Help - Ice on Interior Wall

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  #1  
Old 01-05-09, 10:00 PM
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Help - Ice on Interior Wall

Last night while trying to find a draft making my bedroom floor cold, I moved a storage bin & found I had ice/frost at the bottom of one of my walls.

Temps have been between 0 and -15 F for the last week. The wall faces north. The house was built in 1952, so I know the insulation isn't great - but inside ice???

I need to do something to get through the winter. I'm thinking about installing polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foam board on the inside until I can do something more permanent this summer. Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 01-06-09, 06:07 AM
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Hi AK, You definitely have to deal with COLD in a different way than the rest of us, and I'm in New England. A couple of things happening here. When closets or an accumulation of household items (sorry aka junk) or furniture block the normal flow of heat, then even interior walls will go to outside temperatures, thus the ice. As for adding interior rigid insulation, the building codes require a fire barrier over it, such as 1/2" sheetrock. What might even be better is to target those air leaks. You have already noticed the drafts, well the list of easy to fix leaks can make most of those drafts go away.

When I first purchased my infrared camera, I was practicing on all of my friends and relatives. When visiting my daughter, she took it away from me and headed off to inspect her home. Within minutes we heard a scream. We found her on the floor in the living room, no not hurt, just looking under the couch. It was 4 degrees outside, and she yelled, it's 4 degrees under my couch. She had found an area where the wall had pulled away from the floor 1/4" and was blowing in really cold air. A quick fix with a can of foam and all set. Eventually I got my camera back. Extreme, but every house is filled with little leaks that all add up to an open window. The colder your house, the bigger that window is. The good news, with some simple caulk, can foam, and some tin flashing, that window can be reduced to a manageable size. Ranch, cape, two story, what ever you have, I would be happy to walk you through the process. Other readers will benefit as well and there are some other posters here on the board very well versed in where to look and how to fix those leaks.

If you are ready on your end, we will help on this end. Not only will you be warmer, but your heating costs will be less. By year end, the materials you may have to purchase will all be paid for and a savings to boot. I like to say guaranteed or all of your drafts happily returned

keep warm
Bud
 
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Old 01-06-09, 06:20 PM
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Since we've bought our (brick) house, the master BR, facing north, was always cold and drafty. We would go the window seal route every winter to help out since we also had horrible alum windows, that have since been replaced. In remodeling the BR, I removed the baseboards. I ended up looking at the yard!! The mortar between two cinder blocks of the foundation was gone! So, basically I had an open hole 1"x12" long letting cold air right in. This missing mortar was right behind the chainlink fence post and I just didn't see it from the outside looking in. It was an easy fix. So AK Hawkowl, you might also check your foundations mortar joints or any gaps between the foundation and the main structure.
 
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Old 01-08-09, 05:59 PM
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Ice/Frost on the wall

Originally Posted by AK Hawkowl View Post
Last night while trying to find a draft making my bedroom floor cold, I moved a storage bin & found I had ice/frost at the bottom of one of my walls.

Temps have been between 0 and -15 F for the last week. The wall faces north. The house was built in 1952, so I know the insulation isn't great - but inside ice???

I need to do something to get through the winter. I'm thinking about installing polyurethane and polyisocyanurate foam board on the inside until I can do something more permanent this summer. Any ideas?
AK Hawkowl,
You didn't say what material is covering the wall (Drywall/Plaster/Paneling), but get it dryed out BEFORE putting anything over it, or you'll likely get mildew or worse - black mold. If you abode is sided with wood, you might try putting foil backed board on the outside for the winter. Hey, the oldtimers down here used to wrap roofing paper around the house from the ground up onto the siding (one width). Then many of them even stacked bales of straw 2 rows high. Of course, that could lead to attracting some rodents.
 
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Old 01-08-09, 10:07 PM
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Next Steps (Part 1)

Thanks for the advice.

Last night I crawled around the floor and felt for locations with obvious drafts. I found a few. Great use for those little baby receiving blankets for the next few days (Rolled up along base of wall). That alone raised my room temp by 3 degrees.

In response to the PP questions: The exterior of the house, above the foundation is wood shingle. The interior walls are gypsum sheetrock. Even with a humidifier running my humidity is only 25% at 64*F.

On Saturday, I'm going to check out the mortar in my cinder block foundation. The location of the ice matches the height of the cinder block (~6" above ground). I plan on getting some straw bales and placing them against the outside wall in my problem areas, as well as attempting to block any missing mortar.

Any recommendations on a product to fill any gaps? Temps are supposed to go up to 20*F Tuesday, so I need something that will work in temps 0-20.

Bud - Once I check the easy & obvious outside, I'll be ready to start crawling around in the crawl space and then room by room pulling up the baseboards to check the floor to wall seam. Can you advise on the process and supplies.

Liza
 
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Old 01-09-09, 06:19 PM
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Hi Lisa, Did some reading on Alaska's weatherization programs and they seem to be limited, as in many states to low income qualified programs. Some states do them for everyone for free.

Not sure exactly how to fill missing mortar in the cold. You could use rope caulk if you keep it warm inside and only take what you need out into the cold. Comes spring you might possibly be able to remove it and apply proper mortar. The more adhesive caulking may be there to stay. Big box stores usually have a large display of different tubes of stuff and perhaps something listed as a mortar replacement, rated for cold application.

Inside, like the crawl space and behind trim, I just use construction adhesive. It is inexpensive and very durable. If you are going to fill exposed cracks, use a caulking that is paintable.

While in the crawl space, caulk where the wood rests on the foundation, if applicable, or any seams that can possibly leak and pick up some fiberglass insulation to apply around the perimeter. Describe how yours is constructed and I will try to be more specific.

I'll post my e-mail address in a private message in case you need to reach me. I always monitor my e-mail. but may drift in and out of the board as time permits.

best
Bud
 
  #7  
Old 01-11-09, 01:51 PM
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Depending on the gaps size of course, you could cut and stuff Styrofoam (pieces) in any gaps till the weather breaks.
Duck tape some plastic or tyvek sheeting up to keep the wind out and then your straw bales. It'll look like crap but save some cold from getting in.
 
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