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Sealing the pier-floor gap - ideas?

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25 replies to this topic

#1 kathyastro

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 08:18 AM

I have been doing a renovation on the interior of the building to make it more bug-proof.  I have the walls almost finished, and now I am turning my attention to the various openings.

 

There is a gap of about 1/2 - 3/4 inch between my pier and the wood-framed floor of my observatory.  Obviously, whatever I use to seal it must be flexible and transmit vibrations poorly.  I am looking for ideas.

 

Open-cell foam?  Closed-cell foam?  Pipe insulation?



#2 Old Photons

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 08:37 AM

I would try foam backer rod.  Available in lots of sizes.

 

https://www.homehard...-x-10/p/2030836


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#3 JCDAstro

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 08:39 AM

Well closed cell foam is the better option (over open cell) if you have any moisture concerns.  It is, however, typically more rigid and so I'm not sure how that translated vibrations.  I cannot imagine that it would be able to transfer much to a concrete pillar, but I'm not a structural expert.  You can perhaps use the foam to close the gap and then get a nice silicone sealant to "finish" the last quarter inch to provide some flexibility if you believe that is a huge concern.

 

Personally, i would start with a good closed cell foam, i would tape or glue a "backer rod" just below the floor and use that to help fill the gap.  This way you can always cut it out if it is causing some bad vibrations.  Getting rid of silcone is a pain, particularly when its used against a porous material like concrete.


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#4 GaryShaw

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 08:46 AM

Hi

I’ve never known a foam that mice didn’t love to eat so I’d consider using a thin sheet of sheet metal. It can be cut into a ring from sheet stock that fills the gap and overlaps the flooring adequately so you can fasten or adhere it appropriately. Having it tight to the pier will keep everything out and not violate the vibration separation.

Gary


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#5 dac4215

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 08:49 AM

Not sure about bugs, but I am going to try steel wool between the floor and pier to try to keep mice out.


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#6 BlueMoon

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 08:51 AM

You might modify a squirrel guard: https://www.amazon.c...=Squirrel Guard Lightweight metal cone. We use them on utility and bird feeder poles to keep the critters from scaling them. Mice will chew through almost anything you put in the gap otherwise.


Edited by BlueMoon, 27 September 2022 - 08:53 AM.

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#7 choward94002

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 08:53 AM

Not sure about bugs, but I am going to try steel wool between the floor and pier to try to keep mice out.

This.  Coarse steel wool stuffed between the gap to keep out the mice/ rats, non expanding foam to anchor it and give bug/ moisture protection ..


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#8 aaube

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 09:02 AM

Duct tape.


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#9 ScottS

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 09:14 AM

I have used swimming noodles for mine, I was able to find black in color which worked great for a clean look and they works well.  I also used/put the above mentioned scurrile guard around the base of my observatory deck. Not so much for keeping other rodents from getting under it.  But  to keep me from spending hours trying to get my own cats out from under it !!!  They seem to run straight for it when they are out in the yard! 


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#10 clearwaterdave

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 09:26 AM

How about a ring made from flashing. I would secure and seal it with silicon caulking.,Neat as you please.,Good luck. 


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#11 jmillsbss

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 09:55 AM

Cathy  -  I'd find someone around me who's building a house or an insulation contractor that would give you some pieces of insulation batting, like you'd see in walls and attics.  It's going to flex and you can stuff as much as you like in the gap and it'll still have some ability to compress and expand, without having gaps.  Bugs hate the stuff.  They won't eat it or sleep in it and they surely can't go through it, especially packed in there nice and tight.

 

The expanding spray foam has no elasticity capability and once cured will pull away from one surface or the other, leaving a crack/void, just right for trespassers to once again get in where you don't want them.

 

You should have zero expense.  Even if you go to the lumber store or the big box DIY stores, Lowe's, HD, etc., may have several "bales that have been damaged and wouldn't mind if you got a couple handfuls.

 

No tools required, though you might want to wear gloves.  The fiberglass strands can get quite itchy and should be kept away from your eyes, too.

 

It sounds like you have too narrow of a gap to cover/fill so if you used sheet metal/flashing you'd have more hardware to hold it than is filling the gap.  Seems like overkill.  The steel wool idea is a good idea as well, and perhaps you already have a bit of it around from cleaning supplies.  I know we do.  But, I still think the insulation batting is your best/simplest/least expensive option.  Mice might nibble on it, but not the same mouse, and not for long.  If it's mice problems, use poison inside and outside of the pier/observatory just to take care of the really industrious ones. 

