned. The attic needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within the attic influence the building enclosure to a minimum. or air conditioners in attics. ceiling surface finishes should be avoided if this approach is utilized. condensation or mold and mildew growth may result on the ceiling gypsum wall board.ROOF C C O O L I N G CLIMATE (CONTINUED) Air Movement In vented roof assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the attic and the conditioned space. wind-washing by hot. Thus. it may be desirable to back prime wood soffit material. Exterior ventilation air entering soffit assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. This is due to the combination of a narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively large volume soffit assembly and then being squeezed into a narrow space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the wind baffle. and textured treatments are also not installed. Airborne moisture infiltrating from the attic into the enclosure is controlled by (1) pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic and the exterior. these impermeable interior Moisture Control Handbook Page 231 . This pressure drop induces the ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets in the soffit assembly rather than transport them farther into the roof assembly. Omitting the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder provides acceptable performance when impermeable ceiling finishes. wiring. the ceiling gypsum board acts as the air retarder system and is sealed through the perimeter wall top plate to the exterior perimeter wall plywood of waferboard sheathing. which acts as the perimeter wall air barrier. In this example. furnaces.

The impermeable rigid insulation serves as a vapor difiision retarder on the interior side of the cavify insulation in the ceiling. during cooler periods this moisture is subsequently removed by the same ventilation air. The wall shown here i similar to Wall 3 in a previous s section of this chapter. In addition. exceptfor the type o f siding used. however. The attic needs to be uncoupled from the conditioned space so that conditions within the attic influence the building enclosure to a minimum. It should be noted that during hot. according to the 1/ 300 ratio. at a minimum. to a limited extent. ventilation air into the attic will bring moisture into the roof assembly rather than remove it. to reduce cooling loads by reducing solar heat gain through the assembly. is insulated above theflat ceiling and the attic space is ventilated. vents should be distributed between the soffit and ridge to prevent zones of dead or stagnation air and should not be blocked by roof assembly insulation or other obstructions. similar to the previous roof assemblies. Ventilation Roof assemblies in this climate are ventilated. humid periods. MINIMUM SPACE SOFFIT VENT GYPSUM BOARD WITH ANY PAINT OR WALL COVERING IMPERMEABLE RIGID INSULATION VINYL OR ALUMINUM SIDING BUILDING PAPER PLYWOOD OR WAFERBOARD SHEATHING C A V I N INSULATION IN WOOD FRAME WALL C A V I N INSULATION CAULKING OR SEALANT (INTERIOR OR EXTERIOR) GYPSUM BOARD WITH PERMEABLE LATEX PAINT Figure 6-25: Roof &Cooling Climate (Vented Attic) Roof &Cooling Climate: This conventional wood truss roof system. rigid insulation is attached to the underside of the trusses with cavity insiilafion above. provided for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. However. This is Page 232 Chapter &Moisture Control Practicesfor Cooling Climates .ROOF I C O O L I N G CLIMATE (Vented Attic) INSULATION WIND BAFFLE 2-IN. I n this case. Ventilation should be provided. where 1square foot of vent area is Air Movement In vented roof assemblies it is important to eliminate air flow between the attic and the conditioned space.

Exterior ventilation air entering soffit assemblies experiences a pressure drop as the soffit assembly acts as an expansion space. even if the enclosure is heavily air conditioned. impermeable insulation at the underside of the ceiling framing has the following effect. or air conditioners in attics. Moisture Control Handbook Puge 233 . 1989. the underside of the ceiling framing. which acts as the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder.. In this climate.1989. ORNL/ CON-295. VenfilationforAccepfuble Indoor Air Quality. J. and K. 6. It therefore allows impermeable wall/ceiling coverings. and textured treatments to be installed. Airborne moisture infiltrating from the attic into the enclosure is controlled by (1) pressurizing the enclosure relative to the attic and the exterior. Christian.. Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. Inc. O k a Ridge National Laboratory. penetrations for plumbing. As such. T. This is due to the combination of a narrow soffit vent opening up to a relatively large volume soffit assembly and then being squeezed into a narrow space between the underside of the roof sheathing and the wind baffle. This prevents thermal short-circuiting of the insulation by wind (wind-washing). In severe hot. 1989.1991. it may be desirable to back prime wood soffit material. paints.3 Godish. wind-washing by hot. and (2) limiting air leakage openings (tight ceiling construction).ROOF L C O O L I N G CLIMATE (CONTINUED) best accomplished by not installing any forced air ductwork. Michigan. This impermeable rigid insulation. as well as the temperature of the ceiling gypsum board. Labs. J. furnaces.. humid conditions. Accordingly.1 American Society of Heating. which acts as the perimeter wall air retarder. ASHRAE Standard 62 . Chelsea. which acts as a vapor diffusion retarder. Georgia. also protects the ceiling gypsum board from moisture accumulation from the exterior and subsequent mold and mildew growth or water staining. CHAPTER 6 REFERENCES 6. dropped ceilings. In addition. Builder's Foundation Handbook. condensation or mold and mildew growth on these surfaces is prevented. wiring. which acts as the ceiling vapor diffusion retarder. will no longer be below the dew point temperature of the ambient air. The temperature of the upper surface of the impermeable rigid insulation. Atlanta. Experience has shown that it is difficult to seal such units or ductwork sufficiently to prevent leakage. Comments A wind baffle should be installed at the perimeter of the roof area where the insulated ceiling intersects the exterior wall. and kitchen cabinet bulkheads should be sealed. i 6. Lewis Publishers. In this example the ceiling gypsum board acts as the air retarder system and is sealed through the perimeter wall top plate to the exterior perimeter wall plywood of waferboard sheathing. Indoor A r Pollution Control. the installation of the rigid. This pressure drop induces the Vapor Diffusion impermeable rigid insdation is installed at To control moisture movement by diffusion from the attic into the enclosure. ventilation air to deposit airborne rain droplets in the soffit assembly rather than transport them farther into the roof assembly.2 Carmody. humid air can induce the deposition of significant amounts of moisture on perimeter wall top plate and ceiling gypsum board surfaces cooled by air conditioning.

