Rigid Boardstock Insulation Moisture Management Issues

Rigid Boardstock Insulation: Friend or Foe?

“When the message is absolutely critical, and not heeding the message increases the likelihood that a disastrous outcome will occur, then repeating the message is (or should be) a professional imperative! This has never been more true than with the issue of specifying and installing rigid boardstock insulation exterior of WRB’s and exterior sheathing on the exterior building envelope.”

The preceding paragraph is from the introduction to John Koester’s new white paper on potential moisture management issues architects, contractors and building owners face when they choose to use rigid boardstock insulation directly behind the exterior veneer of the building envelope (see image below). Normally, we release these articles after they have been published in industry-related magazines; however, this one addresses a topic that is so timely, we are going to release it immediately via our electronic newsletter, our website www.MTIdry.com and our social media sites. There is absolutely no charge nor are there any other conditions to access this article. It is immediately available as a PDF document via the link at the end of this article.

The following are some highlights from the “Exterior Rigid Boardstock Insulation Moisture Management Issues” article.

  • Most boardstock rigid insulation has some moisture-resistant characteristics.
  • When layered against a weather-resistant barrier (WRB) on exterior sheathing, an undrained cavity/void will be created that may entrap moisture.
  • Installing a thickness of rigid boardstock insulation over WRBs and exterior sheathing may have an impact on the fastening patterns and/or structural requirements to secure thin veneers (stucco, adhered thin stone and thin brick and various other siding systems).
  • Rigid boardstock insulation may have dynamics of its own.
  • Installing a thickness of rigid boardstock insulation over WRBs and exterior sheathing will impact exterior building envelope rough openings…

The article goes far beyond simply pointing out problems. Through the use of text and numerous detailed drawings (17) it shows how to solve or avoid the problems. We hope you find this information helpful, as well as timely. MTI believes that too much time is spent on the energy-saving side of the building envelope detail while often ignoring the moisture management side of the equation.

Building envelope moisture management must be equally involved in the building envelope detail if sustainability and energy efficiency are the goal!

Download the Rigid Boardstock White Paper

insulation_moisture

“Rude” Is A Four Letter Word – Civility Is A Sustainability Issue

Is it just me, or are manners an outdated concept?  Has the civil society gone the way of the dinosaur?  I was actually surprised the other day when I was thanked by a restaurant employee.  The surprising thing is that it seemed like such a unique event that I was actually taken aback!  Has our society really gotten to the point where courtesy surprises us?

Maybe it’s my parents’ fault; I was actually raised to say “Please” and “Thank you!  As a Boy Scout, I had to memorize the Boy Scout Oath that contained the phrase, “To help other people at all times,” and the Boy Scout Law that stated that a scout was “Trustworthy, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, etc.”   Are these concepts outdated and unnecessary?

In school I was taught to say, “Joe and I are –”  Now it seems that every statement involving one’s self and someone else begins with a personal pronoun associated with the speaker, “me and her are –.”  Besides being poor grammar, I believe it reflects the sad truth that we have become of society of “Me first!”  My needs are the most important, and as long as they are always met, you won’t have a problem with “ME!”  I think we see this phenomenon at all levels of American society, beginning at the top.  We have a government that has almost ground to a halt because no one can compromise.  It’s a philosophy of “My way or the highway.”  This was certainly reflected in last summer’s battle over raising the debt ceiling that ultimately led to America’s credit rating reduction.

We demand respect rather than living a life that is deserving of respect.  We bully others into acknowledging our positions rather than taking the time and effort to prove our point.  We are self-righteous about our positions or lifestyle or looks and publicly mock anyone who doesn’t look like us, speak like us, or fawn on us.  Witness the TV and radio talk show hosts that constantly mock and ridicule public figures.  Shows like Saturday Night Live and cartoons like The Simpsons are based on the premise of mockery and protected by the mantra, “It’s only humor.”  People post hateful things about others on Facebook, and kids are driven to suicide by digital hate campaigns.  The TV is awash with ads featuring half-truths about political rivals and rules and regulations political action groups dislike.

Are we doomed to a presidential ticket featuring Bart Simpson and Snooki?  Is it too much to ask for oncoming drivers to use turn signals so we know whether or not we can proceed at an intersection?  Do we need to “flip off” or honk at other drivers because they aren’t going the speed we want them to go?  Do we have to be on our cell phones as we shop, drive or sit in a theater?  Rather than building communication bridges, has technology really built walls of isolation?

Our kids are schooled each day by the people they see on the street, TV, and Internet and listen to on the radio.  An anonymous author once wrote, “Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.”  It’s not what we tell them to do that sticks; it’s what they see us do the molds their behavior.

Maybe I am overreacting, and if so, I apologize!  However, I think we would be a happier, more productive society if we learned to consider the feelings of others when making decisions about what we say or do.  So back to the restaurant employee.  As a businessman and as a consumer, I learned something from her simple application of courtesy – I will do business with that restaurant in the future, and I will support businesses that are respectful of their customers.  Every customer deserves a personal, courteous response from a real person, not computerized voices suggesting which buttons to push in order that you might reach the right digitized response to your question.  That’s not customer service!

Getting It Wright

I have been fascinated with Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural style since I was a kid.  I think it comes from walking by his Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa.  The building was an island of extraordinary in a sea of bland brick boxes.  I don’t imagine that too many kids asked their parents to take them to buildings designed by specific architects, but I did ask mine to do just that!

Wright didn’t design many hotels, and this is the last surviving one.  Built in 1910 the hotel and adjoining bank had fallen on hard times by the 1950s, but it still reflected a unique presence even in a deteriorated state.  Thanks to determined area residents, the hotel and bank are being restored, and the hotel is slated to reopen later this summer.  You can learn more about this project at the Wright on the Park website.  If you would like some history on how Wright got involved with this hotel project in Mason City, you can get some historical background here.  If you like Wright’s architectural style but can’t make it to the Midwest, here’s an index to surviving Wright designed buildings around the country.

Northeast Iowa, the area Masonry Technology Inc. calls home, has several Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes and buildings.  Mason City has two as well as several others designed by other notable Prairie School architects like Louis Sullivan.  You can view images of them here.  There is also an Iowa index of buildings of Prairie School design.

I have included some photos of the remodel from its north side (the side facing Central Park).  These were taken on a rainy day toward the end of April.