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Smart Vapor Retarders: Not Just Your Grandmother’s Poly

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Aug 01, 2013 01:00 AM
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by Alex Wilson last modified Jul 31, 2013

Author name:  Alex Wilson Blog Category:  Energy Solutions GreenSpec Insights New smart vapor retarders block most vapor diffusion when you want to eliminate risk of condensation, but allow vapor flow when you want drying potential Our Pro Clima DB+ smart vapor retarder on the insulated roof. Click to enlarge. Photo Credit: Alex Wilson Nowhere in building design has there been more confusion or more dramatic change in recommended practice than with vapor retarders . Thirty years ago, we were told to always install a polyethylene (poly) vapor barrier on the warm side of the wall. Then we were told to forget the poly and go with an airtight layer of drywall (airtight drywall approach). Insulation contractors, meanwhile, often said to skip the vapor barrier; we need to let the wall or ceiling cavity dry out. It made for a lot of confusion. And I’m not sure we’re totally out of the woods yet. Some experts are now looking to vapor retarders whose vapor permeability changes based on the humidity conditions. We installed one of these new materials on our house. read more






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