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Bay window and cold floor and cold walls

I live in VA and my townhome was built in 2001. In the winter, the floor in front of the bay window which extends out with 2 windows is very cold. Also, the seat of the window is very cold. I have a coat closet in the same room and when I touch the wall that is on the exterior wall, it is much colder than the other wall and the same for a broom closet on the back exterior wall of the house. Is this an obvious insulation issues, if so how can it be fixed without tearing out walls and floors?

Re: Bay window and cold floor and cold walls

Yes, they have a blown-in insulation method for this type of situation where the insulation company shows up with a blower-motor truck, and working completely from the outside of the building, they remove a small piece of exterior siding here & there, drill a 3" or 4" hole in the sheathing & using a 4" blower hose, blow cellulose insulation into all the wall cavities where you are experiencing the cold walls; once the sheathing piece and exterior siding is re-installed the work is completed in less than a day & there is no trace of any work being done to the building.

Strongly recommended for not only occupant comfort, but considerable savings on heating & cooling bills for years to come.

Get a clear statement (in writing if possible) from the prospective insulation contractor before the work is done as to what extent the cold wall/window/floor problem will be solved by the insulation procedure, and/or if additional expense will have to be incurred by for example installing new window glass, or insulating the sub-floor as well,

For example, if the bay window glass is currently single pane, you may go thru the expense of the insulation job & still find afterwards that a lot of cold air is still coming thru the glass, requiring double-pane glass to be installed at additional expense to solve the problem.

Consult the Yellow Pages under "Insulation" for a local dealer, or Google "insulation contractors (your city/town, Virginia)", or use word of mouth from friends/relatives, or use one of the contractor evaluation/referral services like Angie's List, Better Business Bureau, that serves your locality in Virginia.

If you call a local insulation contractor via the Yellow Pages, or some other referral, and the contractor says they don't do blow-in insulation, always ask them IF THEY KNOW SOMEBODY IN THE AREA WHO DOES DO BLOW-IN INSULATION.

Get at least 2-3 written estimates for the job before you decide whom to hire.


Re: Bay window and cold floor and cold walls

Closets against an exterior wall will get cold. It doesn't matter much how much insulation is in the wall. When you close the closet door, you cut off warm air circulation in the closet. The closet will cool down simply because it doesn't have a source of heat, and as the closet cools down, the exterior wall in the back of the closet will feel (and actually be) colder than the exterior walls in the room.

As for the bay window. Lots of glass, low R value, even the best windows only have about an R-3 or so. Warm room air is going to hit the glass, cool down, get heavier than the rest of the room air so it sinks to the floor. If you put your hand near the glass at the bottom of the window, it can feel like cold water flowing over your hand. That will make the seat and the floor colder.

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