Basements were never intended to be lived in. In the old days, we called them cellars. We stored vegetables and coal and wood in them. They smelled damp… they were damp. Now we put bedrooms, entertainment centers, and nurseries in them.
Author: Joe Lstiburek
Brick, stone, and stucco are proven claddings…except when they are not. They used to be, but not anymore. What changed? A bunch of things – one of which was/is the effect of inward vapor drive. Inward vapor drive is an issue where a “reservoir” cladding is located on the exterior of a wall assembly. What […]
The fundamental principles of groundwater control are to keep rainwater away from the foundation wall perimeter and to drain groundwater with sub-grade drainage and perimeter drains before it gets to the foundation wall. Nothing has changed in several millennia. Let’s look at the groundwater part. For groundwater, there are two things that need to happen […]
You would think that after a half century the physics of wall design would be obvious, straightforward and non-controversial. Apparently not. Folks latch onto concepts that are partially true…true in a limited sense…without appreciation of the range of applicability. As Dirty Harry Callahan would say…a wall has got to know its limitations. There has been […]
The best way to protect high-risk moisture environments – for walls and roofs It does not get any riskier than constructing an enclosure over an indoor swimming pool. Except maybe an enclosure over a pressurized and humidified hospital. Or, how about an enclosure over a conditioned museum designed by a famous architect who is incapable […]
Save the Stucco! Stucco has been around a very long time – since the time of the Sumerians about 4,500 years ago… give or take a century. Good luck finding a Sumerian today to ask about the finishing plaster coat they applied over brick that became stucco. You think after 4 or 5 millennia we […]
How to fix a leaky basement without digging a hole, adding an exterior drain, or re-landscaping One of the most difficult issues to deal with as a landlord or a homeowner is a leaking foundation or basement wall. You go through a whole bunch of stages, much like grief counseling. First is denial that it […]