Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Crack Bad. Caulk Good.

Removing quarter-round to fill gaps is easy and boring.

Despite what you may have heard, I am a good boy. Being environmentally conscientious, I had an energy audit done on my 1939 home last year.

Our home, at the time, rated 35 out of 100. The standard for new homes in Ontario is 75. Our objective is to raise our efficiency to 51. This increases the resale value of our home, and saves us money on utilities.

The audit indicated our attic insulation was worse than a hobo's cardboard box, averaging around R-10. Secondly, some of our original windows were performing poorly, allowing air to escape easily. Thirdly, we had no insulation in our basement which essentially made our basement walls act like a heatsink. Finally, we had airtight issues due to gaps beneath our baseboards plus a massive, Oprah-sized 1" gap under our back door, straight to the outside.

Seriously. That's like leaving a window open all winter, for almost 70 years.

The audit had a deadline of 18 months, and with old man winter already clenching his cheeks and squeezing white shit all over us, it was time I got back to work.

While Suz girled it up by baking a cake, I did guy stuff in our living room. To keep from damaging our 6-inch baseboards, I wrapped a towel around my pry bar and popped off the quarter-round trim. Caulk fills cracks nicely. Hidden behind was a large gap. The swell auditor suggested I fill this gap with silicone to stop cold air from creeping in.

Using the palm of my hand I felt a few spots where cold air was coming in. Cold air coming into your house needs to be heated, and therefore causes your furnace to come on more often. To stop this, the gaps needed to be caulked.

I used Mono Ultra interior caulking. It's made in Canada. The type I used comes out white then dries clear, but takes 7 to 14 days to dry properly. It didn't matter to me though, because I knew the quarter-round trim would cover it all up afterwards.

It took me 60 minutes to take off the trim and fill the cracks along the two exterior walls of our living room.

As for the door gap, we had our back door replaced with a steel French door that has a modern-type airtight seal. This was probably our biggest problem and hopefully will make a big difference when we have our house re-tested.

Energy Audits are a wise decision. Even in new homes, they can indicate where something wasn't done properly and show you where you can save money. I would recommend it to anyone. If you're in the Toronto or southern Ontario area, I would strongly recommend the friendly, expert folks at Energuy.

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14 Comments:

Blogger SJ said...

Oh you meant that type of crack!

12:36:00 AM

 
Blogger mmat said...

i may recommend an energy audit to my landlord. there are numerous duct-tape fixes that i've put around the house to prevent cold air from coming in. our back door has a gap under it as well (although not 1") but it's currently stuffed with tape and plastic bags because i don't use it in the winter anyways.

9:31:00 AM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Landlords are scuzzy when it comes to that kind of thing.

One of my friends used to live in an old building in Toronto. He said they were trying to make the building as inefficient as possible so that the heating/cooling costs outweighed the value of the building so that the owner could appeal to some board to have it torn down and a new condo building put up!

10:44:00 AM

 
Blogger Monogram Queen said...

"old man winter already clenching his cheeks and squeezingwhite stuff all over us"

CRACKED ME RIGHT UP! Oh dear, I am laughing and wiping tears. I needed this today!!! Thank You!

1:52:00 PM

 
Blogger Velvet Ginger said...

It soundsl ike yu had a lot of work to do but did the right thing!!! Good job! I can't see teh picture of Suz's cake!

3:50:00 PM

 
Blogger Ms. Creek said...

good job getting your house winterized! it will be worth every penny and ward off all those goose bumps and you won't have to wear your woolen socks and scratchy red pajamas anymore!

10:38:00 PM

 
Blogger Akhor said...

I agree that this is always a good idea.

In our other house, we had an area in the kitchen that was cantilevered outside the regular house frame. It was always cold in the kitchen and left very cold in that corner.

After some investigation I found that there was NO insulation in the overhang! And this was on a house built in 1999!

Filling that area with insulation drastically improved the heat in the kitchen and basement. Probably affected the whole house.

Sloppy workmanship, if you ask me.

10:04:00 AM

 
Blogger Becky said...

Hmmmm... I suspect our attic is terribly insulated. But our windows are brand new and they have three panes in them. Cost a pretty penny! If we re-insulate the attic though I think we would score fairly high on an energy test.

9:09:00 PM

 
Blogger honkeie2 said...

Just wrap everything in plastic bags and duct tape....and blamo! Done

10:38:00 PM

 
Blogger Michael Manning said...

After my Dad died Christmas week, I later set about rebuilding my Mom's home and the "winterizing" meant new doors that sealed in heat. However, I never want to see paint, caulking, copper plumbing, furnace parts, a hot water heater, 2 X 6's, drywall, plaster, sanders, carpeting, nail guns, tools, or glass for a long time! Best to you, Martini! :)

11:20:00 PM

 
Blogger The T-Dude said...

I wish you would come to my house and caulk up all our leaks. I'm not the handiest guy around. Although, I did paint our kitchen last weekend. It doesn't look too bad.

3:50:00 PM

 
Blogger SJ said...

I couldn't help thinking of you when I read this: http://gizmodo.com/5101350/the-winboni-is-the-roomba-of-window-washing

12:11:00 AM

 
Blogger Velvet Ginger said...

Ok, so we are wating to hear if you got it all down & if your house is warmer now!!??

9:27:00 AM

 
Blogger Martini said...

The Winboni is crazy freaky and I love it! Been having a rotten week. I'll post again soon.

11:20:00 PM

 

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