 

That's my 2 cents worth.  Good luck!!!


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#12 ram812

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 09:55 AM

Mornin', Kathy! Can't add much here but the steel wool is good. If your concrete pier has any depth at all (I'm sure it does☺) a closed cell foam over steel wool would look less tacky, also steel wool "Sheds" over time and all those fine metal particles can play havoc on kit in some of the worst ways...but I wouldn't worry about vibrations with closed cell unless you do jumping jacks in your obsy during use😯! Didn't think so....incorporate both wool and foam...

CS, Kathy!😁Ralph
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#13 vrjunkie

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 09:57 AM

Foam backer rod followed by 100% silicone caulk - nothing will be better.


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#14 T~Stew

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 09:58 AM

Great Stuff does make a Pestblock version (green can). It says it doesn't contain pesticides so I am not sure how it deters critters more than regular Great Stuff foam (maybe aromatics or something?) can be found at Lowes, Amazon, Ace etc


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#15 Phil Sherman

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 10:01 AM

Start with steel wool to keep the critters out. Air conditioning foam used to seal the window joint in a double hung window when an air conditioner is installed will make an airtight seal. When you press the foam in, the steel wool will make a bottom layer that critters don't like to chew on. Air conditioning foam is available at most big box hardware stores. It's available in various thicknesses.


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#16 Houthans

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 10:04 AM

Personally, I'd go for an expanding tape like this one. I'm pretty confident something like that will be available in the US as well.


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#17 BrushPilot

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 10:25 AM

Although steel wool works against mice, your ocean environment will also turn it to rust very quickly. You'll probably need to re-apply regularly. I just used weatherstrip foam and I'll see what happens. I'm no stranger to the 'rodent wars' but at least Alberta is rat free. 

 

Brian


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#18 HunterofPhotons

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 11:26 AM

Steel wool is also made with stainless steel.

If you get it by the roll (as paper towels are sold) it's easy to install, just wrap it around the pier and slide it down.

 

dan k.


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#19 ram812

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 12:35 PM

Although steel wool works against mice, your ocean environment will also turn it to rust very quickly. You'll probably need to re-apply regularly. I just used weatherstrip foam and I'll see what happens. I'm no stranger to the 'rodent wars' but at least Alberta is rat
Brian


I might add a saturation spray of Rustolium paint for the steel wool...I forgot your environment!😯
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#20 kathyastro

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 03:33 PM

Thanks for all the ideas, folks.  I think I am going to go with closed-cell foam pipe insulation.


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#21 Stevegeo

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Posted 27 September 2022 - 05:11 PM

Good choice , i used a pool noodle only because my gap was 2 in ... split lengthwise and split over the floor plywood .

Excess noodle i fastened over my doorway to protect my other gap between my ears ...lol
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#22 gordtulloch

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Posted 28 September 2022 - 02:47 PM

I just ordered this stuff, we'll see how it works - stainless steel wool:

 

https://www.amazon.c...duct/B006GQQVDW



#23 choward94002

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Posted 28 September 2022 - 02:57 PM

I just ordered this stuff, we'll see how it works - stainless steel wool:

 

https://www.amazon.c...duct/B006GQQVDW

It's a good item, I use it a lot in my rural setting ... rodents can gnaw through foam, noodles, weatherstripping, etc. in one evening (some even like to use it for bedding) and given time through plywood and dimensional lumber but really don't like getting steel wool in the mouth.  Bugs can pass through steel wool in minutes, but have no ability to go through expanding foam when applied to and through the steel wool.  For extra measure I use the pressure treat liquid on the plywood and dimensional lumber before I put in the wool/ foam combo to discourage gnawing through those ...


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#24 Stevegeo

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Posted 28 September 2022 - 08:20 PM

Good choice , i used a pool noodle only because my gap was 2 in ... split lengthwise and split over the floor plywood .

Excess noodle i fastened over my doorway to protect my other gap between my ears ...lolIMG_20220928_172829389.jpg



#25 John Fitzgerald

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Posted 04 October 2022 - 08:56 PM

I obtained a 1/4 inch thick rubber mat.  I cut a hole in it to slide snugly over the concrete pier. I cut most of the mat away, so it looks like a washer shaped ring about four inches wide. It fits tightly against the wooden observatory floor, and doesn't transmit vibrations.




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