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  #2041  
Old 2014-12-12, 02:38 PM
snookers16 snookers16 is offline
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Default cold air

I have a question if possible. I removed the baseboard electric heater so I can tile under it. where the cable runs from behind the wall for the heater, there is a fairly large hole maybe half a fist in size. There is cold air coming into the house from it. Does this mean there is no insulation behind this wall? it is the exterior wall. Would this not eventually lead to condensation building up then leading to more problems like mildew? thank you
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  #2042  
Old 2014-12-14, 08:07 PM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Originally Posted by snookers16 View Post
I have a question if possible. I removed the baseboard electric heater so I can tile under it. where the cable runs from behind the wall for the heater, there is a fairly large hole maybe half a fist in size. There is cold air coming into the house from it. Does this mean there is no insulation behind this wall? it is the exterior wall. Would this not eventually lead to condensation building up then leading to more problems like mildew? thank you
You are getting air infiltration from the exterior. Newer homes should be sealed against air infiltration. Current practices require vapour barriers behind the drywall to be sealed, and an air barrier system behind whatever cladding is applied to your home. Any penetrations through walls need to be sealed. However, the older the house, the more likely it is that there will be air infiltration.

If otherwise your home is tightly sealed but you have a local area of air infiltration, then its quite possible to have condensation problems in the areas where air leaks into the interior. Look for water damage at the area of concern.

As to whether or not there's insulation behind the drywall, you may wish to probe around, staring first at the hole you are speaking about as well as looking behind outlet face-plates, etc, for indications of insulation presence or absence. The use of an infrared camera during cold weather would be one way of determining the extent of wall insulation.
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  #2043  
Old 2014-12-16, 02:17 AM
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Midnite Midnite is offline
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Hi Phil,

I recently started running some UL approved speaker wire within the walls of my basement to set up my surround sound system. The builder of my home framed, insulated, vapour barrier, and hung the drywall (no tape or mud) so I am able to take sections of the drywall down to run my wire. I am running the speaker wire behind the insulation and I have noticed that the concrete wall and the insulation facing the wall have moisture on them.... is the moisture on the wall and insulation something I should be concerned about??

Thanks!

Last edited by Midnite; 2014-12-16 at 02:22 AM.
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  #2044  
Old 2014-12-16, 09:46 AM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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I recently started running some UL approved speaker wire within the walls of my basement to set up my surround sound system. The builder of my home framed, insulated, vapour barrier, and hung the drywall (no tape or mud) so I am able to take sections of the drywall down to run my wire. I am running the speaker wire behind the insulation and I have noticed that the concrete wall and the insulation facing the wall have moisture on them.... is the moisture on the wall and insulation something I should be concerned about?
If your home is less an a year old, then the condition you are seeing is most likely due to excess moisture working its way out of the foundation as the concrete cures. The combination of insulation, vapour barrier, and drywall would seal moisture against the wall. After a year of occupancy, this moisture condition should resolve itself.

If you home is more than a year old, then further investigation would be a good idea. The most likely candidate for the cause of this issue is air infiltration, and if so, the most common cause is that there is a problem with how the home is sealed in the junction area of the foundation with the wall & floor components.
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  #2045  
Old 2014-12-16, 10:24 AM
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Midnite Midnite is offline
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Originally Posted by Inspector Phil Acker View Post
If your home is less an a year old, then the condition you are seeing is most likely due to excess moisture working its way out of the foundation as the concrete cures. The combination of insulation, vapour barrier, and drywall would seal moisture against the wall. After a year of occupancy, this moisture condition should resolve itself.

If you home is more than a year old, then further investigation would be a good idea. The most likely candidate for the cause of this issue is air infiltration, and if so, the most common cause is that there is a problem with how the home is sealed in the junction area of the foundation with the wall & floor components.
THANKS PHIL....you just saved me tons of worry (my house is less than a year old)
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  #2046  
Old 2014-12-18, 03:45 PM
daboss999 daboss999 is offline
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Hi Phil,

We have recently purchased a single home that has the minimum distance between our neighbour on one side (I think its like 3 or 4 feet) and then a wider distance on the other side.

I was wondering if there are code requirements on this narrow side for side wall venting? Meaning for one, is sidewall venting on this narrow space even allowed? And two, we've noticed we can hear our neighbours from inside our house doing normal things like vacuuming, walking around, banging things etc. And this is a single home... feels like we're in a townhouse. Would there be a soundproofing requirement of some sort?

