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Old 11-08-2009, 08:41 AM   #1
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Cold closets


We have a dutch colonial built in 1987. We have lived in it for 4 years. The problem is that the closets are cold during the cooler weather (live in New England), which makes the bedroom cold. The closets are side by side and face north. When you put your hand along the top of the outside facing wall (back of closet) it is cold and as you move your hand toward the floor the wall feels warmer. I thought that maybe insulation had settled but after drilling some exploratory holes the insulation happens to runs the length of the wall. The closet construction consists of a short wall (outside wall - back of closet) about 4' high that meets the roofline (roof is warm as well). There is a small ceiling area as well (this is the attic floor). From what I can gather, nowhere else in the house that has this similar type of construction (short wall meeting the roofline) has cold walls. Any ideas on what may be causing that area to be cold and how to rectify it?

Pictures: one is from the outside of the closets (area above windows is the short wall). The pother two are the attic floor above the bedroom/closet ceiling).
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Last edited by clouts69; 11-08-2009 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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Cold closets


If there isn't any way for heat to enter the closets then they will stay cold
All of my closets are cold in the winter - 1st floor & 2nd floor
I only have R6-7 insulation so I will be pulling the walls down & putting in new insulation

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Old 11-08-2009, 09:40 AM   #3
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Cold closets


Scuba Dave is correct. You probably need another heat vent to the bedroom or a supplemental 1500 watt Honeywell baseboard heater for at night. Does it have a return air vent, if not you are not getting good circulation. My pantry is cool, has no heat vent and I have a super tight R20 walls type house. The Cheerios don't mind.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Cold closets


I 'm not sure I agree. I have several other closets with outside facing walls that do not have this issue.
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:16 AM   #5
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Cold closets


You may have a draft thru the wall or convection current. The North is always coldest. You may have to open up the wall and seal it with vapor barrier and make sure the vapor barrier is glued at the top so air currents cannot flow. I have built 2 houses in a very cold part of Canada and we glue all our vapor barrier to the ceiling etc.
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #6
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Cold closets


Just a WASITD.
Maybe your room doesn't have enough heat to it. And that is why it and those closets are cold.
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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I really don't think that is it. I mean the closets can get cold but when you rub your hand along every wall surface in these closets you only feel cold on the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the outside walls and only in those closets.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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Then you have air leakage into those walls. Weather by electrical wiring holes that weren't sealed, or building defect/construction. Like vapor barrier was torn and not fixed before closing wall. Or top plates not sealed. I can't tell you.

But some sort of air leakage.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:25 PM   #9
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Cold closets


Exactly. Thermostats on interior walls can also be affected by those drafts and short cycle. Open the wall and seal the vapor barrier (which you have now punctured from exploration) properly and check the insulation. Stop the drafts and it will help a lot.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:36 PM   #10
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Cold closets


Quote:
Originally Posted by clouts69 View Post
I'm not sure I agree. I have several other closets with outside facing walls that do not have this issue.
1st floor or 2nd floor?
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:20 PM   #11
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Cold closets


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
1st floor or 2nd floor?
2nd floor
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:23 PM   #12
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Cold closets


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Exactly. Thermostats on interior walls can also be affected by those drafts and short cycle. Open the wall and seal the vapor barrier (which you have now punctured from exploration) properly and check the insulation. Stop the drafts and it will help a lot.
I'm a little confused. My knowledge of construction is limited but I have some basic experience. Vapor barrier is on the outside sheathing from what I understand. My exploration consisted of drilling two small holes through the drywall. I did not penetrate the paper backing of the insulation. When you say open the wall and seal the vapor barrier are you referring to opening the outside wall? Can you elaborate a bit on what you exactly are referring to. Thanks
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #13
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Cold closets


Vapour barrier is on the warm side.
Air barrier is on the outside.
T-shirt weather here today Yuri.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
1st floor or 2nd floor?
Quote:
Originally Posted by clouts69 View Post
2nd floor
So all of the closets are on the 2nd floor
And only this one closet on the 2nd floor is cold ?
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:18 PM   #15
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Cold closets


Scuba Dave, that is correct. All bedrooms are on the top floor and I have 3 closets with outside facing walls as part of their construction and only those 2 have this issue.

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