. ..

return: Air returned from conditioned Adiabatic process: A thermodynamic process during which no heat is added or refrigerated space. or taken from. wavelengths of light from the sun. the conditioner before being again supplied to the conditioned space. This occurs when liquids) to the surface of solids or dry air and saturated water vapor liquids with which they are in contact. element that provides resistance to Adhesion is measured in shear and peel through-flow of air from inside to outside and vice-versa. Absolute humidity: The mass of water vapor per unit volume of air. Moisfure Control Handbook Page 235 . thus preventing its entrance into the Air. Inc. coexist at the same dry-bulb the process of exposing materials for an Air space: A cavity or unfilled space interval of time to a natural environment or simulated environment. outdoor: Air taken from outdoors and. Air leakage: The movement of air through spaces between constituent parts of an assembly as a result of air-pressure differences between one and the other side. dry: Air without contained water vapor: air only. Air. Air infiltration: Air leakage into a building. recirculated Return air passed through building. a substance or system. Absorptive film: A film applied to the inside therefore. Adhesive: A cementing substance that produces a steady and firm attachment Air retarder: An assembly or building or adhesion between two surfaces. Air. not previously circulated surface of glass which absorbs selected through the system. Aging: The effect on materials of exposure or temperature. humidity. and distribution. and Air Conditioning Engineers. Absorption: Ability of a porous solid material to hold within its body relatively large quantities of gases or liquids. modes. cleanliness. Absolute zero: The point at which air is totally without heat: -460" F.Glossary Above grade: The portions of a foundation wall or other building assembly above ground level. Air. Refrigerating. Air conditioning: The process of treating air to meet the requirements of the conditioned space by controlling ASHRAE American Society of Heating. to. simultaneously its temperature. changes. saturated: Moist air in which the partial Adsorption: The adhesion of an extremely pressure of the water vapor is equal to thin layer of molecules (of gases or the vapor pressure of water at the existing temperature. Air. Air changes per hour (A&): The rate at Ambient temperature: Temperature of the which the volume of air in a building surrounding outside air. between two constituent parts in an assembly or other element of a building.

Combustion: The act or process of burning. Celsius (formerly Centigrade): A Dampproofing: The treatment of a building thermometric scale in which the material or component surface with a freezing point of water is called 0" C and bituminous or other coating to provide its boiling point 100" C at normal some measure of resistance to the atmospheric pressure (14. Cooling load The total heat/humidity gain Bond 1. whereby heat moves through a material. rubber. It is the vapor. 2. odorless. the artificial crushing of rocks. derived from coal Conductivity: A measure of the ability of a or petroleum.To hold together two assembly of a home. See constituents equals the total pressure of sealant. of predominantly hydrocarbons in viscous or solid form. The adhesive strength that prevents Crawl space: The space between the delamination of two assembly foundation and the rest of the building. substantially all produced by the incomplete combustion faces of w i h have resulted from the hc of carbonaceous material. crushing operation. rapid oxidation. highly poisonous gas. the flow of heat due to temperature Bitumen: A generic term applied to mixtures variations within a material. Crushed stone: The product resulting from Carbon monoxide (CO): A colorless. 59" to 60" F. boulders. or other constituent of a mixture of gases materials suitable for filling seams or behaves thermodynamically as if it cracks to make them tight against water alone occupied the space. usually the same size as the joist and is installed completely around the house Conductance: The rate of heat flow (in Btu's (also called the header or the rim joist). components.Ballast: Crushed rock or gravel placed on roof insulation boards to hold them down from wind uplift. or gas to Degree day (DD): The degree day is a unit either of the other two (for instance. plastic. British Thermal Unit (Btu): The Btu is defined as the heat required to raise the Convection: Transfer of heat by movement temperature of a pound of water from of a fluid or gas. the mixture.696 psi). or large cobblestones. rather than individual platforms takes place within a building assembly for each floor. vapor to a liquid by extracting heat from and the space between them. accompanied by heat Balloon construction: A type of frame and usually light. Page 236 . liquid. Below grade: The portions of a building Conduction: A process of heat transfer below ground level. to provide an aesthetic or protective function. and is not seen. Change of state (or phase change): The change from solid. The sum of leakage and remain plastic for an the individual pressures of the extended time after application. sides of the object. Coating: A thin layer of a substance used to cover other materials. of heat measurement equal to one when an ice cube melts). passage of moisture by capillarity or vapor diffusion. Caulking: Any of a wide range of Dalton's Law of Partial Pressure: Each bituminous. material to permit conductive heat flow through it. components by means of an adhesive. Band joist: A board that rests on the sill and Condensation: The process of changing a covers the outside surface of the joists. Instrument for measuring Fahrenheit is maintained between the atmospheric pressure. per hour) through an object when a temperature difference of one degree Barometer. and a ribband to support floor Concealed condensation: Condensation that joists. as in the case of an inverted roof. construction that uses a one-member sill platform.

2. and J = the mechanical equivalent of heat. removing moisture from air. or appearance of an organic material. degree variation from a standard Elasticity: The property of matter of immediately returning to its original size and shape after removal of the stress that caused the deformation. from vertical surfaces of the building detail. Diffusion: The movement of water vapor from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration. and chemical. Eave: The end of a roof. then the number of degree days is 30. Desiccant: Any absorbent or adsorbent. secondary air with the combustion gases leaving the unit. See also insulafion. v = its volume. emittance): A measure of the propensity of a material to radiate heat to its surroundings in the form of longwave radiation. the EER is the Degradation: A deleterious change in the chemical structure. not necessarily having a predominantly closed-cell leaktight. The typical moisture flashing used at the eaves or other roof content of a material in any given details to encourage water to drip away geographical area. expressed as percent moisture Drip edge: The formed edge onmetal by weight. If the standard is 65" and the average outside temperature is 50" for two days. whether above (cooling degree days) or below (heating degree days). at a given temperature and relative humidity. and the amount of heat removed ratio of the number of Btu's per hour to the number of watts used. during expansion. liquid or solid. Enthalpy: Thermodynamic property of a substance defined as the sum of its internal energy plus the quantity Pv/J. thus enabling a Equilibrium moisture content: 1. Dehumidification: The condensation of water vapor from air by cooling below the dew point or removal of water vapor from air by chemical or physical methods. since the input is usually electrical power (measurable in is measurable in Btu's. Emission (or emissivity. which may be transformed from one into another. a).An air cooler or washer used for lowering the moisture content of the air passing through it. where P = pressure of the substance. Boards or blocks are formed other gas at low pressures. in the case of cooling units. watts). Energy efficiency ratio (EER): The ratio of usable output to input of energy. Energy: The capacity for doing worktaking a number of forms. physical properties. used for conveying air or structure. Formerly called by the obsolescent names "total heat" and "heat content." Entropy: The ratio of the heat added to a substance to the absolute temperature at which it is added. Dehumidifier: 1. Moisture Control Handbook Page 237 . or British Thermal U i s (Btu).The smooth. mechanical (work). electrical. An absorption or adsorption device for temperature to the average temperature of one day. Expanded polystyrene (EPS): Insulation composed principally of polystyrene Duct: A passageway made of sheet metal or resin processed to form a rigid foam other suitable material. in customary u i s measured in kilowatt hours (kwh) nt. 2.Degree days: The number of degrees difference from 65" each day. Dew point: The temperature at which a sample of humid air becomes saturated and the water vapor begins to condense to liquid water. continuous relief of exhaust moisture content of a material stabilized gases up the vent pipe. the days are added together for the entire heating or cooling season. Envelope: The protective shell of a building Draft hood A component of gas-fired that separates the outside environment furnaces or boilers which mixes from the inside environment. measured in joules where 1 joule = 1watt-second. such as thermal (heat). that will remove water or water vapor from a material. in SI nt units.

