Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Jack Frost, do your worst!

Brandon and I did a few things to winterize the house today.

First, we filled some gaps in the basement that were letting cold air into the house.

By the way, maybe I’m a dork for this, but I think insulating foam is one of the most fun and entertaining substances ever created. Not only does it make an awesome gurgling sound when it comes out of the tube, but it also looks like whipped cream when it comes out. Plus, watching it expand and bubble out of the cracks is really fun. The coolest thing though, is that you can let loose a little glob of it on your brick basement wall and it will slowly roll down the wall like those slimy toys we used to get from Nickelodeon when we were kids. Anyway, I had fun. Here are some pictures:

One big hole was around the exhaust pipe for the gas furnace. There was a half an inch of open space around the pipe. I filled it with foam.

Here it is before foaming:

Here it is mid-foam:

Fully foamed:

One basement window was really drafty so I filled all the gaps around it with foam.

Here’s the window before:

And the foaming process:




The coal chute was letting in a lot of cold air. So guess what I did. You got it! FOOOOAAAMMMM!!!!




And for good measure, I also got a few gaps that opened up as the foundation settled.




Next we put up some plastic sheeting over our drafty windows. Brandon is a master plastic sheet putter-upper. I mostly just assisted but he let me do the fun part of shrinking the plastic with a hair dryer! (I love him so much!)





Now we just need to get some wood for the stove and we’ll be all ready for winter! Ooh wait, I need some more fall first. Winter can wait!

P.S. I also got on a very high ladder today and cleaned out the gutters on the other side of the house today. Phew! I’m exhausted!

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4 Responses to “Jack Frost, do your worst!”

  1. November 5th, 2007 at 5:15 am

    Maya says:

    I have done quite a bit of window winterizing myself and am wondering how well does that plastic insulation stuff work that you guys are putting up?

  2. November 5th, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    ournewoldhouse1 says:

    Great question, Maya!

    Plastic sheeting works great if you’re leaking cold air through the window sashes itself. If you have gaps between the sashes, or if the glazing around the panes of glass is loose or has worn away, then the plastic sheet encases the whole open window area and stops the air leaking. Brandon and I have always noticed a significant difference in how often our furnace runs when we have plastic on the windows.

    If your problem is deeper inside the window frame, however, the plastic sheeting might not do the trick. If the insulation between the window frame and the wall is faulty then you’ll still have drafts around your window.

    At about $10 a package (enough tape and plastic to do nine 3’x5′ windows) it’s an inexpensive way to figure out where you’re actually losing heat. If the plastic sheeting fixes the problem, then you’re set. If not, then you know you need to look into more invasive options.

    Good luck and keep warm! šŸ™‚ -Kelli

  3. August 14th, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Craig says:

    One thing I hate about foam is that its so easy to spray on too much. As it hardens it swells and is really unsightly. Even after you try to scrape some of the excess off.Gotta be a better way.I could take some pics of my basement, but then, it would be too scary.

  4. December 7th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Cheryl says:

    It may be 4 years after this was published but THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! I just moved in to a house built in the 50’s and with all the heaters (blasting), it’s only 53 degrees in here! The landlord came in the other day to “winterize” but not enough! He concentrated on the drafty doors, thank you. One door is still a challenge due to the sagging floors but since I now know why the condensation is RAINING on the inside of my windows, I’m out to get plastic and several cans of Great Stuff!!!!!!
    This account of your renovation along with the pictures was so wonderful, and so entertaining!

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