Thanks
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  #2047  
Old 2014-12-19, 10:21 AM
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We have recently purchased a single home that has the minimum distance between our neighbour on one side (I think its like 3 or 4 feet) and then a wider distance on the other side.
I'll answer these in turn below.
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I was wondering if there are code requirements on this narrow side for side wall venting? Meaning for one, is sidewall venting on this narrow space even allowed?
Spacial requirements between detached homes as given in the Building Code relate to fire separations. What would also apply for a detached home are spacial requirements between gas meter and gas regulators, as well as air intakes/exhausts. These are given in the Building Code and Gas Code. As a rule of thumb, most cases for vents/exhausts/intakes require a minimum 1' clearance [bathroom exhausts, dryer exhausts, passive air intakes, etc]; certain clearances require 1m [3'] clearance [certain forms of moisture exhausts; mechanical air intakes such as the HRV, etc]. The spacial separation between homes is a bit more complicated and requires information such as the surface areas of exterior walls and the location, size and distance relative to the adjacent home. If you suspect that either a door/window separation from your neighbour's home, or if you are not comfortable of any spacial distances to intakes or exhausts, you may wish to contact the City of Ottawa building inspections or the TSSA for further clarifications on requirements.
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Originally Posted by daboss999 View Post
And two, we've noticed we can hear our neighbours from inside our house doing normal things like vacuuming, walking around, banging things etc. And this is a single home... feels like we're in a townhouse. Would there be a soundproofing requirement of some sort?
Within the Building Code, soundproofing related to common walls between units. I am not aware of Building Code items related to soundproofing between adjacent detached homes. There may be some aspects related to local bylaws. For example, there are noise bylaws for specific issues such as having a party going on during the wee hours. I am not aware of bylaws affecting what would be considered normal activities of a neighbour such as vacuuming or walking around. You may wish to discuss this with either of the City building inspections people or the bylaw people. As a general principal, neighbors are allowed to do what they normally do in the enjoyment of their home, provided the activities are reasonable.
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  #2048  
Old 2015-01-16, 12:00 PM
SouthRiver SouthRiver is offline
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Default usable space in garage

Hi Phil

We have a new built home in RSS.
Our garage is 20x20 but because of a 45 degree corner its really a 16x20 garage.

Anyways because our door to the mudroom from the garage is high, we require by code to have 5 stapes and the huge landing that comes with it. Result, we cannot park any regular size car in the supposed 2 car garage of ours. Or at least 1 car plus storage.

Our builder said to just remove the landing when we take possession but because of the location of the door (in the middle of the back wall of the garage) Even if we try to move the stairs to the front or on the other side of the door, we still cannot park. removing the stairs all together or building very narrow steep stairs to save space is not an option we have 3 small children.

I feel that its a bad design and because of the height of the door requiring 5 steps the door should be at either end of the garage not in the middle.

Any suggestions?
Thank you

Last edited by SouthRiver; 2015-01-16 at 02:54 PM.
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  #2049  
Old 2015-01-16, 12:33 PM
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xdarrylx xdarrylx is offline
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Originally Posted by SouthRiver View Post
Hi Phil

We have a new built home in RSS.
Our garage is 20x20 but because of a 44 degree corner its really a 16x20 garage.

Anyway because our door to the mudroom from the garage is high, we require by code to have 5 stapes and the huge landing that comes with it. Result, we cannot park any regular size car in the supposed 2 car garage of ours.

Our builder said to just remove the landing when we take possession but because of the location of the door (in the middle of the back wall of the garage) Even if we try to move the stairs to the front or on the other side of the door, we still cannot park.

I feel that its a bad design and because of the height of the door requiring 5 steps the door should be at either end of the garage not in the middle.

Any suggestions?
Thank you
That sucks!
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  #2050  
Old 2015-01-20, 10:50 PM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthRiver View Post
Hi Phil

We have a new built home in RSS.
Our garage is 20x20 but because of a 45 degree corner its really a 16x20 garage.

Anyways because our door to the mudroom from the garage is high, we require by code to have 5 stapes and the huge landing that comes with it. Result, we cannot park any regular size car in the supposed 2 car garage of ours. Or at least 1 car plus storage.

Our builder said to just remove the landing when we take possession but because of the location of the door (in the middle of the back wall of the garage) Even if we try to move the stairs to the front or on the other side of the door, we still cannot park. removing the stairs all together or building very narrow steep stairs to save space is not an option we have 3 small children.

I feel that its a bad design and because of the height of the door requiring 5 steps the door should be at either end of the garage not in the middle.

Any suggestions?
Thank you
I really, truly wish I had a bunch of good suggestions, but to my dismay, I don't have anything meaningful to offer.

In essence, the garage is a storage space. There are no requirements on dimensions or for access via a door to the house interior. The silly thing is that a garage could be 2' X 2', with it being up to you to decide whether or not it is a garage. The silly thing is that there are requirements when there are common walls between the house and the garage, and when there is a door between the house and the garage, and when there are stairs between the garage and the house. So, if there is a garage, a bunch of Code requirements come into play on the health and safety side of things.
So from a Code perspective, I can't throw bones out to you that would make a difference. Even though the builder rep's advise is that you can modify the stairs and landing at your own discretion, I can't give my blessing in this, as the Building Code is meant to make you think twice before you do something dumb.

The only advise I can offer is to see if you can persuade the builder, with the city's blessing, to extend the garage further out at the front.It sounds to me that you need about 8 more feet to be able to have a functional garage.
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