Avoid unwanted surprises behind your walls

| by Gary Parsons
Avoid unwanted surprises behind your walls

If you’re like me, you likely watch a lot of reality home improvement shows. Have you noticed that during the renovation process homeowners are almost always confronted with nasty surprises behind their walls—rot, decay, mold, pests, no insulation, etc.? These examples serve as a wake-up call for all homeowners, and happen more often than not.

What these shows don’t address is that you, the homeowner, have more power than you know! You can take control of the building or remodeling process to ensure that your investment results in a home that outperforms the bare minimum standard or current building code. Demanding a home that outperforms building codes will help prevent these unwanted surprises down the road and provide additional protection against energy loss and drafts, and will ultimately increase the durability and overall comfort of your home.

The typical 2,500 square foot U.S. home has an average of a half mile of cracks and crevices that allow air, moisture and pests to move freely between the inside of your home and the outdoors. What does this mean for your home? It means years of damaging air and water infiltration that can compromise the comfort, durability and energy efficiency of your home, as well as the overall air quality. For example, those of you in humid climates know what happens when you leave a bag of potato chips or crackers slightly open over several hours; those products absorb the moisture in the air and make the product stale. The same concept is true for the wood beams and drywall in your house.

Air and water have one thing in common; they will find a way to get into your home. Once air and/or water enter your home they wreak havoc and lead to the nasty surprises many homeowners encounter when they take on a renovation project.  

What you can do to avoid unwanted surprises

  1. Knowledge is Power
  2. Take Condensation Out of the Conversation
  3. Control Moisture and Air Infiltration
  4. Ensure A Dry Wall Behind the Drywall
  5. Spray Your Way to an Airtight Structure
  6. Think Outside the Concrete Box
  7. Don’t Let Pests Pester You: GREAT STUFF™ Pestblock

An outperformance home features an integrated system of insulation and sealing solutions to keep nature where it belongs – outside! Installing rigid continuous insulation offers thermal protection, defends against wind-driven moisture and helps reduce air leakage through walls – so homeowners can:

  • Be better protected from mold, mildew, allergens, odors, water, moisture and pests
  • Reduce the chance of costly repairs from water damage and dry rot
  • Save on heating and cooling costs
  • Enjoy a home free of drafts and unpleasant temperature fluctuations 

How do you afford all this?

It’s easier than you think. Including additional energy premiums when you build a home results in an outperforming home that is more comfortable, durable and energy efficient—plus, it costs less per month to heat and cool, which frees up money you can use to buy other upgrades such as granite countertops or hardwood floors.

Make sure your builder or remodeler is building beyond the code now so you don’t find yourself in the reality TV renovation nightmares we’ve all seen a hundred times. Go deeper than curb appeal for a durable, healthier and less costly home to heat and cool.

For more information on how you can help ensure your new home is built to an outperformance standard please visit our website


Topics: Basement, Building Green, Energy Audits, Energy Star, Exteriors, Foundations, Insulation, Maintenance & Repair

Companies: Dow Building Solutions



Gary Parsons
Gary Parsons is the Lead Building Scientist in Dow Building Solutions Research and Development. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, a licensed residential contractor in the state of Michigan, a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers and a member of ASHRAE. wwwView Gary Parsons's profile on LinkedIn

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