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Some rooms in my house have a pretty bad draft along the edge of the floor, where it meets the outside walls. But I am less than thrilled (to put it mildly) about the prospect of ripping out carpeting and moldings just to seal the draft. Is there any simpler solution out there?

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    Do you have any pictures? Is there a gap between the floor and the baseboard? – James Van Huis Feb 1 '11 at 21:42
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    can you access the floor from underneath? – shirlock homes Feb 1 '11 at 21:58
  • @James - There's nothing much to see; just a molding abutting the carpet, with barely any space between. @Shirlock - no access underneath, it's on a slab. – Dave Feb 2 '11 at 5:46
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Wait a minute... that may be a very, very bad idea. sorry kacalapy. All I can see is messy carpet after that try. If this carpet is laid on concrete, then the tack strip is fastened with masonry nails, and if installed properly is chiseled over the edge. No way caulking is going to seal the gaps causing the air leaks. If your leaks are that bad, then do the right thing. Take off the baseboards, see if you can access the sills, if not, pull back the carpet, and caulk the gap between the sill plate and the slab. Reinstall the baseboards, then re-stretch the carpet to the tack strip. It sounds like no sill seal foam or sealant was installed under the sills. There is really no quick fix to a problem like this. BTW, foam padding and carpet carry and "R" value of about 3 to 5 max. Carpet is never even considered as an insulating material.

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    That's what I was afraid of. There will be an awful lot of furniture moving... – Dave Feb 3 '11 at 4:58
  • Incidentally, is there any advantage to caulk over minimally expanding foam? – Dave Feb 3 '11 at 4:59
  • Sorry it takes a lot of work, but I call's them as I see's them. – shirlock homes Feb 3 '11 at 5:01
  • foam is best used in deep cracks and openings. Caulk will stop air flow in more shallow voids. – shirlock homes Feb 3 '11 at 23:05
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jam the nozzle of a silicone tube in between the carpet and baseboard and fill the gap with silicone. this is a fast and efficient way to eliminate the drafts. i had the same thing in the room over my garage.

  • Won't the air still penetrate thru the carpeting? – Dave Feb 2 '11 at 14:30
  • how, carpet is like insulation- it is a fiber with trapped air pockets like a sponge it is a insulating barrier on its own. actually its used primarily to keep warmth in a room... as opposed to tile or hardwood thats cold to the touch – kacalapy Feb 2 '11 at 15:35
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Foam backer rod can be a reasonable improvement. Just experiment with various sizes and placement to determine if a solution for your situation.

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It would serve you much better to tear it out and properly re-seal the bottom plate with fresh acoustical sealant and thicker vapour barrier. Unless you want bigger issues such as mold. You can have insulation slippage etc that can be fixed. I just did the same thing. Other than the time it took it is now properly fixed for a weekends worth of work. Installed higher grade insulation as well.

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