Tips On Foundations, Gaps and Cracks
Is your homes foundation going south when it should be going north? Are there gaps and cracks in your baseboards and doorways? Do you need an idea for a quick DIY now that you have an extra hour of daylight? We have help for these problems and more, just for you.
Got Gaps and Cracks in Baseboards and Doorways?
Due to constant wear and tear, doorways and baseboards can often develop gaps or cracks around the edges. These cracks aren’t usually a major issue, but they can negatively impact the energy efficiency of your home. Properly sealing these cracks prevents air leaks and can reduce your energy bills. Sealing cracks and gaps around doorways and baseboards is a simple task that homeowners can do themselves.
Silicones, fillers and most types of weather stripping require a clean surface to adhere to to ensure a good seal. Clean dirt and debris out of large cracks using a paintbrush. Vacuum or spray canned air into narrow cracks that won’t accommodate a brush. If you’re replacing damaged weather stripping around doorways, clean away all traces of the old adhesive with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits and rinse the surface with clean water.
Choosing the Right Sealer
When sealing cracks around baseboards and doors, the type of product depends on the size of the crack. Latex or water soluble caulks are ideal for cracks up to 1/2 inch wide. Cracks wider than 1/2 inch, but less than 2 inches, should be filled with latex foam sealant. If the gaps around your doors and baseboards are larger than 2 inches, use a polyurethane foam sealant to fill them.
Run a continuous bead of clear or paintable latex caulking along cracks where the interior door trim meets the wall. If you don’t like the appearance of this seal, remove the trim and apply the caulk beneath so that the cracks are sealed, but the caulk is hidden. Smooth the caulk with a caulk tool or wet finger, and wipe away excess with a damp cloth.
Door Jambs and Sills
Apply adhesive-backed foam weather stripping along the entire length of your door jambs to ensure that you seal all cracks. The width of these cracks can vary considerably, but foam weather stripping comes in a variety of thicknesses and will compress to fit almost any size. Seal cracks along the bottom of the door and the sill with a threshold seal or a door sweep. Door sweeps are typically installed if there’s no weather stripping on the bottom of the door. Large gaps up to 2 inches wide should be filled with expanding foam insulation. When using expanding foam, don’t fully fill the gap so that there’s room for expansion. When the foam has cured and will no longer expand, trim the excess with a utility knife.
Seal narrow cracks with paintable or clear latex caulk, either at the top or along the bottom where the baseboards meet the floor. Run a continuous bead of caulk along the gap and smooth it with a caulk tool or wet finger. Wipe away the excess caulk with a damp cloth. Cracks that are wider than 1/2 inch require a bit more work. Carefully remove the quarter round, which is the trim that finishes the baseboard at the floor. Fill the cracks with backer rod, which is a foam rope-like material that is pressed into the crack, and then replace the quarter round.
Article provided by: The Carey Brothers “On The House” dated July 1, 2017