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Old 12-16-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
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Insulating block exterior plumbing kitchen wall


Very insightful content on this site. Thanks to all.

I live in North Florida - lots of humidity but still occasionally cool (sometimes below freezing) in the winter.
Our kitchen plumbing wall (sink and dishwasher) is an exterior wall. The house is block and was built in 1964. The cabinets and counters were all built in during orginal construction. There is no drywall behind the lower cabinets, ony the cabinet "backing" - some furring strips - some barrier that looks like super heavy tar paper - then the block. The upper cabinets seem to have drywall behind them.

In the attic the gap created by the furring strips is open to the attic space. No insulation covers this gap, even though the rest of the attic is insulted with fiberglass. During winter A lot of cold air comes into the kitchen from the bottom cabinets. I'm wondering how I can stop this?

Although not intended, I can recall several occasions when water leaks have occcured and the water always pools under the cabinets. I'm not overly concerned about condensation from the plumbing pipes (cpvc and well insulated) - but I do have concerns about general humidity and worse case, which would be a water leak.

Can I seal/insult this wall in the attic - or should I be thinking about some kind of spray foam or styrofoam behind the lower cabinets?

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Old 12-16-2010, 03:03 PM   #2
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Insulating block exterior plumbing kitchen wall


I don't see spray foam being a solution to areas behind cabinets you don't have access to. If you can move the cabinets out from the wall, you could insulate the blocks with a foam board.
How do you control the humidity during the year?
Ron

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Old 12-16-2010, 05:55 PM   #3
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Insulating block exterior plumbing kitchen wall


AC inside the house for maybe 8 months out of a year. Generally the inside house humidity is around 50% (outside in Fl. summer typically is above 80%). The winters heating keeps humidity low, right now inside is about 24%. During some nice days in the fall and spring inside humidity can rise to 65% or higher.
I have no idea what the humidity in the wall cavity is. I would think because it is open to the attic which is well vented to outside (soffits, eves and ridge venting) the air in the space would be somewere in humidity level between outsied and inside levels. I have inspected this area by removing the lower cabinet "backing". I didn't see any signs of mold/mildew, etc.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:00 PM   #4
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Insulating block exterior plumbing kitchen wall


Ron, The cabinets are "tiled" in. The counter top is wood nailed to the lowers, so removal means tearing out tile counters/backsplash, etc. I can cut the back out of the lower cabinets and then repair/replace, so styrofoam is an option. However, the easiest would be to poke holes in the lower cabinet backing and spray in expanding foam - until I have to make any repairs that is!
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Old 12-16-2010, 07:51 PM   #5
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Insulating block exterior plumbing kitchen wall


I'd use the low expanding foam.
Ron
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