floor pulled away from foundation leaking air under baseboards

sunnytopOctober 14, 2010

My house leaks copious amounts of cold air in the winter from underneath the baseboards only in the part of our house that has no basement and is standing only on a concrete slab. I am preparing for hw floors to be installed in this area and I have pulled the baseboards off and pulled back the old carpet. There is at least an inch gap where the floor slab appears to have pulled away from the outside foundation. I can see dirt between the floor and the outside wall. Is there supposed to be an airspace here or would it help to put some sort of insulation, expanding foam or something in this gap? There are spots where I can't even see bottom, just looks like empty space going way way down into the ground somewhere.

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Is the part of the house you are talking about the original house, and possibly the rest has been added on to? Let me first say that I know basically nothing about the construction of old homes. I *love* old homes, but I don't pretend to know how they are built. However I remember reading, possibly on this forum about something called "balloon framing". The main thing about their construction was that they were designed to allow air to flow through their walls. I believe it kept the structure sound, even in high winds. Maybe if you google "balloon frame home" and read the descriptions you can decide if this is what you are dealing with... Just a thought ~ hopefully someone with more information or ideas will come along. I could be (and often am) totally off!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 9:56PM
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Thanks for your reply. I don't think it's balloon frame as the house isn't that ancient. It was built in 1977 but I suspect this might be a problem due to its age. I can't imagine there would have been a reason to design the house so outside air gushes in under baseboards but who am I to say. There was no adding on to this area. It is however the part of the house with no basement. The rest of the house has basement under it.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 10:09PM
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Basically, no - you shouldn't see dirt anywhere poking through in a modern home. 1977 is modern. All the levels of your home should be supported by the foundation, so any gaps should be taken seriously. If you don't have the knowledge to diagnose the problem, you should bring in a professional.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 8:34AM
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Oh, that does not sound right at all. I didn't realize you were talking about a "newer" home (relatively speaking). Good luck - I hope you live in a friendly climate!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 3:04PM
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Nope, I don't live in a friendly climate. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 11:17PM
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