Friday, January 6, 2012

It Could Have Been a Big Mistake

One morning as I walked from the house to garage to get some tools, I noticed wet plaster just below a window sill. This is not something you want to see on any house, but it could spell impending catastrophe on a strawbale one. I hollered for Scott to reassure me that there was nothing to worry about, but the look on his face told me there was plenty to worry about.

We walked around the entire house, inspecting each of the 16 windows. Three of them had wet plaster under the sills. This was puzzling since there hadn't been any measurable precipitation. Plus, how could moisture like that accumulate when we have that strategic 8-foot porch around the entire house?

Fearing the worst, we checked the still-exposed interior bales of straw below each window. That's when we realized we had made an error that really could have spelled trouble with a capital T. After installing the windows last summer, we should have filled the gaps between the window frames and the window bucks with insulation. Instead, in preparation for future plaster work, we covered the windows with plastic and forgot about them. Now that we were in the house and heating it with our gorgeous masonry heater, moisture in the air had condensed on the frames then dripped down to the bottom of the window bucks and out to the exterior plaster. Again, a big problem for a straw house and something of a duh! moment when we realized what we had almost done.

Luckily Loa Builders was open when we arrived to purchase cans of that handy expandable foam. Scott filled the gaps. This solved the problem. No more condensation on the window frames, no more dripping, no more wet plaster. Disaster averted. Whew!

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