Winter Energy Saving Tips #2: Finding/Sealing Basement Air Leaks

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker, Mulleady, Inc. Realtors 42118

Air Leaks in Your Basement? How to Find and Seal Them


Many overlook their basement as a source of heat loss.  Cold air enters your basement just as it does the rest of the house through air leaks that are both above and below ground.  Air filtering into your home can be sucked into your furnace causing it to work harder and longer.  

Plug large gaps in basement walls

Polyurethane foam in a can is ideal for plugging openings 1/4-inch to 2 inches wide, check  for them around pipes and vents that pass through basement walls to the outside.
A standard 12-ounce can sprayed in place will slowly expand to about twice its size, making it a good choice for large cracks. After it dries, cut off excess foam with a utility knife or putty knife.

Plug small gaps in basement walls

Caulk is generally best for the smaller gaps, such as those cut around electrical boxes. Silicone costs the most and works well when sealing nonporous materials, such as metal flashing.  Acrylic is less messy to work with and cleans up with water.  Use high-temperature caulk around vent pipes that get hot, such as those for the furnace or water heater.

Seal air leaks where foundation meets the wall

In most older houses with basements, air seeps in where the house framing sits on its foundation. Spread a bead of caulk between the foundation and the sill plate (the wood immediately above the foundation), and along the top and bottom edges of the rim joist—the outermost piece of framing material that runs along the top of the sill plate.


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Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Insulated cellar walls makes sense too as concrete is not much for insulation value with R 1.

Oct 23, 2011 05:04 AM #1
Mary Macy
Top Agents Atlanta Metro - Roswell, GA
Top Agents Atlanta Metro

It is that time of year again  BRRRRRR, thanks for the reminder, that is exactly what I am doing today, batten down the hatches for the approaching winter.

Oct 23, 2011 05:40 AM #2
Mark Geis
Coldwell Banker, Mulleady, Inc. Realtors - Eagle River, WI



Really?   You're in Atlanta.  We'd be wearing shorts in the middle of January if we were down there...  


 - Mark



Oct 23, 2011 07:02 AM #3
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