Moisture control for new homes

Moisture control for new homes

The U.S. Department of Energy offers these moisture control tips for new construction:

• Keep all untreated wood away from the earth

• Provide rain drainage, such as gutters, to carry rainwater away from the house

• Slope the earth away from the house for at least 5 feet at a minimum 5 percent grade and establish drainage swales to direct rainwater around the house.

• Add a sill gasket to provide air sealing

• Install a protective membrane between the foundation and the sill plate to serve as a capillary break and reduce wicking of water up from the masonry foundation wall

• Damp proof the below-grade portion of the foundation wall to prevent the wall from absorbing ground moisture by capillary action

• Install drainage plane material or gravel against the foundation wall to relieve hydrostatic pressure and channel water to the foundation drain

• Provide a foundation drainage system at the bottom of the footing, not on top, when the foundation floor (interior grade) is below the exterior grade; surround a perforated 4-inch drain pipe with gravel, and cover it with filter fabric

• Install 6- to 10-mil polyethylene vapor barrier over at least 4 inches of gravel under the basement or on-grade slab floor to serve as a capillary break and vapor diffusion retarder

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