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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1018

Check for air leakage at your foundation sill plate

(related Dulley column topic links - 410, 602, 937

In most houses, the location of greatest air leakage is through the sill plate area. This is where the lumber from the walls rests on top of the foundation. The top surface of most poured foundations is fairly uneven so there are large gaps that leak a lot of air.

If you have a basement, you will need a helper to check for the leaks. At night, have your helper walk around outdoors and shine a flash light at the foundation. If you are in your basement with the lights turned out, you will see the light shine through any large gaps and leaky areas.

The best and easiest caulk to use is a urethane foam like Great Stuff. Do not spray in too much. It continues to expand for several minutes, so underfill the gaps initially. Make sure to wear gloves. This foam is very sticky and difficult to clean off your hands or whatever it gets on.


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