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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Default Old house draft problems

    One hundred year old house up in toronto ON. Where the floor meets the walls there is a really cold draft. The floor is really cold. The outside of the house is brick and the inside of the house is floor - old maple flooring and walls - old plaster horse hair.

    Is there some way of insulating the space between?
    Anyone come across this problem?
    IT really makes the second floor cold. the first floor has the same problem as well.

    any input is appreciated.

    thanks

    O

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Old house draft problems

    Blown insulation might be one way to solve the problem. Do you know if the old walls are insulated? One way to eliminate the draft from the bottoms of the walls, is to use the spray-on type foam, with the wand inserted through a hole in the wall, between each stud. Sure, insulation costs a lot of money, but home heating, or cooling year after year costs a whole lot more.

    Two years ago, I remodeled a 107 year old house, with very bad inside plaster. That problem was solved by removing all the old plaster, reinsulating the walls from inside, then putting up new drywall. That was very labor intensive, so blown insulation might be the best and cheapest way to go.

    Good luck with you problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    3

    Default Re: Old house draft problems

    thanks for the response. IT looks like the blown in insulation is the route im going to have to take.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Elyria, Oh.
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Old house draft problems

    We own a 98 year old five story brick apartment and have the same problem. It is unlikely that you will be able to insulate the walls as the plaster is usually plastered right on the brick itself. The draft comes from the fact that the brick walls conduct the cold from the outside and sets up a draft where the walls meet the floors. Most houses and buildings settle somewhat over a period of years and a gap is created between the floor and the wall.

    I just removed the quarter round trim from the baseboard trim and caulked that crack between the floor and the wall with a caulk that matched the floor and put the quarter round back on while the caulk was still wet wiping up an excess with a soapy rag. This will stop the draft.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    22

    Cool Re: Old house draft problems

    Quote Originally Posted by reenieandrod View Post


    Two years ago, I remodeled a 107 year old house, with very bad inside plaster. That problem was solved by removing all the old plaster, reinsulating the walls from inside, then putting up new drywall. That was very labor intensive, so blown insulation might be the best and cheapest way to go.

    Good luck with you problem.

    I am contemplating the same thing. This is a 1923 colonial (Archie Bunker style) in Ozone Park Queens . So far the walls seem to be a mix of plaster with the steel mesh lathing and some with wood lathing. Since there is no insulation anywhere, and I was going to update the wiring as well, I already decided to tear out the walls and update all of it. My insulation of choice will depend on both R value and cost and this is my current sticking point; which insulation to use in the exterior walls. I am seriously considering the polyurethane sheets, just not sure if this is preferred over the other types. This house is not attached like all the brownstone types in Brooklyn , so I want the highest R value I can get.
    Last edited by dephcon5; 12-29-2009 at 04:27 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    69

    Smile Re: Old house draft problems

    Contact your local spray foam contractor, about using the spray foam insulation. This stuff is great, seals all cracks, and requires no vapor barrier. Just ask the spray foam contractor what kind of R-value you need in your area. If you are cold like here in MN, put as much as you can get. Insulation is far cheaper than high utility bills.

    Good luck, and stay warm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Old house draft problems

    Polyethelene or polysacharide closed cell foam insulation is the best kind. Blown in or sheet the insulation value is basically the same, about R6-6.6 per inch. The advantage of blown in is that it will really seal up any air gaps. As a cheapy way to insulate, you could conceivably cover up the plaster.

    Its not the best way to go, but you can cover the exterior walls with foam board adhering and screwing the foam board to the plaster walls and studs/framing/brick, then drywall over the foamboard also adhering and screwing the drywall to the foamboard and through to the studs/framing/brick behind it all. Its not ideal in any way, but if done properly should last a really long time without cracking at the seams or other issues such as that. Depending on the space in the rooms I'd consider anything from 1/2 foam board up to 2 inch foam board. This is likely your only choice if there is not cavity behind the plaster between it and the brick. That or you are going to have to put up studwalls along the exterior, insulate the voids and drywall over that. If you need/want a lot of insulation that way would be your new best bet, but it would also consume a lot of room space (about 4 inches where as foam board with drywall over it could consume as little as 1 inch with 1/2" foam board and 1/2" gypsum board)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Old house draft problems

    One quick thing you may want to check. Do you have vents in the outside walls for a craw space? If you do seal the vents with foam board in the winter and open the vents in the summer.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Old house draft problems

    It's cold up here in MN, can spray foam be used if you have knob and tube wiring in the walls? I have heard no.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: Old house draft problems

    You can not cover K&T wiring with insulation.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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