to the saturation pressure or density. Humidistat: A regulatory device. with or without binders. latent: Change of enthalpy during a change of state. and retaining atmospheric moisture. sensible: Heat which is associated with a change in temperature. Heat: A form of energy that is transferred by virtue of a temperature difference. roofing systems. Humidity: Water vapor within a given space. or shaft that allows for the passage of exhaust gases to the outside environment. relative: The ratio of the mol fraction of water vapor present in the change its relative condition as to rest or air. it equals the ratio of the of a foundation. usually expressed in Btu tight and complete skin on each side of per lb. Gable e n d The triangular end of an exterior HVAC Heating. Fluid Gas. Flashing: The system used to direct water out of building assemblies or joints. paperboard stock. Fahrenheit: A thermometric scale in which 32" ( F) denotes freezing and 212" ( F) the boiling point of water under normal Heat. Filter: A device to remove solid material from a fluid. specific pressure at sea level (14. absorbing. Humidifier: A device to add moisture to air. prevailing conditions. actuated by changes in humidity. foundation put under a column or wall approximately. Gable roof: A ridged or double-sloped roof that terminates at one or both ends in a Ice dam: A mass of ice formed at the gable. or wood. transition from a warm to a cold roof surface. absolute: The weight of water vapor per unit volume. the soil. respectively. and air conditioning. With pure substances. Fiberboard Insulation composed principally Heat transmission: The quantity of heat flowing through unit area due to all of cellulose fibers usually derived from modes of heat transfer induced by the paper. which runs between two building elements that across the top of a door or window allows free movement due to expansion. Page 238 . Force: The action on a body which tends to Humidity. Expansion Joint: A structural separation supported by jack studs. vapor. or deflection between the elements without damage. heat exchange of temperature.696 psi). an ice dam may cause ice erosion or the crushing of rock. Humidity. Hygroscopic: Attracting. Frequently formed by reGravel: Small pieces of aggregate larger than freezing meltwater at the overhang of a sand grains resulting from the natural sloping roof. contraction. of Frost line: The depth of frost penetration in water vapor at the same temperature. space (also called a band). See also insulation. This forms a Heat. latent heat the board. in contrast to a heat interchange in which a Fascia: Any cover board at the edge or eaves of a flat or sloping overhanging roof. change of state (latent heat) occurs. Extruded polystyrene: Insulation board produced by a continuous extrusion process as the resin foams. present in saturated air at the same Footings: The projecting base or enlarged temperature and barometric pressure. Flue: A tube. is absorbed or rejected at constant pressure.Header: A horizontal supporting member. to the mol fraction of water vapor motion. or liquid. used to and water to back up and make the protect bituminous surfaces or ballast in surface slippery for snow to slide down. used for the automatic control of relative humidity. to spread its weight and partial pressure or density of the water prevent settling. pipe. ventilation. vapor in the air. wall from the level of the eaves to the ridge of a double-sloped roof.

usually of wood. 2. nodular. or similar form. blowing. Plaster: A mixture of lime. fibers and foams. constituent parts of a building assembly. topographic features. form a wall.A material of relatively viscous consistency that dries or cures to form a protective finish.Infiltration: The uncontrolled flow of air into a building through cracks. field. Microclimates result heat through the enclosure. in temperature. bonded together with mortar to the first story. extruded polystyrene. Phenolic foam: A closed-cell. often responsible for Overhang: The part of a roof structure that ugly staining on ceilings and walls extends beyond the exterior walls of a when the water drains to the interior. pier. polyisocyanurate surface. or similar thermosetting foam in the core material form designed to be installed by for making insulation boards of various pouring. or matter that is not of plant Membrane: The term membrane applies to a continuous sheet of material whether it or animal origin. water bodies. phenolic foam. or other similar building platforms for each floor. hollow tile. Inorganic: Being or composed of matter other than hydrocarbons and their derivatives. openings. ceilings. board. It is made from the overall regional climate as it is from a variety of organic and inorganic affected by local site conditions. usually accompanied by a change of state. fibrous. with or without occurs in the interstices between binders. Insulation: A material used as part of a Microclimate: The climate of a specific site building enclosure to retard the flow of or portion of a site. principally of fibers manufactured from Interstitial condensation: Condensation that rock.g.. Moisture Control Handbook Page 239 . winds. Joists: Any of the parallel beams that Nailing strips: A member. concrete block. Masonry: Stone. brick. expanded/ including ground slope and orientation. Mastic: 1. foam. or a combination for second stories rest on the top plate of thereof. and water Manometer: An instrument for measuring which hardens on drying. glass fiber. perlite. doors. Trowelable bituminous paste made by adding mineral fillers to concentrated cutbacks. thicknesses. sand. set into or secured to non-nailable building assemblies to allow for positive Latent heat: A change in heat content that anchorage by nailing of other assembly occurs without a corresponding change materials. It can be loose-filled. is prefabricated as a flexible polymeric Insulate: To separate conducting bodies in sheeting or is sprayed or coated in the order to prevent transfer of heat. cellular glass. slag. Organic: Being or composed of hydrocarbons or their derivatives. vegetation. Mud sill: The lowest sill placed on the Inverted rook See protected membrane roof: foundation of a structure. ground polyurethane foam. adobe. See also insuhfion. or hand placement. roof. or Leaching: The dissolving-out of soluble matter of plant or animal origin. for coating pressures. building. and partitions. substances when water seeps through a building assembly. or other areas that allow air to penetrate. e.75 mm per coat. floor. and buildings. a building that uses individual gypsum block. rammed earth. walls. Platform construction: A system of framing ceramic. The floor joists units or materials. or used in Mineral fiber: Insulation composed batt. elevation. support the floor or the ceiling. Infrared radiation: Electromagnetic radiation from the sun that has wavelengths slightly longer than visible light and that is felt as heat. rigid. or block form. See also insulation. Loose-fill insulation: Insulation in granular. suitable for application to thermal insulation in thickness greater than 0. in single ply or in multiple plies. or glass. powdery.

