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rob williams 03-13-2009 09:16 AM

cold air draft in wall
I live in a 1.5 year old ranch with a walkout basement. I have had a problem with a room, in the north east side of the basement, being overly cold. It would be 59 degrees and the main room of the basement would be 65-67. The whole basement is finished{drywall}. There are 2 heating registers in this room,no return.The circuit breaker panel is in this room and I discovered that a draft was entering the panel through the 2" pipe that comes from the outside meter. I then filled the pipe with insulation,but still noticed a strong draft in the cavity around the circuit panel, it was so much that the cobwebs were blowing back and forth. The walls in the basement are firred out with 2x4's and have 1" pink insulation boards between them{ although I have found in some areas that it is not glued against the concrete wall, but rather laid back against the drywall}. I then located where the gas line,cable/phone lines and outdoor water spigot came in and cut out the drywall to find that there were gaping holes where each came through the wall. The wall on this part of the house is exposed on the outside and is split-face block. I then filled in the holes that I had found around each of these,but am still feeling a pronounced cold air draft when I stick my hand into the cavity. There is a set of sliding doors on this same wall along with a window. I have no idea of where this draft could be coming from,does anyone have any ideas? Thanks

Ron6519 03-13-2009 03:09 PM

Check the area above the foundation where the sill and rim joist are. You might need to insulate this area.

Chemist1961 03-14-2009 06:54 AM

Ron has a good idea about the rim and sill but it`s trickey on a finished wall. I used expansion foam to creap into the gaps and pulled and replaced all the fibreglass around my basement windows with foam. I did my whole basement , sill rim joist and tops and sides of adjoining joist bays last fall and my gas bill seemd to drop about 10% when adjusted for temp so time well spent.
However unless you have a large gap there I would look at the patio door area and window opening as well for that draft. I can feel a draft area around the header in my garage entrance door. I susupect it is leaking up through the vertical 2 X 10`s and into the joist area above. I`m replacing the door so will fix it then.
If you only seal the draft at the panel you are still trapping the cold behind your drywall

JMD 03-14-2009 11:36 AM

Energy Audit
Check with your utility company to see if they offer discounted or free energy audits. They should be able to use their equiptment to show you areas where you are losing energy not only in your basement but everywhere in your home. Some companies make you use specific auditors and some require you to use the same company to fix the problem but most offer some sort of program. If it's free take advantage of it.

rob williams 03-16-2009 09:11 AM

Thanks for the replies guys!! I ended up cutting an access hole through the drywall soffit above this area to see if I could find anything. It turns out that that the bottom of the chase for my gas fireplace is right here. On the bottom of it ,which is outside,they had only put aluminum soffit panels on the bottom,no osb or insulation. The chase was 3' wide ,so I then filled the 3 joist cavities with insulation and caulked around the aluminum on the outside. On the inside I sealed off the joist cavities with insulation as well and no more draft. The drywalled soffit was easily repaired because it had a light knock-down texture on it. I found a good quality knock-down spray pre-mixed in a aerosol can which blended in perfectly. Thanks again!!

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