Draught problems in new build


Postby tanz1978 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:11 pm

We bought a new build house last May and as seems to be the common story, now the weather is colder we have found that the ground floor is really cold and draughty compared to the rest of the house. So much so that to heat the lounge up to an acceptable temperature means the rest of the house is sweltering!

Anyway, the builder has agreed to come and fill the gap between the skirting board and the concrete floor which seems to be producing the majority of draughts. I was just wondering if there are any recommendations for stuff they can use to seal the gaps in a proper and long lasting way? I think they'll try to use mastik to go round and fill them but is a certain type of mastik better? Also I was thinking it would be worth trying to push some sort of insulation into the gap first. You can buy rolls of foam strips that are normally used round doors/windows so they might work?

Our real worry is that this is not a real solution to the problem. New houses should be built as pretty much sealed units to comply with Part L of the building regs and our house is no way sealed! We're worried that there is no or incorrectly laid insulation behind the plaster board where the wall joins the floor but there's no way of telling. Do you think filling these gaps will make a real difference?

One last thing, as part of the building regs houses have to be pressure tested. On a larger development this only has to be a select few of the various house types. So they can prove that they've met the regs but if our actual house wasn't one of the ones that has been pressure tested do we have any come back in the building regs? Or is it deemed to have passed because the "sample" passed?

Thanks a lot for any advise you can give.
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Postby thedoctor » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:19 pm

Unless you have really major structural problems its almost impossible for draughts to be coming from under the skirting. Its much more likely that the air is coming from under an ill fitting door or window and because it is cold air it is swilling around at floor level Feeling like its coming from under the skirting. If the house is timber frame and the draught really is coming from under the skirting, filling the gap will only be dealing with the effect of the problem and this builder should be looking for the cause. Skirting boards, architraves and coving etc is there to "pretty up" the joints between surfaces, not provide a barrier against the elements.
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Postby Perry525 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:12 pm

When did you hear of a builder or housing inspector being hung a Tyburn for allowing sub standard homes to be built and sold?

Buy a Infrared temperature gauge from Maplin and scan the area, this will enable you to identify where the cold spots are, do a comparison with other rooms to establish a base temperature.

Do you have a concrete floor or wood floor and joists on the ground floor and are there air bricks outside below damp proof course?
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Postby DANCER » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:42 pm

[quote="tanz1978"]We bought a new build house last May and as seems to be the common story, now the weather is colder we have found that the ground floor is really cold and draughty compared to the rest of the house. So much so that to heat the lounge up to an acceptable temperature means the rest of the house is sweltering!

Anyway, the builder has agreed to come and fill the gap between the skirting board and the concrete floor which seems to be producing the majority of draughts. I was just wondering if there are any recommendations for stuff they can use to seal the gaps in a proper and long lasting way? I think they'll try to use mastik to go round and fill them but is a certain type of mastik better? Also I was thinking it would be worth trying to push some sort of insulation into the gap first. You can buy rolls of foam strips that are normally used round doors/windows so they might work?

Our real worry is that this is not a real solution to the problem. New houses should be built as pretty much sealed units to comply with Part L of the building regs and our house is no way sealed! We're worried that there is no or incorrectly laid insulation behind the plaster board where the wall joins the floor but there's no way of telling. Do you think filling these gaps will make a real difference?

One last thing, as part of the building regs houses have to be pressure tested. On a larger development this only has to be a select few of the various house types. So they can prove that they've met the regs but if our actual house wasn't one of the ones that has been pressure tested do we have any come back in the building regs? Or is it deemed to have passed because the "sample" passed?

Thanks a lot for any advise you can give.[/quote][list][/list]
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Postby DANCER » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:45 pm

We have a new build also, where draughts come under the skirting. I do not agree with the reply which stated that unless there were major structural problems this was impossible. We feel the problem is draughts somehow coming in behind the dot and daub plaster board, travelling down the wall and under the skirting board, making rooms very cool.

Would welcome any solution please
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Postby Perry525 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:33 pm

It is a fact that walls are full of holes.
The traditional finish was wet plaster, that nicely filled all the holes.
From that we moved on to cheap dot and daub plaster board, cheap for the builder that is.
For the person living there, hell!
As the gap between the wall and board is ideal for the wind to blow behind and works like a refrigerator.
To help make matters worse, builders incorporate drips in the outer wall, to facilitate the wind blowing inside the cavity, just to pile on the misery.
In effect you have but one line of blocks between you and the sky.
At least in the early days cavities were sealed and the two inch gap provided a simple buffer, albeit that convection still stripped the heat from the inner wall.
The perfect solution is to drill holes at 18 inch centres and to fill the cavity with polyurethane foam, that's not the space between the wall and plasterboard, as the foam will expand and force that off.
Otherwise traditional wet plaster.
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Postby rosebery » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:44 pm

[quote="DANCER"]We have a new build also, where draughts come under the skirting. I do not agree with the reply which stated that unless there were major structural problems this was impossible. We feel the problem is draughts somehow coming in behind the dot and daub plaster board, travelling down the wall and under the skirting board, making rooms very cool.

Would welcome any solution please[/quote]Cold air sinks. Thats not the same as a draught.
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Postby DANCER » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:51 am

[quote="rosebery"][quote="DANCER"]We have a new build also, where draughts come under the skirting. I do not agree with the reply which stated that unless there were major structural problems this was impossible. We feel the problem is draughts somehow coming in behind the dot and daub plaster board, travelling down the wall and under the skirting board, making rooms very cool.

Would welcome any solution please[/quote]Cold air sinks. Thats not the same as a draught.[/quote]

If buildings under building regs. should be pressure tested, who is called to account for the failure of incorrect sealing, insulation and therefore draughty new build premises. It all seems a very"grey" area, and none of this helps the householder who is left to pay expensive heating bills and sort out the problem somehow.
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Postby DANCER » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:40 pm

During this windy weather our new build extension has been very draughty and therefore very cold. Cold air leaks from under skirting boards, and from under sealed patio doors. Any advice please, this is a major problem.
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