the passage of heat from one object to Sensible heat: Heat that is associated with a another without warming the space change in temperature. performance or service life. of mercury at 32" r. thermal: The transmission of heat example. Reflective film: A film applied to the inside surface of glass that reflects sunlight back out of the window. principally of the catalyzed reaction Relative humidity (RH): The ratio of water product of polyisocyanurate and vapor in the air to the amount it could polyhydroxy compounds. A small unit of prepared roofing designed for installation with similar eaves. rigid foam having a predominantly closed-cell structure. Reglet: A groove cut in masonry or concrete Polyurethane (PW: Insulation composed walls for inserting flashing. Standard atmosphere is the pressure equivalent to R-value (resistance): A measure of the insulating value of a substance. 3. indicated by a barometer. absolute: Pressure referred to that opposite sloping sides of a roof join at of a perfect vacuum. Rafters: Any of the beams in a pitched roof that slope from the ridge of a roof to the Shingle: 1. portion of the peak of the roof of a Pressure. unlike caulking. It is sprayed in Retrofit: Alteration of a home or addition of place or preformed into boards. Ridge: The horizontal line where two Pressure. infrared). gauge pressure and atmospheric Ridge vent: A type of vent that replaces a pressure. It is the sum of the highest level of the roof. partial: Portion of total gas pressure of a mixture attributable to one component.696 psi or 29.Plywood A construction material made of thin layers of wood glued and pressed together to form sheets of varying thicknesses. sunlight) but emits little radiation of another wavelength (for Radiation. and pigments used to fill and seal joints where moderate movement is expected. area. See also materials or devices to improve its insulafion. fillers. per unit of refrigerated space. specific heat between. on the wall of its container. To apply any sheet material in overlapping rows like radiation upon a surface that is reflected shingles. it cures to a resilient solid. atmospheric: It is the pressure building to provide ventilation. and serve to support the roof. Pressure: The normal force exerted by a Return air: Air returned from conditioned or homogeneous liquid or gas. exchange of temperature. Page 240 . Psychrometric chart: A graphical representation of the thermodynamic properties of moist air. Btu/h/ft2"F U Saturation: The point at which the air has reached 100%relative humidity and can hold no more water vapor. Reflectance: The fraction of the incident To cover with shingles. from the surface. gauge: Pressure above 1 or 1 atmospheric. through space by wave motion. Selective surface coating: A surface that absorbs radiation of one wavelength (for example. Also called inverted roof. Sealant: A mixture of polymers. equal to: Pressure.921 in. See also caulking. or 14. ! measure of a material's resistance to the 1 ' flow of heat. processes potentially hold at that given usually with fluorocarbon gas to form a temperature. 2. units in overlapping rows on inclines. Protected membrane roof (PMR): A roofing system wherein the roofing membrane is applied to the structural deck and the insulation is placed on top of the membrane and is ballasted. Pressure.

Thermal bridge: A heat-conductive element in a building assembly that extends from the warm to the cold side and provides less heat-flow resistance than the adjacent construction. Top plate: A horizontally placed board which connects the tops of studs in wall construction. its units are W/(m2 C). of thickness per second of time per pascal of pressure difference. The units are radiation emitted by a warm body. Also called the coefficient the wall in platform construction. exists because of the temperature l/RSI (total). Thermal conductance: A unit of heat flow and a measure of the heat-insulating efficiency of a material. Studs are nailed at right the reciprocal of the total resistance for angles to the sole plate. U-value: The capability of a substance to transfer heat. Thermal: Relating to heat. Thermodynamics: The science of heat energy and its transformations to and from other forms of energy. Vapor diffusion retarder: Material used to retard the passage of vapor or moisture into building assemblies. Vapor permeability: The rate at which water vapor will diffuse or permeate through Thermal insulation: See insulation. U Vapor: A substance in gaseous state. or a composite of materials. similar to the phenomenon that produces draft in a chimney. framing walls. component of construction of a Moisfure Confrol Handbook Page 241 Thermal convection: The circulation of heat within a gas or liquid due to the differences in density resulting from temperature changes. (See nanograms per square meter per meter infrared radiafion). Vapor migrations: The movement of water molecules from a region of high to one of lower vapor pressure through building assemblies. the system obtained by adding all the individual resistances of the Stack effeck Air flow into a building at the components of the system including lower levels and out at the higher levels surface and air space resistances. U = caused by the pressure difference that differences of the air masses inside and outside of buildings. RSI = 1/C = (m2 C)/W. Used to describe the conductance of a material. It is the inverse of thermal conductance. In relation to building it generally refers to water vapor. o particular thickness. Thermal transmittance: A measure of the heat conducted through a unit of a building in unit time with unit Soffit: The underside of a roof overhang. Ultraviolet radiatiom Electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths slightly shorter than visible light. or sole plate: The horizontal base for and outside. Thermal conduction: The movement of heat from molecule to adjacent molecule. a unit area in unit time with unit vapor pressure difference across a unit Thermal radiation: Electromagnetic thickness of a material. The symbol RSI is used. and is also called the assembly. in construction. It sits of heat transfer or “U’value for the on the subflooring. temperature difference between inside Sole. It is base plate.Sill plate: A board placed horizontally across the top of a foundation wall. Temperature: Measurement of the level of motion or agitation of molecules and atoms. The Thermal resistance: A measure of the symbol is u and the units are written resistance to heat flow of a material or ng/(Pasm2). The reciprocal of resistance is given as: 1= R Stud A vertical wooden member used in Subfloor: A rough floor upon which a finished floor is laid. Holes are drilled through the sill plate and anchor bolts passed through them to secure it t the foundation. . through a substance or from one substance to another in contact with it.

Water vapor diffusion: The process by which water vapor spreads or moves through permeable materials caused by a difference in water vapor pressure.M = u/l. One volt times one ampere equals one watt. resistance is the reciprocal of permeance = 1/M and the units are written Watt: Unit of measurement for electric (Pas. written ng/ (Pasm2).A material used to treat or cover a building element or component Page 242 . vinyl. Treatment of a surface or structure to prevent the passage of water under hydrostatic pressure.m2)/ng. to reduce the passage of air and moisture. Vapor pressure: The lowest absolute pressure that a given liquid at a given temperature will remain liquid before evaporating into its gaseous form or state. Water vapor pressure: The pressure of water vapor at a given temperature. power. foam. or felt placed over or removing air by a natural or mechanical in movable joints of windows and doors means to or from a space. Vapor vapor. any space. The symbol is M and the units nanograms per square meter per second per pascal vapor pressure difference. 2. to prevent leakage of water.Vapor permeance: The rate at which water vapor will diffuse through a material of a particular thickness. Weatherstripping: Narrow strips of flexible Ventilation: The process of supplying or metal. Waterproofing: 1. also the component of atmospheric pressure Vapor resistance: A measure of the contributed by the presence of water resistance to water vapor flow. where 1= thickness in meters. Water vapor permeability: See vapor permeability. Vent: An opening designed for the purpose of supplying or removing air by a Weatherization: Making a house more natural or mechanical means to or from energy efficient and comfortable.

34048 hp 0.Table of Commonly Used Quantities and Units Quantity Application rate for liquids Application rate for solids Area Density Force Force per unit area Force per unit length Length Mass Permeance at 23°C Power Pressure or stress Temperature Tensile strength (homogeneous section) Thermal resistance (R) Speed (velocity) Volume Water vapor transmission rate (WVTR)at 23°C and 50% R H SI unit l/mz kg/m2 m2 kg/m3 Multiply SI units by these conversion factors to obtain imperial units 24. g=gram.6783 fP"Fh/Btu 0.14504lbf/in' 20.809 lbf 20. m=meter.8)d-32= "F 1 "C + 273.7639 ft2 62.43368grain/fFd differential at specific temp. gal=gallon.19685ft/h 0.878 lbf/ft2 5. l=liter.14504lbf/in2 Thermal conductance (C) W/m2"C m2"C/W mm/min 0.26417US gal 264. d=day.2048 lb/ft2 10. lb=pound. ng=nanogram.15 = K 0. J=Joule.172US gal 1 (liter) m3 (WVT= permeance x vapor pressure g/m2d 1.1761 Btu/hff"F 5.37mil i 2. Pa=Pascal.428x lO"lb/fP 224.7082 lbf/ft 3.8854lbf/ff "C K (Kelvin) kN/m2 ("CX. K=Kelvin. kg=kilogram. s=second.937x lo2n or 39. min=minute. h=hour. ft=foot.543 x 105gal/ft2 (US) 0. W=Watt Moisture ConfrolHandbook Page 243 .7478 x lo-' grain/(fPhl in Hg) kN kN/m2 kN/m m mm kW (W = Nm/s = J/s) kN/m2 = kPa 1. N=Newton. and RH) C=Celsius.2046 lb 1.2808 ft 3.

