Solid Dot and Dab, it Importance
Why a Solid Dot and Dab?
We have been to the Derbyshire Peak District this week and air tested two great, but contrasting properties. We battles through some snow and ice to actually get to one of the properties but it was definitely worth it as it scored the best air test result we have ever recorded. This was made more remarkable as when we arrived at the property the owner was less than confident that he would even pass.
When we initially put the fan on it was immediately obvious that the house was going to perform well. The owner told us that he had followed our air test check list and actually printed several copies out and gave them to each of his contractors, advising them to follow it closely. He said that throughout the build he had the air test in mind and at each stage of the build process he ensured that the air test was not forgotten.
His anxiety regarding the air test result was mainly down to the fact that the property had floating wooden flooring in a number of rooms and the skirting had not been sealed against the floor. Ordinarily, not sealing the skirting to the floor would have a detrimental affect, as in most cases a solid dot and dab is not done. However, as his plasterers had clearly done a solid dot and dab it meant that sealing the skirting was not necessary.
The second test in the Derbyshire Peak District was very similar to the first where there were a number of rooms with wooden floors. When we put the fan on it was obvious that there was a high amount of air leakage. On investigation it was identified that most of the air leakage was coming from the gap between the skirting and the floor but unlike the first property there had clearly not been a solid dot and dab to the plasterboard. The owner confirmed this and was quite shocked that we were able to identify this. However, all was not lost as part of our service is to stay and assist with remedial work. We assisted the owner to seal the skirting throughout the ground floor of the property and managed to get the air test score below the desired target. Luckily sealing the ground floor skirting achieved this, as the next option was to do the same on the first floor which would have been more difficult as the carpets had already been laid.
So why is a solid dot and dab to the bottom edge of plaster board so important?
1) It stops air leakage down the back of the plasterboard and into habitable spaces and saves having to seal the skirting to the floor, especially if you plan to have wooden flooring fitted.
2) If you are having carpets fitted the carpet fitters are likely to score out any sealing you have done so they get a better fit. So if you are not sure that there is a solid dot and dab make sure your carpet fitter does not score out and sealant.
3) The bottom line is that there should be a solid dot and dab to your plasterboard so insist on it if you are using contractors and if you are doing it yourself see 1 and 2. It will save you issues with your air test at a later stage of your build.
Phil Ramshaw (Director)