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View Full Version : Drafty House - Outside walls not sealed?



DrDarell
Nov 29, 2006, 02:09 PM
My house is about 6 years old. When it was new, and I was doing the walk-through in an unfinished area of the lower level, I could see light from outside at the base of the wall and the floor. I probably should have gotten my own inspector at that point and had them tear down the stucco if necessary. However, after living in a motel for over a month I let the builder convince me that it was no big deal and they sealed up the bottom of the house with that expandable foam stuff.

Well weíve had a drafty house ever since. In one bathroom there is a Jacuzzi tub that sits along an outside wall, a strong draft comes through the access panels of the tub and chills that bathroom and the bedroom.

I looked under the bottom of the Stucco walls and the Stucco hangs down below the slab foundation a couple of inches. It is also a good Ĺ to ĺ of an inch away from the foundation. At one point where there is none of that foam stuff I can see some wood up in there, but I canít tell if that is making any kind of a good seal or not. If I look where they shot that foam stuff, itís been eaten away in nice little holes so the ants can have easy access to my house.

When I complained to my builder about the drafts they say itís just the weep holes in the windows and there is nothing they can doÖ Iím thinking thereís a lot more to this and I need to seal up the bottom of the house between the foundation and the stucco walls.

Can someone confirm my suspicions and let me know if I should seal this up with something? I donít know what to seal it with, but Iím thinking that the foam stuff, while easy to work with is a very temporary solution.

Thanks!

skiberger
Dec 1, 2006, 07:26 PM
I didn't realize weep holes in windows caused drafts. I always thought they were to let the water drain away from the exterior window sill area of the window unit when it rains.. Hmm, that's a new one. (sarcasm) So much for the thermal energy efficient window thing.

If your getting cold air around your tub it sounds like you have an open wall cavity at the tub w/o insulation. Maybe call you electric company and see if they can do an energy audit on your house. There are inferred cameras that can see where your losing heat.

As for the gap, is it accessible to where you can cut rigid foam board and install it between the foundation and stucco?

Fr_Chuck
Dec 1, 2006, 07:38 PM
A good inspector with a thermal imaging can discover all of the points and suggest ways to fix them.

labman
Dec 2, 2006, 06:40 AM
It sounds to me like shoddy construction. Wonder what else the builder messed up? After 6 years, it is likely too late to do much about he builder except bad mouth him to everybody that will listen.

When I resided my house 20 years ago, I ripped off the old Masonite siding to allow me access to many of the original defects, hardly practical with stucco. I also added a layer of 1'' foam boards under the new vinyl siding. I had trouble with the chipmunks tunneling into the foam board in one area. I solved it by covering the bottom with aluminum coil stock left over from covering the trim. I squirted as much foam into the tunnels as I could first.

I suggest adding the foam as you said, and finishing it off with coil stock. You can buy small rolls of unfinished stuff mean for roof flashing.You cqan glue it in place with construction adhesive. You might pull the access panel out and caulk or foam any gaps you find.

It was bad enough the crummy work done when my house was built in 1970, but inexcusable of your builder 30 years later. In many cases, it is so much easier to do things right in the first place.

DrDarell
Dec 4, 2006, 10:39 AM
Thanks Everyone for their ideas! I had one of my own while thinking about this and here's what I did... I bought some 3M clear duct tape. Cleaned the bottom of the stucco, any old foam, and the foundation. Then I sealed the gap with the clear Duct tape. The first night was a huge success, the bathroom was warm and no draft! I was really happy to find clear Duct tape, I didn't know they made this stuff, and it says it lasts 6 times longer than normal duct tape, so we'll see. I'm going to try and go after the builder on this, for the shoddy work, I hear I've got 10 years on major items, so we'll see. Thanks again!