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Cold Drafts at base of interior walls

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Posted by: from Newmarket
1/9/2011 at 12:20:23 PM

We recently removed baseboards and carpet to put in a hardwood floor and noticed cold drafts in several areas where the wall and floor meet. What can I do to stop the drafts before the hardwood is installed?

REPLIES (10)
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Date/Time1/13/2011 at 10:21:28 AM

You could try adding small bits of insulation if there is a gap between the drywall and sub-floor, or caulking if there is not a gap.

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Carolyn in Newmarket
Date/Time1/13/2011 at 2:37:24 PM

Thanks for your suggestion. Should I use foam insulation or the pink insulation?

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Date/Time1/19/2011 at 2:18:41 PM

Unless you are really good with the foam, I'd stick with the batts. Just fill the void loosely- don't cram it in tight. You can test for air movement with a lighter- the longer BBQ lighters would work well for this- try it on a windy day.

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Date/Time1/25/2011 at 8:58:37 AM

Personally I would use the spray foam on any large gaps caulk the smaller gaps with an interior/exterior caulk such as Alex plus 35 year and seal it with foil tape before installing the baseboard.

Let the spray foam dry before you install baseboard and use a sharp knife/box cutter to trim away the excess. This will enable you to flush mount your base boards.

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Rod. from Artall R.M. in Toronto
Date/Time1/25/2011 at 1:20:39 PM

Cold drafts at the place indicated suggests problem that require serious attention. Investigating, fixing the cracks, and placing appropriate insulation with vapor barrier will prevent most likely mold forming in the wall cavities.

Batt insulation or foam injecting might fix the problem at that location, but cold air will find it's way further.

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Date/Time1/25/2011 at 3:49:56 PM

You should have all the baseboards removed and apply silicone where the walls meet the floor. That will seal out the draft. It works every time and will save on your energy bill. After silicone is completly dry you will then install your baseboards. Hope this helps.

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ECR Canada Inc. Construction and Renovation in Calgary
Date/Time1/25/2011 at 10:27:35 PM

Rod is right but spray foam is also good (temporary fix)

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Date/Time1/27/2011 at 10:54:37 AM

Depending on age of your house, it may have no vapor barrier or acoustic sealant to seal out the draft at baseboard.

Removing the drywall and updating the insulation, vapor barrier is expensive but would solve the issue, or if you planned on doing some exterior work,removing the siding and installing 1inch rigid and Tyvek house wrap before the new siding would also work.

The least inexpensive route would be using large expansion spray foam in the cracks waiting for the foam to completely dry, cutting off the excess before reinstalling baseboard.

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Date/Time2/5/2011 at 5:40:14 PM

Hi carolyn 1st of all you probably don't want to use something that will create a bigger mess & a whole bunch more work to correct an existing problem,your better off to lay strips of roxul ,flush to the edge of the wall to fill the gap between wall & subfloor, Now Off your description sounds like older or perhaps century home .So the reason I say roxul insulation is you may have had or could have rodent problem , those , buggers ,mice ,anway , be it baseboard or quarter round dap makes a good latex caulking thats tippedifyed /w silicone abead on the back side to the wall & a bead on bottom side to where it will sit on the hardwood & unlike silicone this can be cleaned up with water when your all finished & the beauty is you get the same seal &performance. Bill

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Date/Time2/8/2011 at 7:27:35 AM

Being a hardwood installer, I have seen that one too many times. If your basement ins't finished, try to see if you can put insulation in those areas, otherwise see if you can cut the drywall a bit and try to put insulation in behind it. Don't cut the drywall higher that the baseboard. This will prevent you from doing so much drywall repair.

D&J Hardwood

416 873-6975

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