216-17 Crawl spaces 15-7. 58. 31. See also 28. See also specific build.179 Dew point 10 Dilution 6. 193-204 ing assemblies in ch.144-52. common 35 Cladding 17-18. 25. 17980 Dehumidistat control 6. 205-13 Brownian Motion 9 Building papers 17-25. 126 Air space 17-19. 29.25 Dampproofing 24 Dehumidification 6. 17. 27. flat 116-17. 57.58 defined 178 Backfill 13-15 foundation assemblies 205-19 Balloon framing 108. 128. 35-40.180 building assemblies in ch.75.4-6. See also specific Clothes dryers 6. 127-28 Construction moisture 29. 75. 105. 64.4-6. 47-52. 75. 221-33 Acceptable performance 46 Cellulose insulation 33.4-6. 55.Index Ceiling insulation 116-25. 127Air movement 12. D A C Capillary suction 12.138-39.132-35. 2740.7475. 169-77. 47-52.49-50. Air pressure 13. 150-52. 221-33 Condensation 10-11. 156Airtightness 31-35 61. 191 Cooling climate Back-priming 25. 151 B Controljoints 16.Concrete block walls 89-90. 27.6. 23-27. 65 Closets 4-5. 2&19 Aluminum siding 19. 159-61. 577. Concrete masonry walls 24. 64 Downspouts 14. 127 Drainage 14-15.144-55 Bathrooms 29.116-25.4-6. 94. 130.6 Air leakage sites. Capping 20 Carpets 29. 179 Air conditioning 29. 208-11. 39. 127-28.127 Page 244 . 173-77 Caulking 21-22. 154 moisture concerns and strategies 179-81 Basements 92-112. 179-81 Chimneyfans 31 Air drywall approach 33 Chimneys 37-38. See also specific building assemblies in ch. 193-97. Concrete foundations 92-106. 75. 51-52. 50. Concrete masonry foundations 98185-86 103. 57.116-25. assemblies in ch.94 Cathedral ceilings 67-68.35 roof assemblies 220-33 Bond breakers 140 wall assemblies 182-204 Bottom plate 49-50 whole building system 181 Brickveneer 18. 214-15 Attic ventilation 60-72. 189-90. 31. See also specific building specific building assemblies in ch.169-72. 39.4-6.127-29. 4-6. 66.29 Depressurization 28. 179. 39 Air retarders 31-35.53. 221-33 Ceilings. cathedral 6748.193-204 169-74. 127. 87-90. 127.76-77. 140.130. 136Comers.173-77 Absolute humidity 1-3 Ceilings. 130. Combustion appliances 65.75. 181 Air sheathing approach 33-34 Concealed condensation 11. 50. exterior 6.116-21. 128 37. See also specific building assemblies in ch.89-90.

108. 35 Humidity ratio 1 Hydrostatic pressure 13. 64 Insect pathways 215. 158. 104-14. Drain screen 13-15. Drivingforces 13 Ductwork 76.31 I Ice damming 72.83. See Insulation. 1 1 Insulation. 165-67 Forced air heating systems 6. 75. 216-17 interior 92-94. 1444 .55. See also 7 specific building assemblies in ch. 98-100. 153-58.162-67.189 Fiberglass. 180-81 Dust marking 10 H Heating climate defined 74 foundation assemblies 91-114 moisture concerns and strategies 74-77 roof assemblies 115-25 wall assemblies 78-90 whole building systems 77 High-heel trusses 7 7 House-wraps 1 . 180 Foundation assemblies concrete 92-106. 101-03.156-61.Moisture behavior in assemblies47-53. 75. 52 6 basements 92-112. 96. 21.87-88. 76. 4-6. 1 1 See also 1.144-52. 107-13.83. 127 Gypsum board 31-33. 179. 1 . 166 fiberglass 48-50.150-52. 75.206-19 concrete masonry 98-103. typical 28-31 Moisture Control Handbook Puge 245 . See also Roof assemblies Inlet/outlet openings 51-52.144-55 Masonry foundations 98-103. 23.214-15 Masonry walls 24. 4 6 Floor insulation 92-94. 74-75.76. 48-50. 15355. 38. See also specific building assemblies in ch.153-55. 89-90.205-13 slabs 113-14. 179. foundation Foundations. exhaust 6. 20-21. 139 Flashing 19. 22-23. 104-06. 127. 159-62'212-13. 129. 4-6.. 1 .193-204 Mechanical system concerns 38-40. 57. 6 210-11.162-67 Foundation insulation. Firecode 215 Fireplaces 130. 218-19 faced batt 160. 127. types of crawl spaces 15747.159- G Grade beam 113-14. 217 Insulating sheathings 10.51-52.159-61. 14 E Eavestroughs 14 Electrical outlets 33. 129. 61. 181 Firewood 29 1 First condensing surface 10. 147-52. foundation exterior 95-97. 214-15. 4 .75. 208-11. 134-37.208-11. building assemblies in ch. 68-70 Moisture sources.111 horizontal in soil 113-14.47-51. See also specific building assemblies in ch. 46.62-73 Moisture removal 58-60.214-15 in cooling climates 205-19 in heating climates 91-114 in mixed climates 143-67 wood frame 107-12.6042 Moisture control strategies 53-60.55.214-19 Free-draining materials 14-16 Furring strips 25-26 Fans. 216-17 Insulation/sheathing interface 47-51. 108. 218-219 Gravity 13 Groundwater 12-27.96.1%52. 129. specific building assemblies in ch.57-59 Interstitial condensation 74 L Liquid flow 12-23. 180-81 Mixed climate defined 126 foundation assemblies in 143-67 moisture concerns and strategies 126-30 roof assemblies in 168-77 wall assemblies in 131-42 whole building systems 130 Moisture accumulation 47. Gutters 14. 4-6. See also specific -.64 Face-sealing 21 F Fiber saturation point 49 Fiberboard 50-51.128. 15941.

