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Old 01-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
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Weatherizing in the kitchen


Hi all,

I recently bought a new condo and have been hard at work getting it fixed up. I've run into a problem that I can't think of a solution for. Our kitchen has hardwood floors, and I noticed a draft coming through on the exterior wall. So, I caulked the baseboards and it's helped quite a bit.

However, in the process, I noticed that our kitchen floor aren't level. (The building is 80 years old, but was gut-rehabbed 6 years back). Apparently, when our cabinets were installed, the contractor shoved some shims under the front of the cabinets to level them. This resulted in nice, level counter tops, but also left a 1/4" - 1/2" space between the floor and the cabinets. We get a massive draft coming through from where the cabinets butt up against the exterior wall.

Caulking doesn't really seem like a feasible option. It's super dirty and impossible to clean in such a tiny crack. Plus, the the wood is one color, and the panelling under the cabinet is another, so the caulk would look weird on it. Removing the cabinets to caulk up the holes behind them isn't really an option. I'd thought about just cramming a blanket or something under them, but since it's in the kitchen, it seems like a biohazard waiting to happen.

Does anyone have any better ideas of how I might insulate this area? Whatever it is would have to fill the 1/4 to 1/2" opening along the length of the cabinet.

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Old 01-23-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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Weatherizing in the kitchen


Someone really messed up and cheaped out on that rehab job. It's common to have to shim cabinets to get them level, and in an old building it a givin your going to have to do it. But they should have scribed the kick plate so it sit tight to the floor as they could. Once it was finish nailed in place 1/4 round should have been added to cover any gap.
The air leak behind the sink never should have happened. Most likly it''s where they bored the holes for the plumbing in the bottom plate or floor.
About all you can do now is see if you can find the gaps and fill them with foam.
As far as the walls air leaks go, whats on the outside of the house for siding?
Could be anyone of a dozen differant things, No Tyvek, no tape on the Tyvek, leaking window frames, if it's brick could be cracked morter, no caulking around the windows, no insulation or just poorly done ect.

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Old 01-24-2012, 07:25 AM   #3
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Weatherizing in the kitchen


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Someone really messed up and cheaped out on that rehab job. It's common to have to shim cabinets to get them level, and in an old building it a givin your going to have to do it. But they should have scribed the kick plate so it sit tight to the floor as they could. Once it was finish nailed in place 1/4 round should have been added to cover any gap.
The air leak behind the sink never should have happened. Most likly it''s where they bored the holes for the plumbing in the bottom plate or floor.
About all you can do now is see if you can find the gaps and fill them with foam.
As far as the walls air leaks go, whats on the outside of the house for siding?
Could be anyone of a dozen differant things, No Tyvek, no tape on the Tyvek, leaking window frames, if it's brick could be cracked morter, no caulking around the windows, no insulation or just poorly done ect.
+1

Sounds like they missed a good opportunity to get everything done properly.

You can seal the gap with backer rod and caulking/sealant.

If you want to cover that gap at that point, you can use a 1/4 round or shoe moulding to hide the gap.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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Weatherizing in the kitchen


A house that old could have been built with ballon framing, which would mean there can be cold air being sucked out of the basement or crawl space, throught the walls and out the attic area.
What should have happened was as the house was being redone blocking should have been added between each floors at the top and bottoms of the wall. If the walls over 8' tall there should have been added blocking in the middle of the wall. Called fire blocking.
All holes for wiring and plumbing should have had a special high heat caulking put around the gaps.
One thing you might do and it would be low cost or even free is get an energy adit. Some energy supplyers offer this service, even some citys offer it.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:51 AM   #5
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Weatherizing in the kitchen


What? Contractors skimp out on doing the job right? Never! Haha.

Backer rod... That's exactly what I was looking for. I just didn't know what it was called! That should definitely do the trick. I'll look into getting an energy audit, tho.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!
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