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Cold Draft from corner of bedroom


JIJ123's Avatar
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12-23-13, 06:53 PM   #1  
Cold Draft from corner of bedroom

The corner walls (bottom & top parts) of my bedroom are extremely cold. I measured at least a 10 degree difference in temperature between the corners and rest of the walls. I can feel a cold draft of air sometimes coming in from the corners. I recently had my exterior covered with Vinyl siding (on top of foam board insulation). The insulation of rest of my house look ok except for the corners. I went outside and felt inside the vinyl corner post and discovered it's hollow. The foam board insulation covers both the exterior walls and the vinyl siding is sealed at the bottom all along the walls except at the corner post.

Is it a good idea to cover the bottom of the vinyl corner post with a sealant? If yes, what kind? Any other suggestions to help resolve the issue with cold draft of air coming in?

Thanks

 
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NJ

12-23-13, 07:13 PM   #2  
Welcome to the forums.

In my opinion.... the siding is only a minor part in the insulation process. It sounds more like you're lacking insulation in the walls.


Did you have the same issue before the siding was installed ?
Is this bedroom over a garage ?
How old is the house ?

 
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12-23-13, 07:20 PM   #3  
No, you don't fill the corner posts with sealant, and you don't caulk inside the j-channels! Vinyl siding is by no means air proof or water proof. You say the top part of your wall is colder. That would have nothing to do with the siding, and everything to do with the way the house was insulated. (the insulation in the attic and inside the walls- not the foam they added before the siding was installed) The drywall joints are taped, so no air is going to be coming past the drywall at the top corner with the ceiling. Cold air falls, so this may be what you are "feeling" there.

Along the baseboard, the most common air leak is caused by air coming under the bottom plate of the wall framing. A draft at that location can be resolved by removing the baseboard, pulling back the carpet, cleaning out the joint between the drywall / floor / bottom plate and then either seal it with caulking or foam it with a continuous bead of low expanding foam. Caulk is the better solution since foam can expand too much and make a mess unless you are very careful with it.

In either case, I doubt that changing the siding has changed anything. If your old siding was removed, it "might" be possible that they damaged the original sheathing and created new holes where air could come in, but we have no way of knowing that.

The exterior corners of a house will always be colder than the rest of the wall because the corners are made up of 2x4's and there is very little room for insulation there. Heat registers are also not normally located near the corners of a room, so a corner does not get as much air flow as the rest of the walls. Furniture can also block airflow making some parts of a room colder than others.

 
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12-23-13, 08:40 PM   #4  
Thanks.

I don't remember that it was so cold before installing the vinyl siding. We had the vinyl installed over foam board insulation on top of the previous wooden shingle siding.

The bedroom is on the ground floor and has two exterior facing walls. It's not near the garage. The house is 25 years old.

 
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12-23-13, 08:46 PM   #5  
If they put it on top of your existing siding then nothing has changed and the idea that its somehow colder than before is all in your imagination, sorry to say.

 
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12-23-13, 08:47 PM   #6  
It's cold only at the joints at the bottom and the top of the corner wall. I think it coincides with top and bottom of the exterior vinyl corner post. As I said the bottom portion of the vinyl corner post is definitely open and I can see that's the only portion of the vinyl siding which is open from the bottom. The top portion of corner post may similarly be open also.

I have already applied silicone caulk along the interior joints of the floor and along the baseboard. The caulk doesn't seem to have made any difference. The reading using a temperature gun was the same before and after applying the caulk.

There is no attic over the room only a sloping roof covered with roof shingles.

Is a 10 degree difference between the corners and the adjoining wall a couple of feet away normal?

Any suggestions to help reduce the temperature difference other than tearing down the wall and putting insulation inside it?

Would sealing the bottom of the vinyl corner post with a duct tape or a foam board do any harm?