40-44. 76. wall fiberboard or gypsum 87-88. 198-204 specific building assemblies in ch.132-35.58 Mold and mildew 3-10. See also Roof assemblies Sourcecontrol 6. 72. 112 Plywood sheathing 57. 180 Spaceheaters 6. 55. 191-92 permeable insulating 83-84 permeable noninsulating 87-88.191-92 Plywood siding 183-84 Poly-wrap approach 33 Pressure equalization 18 Pressurization 40. 127. 28-31. 55-70 Vapor diffusion retarders 4044. 47-51. 185-86 wood 25. 4-6. 214-19 Soffit vents 7.52 vapor diffusion 12. 206-13 Floor insulation Surface drainage 75.116-21. 8586.Moisture transport mechanisms air movement 12.57-60 Paint. 180-81 R 27. 17- Splash-back 14 S Sealants 22 Sheathing. 13437. 68-72. 127 Siteselection 13. roof 60-70 Setback thermostats 7 Vapordiffusion 12.191-92. See also specific building assemblies in ch. 27-40. 189-92 impermeable insulating 81-82. 5.79-80. 17-20. 13233. 127-28. minimum 180 Page 246 .210-13 Roofing lifespan 71 Roof leaks 62 V Roof overhangs 17 Rain penetration/absorption 12-13.198-204 Vinyl 19.116-25. 187-88. 75. 127 Roof assemblies cathedral ceiling 6748. 185-86 back-priming of 25 stucco 14042.132-35.169-72. 64. 13437. 29 moisture behavior in 47-51. 132-33. 183-88. insulation 93. See also Rim joist insulation 92-112. 138-39. 127. 4-6.128 moisture behavior in 60-62 moisture control strategies 62-73 U ventilation of 61-63. 127. l O . 14 Skip-sheathing 27 Slab foundations 113-14.183-88 Sitegrading 75. latex 13842. 75.49. 96. 51.53. 22. 127.132-33. 64. 18788. 179 Stack effect 37 Rain screen 13. 39. 144-67. 6 6 Subslab insulation 113-14.7940. 4. 48 in mixed climates 169-77 Thermal bridges 9. Vapor pressure 16 Vented crawl spaces 206-09 Ventilation rates.47. 179- Moustaches 22 N Neutral pressure plane 37 180 Sheathing.52 liquid flow 12-23.201-02 Paint peeling 49-51 Pillow. 76.138-39. 187-88. 191-92.179. 13842. 57. 130. Seealso Stucco cladding 14042. 189-90 plywood or waferboard 57. 62.216-17. 127 Relativehumidity 1-3.46. 129-30. 191-92.179. 102.181 Psychrometric chart 3. 13233.221-33 in heating climates 115-25 Thatched-roof effect 15.52 capillary suction 12. Subgrade drainage 14-15. 191-92 rigid fiberglass 83-84 Short-circuiting 5 Siding aluminum 19.47. 23-27.130.70 P Radon 16. 6. 74-75.79-84. 75. 185-86 impermeable noninsulating 79-80.47. 169-74.85-86. 4044.175-77 in cooling climates 220-33 T flat ceiling 115-16.221-33 Unvented crawl spaces 15647.

75.193-204 in cooling climates 182-204 in heating climates 79-90 in mixed climates 131-42 moisture control strategies for 53-60 vapor diffusion in 47-51 wood 79-88.79-84. 169-72. 1 8 9 Wetlumber 29.132-42.181 Wind baffle See Roof assemblies Wind-washing 5. 153- Wood frame walls 79-88. 21 Windows 10-11.138-39. 18748.89-90.49. 132-42. 179. 6.183-88 Wood trusses 1 6 1 . 179 Wet-applied insulation 7 . 179 5 Wetting potential 55 Whole building systems 77.128. 183-92 Wood siding 25.132-33.193-204 concrete masonry 24.221-33 1 Vinyl interior wall coverings 75. 179 Ventilation. 17. 7. 132-33.53. 130. 22.1162 . 128 Wood frame foundations 107-12.75-77. 221-33 1-7 55. 162-67 Moisture Control Handbook Page 247 .183-92 Wall/roof intersection 7 Waterproofing 1 . roof/attic Vinyl siding 19. 169-74.191-92 Wall assemblies air movement in 51-52 concrete 89-90.21 Weepholes 1 .60-72.132-35.185-86 W Waferboard 79-80. 128.24 3 Weatherproofing 13.85-86. 16. 128. 130. 33.

Kolb T. John Goldsmith.. Department of Computer Science. k McLain V. 20585 57-61. 31. Joe Lstiburek. Falls Church. Stevens J. 32. CE-40. L. . Dept. 23.. 11. 44. W. S. Vice President. 273 Russett Road. G. S. Buchanan. Chester K W. End Use Research and Development. Midwest Research Institute. R. 790 Civil and Mineral Engineering Bldg. John Carrnody. University of Minnesota. 19. Rust T R.W. Kuliasha P. C. Gillis R. C. 5109 Leesburg Pike. 0.. G. CE-42. Shelton R. Underground Space Center. 39. 27. N. A. B. 1000Independence Avenue. FORSTL. Washington D. Bryn Mawr Avenue. S . Wilkes ORNL Patent Office Central Research Library Document Reference Section Laboratory Records Laboratory Records .W. of Energy. Cooke D. D. 29. Gas Research Institute. Hughes B. 20585 55. E. M. 8600 W. S. PA 15260 46-49. L. 7.C. University of Pittsburgh.C.ORNL/Sub/SD350/1 INTERNAL DISTRIBUTION 1-5.. 6. McCold D. 30. k Hirsch. Washington. S. A. Washington. Dept. Chestnut Hill. Donna Hawkins. 10.RC B. 1000 Independence Avenue. Courville R. 500 PiIIsbury Dr. J. FORSTL. FORSTL. Gettings P. Brown G. D. C. MacDonald L. 8. 20585 54. CE-421. E. Building Science Corp. 37. 38. Stone M. of Energy. Mixon W. 28. VA 22041 56. J. MA 02167 62.. 22. Sharp . Suite 414. 18.. 21.. W. Chicago. Pittsburgh. of Energy. E. 1000 Independence Ave. 25. 33. Kollie 24. S . 20585 45. 35. Washington. 12.C. 41-43. S. IL 60631 51-53. K Jones J. Mei W. Ted Kapus. 20. P. M. 34.E. Minneapolis. Carlsrnith C. S. MN 55455 50. Love J. of Energy. 206 Mineral Industries Building. John Millhone. 15. 9.C. 17. Dept. FORSTL. Brown M. 40. CE-40. Cuttica. Burn C. V. 13. J.W. McElroy H. D. S. Graves P.. 14. Ternes K. 16. J. Christian G. Dept. DeVault M. M. Childs J. 36. E Craig R. 26. N. B. G. 1000 Independence Avenue.

Oak Ridge. Post Office Box 19367. P. FORSTL.O. 333 Oxford Road. Williams.C. Dept. BTESM Program Office. Box 62. 65. IL 60115 Office of Assistant Manager for Energy Research and Development. Oak Ridge. S. Department of Economics.1000 Independence Avenue.C.W. OSTI.W. of Energy. DOE-ORO. FORSTL. US.. of Energy. 20585 66. S. Washington. E. MS-6070 . D. 1000 Independence Avenue.. D. P. Box 2001.63.Department of Energy. MI 48823 Ralph Nader. 20036 Robert Oliver. 3114. Tennessee 37831-8600 73-82. East Lansing. D. 1000 Independence Avenue. Morrison. Washington. Bldg. Northern Illinois University. M. D. Tennessee 37831 83-432. Washington.C. D.C. 64. CE-421. 20585 71. M. CE-421. Dept. Washington. Dept.O. P. 20585 67-70.W. Scofield. 72.. FORSTL. S. CE-421. of Energy. DeKalb. Professor. Sam Taylor.

