Home repair or improvement projects rarely involve tackling a single problem and then getting it right. Instead, one often leads to another, either because during the process of repairing or installing something you discover additional things that need to be fixed, or because the process required to perform the original repair ended up creating the need for other people.
An example of the latter is the plumbing under the sink. As Chris Deziel writes in an article for Hunker, when working in places like this that tend to be out of sight, plumbers will often create large, coarse holes for the pipes, but don’t necessarily take the time to fill in the remaining gaps when the job is done .
And while it might seem harmless (after all, who’s going to see it?), Those holes could give you trouble down the line, like giving mice, bugs, and cold air an easy way to get in. your kitchen. Here’s how Deziel, a building contractor and repair pro, suggests filling those gaps.
Use spray foam
If you are new to spraying foam, Déziel says that it is a “substantially liquefied polyurethane” which expands into a curable foam and has the capacity to completely fill spaces up to two inches wide (although sometimes more). It’s also an insulator and does a good job of keeping pests out.
The use of spray foam is relatively simple, Deziel explains, but due to its tendency to stick to anything it touches, it can also be quite tricky, especially since it’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to pull off. Solvents are no match, and if you get them on your skin, “mechanical removal is necessary,” according to Deziel.
Spray foam typically comes in a 16-ounce spray can with a removable application tube. here is Deziel to explain how to use it:
Mount the tube on the nozzle, place the end of the tube in the gap and squeeze the trigger. Fill in the spaces halfway and the foam will expand to complete the job. Keep a rag handy and cover the end of the tube as soon as you are finished spraying to avoid spilling liquid onto the bottom of the cabinet.
Other ways to fill holes under the sink
While the spray foam method is easy, it’s arguably the ugliest too. If you’re ok with that (again, it’s under the sink we’re talking about), then go for it. But if you’re about to put your house on the market, for example, and want something moderately more appealing, Deziel has a few other suggestions.
The first is to use caulk to fill in any gaps that are less than about 1/2 inch wide. If you have holes larger than that, fill them with steel wool first, then caulk them, he says.
Another option (and the most attractive of the bunch) is to repair the compound, which Deziel describes as “a powder that hardens rock when you mix it with water.” Use a trowel to spread and level the compound, then let it sit for an hour. After that, apply a coat of drywall joint compound (which Deziel says is easier to sand flat). Finally, apply a coat of paint, leaving the holes out of sight and out of mind.