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Old 09-03-2012, 05:20 AM   #1
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Attaching wood to concrete


To solve a mouse problem, I want to seal four 4" x 10" air vents in the cement foundation of my home. The home sits on sand and is dry. Can anyone tell me the best way to attach a piece of wood to cement? I have a small drill, but have never put a screw into concrete. I would prefer to use glue and then caulk, if this will do the job. I want to permanently seal the vents. I would also like to repair the area where the mice enter the main floor. It is located in a small closet right beside an electric hot water tank with a metal drip pan. The space is so small I would like to "pour" in something that would seal up the entry holes. I have tried stuffing the cracks with steel wool and covering the surface with wood, but it didn't work because the drip pan impedes access at the back. I worry about using something flammable because of the hot water tank. Thanks for your help.

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:13 AM   #2
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Attaching wood to concrete


I could be wrong, but don't you think the builder installed those vents for a reason. If you searched you could find some fine holed grates to cover those vents.

What I'm reading is you can't reach into the back of the closet to stuff the steel wool into the cracks. You may have the same difficulty with pouring something

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Old 09-03-2012, 07:39 AM   #3
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Attaching wood to concrete


Strong cast aluminum vents are available in that size----I would replace them---as crawl space venting is very important.

You could use plaster of Paris to fill the small holes---or sanded tile grout---
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Old 09-03-2012, 07:45 AM   #4
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Attaching wood to concrete


You definitely do not want to block or replace your foundation vents or you will have more and greater problems than mice.

As Oh'Mike suggests, get some vents that are thicker and that the mice cannot chew through. They should come with thick seals that will conform to the surface around the edges. Check your dryer vent too.

To answer your question, if you have to drill new holes for them you will need a masonry bit and a drill. And then you will want to fit some lead, plastic or nylon concrete screw anchors into the holes you drill or your screws will will just spin around freely. Non-metallic anchors will not react with the metal in the screws. I like setting them in some silicon to ensure waterproofing. Tapcon screws/bolts or expansion anchors would be other possibilities but you still need to drill for them.



For future reference and hopefully we have talked you out of blocking your foundation ventilation? Ramset guns are great for permanently fastening wood to concrete. Ramsets use explosive 22 caliber bullet cartridges to drive nails or other fasteners through the wood and into the concrete. Wear safety goggles and ear protection. You should be able to rent them and buy supplies at a tool yard.



Anytime you are worried about flammability and especially with what you decide for the drip pan, turn the water heater off and re-light the pilot when any danger has passed.

Some sort of roof tar MIGHT work but mice can be tenacious and chew through lots of things and it sounds like you have fairly large holes to fill?

Maybe it is time to call an exterminator to resolve this problem? A good one will probably be able to resolve your problems cheaper than all the fixes you are considering that, again, MIGHT work. You don't have to go with an expensive national chain. Find out who others use like your fave restaurant, etc.

Last edited by user1007; 09-03-2012 at 08:06 AM. Reason: Added Photos
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Old 09-03-2012, 02:58 PM   #5
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Attaching wood to concrete


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
You definitely do not want to block or replace your foundation vents or you will have more and greater problems than mice.

As Oh'Mike suggests, get some vents that are thicker and that the mice cannot chew through. They should come with thick seals that will conform to the surface around the edges. Check your dryer vent too.

To answer your question, if you have to drill new holes for them you will need a masonry bit and a drill. And then you will want to fit some lead, plastic or nylon concrete screw anchors into the holes you drill or your screws will will just spin around freely. Non-metallic anchors will not react with the metal in the screws. I like setting them in some silicon to ensure waterproofing. Tapcon screws/bolts or expansion anchors would be other possibilities but you still need to drill for them.



For future reference and hopefully we have talked you out of blocking your foundation ventilation? Ramset guns are great for permanently fastening wood to concrete. Ramsets use explosive 22 caliber bullet cartridges to drive nails or other fasteners through the wood and into the concrete. Wear safety goggles and ear protection. You should be able to rent them and buy supplies at a tool yard.



Anytime you are worried about flammability and especially with what you decide for the drip pan, turn the water heater off and re-light the pilot when any danger has passed.

Some sort of roof tar MIGHT work but mice can be tenacious and chew through lots of things and it sounds like you have fairly large holes to fill?

Maybe it is time to call an exterminator to resolve this problem? A good one will probably be able to resolve your problems cheaper than all the fixes you are considering that, again, MIGHT work. You don't have to go with an expensive national chain. Find out who others use like your fave restaurant, etc.
Unfortunately, the home is a small town, very remote and there are no exterminators or I already would have opted for this solution. I get the point about blocking the vents: radon/moisture, etc. The house sits on sand is is dry as a bone year round so I thought I might get away with it. Do not want to go down in that tiny little confined space with all those spiders to lay plastic and resolve the other problems, so will look for some kind of grate. Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
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Attaching wood to concrete


http://www.vestalmfg.com/buildingmaterials.html

Download the PDF and there are a ton of HD vent options. Many masonry suppliers should be able to get you Vestal products.........

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