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siggyboyce 01-23-2013 05:32 PM

Air coming through Windowsills and Floor (pictures)
4 Attachment(s)
I'm new to the forum and to DIY / home improvement in general, so please forgive any misusage in rules or terminology. Hi everyone.

I moved into a nice house (renting) recently, but one thats very old (1960's). Some of the windowsills and floors let outside air through and it makes it difficult to stay warm sometimes.

Given my description of the problem and these pictures, what should I do? The landlord says they'll consider anything I suggest.

Fix'n it 01-23-2013 08:28 PM

you could just caulk that. but it would also be much better to find where the air is getting in, from the outside.
search "air sealing".

joecaption 01-24-2013 09:11 AM

Sure looks like an older home.
I'd bet there's little if any insulation in the walls and under the floor.
If no one has installed replacement windows yet and it has the old window weights there's a huge pocket on the sides of that window where the weights go that many times I've been able to see light coming in around the outside trim.
It also sure looks like the floor joist or foundation has some issues causing the floors to drop. That would also account for the aprin droping away from the casing.
No way was there suppost to be that big a gap under the 1/4 round like that.
I'm also guessing it was ballon wall constrution with no fire blocking at the top and bottoms of the walls allowing massive amount of air into the stud bays.

DexterII 01-24-2013 09:42 AM

I agree with the other guys. Just to expand a bit, mindful of the fact that it is a rental, and not knowing what the landlord may or not may go along with, here are a few thoughts that you might bounce off of him or her.

While my guess would be that the walls were insulated, insulation was not as good, nor taken as seriously in the '60's, and what is there has almost certainly settled. This may be able to be corrected by injecting insulation into the cavities through holes on each stud bay, which could then be repaired with relative ease. Before doing this though, I would hire someone to perform a thermal scan, in order to have some idea of how effective this might be.

It does not appear that the window trim has been removed or replaced, so you can be certain that there is nothing around them, so I would probably be inclined to make this a first objective. Depending on your skills, your desire, and your landlord's willingness for you to participate from a cost standpoint, maybe even a trade in part of a month's payment, or something like that (?), it is certainly within the capability of a desirous novice to carefully remove the trim, assess the situation, correct it, and replace the trim, possibly without having to repaint if done carefully, but, if not, repainting would be your worst case scenario. As Joe mentioned, you may very possibly have window weights in there to deal with, but you could post some picture of that at that point, and probably pick up some pointers here.

The rim joists were definitely not insulated at the time of constructon, so, unless the landlord has since done it, these could be better sealed with some rigid insulation and spray foam.

From a much less costly and less permanent standpoint, as Fix'n it mentioned, you could caulk the gaps that you see around the windows, and, as far as the gap along the floor, again, mindful of the circumstances, and as a short-term resolve, I might tuck some backer rod, which you can buy from your local hardware or home center, in there. It is not the "right" fix, but it should give you an idea of how much draft you have coming in that area.

joecaption 01-24-2013 09:50 AM

Nothing wrong with those ideas since it is a rental but instead of just backer rod I'd concider removing the 1/4 round, lay down some 2" wide blue tape to the floor and use low expanding foam in the gap, let it set up, trim it off and remove the tape.
Then reinstall that 1/4 round tight to the floor. If it's not big enought to cover the gap it could be changed to 3/4 or Shoe moulding instead.

siggyboyce 01-26-2013 11:48 AM

Thanks for the responses, you guys are amazing!

DexterII, thank you for the rental-specific instructions.

I'll see how it goes and eventually follow up with results.

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