What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sealing More Air Leaks

It is surprising how a even a small air leak can cost a lot in terms of household comfort and heating/cooling costs. In terms of energy conservation it is extremely important to seal any air leaks as soon as you find them. When painting rooms remove window trim and basebords on outside walls. Seal any cracks and crevices with caulk or expandable insulating spray foam depending on the size of the gap. Paint the room then replace the trim. This little bit of extra work will pay off in huge savings over the years and it really only needs to be done once if done properly.

baseboard air leakThe Gap

One area where a lot of air infiltration can occur in a house is the sill plate. This is where the house sits on the foundation. This should be sealed to prevent drafts and air leakage. The problem is a lot of times this joint is behind walls and covered by baseboard. Whenever we do any renovation job we try to uncover this joint (red arrow) and seal it. However in some cases the carpeting is tucked right up in there acting somewhat as a draft stop but not totally stopping all drafts. We removed the carpeting revealing the long crack that caused the house to immediately start cooling. The outside corner was horrible to the point that while waiting to pick up more insulating foam a large icicle over 2 - feet long formed on the outside corner in that spot but hanging from the eavestrough from air leakage causing melting snow. This is on a house where icicles are very, very rare and even if they do form they are tiny. Icicles are a sure fire sign of heat loss from the house.

DAP tex insulating foam sealantDAP®tex®

I mentioned in a couple of posts that Great Stuff® expandable spray foam insulation is one of my favourite insulating mediums. It is an inexpensive effective with a very low pay back period of usually well under a year. Once the foam expands the effects are immediate even before it is cured and ready for tooling. The downside with Great Stuff® is it is polyurethane based so not easily cleaned up. Disposable gloves are recommended as are old clothes as uncured foam will stick to clothing and skin.

My husband picked up 2 tins of DAP®tex® to try. This is a multi-purpose insulating foam sealant that is latex based and won't over expand. It is for interior or exterior use, paintable and toolable. The foam needs to be tooled before curing and once cured the skin should not be broken. The foam needs to be painted when used for exterior applications. This foam does behave differently than Great Stuff® bit ot achieves the same purpose. What I appreciated immediately is there was no odour. The foam was easy to apply and tool while wet. All in all I was quite pleased with the performance of this product so will use it again.

Garden Gnome