Today is Friday the 13th of January but we are feeling good about today and hope all of you have a terrific day for you and your families.
We have been talking about holes in the foundation wall and the basement floor. This has been a productive series and has been received well so let’s look around the basement one more time and see if we can find another potential problem.
Oh look…………., over there is a black plastic pipe (typically it’s black). This black pipe is going to bring fresh water into the house. Depending on where you live the other end of that water pipe is either your well out in the yard or the water main for your town/city. Honestly, most of the houses we deliver are out in the country and are hooked to individual water wells. Almost always the water pipe enters the foundation down near the bottom or the basement floor as it is buried deep in the ground to avoid winter’s frost.
That water pipe almost always enters with the black plastic pipe entering the foundation through a sleeve through the foundation. The sleeve is usually put in place prior to the concrete being poured, that’s just easier for everyone rather than drilling a hole through the concrete.
It makes only common sense that the sleeve be bigger than the water pipe. Right? Right! So, that means there is plenty of room for cold air to enter the basement. Yes, that’s right this is another source of Cold Air Penetration and the void or extra space needs to be sealed off to stop the Cold Air Penetration.
There are two widely used methods to seal off this pipe sleeve. The first is Hydraulic Cement that is mixed in small batches and then forced into the void. Hydraulic Cement dries quickly and will seal the opening well. The other idea is to seal it off with spray foam. Both will eliminate the Cold Air Penetration but the Hydraulic Cement is probably the better idea.