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 12, 2010

Soon to Be Craft Room Air Leak Problem

I doubt there are few renovations that you can do without uncovering at least one problem that needs to be fixed. Sometimes the fix causes delays but that is to be expected. Unless you are on a deadline, stop and correct the problem before moving forward. It is better to correct the problem than rush through and make things look pretty even if it takes longer to complete the project because some problems can cost you money in the future if they aren't corrected.

window air leak problemThe Problem

The painters aka one of our kids and friend came to finish prepping the room and start painting. Originally they were going to tape the window frames for painting but discovered a good quarter inch gap running along one side of one of the windows. It was a cold, windy day so cold air was pouring in the crack. I told them to go ahead and take all the trim off of both windows so I could see what was going on. The replacement window was obviously a bit smaller than the original. It had a gap large enough that our kid who is an adult could easily put his fingers in and touch the outer part of the window (red arrow). This is the second time we have encountered this problem here so I will be checking all of the windows.

insulating foam expandingExpanded Foam

I used my favourite draft stopper for large gaps, expandable spray foam insulation, Great Stuff®. I'm not kidding I keep a couple of cans of this on hand all the time right along with the extra caulk. Spray foam insulation is ideal for sealing larger gaps. There are a few things to know though. The foam is flammable until cured. While it can be used outdoors it must be covered as sunlight will cause the foam to deteriorate. It should also be covered indoors. The foam can be a bit difficult to work with and it will stick to everything! One downside is there is a cure time before the foam can be trimmed but what you gain in energy efficiency is worth it. Pictured is one window waiting for the foam to cure.

insulating foam trimmedInsulating Foam Trimmed

Curing time is usually about 24 hours. Once the foam is cured it is easy to trim with a serrated knife. Any gaps that did not expand enough (red arrow) can be filled with more foam then trimmed when cured. The expandable spray foam can be sanded if necessary although I never do and it can be painted if necessary. It should be covered indoors as well.

Once any low areas were touched up with more foam, cured and trimmed, I tested for air leaks. It was nice that the weather decided to co-operate with strong winds hitting the wall where the worst window was. I was happy to see that no air was getting in. This small extra inconvenience set us back a little but it will save us plenty down the road in room comfort and energy costs.

Garden Gnome


Cindi @ Moomette's Magnificents said...

I have craft room envy! A room of my own sounds so nice! Lucky you, even though it's a lot of work!

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Garden Gnome said...

Hi Cindi and thanks for visiting. I've always wanted a craft room. We are midway through the renovation with things going relatively smoothly.