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Old 12-11-2009, 08:56 PM   #1
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Cold Air,

I just removed plaster and lath from a outside wall and insulated it and put .5" sheetrock the put up beadboard, this wall has a switch on it and iam getting cold air comming from the Box. I was thinking about sealing it up with some expand foam, not feel it up just small amount to help block the cold air? Is this ok to do? or what tips do you have.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:34 AM   #2
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Sure you can use foam or if you have leftover insulation just stuff it around the box. You would be surprised how much difference the silly little gaskets you can buy for outlets and switches make too. They fit behind the covers and are not expensive. They come pre-cut to shape.
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:43 AM   #3
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Even in Indiana, there are two concepts you must consider when you retrofit your home for greater comfort; I mean, we do so out of necessity in our cold zone - but you ought to as well even though you are south of us...those two concepts are insulation (which you seem to have taken care of) and air infiltration. One without the other isn't good.

If you have plaster-and-lath, then your house is probably about 50 years old and built in the days when these two concepts weren't really considered, not like nowadays. Now, your drywall can act as an air barrier but if you still feel cold coming in, there's a draft somewhere behind there that shouldn't be. You might want to bear that in mind for the next time you do something like this and address the air infiltration concept at the source.

But in the meantime, the wall plates and/or foam are good measures; but you'll have to do this with every switch, and every leak you can find.
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:56 AM   #4
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There are two gaps you need to consider. Obviously, addressing the penetration into the cavity when it was exposed is the correct way to air seal. But you're past that point so back to the two areas.

Remove the cover for the box and you need to either caulk or use low-expansion foam in the gap between the drywall and the edge of the box. Then, the second area to consider is the hole where the wire penetrates the box and holes around the knockout depending on your box type. If you seal those to vulnerabilities, you WILL NOT have any air leakage through that box. Then, as another poster said, you should do this with any and all boxes, ceiling junctions, bathroom exhaust fans, and recessed can lights to get the full effect of energy savings from stopping air leakage.
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