Ask Ted!

If you have any questions you want answered, feel free to drop me a note. If you’ve got a question, chances are, there are lots of others out there with the same question. So ask away!

Note: all comments are moderated unless I’ve approved one of your previous comments. Almost everybody gets thrown off by this, but I moderate comments to avoid spammers. The downside of this is that you won’t see your comments post until I’ve had a chance to review and approve them. Sometimes this can take days (sorry!) Thanks for your patience.



948 thoughts on “Ask Ted!

  1. Hi Ted,

    I have a 1978 ranch home in northern Illinois that has prefabricated trusses for a roof. Where the truss ends sit on the top plate of the exterior walls, and the top and bottom plate of the truss join, they form a triangle of solid wood from the interior ceiling to the roof sheathing. We have one bathroom on an exterior wall, where we incur condensation and sheet rock damage on the ceiling, every 16″ on the truss cords starting at the exterior wall and coming about 3-6″ in, because the truss corners are creating a solid wood thermal bridge. The attic is very well insulated with deep blown-in insulation, but no amount of insulation in the attic can change the solid wood thermal bridge. The bathroom also already has a ceiling fan that vents to the roof and is operating correctly.

    My solution I am thinking of(because we are gutting the bathroom anyway), is to take down the sheet rock ceiling, sheet the entire interior ceiling in the bathroom up against the trusses in 1″ of rigid XPS foam, seal the joints tightly, then sheet rock over it again. Is this advisable? Will 1″ of XPS be enough to stop the thermal bridging through the wood? I’d really like to avoid losing much more than 1″ of ceiling height.

    If I didn’t explain that well, here is a link to a picture of what I’m talking about.

    • That makes perfect sense. As you described, all that wood makes a thermal bridge, transmitting the cold right into your ceiling. I think installing a thermal break in the way you’re describing could work well. You could get even more R-value per inch by using polyiso board foam. With R-7, it’s highly unlikely that you’d experience the condensation issues any more.

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