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Recent Projects - Stittsville Home With Cold Rooms

Stittsville home with cold rooms 1

This was a two storey home in Stittsville and the complaint was that the rooms on the second story were cold in the winter. The furnace was adequately sized for the house, the filters were changed regularly, and the rooms seemed to be receiving adequate heat through the registers.

We removed the window casing from one window and found the problem.

Stittsville home with cold rooms 2

This was a model home that was built 18 years ago and it was sad to think about the energy loss over the years when the insulation around the windows was neglected.

Stittsville home with cold rooms 3

You would be hard pressed to say this problem wasnít obvious from the beginning. The window wasnít installed properly in the first place and the window casing didnít sit flush against the drywall. There was a 5/8Ē gap at the bottom of the window. It looks like someone noticed the window was drafty and rather than remove the trim and insulate properly, they tucked insulation up under the trim and then caulked the gap.

We werenít going to remove and reinstall the window properly so we custom cut the trim so it would fit against the drywall. At little caulking after putting the trim back up and we were able to get away with only having to touch up the trim and the walls were fine.

Stittsville home with cold rooms 4

Here is a better picture showing the insulation tucked up under the window casing when we removed it. There were likely two tubes of caulk used here. Hard to believe that someone would do work like this. The home owner is the original owner and didnít do this.

Itís difficult to say if the builder was aware of this as building a house is subbed out to many different contractors. If youíre not on-site to inspect the various work regularly, a shoddy worker can cover a lot of sins in a day. If youíre looking at having a home built, ask about on-site supervision.

Stittsville home with cold rooms 5

Wow, as the framing around this half round window was square, there was an 8Ē gap on both sides of the half round window with no insulation. You couldnít fill this gap with spray insulation. It wonít take very long to get payback in energy costs after correcting this work.

Tips to tackle insulating around windows

If you are going to tackle a job like this, use a drywall knife to cut along the edge of the window casing where it meets the wall. Paint and caulk will bond the two surfaces together and you can minimize the damage to the wall if you make this cut prior to removing your trim. Keep two hands on your knife and thereís no chance of cutting your other hand.

If you are going to reuse the same trim as we were able to do in this case, pull the nails through the back of the casing with a pair of pliers. Trying to hammer them out the way they went in will damage the casing.

We received feedback since completing this job which can also be used as clues to trouble shoot if you have a similar problem.

  • The rooms are warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  • The rooms are quieter and we canít hear the neighbors talking outside anymore.
  • We no longer have a problem with ladybugs and cluster flies in the house which was a big problem.

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