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Stop Drafts Through Wall Outlets

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: We’re going to talk to Drafty Dan in Rhode Island. What’s going on?

    DAN: I have an older home that I purchased back in March; so I’m finding out new things all the time. Of all places, I’m getting drafts through wall outlets.

    TOM: That’s not unusual at all and there’s a simple solution for that, Dan.

    DAN: Great.

    TOM: What you need to do is get some wall outlet gaskets. There’s actually a foam gasket that’s specifically designed to fit around an outlet; like a two-plugged outlet. They also have them to fit around light switches; either a single light switch or a double light switch; a small, narrow one; or the big decorous switches. And the way you install those is you remove the switch plate on the outside of the outlet or the light switch and then you put this rubber gasket or foam gasket behind that and then you reinstall the switch plate and it does a great job of sealing those gaps out.

    DAN: OK. I mean I noticed on a couple of the switches that the hole that was cut out wasn’t exactly like true square. Would that make up for any gaps for like an uneven cut in the drywall?

    TOM: If you have a big gap around there there’s another thing that you could use and that’s a product called Great Stuff which is …

    LESLIE: One of those expandable foams.

    TOM: Expandable foam sealant.

    DAN: (overlapping voices) Oh, that’s what I was thinking of trying. Yep.

    TOM: Yep, that works well. Now the trick of the trade there is to spray it around that hole and then walk away. Don’t try to clean it up. Just let it dry. Then after it dries …

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah, and underspray.

    TOM: Yeah, don’t put too much because it does expand a lot. And then after it dries, you can go back with a knife and cut the excess off. But just walk away after you spray it; let it harden and it’s really easy to manage from there.

    DAN: Yeah, I know that product well. I’ve used it down on a basement door that I put in.

    TOM: It works very, very well. And by the way, if you’re going to use it for doors, there’s a special formulation for doors that doesn’t expand and force the door to sort of swell shut. So make sure you choose the right one for the product that you’re using.

    Well, Dan, good luck with that home improvement project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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