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Community and Q&A

Looking for removable air barrier

user-4053553 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I live in an older house and discover new air leaks all the time (14.85ACH50), i pulled some panels and since its balloon framing they lead all the way to the attic, i can see the kraft paper from one of the fiberglass batts (with a flashlight and mirror).
The basement headers are “plugged” with wooden panels cut to fit but have gaps on all 4 sides, is there anything i can use thats removable and not damaging (i will want to do upgrades in the future, dense packed cellulose, spray foam, who knows). I’ve considered removable caulking but with the number of panels i have to seal i would cost many hundreds of dollars for that many tubes. I won’t want to use regular caulking until its a permanent fix (and that would cost just as much).

When i get around to electrical, air sealing and insulating the attic i’ll have to install wooden firestops/insulation stops in the attic, unless there is a better solution.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    I'm not quite sure you you want to use "removable" products for air sealing. I suggest that you do a good (permanent) job of air sealing. You can address these issues slowly -- you don't have to do all the work in a single weekend -- but your should strive to do a good job the first time.

    Here are two articles to help you:

    Air-Sealing a Basement

    Air Sealing an Attic

  2. charlie_sullivan | | #2

    I agree with the recommendation for permanent solution--do it well once. It's not hard to cut through the canned foam, if you should need to at some point, and it's not all that expensive.

    If you insist on a temporary solution, you could use tape. There are expensive very good air sealing tapes, but if you are serious about it being temporary, you could use something super-cheap like package sealing tape or, a little better but still definitely temporary, 3M exterior grade blue masking tape. Neither of those would be very good, but either would be be better than nothing, and might buy you some time to work up to doing it right with canned foam or caulk. But I'm not sure they'd take any less time than doing it right.

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