Fixing Home Air Leaks Around Cold Cellar Door – 2

Yesterday I wrote about the air leaks we discovered around our cold cellar door during the blower test of our second home energy audit.

Today I wanted to write about the solution I used.

Now, as shown yesterday, we are not talking about a space that is 10 inches wide by 10 inches high.

The amount of space around the door frame is around, by my calculations, about 15 square feet (36 inches wide at the top of the door + 72 inches high for one side of the door X 2 sides X 1 inch deep); please check my math as I was never a math major in high school. However, it is not a straigh6 feet tall by 2.5 inches wide.

cold cellar air leaks 008 Fixing Home Air Leaks Around Cold Cellar Door   2

Remember, a door frame is what, an inch to an inch and two inches wide? That is pretty narrow for one to try and shove typical fibreglass bats into. Plus, I want to also seal the space at the door frame between it and the foundation wall (so cold air in the winter does not travel from the cold cellar through to between the foundational wall and the dry wall and out through any of a number of openings into the living area) which is between a half an inch and an inch at the most.

So, my solution was to use some type of foam sealant. This would help to ensure that all the rough crevices of the foundation wall and of the shims within the door frame would be properly sealed to prevent air leaks from entering.

But which type?

Well, I had acquired two different types from DAP as shown below.

dap tex and dap kwik foam Fixing Home Air Leaks Around Cold Cellar Door   2

The one on the right is your fairly typical polyurethane sealant while the one on the right I had used last year with success around the partial wood paneling in our basement’s billiard room.

I decided to go with the DAP Tex product for one main reason.

Remember, I am not ‘in the business’; by that I mean I am just an ordinary Joe who does not use home renovation or maintenance products every day. Like most of you, I don’t have the time to do this since I have a full time job and family which already takes up most of my time.

What I liked about the DAP Tex, especially after using it around the partial wood paneling in our basement referenced above was that, true to the product labeling, it does not over expand. At least all of the polyurethane products I have used or seen used, including the DAP Kwik Foam, they will expand to 150% of their initial size when it comes out of the can. If I don’t do it right, the polyurethane foam could over expand and possibly damage the door frame.

dap tex foam sealant Fixing Home Air Leaks Around Cold Cellar Door   2

Sure, the DAP Tex will not cover as much area as the Kick Foam, but that’s OK by me. the DAP TEX costs around $7.50 per can, which is not that much.

As well, from my experience last year, the DAP Tex was very easy to clean up and can be re-used.

Not to worry. I have a couple of other areas in the basement where I do want to use the DAP Kwik Foam polyurethane sealant.

So, off I go with a couple of cans of the DAP Tex product.

To continue to the next article and see how the use of the DAPTex foam insulation went around our cold cellar door frame, simply select this link to Part 3.

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  1. Vasile says:

    Hi, it’s me again :-)

    I think all the manufacturers of foam spray have formulations for low expansion foam. I’ve also used DAP, but Great Stuff also has a Doors&Windows foam. If I’m not mistaken, the DAP I used was latex-based, so it didn’t harden too much, sau it was easy to clean the surplus.

    As with all foam, it’s better not to overfill the cavity. I usually stuff some fiberglass using a putty knife, then close everything with foam. The fiberglass will still act as insulator as long as air doesn’t flow through it, and I use less foam.


  2. Vasile says:

    Didn’t check your math, but 15 sq ft seems a little bit excessive :) That’s 3ft x 5ft, almost your whole door.

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