 
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12-23-13, 08:57 PM   #7  
If anything, since they added foam to the wall, the majority of the wall might be a little warmer than it ever used to be, which might be exaggerating areas that are still going to be as cold as they have always been... either because of a mass of cold framing or from an air leak that isn't being sealed at the source.

Applying caulk to the face of the baseboard isn't the same as sealing the framing where it meets the subfloor- under the drywall at the bottom plate. 100% silicone is not paintable, so if you ever intend to paint over your caulk I'd suggest you not use silicone.

Doing what you suggest to the corner post won't do any harm but it won't do any good either. Air can get behind the corner post all along the sides so whats the point of plugging up the bottom.

I would guess that yes, a 10F difference probably is normal. We have some members here who regularly do that sort of energy audit so maybe they will chime in. But most people don't normally go around checking their wall temperatures with a laser meter. I would almost guarantee that if you would have checked these areas prior to your siding that you would find that nothing has changed much.

 
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12-24-13, 03:03 AM   #8  
An outside corner of a building is always the worst area and often is skipped when they insulated. That hidden space is covered by sheathing on the outside and inaccessible from the inside when the insulation is being installed. Newer framing methods use less wood and leave the gap accessible so it gets some insulation. This is probably what you have.
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How thick was the foam board they added before the new siding? Typically it is just fanfold or rather thin and just evens out the old siding to support the new. 2" or more of rigid would have been a big improvement.

In warm weather you could access that corner and fill the gap with one part foam. Multiple holes from the inside or remove the siding from the outside. When nice and warm vinyl is fairly easy to work with. Use a low expanding can foam and go slow so you don't over fill. I have filled around windows that had plywood right up to the frame and just drilled a bunch of holes and filled from bottom to top. When I later had to remove one of those windows I could see it did a perfect job.

Being a sloped roof above that wall/corner also means less insulation over the top. Nut much you can do about that, just no space.

Bud

 
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12-24-13, 04:28 AM   #9  
Need to get past the "sidings causing it". It has nothing to do with it.
Sealing up that outside corners going to do more harm then good.
Now any water that does get into the corner will not be able to drain.
Lack of air flow in corners can cause lower temperatures.
This is to give you an idea if what insulation is suppose to be in your home.
Recommended Levels of Insulation : ENERGY STAR

Air sealing the attic and under the house should also be done. Insulating rim joist with 2" foam and sealing any gaps with spray foam is all part of a proper job.

 
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12-25-13, 06:48 PM   #10  
Thank you for all your comments and suggestions

 
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12-25-13, 09:01 PM   #11  
I was reading about insulating rim joist and all the articles talk about insulating the rim joist from under the basement. My house doesn't have a basement or a crawl space. The floor seems to built on top of concrete. Any suggestions around how I can insulate the rim joist of my house?

 
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12-26-13, 04:20 AM   #12  
If your floor is directly on concrete it is called a "slab on grade". And you are correct, no rim joist to insulate. The alternative is to install rigid insulation around the perimeter buried in the soil. Not a winter project. Depending upon the are of the house, it may already be there. Some slabs are just that, a thick monolithic chunk of concrete. Others have a frost wall with the slab poured over the top or inside the perimeter, but either rests on soil with maybe some rigid foam underneath.

An infrared inspection during cold weather would show where there may or may not be rigid foam. If you wait for warm weather the IR is less revealing. Energy auditors do these IR inspections all the time.

If you plan on staying in this home for a long time, what I recommend is for home owners to start accumulating the construction details for that home. Then, as changes are made or improvements, you can incorporate the more efficient approach. Some details are wall thickness, type of insulation, attic and roof construction and insulation. attic venting, air sealing around the windows and doors.

Speaking of air sealing, being a slab on grade, infiltration would occur from the floor up to mid height while exfiltration would be from ceiling down the the mid zone. ALL home do and must exchange air, thus any leaks below the walls, around the windows will be part of the draft you are feeling. The number sounds huge, but 1/3 of all of the air inside your home leaks out every hour. If less you would have wet windows from high humidity.

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