Alumbaugh. Harleysville. Canada 17.Fairbanks. Patrick Collins.. Granville. MN 5. MA Stuart Flatow. NC William C. Philip Fairey. 43. Arlington.. 1 Roger Barker. O H 40. Marriott Corp. Rene M. New Jersey Institute of Technology. Roback. Gaithersburg..C. Brown. TN James L. MD Bob Aulback. Yarmouth. MD 47. 37.. Deane Evans. TX 7. Jim Boone. Harvey Bowers. Rockville. Northfield. Applegate Insulation. PA 42.. Saco. Pittsburgh.. Ottawa. Inc. NY 29. Ventura. CAREIRS Librarian. 33. PA 16. Atlanta. SC 35. WI Steve Easley. Cusick. Gold Spring. Rick AIvaro. Energy Condensation Consultants. D. Clemson University. D. Erv Bales. Ellis. Newark.C. Abrey. CA 3. Inc. VT 34. Doug Burch. Barrier System. Georgia Pacific Corp.. Florida Solar Energy Center. MIMA. Spring Hope. Com. Minneapolis. Cape Canaveral. Missoula. Structural Research. New York State Energy Office. W. Standards Consultant. Wm. Mark Bomberg. Washington. Wasilla. Edmunds. Jim Atkinson. 36. New York. Okemos. ACSA. Dupuis. William Campbell. Axel Carlson. AK John Clinton. MT David Crouse. PaulFisette. Lance Collister. 6.C. VA Robert L. William Freeborne. VA 41. 15. 2. 27. University of Mass. Charles C. Lenoir City. VA 20. 4. R. E. Advanced Sciences. D. Stepan R&D. George Batchelor. Richmond. Washington. N Y 31. Rockville. MI 9. National Research Council Canada. Craig Dewitt. Chattanooga. Co. James Diluigi. Cutter Information. James Anderson. 1 . Inc. Washington. Arlington. CA 10. ME 28.. MA 13. Public Schools. Canastota.. Middleton. Traditional Management. Albany. Foam Enterprises. Lehr Associates. McLean. Cocotas. M.-kherst.ADDITIONAL EXTERNAL DISTRIBUTION David R. Ontario. Bryan Blundell. Andersen. AK 19. 48. Torrance.. k e d s . Reliable Home Improvements. New York. Inc. MD 24. 30. Alexandria. KS 18. 22. ME 8. Journal of Light Construction. Rockwool Mfg. Barton W.. . NRG Barriers.. V T 38. Custom BuiIder.. Bradford Doane. Alaska Craftsman Home Program. Clemson. TN 25. Bromley. FL 44. Inc. Manhattan East Suite Hotels. Ontario 23. NCEL. Roxbury. Bowie. Jr. Inc. Terry Applegate. MD Bruce E. KS 14. Black Gold. Tennessee Valley Authority. 45-46. F. NY P. HUD. Montgomery Co. Wichita Insulation. National Institute of Standards. Wayne P.. Wichita. GA 12.. Purdue University. American Rockwool. Owens-Corning Fiberglas. NJ 1. Naval Facilities Eng. Natl’ Research Council of Canada. Inc. Peter Egan. Ottawa. Achenbach. IL 32. Mill Valley. VA 26. AL Clayton KeKorne. Bolton. CA 39. Steve Braun. PRG. John Andrews. Alexandria. Topeka. NY 21. William Brod.

TX Forrest Fuller. Mass. 58. 59. B. Inc. EPRI. National Institute of Building Sciences. HQ AFCESA/ENG. Lacher. Harris. Inc. IL M. D. 98. 97.. PA John Gird. Hartford. 84. 91. Lancaster. MN Raymond Hambel. Chicago. 51. 50. 79. Hartford. 56. Reed H. CertainTeed Corp. 57. Homepro Systems. FL Fritz Hagenmeyer. Cambridge. Springfield. O H Steve Gerber. OH Gene Leger. Prospect.. of the Navy. Leger Designs. 70. Florida International University. Wilkes-Barre.Gilbo. St. 88. 81. TN Larry Johnson. 53. Roofing Services. J a y K Lumber. 66. Knauf Fiberglass. MA Frank C. Owens-Corning Fiberglas. 86. Valley Forge. Inc. Duluth. Jacksonville. Vorhees. Willowbrook. Memphis. Paul. New Boston... VA . LaCosse. 67. Louisiana-Pacific Weatherguard Div. Raths & Johnson. MA Edward Green. Ius. FL John Holton. Jim Walter Research.. Washington. The Delicate Balance. CO Daniel Lea. 87. MD Bowen Hyma. 78. Hyatt Hotels Corporation. McAvoy Insulation Co. PA Paul G. Houston. Broomfield. 73.. Bonita. NH Michael Lennon. CISEP. CT Robert J. O H Charles F.. of Human Resources. Owens-Corning Fiberglas. Cecil Field. Falls Church. 82. VA William P. R. Gorham. Foil-Ray. Storrs. 69. 96. Kudder. Burt Hill. Kalhammer. St. Columbia. Park Lane Hotels International. 77. 94. Rohm and Haas Co. 62. 85. PA Robert A. Northwest Power Planning Council. Amherst. D. Holiday Corporation. of Forest Products.C. Petersburg. University of Mass. French. Beverly Hills. 83. Portland. Hunt Engineering Services. Washington. French Engineering.. 61. NY Steve Kester. CA 95. A. Rockville. 75. SC Phil Hendrickson. Granville. Inc. 54. Hilton Hotels Corporation. FL Pat Halsey. GA Pat Gavin. GOSS. MD Leon R. 93.C. PA William Kirn. MN Claire Huson. Pascagoula. Jeff Harris. 74. Chattanooga. Bion Howard. 55. Tennessee Valley Authority. NJ Dick Lamar.C.. University of Connecticut. OH Rudolph Hensley. DOW Chemical. Washington. Mt. 64. MS F. Tyndall Air Force Base. 80. Shelbyville. Dept. CA Randy Larson. D. Klemens. Charleston. 76. Atlanta. Warren R. Inc. 63. TN Tim Grether. Rochester. Southern Maryland Electric. PA Richard Gillenwater. IN Don Gatley. San Francisco. 65. Carlisle. Palo Alto.. Glicksman. 72.. O H Joe Hagan. CT Thomas Larsen. Alliance to Save Energy. Institute of Technology. Inc. Haynes. 71.49. Manville Corp. Naval Air Station. MN Marshall Hunt. CA Philip Keb. Granville. CA D. IL Kevin Kelly.. Dept. Spring House. 89. Apex Environmental. Patrick Huelman. 90. CO Julian L. Bucyrus. Raths. FL Charles Jennings. USA. Dayton. 60. Toledo. Larson. Chevron. OR Ron E. Miami. CA Robert Gardner. IL Mary Lamielle. SC Raymond Lapoinge. 68. 92. Hughesville. Sacramento. Dept. Denver. Carlisle Syntec. 52.

