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kel 02-17-2010 05:15 PM

leaking sill plate
I just moved into my newly built house. There is a LOT of air blowing in under my base boards. My exterior walls are cement fiber siding. I can see a gap between the OSB board and the slab. What is the BEST way to seal this gap and prevent air infiltrarion? My builder is "stumped"! Builder cannot seem to find an answer even though builder has tried NOTHING yet. I was thinking of using a good quality latex caulking after cleaning the surface. How's that sound?

<*(((>< 02-17-2010 05:23 PM

The builder should have installed foam sill plate insulation between the concrete and the bottom plate.

Aside from taking off your baseboards and caulking the bottom plate to the floor, or doing the same to the outside edge of the bottom plate there is not much you can do.

You also should ask yourself, why is the air drafting under the bottom plate? There must be leaks elsewhere in your home pulling that air into your house.

kel 02-17-2010 05:39 PM

Thanks for the reply. I asked the builder why no sill plate seal. "well, we don't always use them" was the reply. Air doesn't alway draft in. Seams to enter when we have a strong breeze. Unfortunately, this is a north facing wall and we have predominately north winds in the winter. I will give the caulk and spray foam a go.

jlhaslip 02-17-2010 11:11 PM

is there a Home warranty program where you live?

Why isn't the builder fixing the problem?

kel 02-18-2010 04:28 PM

There are some good laws here to protect the homeowner. However, since the home is "built to code" this issue is not covered by the Civil Code laws. As for why the builder isnt fixing the problem, good question! I do not expect to get much help from the builder. This is a familiar reply from the builder when I bring up any issue--"wll, I'm not sure how to fix that. Let me look into finding a fix." All problems that have come up and been fixed I have either fixed myself or directly contacted the sub myself. I'm sure the builder and I will end up hashing this out with attorneys after the prescribed time assessed by the Civil Code laws expires.

jlhaslip 02-18-2010 04:32 PM

Better talk to the Better Business Bureau or the Home warranty People.

Or find a Lawyer.

kel 02-18-2010 04:41 PM

Unfortunately, i did not do my due diligence prior to hiring this builder. The builder was a great "salesman" and completely fooled me into thinking that they were "good people." I've been kicking myself in the butt for going with this builder since about the third month of construction! The builder is not associated with the BBB and Home Warranties are optional and really only cover mechanical issues as far as I can tell. I have to hit myself in the head and drink another beer every time I here someone say, "I would not let that builder build my dog a house." Why couldn't I find these people before hiring this builder! My Dad always says, "You live and learn."

stadry 02-18-2010 04:42 PM

temp fix for NOW is closed or open cell backer rod - avail at the apron stores in the masonary sealant section,,, it'll look just like my fireplace :laughing:

kel 02-18-2010 04:47 PM

I thought about that as a temp fix. Would I simply secure that to the gap with adhesive or caulking?

stadry 02-19-2010 02:43 AM

its only temp so just ' STUFF IT ! ! ! ' :laughing:

Steve Burke 02-19-2010 10:20 AM

Try expanding foam either in a can, or if you have alot of work get the ~200 board foot containers. I recently used this stuff in a drafty cabin and all of the drafts were eliminated. Document and send the bill to the contractor.

Regarding the contractor, let him know that if he does not respond in a timely manner, you plan to send a formal complaint to the license bureau in the state where you live. Also notify who ever referred you to this person of the substandard support.

By the way, always keep documentation (emails) of any communication that you have with the contractor. Go look up your your rights under "construction defects" and "Construction Statute of Repose"

stadry 02-19-2010 12:04 PM

there's no way in **** we'd pick foam-in-a-can,,, usually we've got to clean OFF that **** homeowner's try out to prevent wtr intrusion,,, what a PITA ! :censored:

the permanent cure's going to be something on the exterior, anyways.

( just my pro opinion, tho )

kel 02-19-2010 06:01 PM

Foam in a can will not work. The gap varies in size from about 1/16th to 1/4ths inch. I was thinking about filling crack with an good quality adhesive then take some strips of 30lb roofing felt and force into gap through adhesive with a putty spade, then sealing gap with either additional construction adhesive or latex caulking. How's that sound. Constructive comments welcome from anyone in the know. Thanks

Thurman 02-19-2010 11:39 PM

Are you saying you can actually see these gaps without removing any other exterior material? IF so--this is terrible. IF this were my home I would concentrate on sealing these cracks/gaps ASAP, then worry about what to do with the builder. Why not a good exterior high silicone caulk or: "roofing tar-in-a-tube"? It just doesn't sound as if the builder planned properly, nor has acted responsibly on this issue. As far as notifying a Licensing Bureau on him being Licensed?--want to bet on him having any License? Irresponsible people like this make me ILL when I look at what I pay for Licenses and insurances just to operate a "HandyMan" type business. But--that's the way i am. David

kel 02-20-2010 06:01 PM

The cracks can only be seen if I lay on the ground and look up between the HardiBoard and slab. You're telling me that the builder didn't plan well, that's an understatement! My very FIRST request at our FIRST meeting was that the highest quality insulating techniques be used in this house. Apparently the builder didn't feel that the hundred, or so, dollars that the foam sill sealer layer would cost to do the whole house was worth the trouble! I do plan to use a combination of silicone caulking and roofing felt to sovle the issue. As for the license issue--builder has all the appropriate licenses, insurance and bonding required by law here in Louisiana. That is the one thing I did take the time to check out prior to hiring builder. So, from your perspective do you think that filling the gaps with roofing felt then sealing with silicone is the best solution? I did think about roofing tar. My concern is that this wall receives about 8 hours of direct sun in the summer. It gets awfully hot here and i was affraid the tar might run down the slab face and end up on the concrete patio in that area. Thanks for your input. Kel

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