These posts tend to be read more than others. They may be read more often because we refer clients to them in our reports or during phone conversations. From our site statistics, we know some are more popular. Either way, these are the best of the best posts we’ve written to date. If you think another one belongs here, please let us know!
1. Avoiding Mold in Older Bay Area California Homes. Seasonal mold in the San Francisco Bay Area is common in homes older than 1980 or so due to the rainy season and cool temperatures. These homes typically have single-pane windows, under-insulated walls, air leaks, and duct leaks. Many are built over a crawlspace without a moisture barrier.
2. Improving Chances for a Healthy Existing House. People sensitive to mold and other allergens should avoid older homes unless there is proof of home performance improvements with a certificate from a recognized program. A list of criteria and inspection opportunities are provided for homeowners and tenants.
3. Another Explanation for Damp Crawlspaces in California Bay Area Homes. Crawlspaces are damp because there is a problem with either surface water runoff, ground-water movement, or both. The Bay Area has compacted soil just below the surface making it difficult for water to penetrate, so it flows on top. Solutions and lessons learned are provided.
In addition, we run series of posts to discuss a variety of thingS. Here they are . . .
1. Solution Basics, Though we discuss energy improvements to a house in a lot of different ways, our solutions follow a small set of physics principles we use to make recommendations for improvements. They include air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, combustion safety, vapor management, windows, heating & cooling system performance, and pressure balancing
2. Common Complaints. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified common home performance complaints they have with their homes. We add a few to their list. Topics include window condensation, dry air, drafty rooms, high energy bills, pests, mold, damp basements and crawlspaces, dust, ice dams, peeling paint, breathing difficulties, and wasted hot water. There are more.
3. Air Sealing Attic Ceiling Holes. Our 51 Holes series reveals how to air seal holes in the attic ceiling. The types of holes include attic entrances, duct registers and grills, electrical outlets, chases, soffits, cables, pipes, tops of walls, and recessed lights. The preferred solution, if you can do it affordably and safely, is a foamed roofline. It will be out starting 25 Jan 11.