129. 119. CA Don Markle. Salem. Granville. of Home Builders. Manville Sales Corp. National Assoc. Inc.C. WI R. 102. 106. 120. N Paul Remmele. Raleigh. Olympia. J. Tallmadge. 110. St. Memphis Light.. TN R. TN Bruce D. Mei. University of New Hampshire. Schroter. 113. 147. Product Technical Services Associates. Ohlemiller. 116. Magowan. Jackson. Waconia. Crothersville. Gaithersburg. Inc. 115.. CertainTeed. Farmingdale. Honeywell. Redwood City.. MN Richard Ray. PA Michael Rubala. IN Dave Lovich. 103. Advanced Fiber Technology. Tualatian. 135. MD Duvon McGuire. Denver. 107. 100. 109. Minneapolis.. Knoxville. Owens-Corning. Dublin. Mack. Old Hickory. Washington. Roof Maintenance Systems. IN Maxine McManus. OR T. Granville. Merle E McBride. 139. Lamar University. USA. ASHRAE. Powell. Annapolis. Southern Maryland Electric Coop. Plainville. CO Michael O’Brien.. OH John Salmen. UNH Durham. NEESA. 121. Central Insulation. Cambridge. 118. Washington. 144. WA David Ober. NIST. Bucyrus. 134. Boone. National Institute of Standards and Technology. Freeport. Dept. Dick Leuthold. FL 32223 Robert Rasmussen. Building Codes Agency. FL Monty Millspaugh. MI Erwin L. 137. Roof Design Works. 127. TN Harry T. Ft. 136. Paul. 148. Doylestown. ORJ Kennedy. CO Michael Redlin. Beaumont. 128. MN Bill Newland. NH Frank J. Reflectix. NJ William F. 145. McCaa. Loney. OR Richard Palmer. TN Jeffrey May. Atlanta. Free State Inspections. of Agriculture. D. 133. Morton. 112. MD William Rowe. Madison. 117.. Schaffer. of Public Service. A D S S . Inc. IN John Mumaw. OH Richard H. Jim Walter Research Corp. MMI Hotel Group. Owens-Corning Fiberglas. 141. Wayne. 125. CA Kathleen Paulson. IA Timothy Nogler. 104. TX R. 124. GA Dick Piper. E. 146. Jacksonville. Reemay. 114. Markleville. Gerry Miller. Patrick Rynd. Richard Palmer & Assoc. W.. 101. 131. Martin. Ingemar Samuelson. JMHI. 105. Blue Bell. Washington. TX James E. Petersburg. CA James Rooney.. MA Larry Plocher. Memphis. Inc. Minnesota Dept. Robert F. 143. Santa Anna. 138. 132. IL Paul Robinson. DOW Chemical. Knowles Drywall. Martin. Inc. Manville Sales Corp. University of Tennessee. Lansing. U. MD J.. Owens-Corning Fiberglas. OH Charlie Murphy. 123.C. Regal Industries. Sweden David Sander. CA Becky Perry. OH David J. NC Faye Plowman. Granville. MA 111. Phillips. Roof Industry Consultants. OH Russel T. St. AH&M Association. D. Hughesville. 108. Knoxville. Inc. PA Michael McCabe. CA Wm. Kenneth O’Keefe.C. MS State of Oregon. Port Hueneme.S. Seaton. Cornell University. UC Industries. 130. 126. 122.99. GTE Telephone Operations. W. Orinda. Owens-Corning Fiberglas. Gas & Water. Energy Office. Ithaca. National Testing and Research Institute.. MN . 140. Nelson. C. D. 142. Denver. Morton Buildings.

Libertyville. TN Tom Smith. Arun Vohra. St. Ottawa. Mary’s Road. 150. 181. Stranathan.C.. 175. D. IL Jack R. Keller Companies. D. National Concrete Masonry Assoc. Stephen E. University of Minnesota... Insul-Tray. Story. 162. GA Keith Wilson. Brattleboro. Burns. Washington. 154. University of California.. Auburn. 167. Ontario. NJ Rose Sullivan. Fiberglas Canada. Hanlon Construction. CA Adrian Tuluca. 183.- 151. Jacksonville. VA Jim Thompson.. National Forest Products Assoc. R&D Consultant. Inc. Bemus Point. The Society of the Plastics Industry. R. Champaign. Thomas. of Agriculture. 188. 179. Dan Voissen. Tennessee Energy Division. Palatine. of Energy. Manchester. 190... Wyncote. Vogelsinger. Appleton. Small Homes Council. D. 157. WI S. 166. Bailey. Inc. WI Louis Wagner. Inc. IL William C. 185. 176. VA Anton Tenwolde. FL Jim White. 155. Construction Technology Labs. D. 149. 173. Manchester. 177. Lawrence Spielvogel. Chicago..-. 163. One East St. Blacksburg. NY Stephen S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Norwalk. Rosemont. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Dalen Corporation. 159. The Keller Companies. 189. MT Barrie Svenson. . of Mines and Energy. Stumpf. 156. MA Steven Zylkowski. 158. University Park. Cohasset. PA B. 178. Stephen Winter & Associates. Verschoor. Skokie. Tye. 160. IL Lawrence Spielvogel.C. Dept. 184. Selkowitz. Netcong. Canada David Whiting. Selton. 152. NH Ronald P.. IL George Sievert.. WA Gerry Sherwood. Petersburg. National Insulation. 165. Inc. Inc. MA Martha Van Geem. MN E.C. Skokie. Szoke.C. D. NH Ray Sterling. RR1. Wemttoff. USG Corporation. Paul Shipp. Inc. Lincoln. 168. Dept. 164. Minneapolis. WA M. 186. 169. Madison. CMHC National Office. Berkeley. Redmond. American Hardboard Assoc. Washington. Martin Wysocki. PA Stephen Zecher. Penn State University. Johns. Thomson. IL Gren Yuill. 187. VI’ Glenn Wilson. Washington. Tewes. NIBS. Nat’l Center for Appropriate Technology. 191. Newfoundland J. Construction Technology Lab. CT Bob Turner. 172. Hoover Treated Wood. Svenson Building. Jacksonville Electric Authority. Stanton. CA Lynette Serguis.. St. CA Morton Sherman. Davis. Weyerhaeuser Company. 180. NE Frank M. Box 161. Bill Smith.S. Tacoma. American Plywood Assoc. 174. 170. Zecher Associates. CO Bruce E. Dept. MD P. FL 153. National Roofing Contractors Assoc. Warner. U. Cheverly. I L Alex Wilson. IL Mary Varghese. WA Rick Stephens. Badger Plug. Butte. Washington. 161. 171. 182. Cambridge. Herndon.

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