We got a new toy at work that I have been dying to try out. The infra-red camera lets you see and take pictures of heat. About a week and a half ago we had a real cold snap outside so I took it as an opportunity to borrow it and try it out. Here’s what I found:
I ventured inside to get a better idea of where the problem spots were . . .
The good news is there was insulation in most of the walls. Apparently a previous homeowner had paid to have that installed after the home was built. They even did a fairly good job of it. The real heat losses are in the basement. There were several other places in the unfinished part of the basement like the picture above with holes leaking in cold air. I could even see the light on in the garage through a few of them.
So, what are you supposed to do about that? Stuff an old sock in there to plug the hole?
Well, I picked up some of this stuff from Home Depot for like $4.
The idea is it sprays an expanding foam insulation that seals the air leaks and stops heat from conducting as well.
Some things I learned about this stuff:
- It expands. A lot. It’s easy to make a big gooey mess with. Pull the trigger s-l-o-w-l-y.
- For the reason above, gloves are a really good idea because it’s quite sticky and doesn’t come off skin very easily.
- Actually it doesn’t come off anything very easily, so make sure to cover or move anything vulnerable.
- Also, plan on using the whole can in one session. Once the stuff hardens, no more is coming out of the can.
I hope I haven’t scared you away from using the spray foam. It was really not bad to work with once I got the hang of it. Nevertheless, it’s probably good to start with a part of the house where the aesthetics are not all that critical.