Friday, January 3, 2014

Time for some creative construction

Y'all, my house hates me. The kitchen remodel is NOT going according to any of my plans. As you know we insulated and it definitely warmed the the place up, but I kept feeling a draft...except it was more like a breeze. So I started poking around, trying to figure out where we needed to seal the crack.

 It began innocently enough when I peeked in the corner and saw a little crack of daylight. Except it wasn't a crack, it was a big, honking gap. As in about 2 inches wide, running the entire height (length?) floor to ceiling! I will let the picture speak for itself.

This is the interior corner of my kitchen (North-East). You can see straight to the exterior (the light strip in the middle--that is the plywood interior of the outside closet). The gap is large enough to put your fingers through it.  Umm... not that I stuck my fingers through a hundred years of cobwebs and other gross creepy crawlies. Nope--THAT was the hubbs job!
The reason it wasn't noticed prior is the corner of the house sits within a shell of another wall. It is essentially a house within a house. There is a little out door closet (as shown below). With the door remaining closed it was dark we didn't see evidence of the crack. It wasn't until I was looking for a way to seal what I thought was a hole did I find this. Imagine my surprise!

I actually felt sick to my stomach to know this has been like this. No wonder I constantly had issues with mice, bugs, fumes and drafts! For now we have shoved a batt of insulation to block the draft, but I want something permanent. I am completely skeeved out by this. Not to mention curious and concerned. Why is there a gap? Is it due to age? Rot? Carpenter ants? Termites? Is my my house going to fall down around me??!! Okay breathe, breathe, go to your zen place...

We need to do some creative construction. Or have a miracle and win the lottery... There is only a 3-4 inch space between the old house and the "exoskeleton/ shell". Not big enough to get in there with any tools. And there is no way to access it from the inside. Of course not, siiigghhh

My solution is to assemble an oversized L shaped "corner bead" slide it around edge and tack it (the short edge) in place. I tried to draw an example below, so forgive my lack of artistry.
Maybe I should adhere thin foam insulation (like the stuff used for floating floors) on interior of "L shape" before we attach it? I also think we can get screws long enough to drive through the interior studs and catch the "sheet" of wood (the longer part of  the L) and snug it close to the house. When the weather warms up, spray foam can be shot into the gaps where the original house slats and "short part of the L" meet. We can stuff insulation in the corner from the inside. And I plan on tapping shims (or old pieces of lathe) into the gap from the inside. I plan on covering the corner with some thin foam insulation or weather stripping. Then I will tape the edge of the insulation batts to seal it. Does any of this make sense?

What do you think? Any suggestions? Unless we demolish the exterior "exoskeleton" or take out studs inside I don't know how to fix this. All I can say it thank goodness this was discovered before the drywall was installed. Oh the joys of an 1881 house!

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