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Venting

October 25, 2012 |
posted by Ana White

Are you having Momplex withdrawals?

Guess what?

We are too!

Winter is here to stay this year in Alaska, and we are so thankful that all of our outside work has been completed for the year.  We did not get the decks on, but we did pour the deck footings, so decks can go up before the ground thaws in June.  

Inside, we did not get to where we wanted to be by winter.  We were hoping to have the ceiling drywalled and insulated, but with a little thing like oh a first book releasing we had some scheduling conflicts.  So we are pretty happy with being darn close to a fully insulated Momplex.

In our last Momplex post, we foamed all gaps, cracks, doors and windows in the Momplex to fully seal all the walls in.  Then we put foam baffles up to keep the blow in insulation in the ceiling.

So after all this hard work to carefully seal the Momplex in, inspecting every square inch of the walls for any holes, filling even the tiniest cracks with foam ... what are we going to do?

Cut some giant holes in the sides of the Momplex, of course!

Venting

Because the Momplex is so airtight, we must consider how we can get the moisture out or the Momplex will have mold problems.

Top offender?

Bathroom shower of course.

And this baby promises to do the trick.

Venting

The bathroom fan/light combo in installed in the studs in the ceiling of each bathroom. We placed them in the center of the bathrooms. Of course, there will also be a vanity light for better light over the sink.

The fan/light combo will suck moist air up and out. But we will need to duct that moist air outside the Momplex.

Venting

Since we are going the blow in insulation route, we are using metal vent pipes. The flexible pipes can collapse under weight of the blow in insulation. This means the Ram will be up fixing it, wading through thigh deep blow in insulation. The Ram does not want to do this. So we are using metal vent pipes.

Venting

The pipes just snap together at a seam.

Each pipe has a flat end and a crimped end so you can join them together.

There's the crimped end.

And the flat end.  

The crimped end just fits in the flat end.

So you can get a longer pipe.

Venting

And you can get elbows and adjustable elbows and lots of other different types of transitions to make the pipe go anywhere you choose.

Venting

All joints are screwed together.

Venting

You use a special metal stitching screw, at least three per joint.

Venting

Ah, tape. Yes, tape.

If you can tape, there's a job for you in construction. Seems there's some sort of tape for every step! Vent pipes are not exception.

Venting

The joints are taped off to prevent air leaking out.

Venting

This is actually pretty simple to do.

Venting

For the longer strips of pipe, sometimes it makes more sense to join them down on the ground. One thing to be careful of is considering if the pipe is going to be maneuverable up into the rafters as a long pipe, or if smaller sections would make more sense.

Venting

When possible, we joined the smaller pipe pieces into larger ones on the ground just because everything is easier to do while you aren't balancing between trussses, eight feet off the ground. The joints are screwed together.

Venting

And then all seams are taped.

This is one high security vent pipe. That moist air doesn't have a chance against the Ram!

Venting

And because this is the Momplex .... everything you do ... you get to do twice.

There's one Mom's bath vent.

And the other Mom's bath vent.

And then of course we had to put in range hood vents to vent their stoves.  These we just stub down over the ranges.

And where do they all go?

The Ram cuts big holes in the sides of the Momplex.

Yep, all that careful insulating just to cut 6" holes in the sides of the Momplex.  

The pipe is a little short, and we will need to cut pipe to fit.

We just use the tin snips to cut the pipe.  

Put the pipe together and tape it off.  But we have a problem now.  Both ends of the pipe are flat and no end is crimped.

So out comes a crimper, basically just a fancy pair of tin snips (ie metal scissors) 

And the pipe end just gets crimped.

That'll work!

Outside, vent cover kits are used to transition the pipe to the outside of the Momplex.  Air can only go one way - out - through these vents.

Bye bye moisture!

Foam and Baffles

September 20, 2012 |
posted by Ana White

Mom to Mom, I just want to say thank you for all the positive comments to the girls on their Momplex Video Tour! You totally made their day! The girls were jumping up and down squealing "they like our video, they like our video!" as I read your comments to them, and are busy planning more videos! 

 Did you notice inside the Momplex that we actually are closer than you'd think? Alot of this has to do with building with ARXX blocks - we skipped five steps in one! But there's still tons and tons of work to be done. First up, we've got to start sealing the Momplex in!

Foam and Baffles

You've probably already noticed the huge gaps and cracks in the Momplex. Mom certainly has, and commented on how she doesn't like drafts.

Well we are going to take care of that today!

Now remember, not only are we trying to get our Mom's a new house to live in, but we are also building super insulated to keep heat bills down. Getting these cracks filled is very important to keep Mom warm and not broke! Some people in Alaska pay upwards of $1000 a month to heat their homes in winter months!

Foam and Baffles

Spray foam works great for sealing in cracks and gaps. It just sprays in.

Foam and Baffles

We've invested in a spray gun so you can turn it off when you need to without spoiling a whole can.

Foam and Baffles

Every inch of the Momplex is inspected and filled with spray foam where needed.

Foam and Baffles

We especially don't forget the ARXX blocks to top plate joint - heat rises, and this would be a big spot for heat to sneak outside.

Foam and Baffles

And of course, windows are spray foamed too.

Foam and Baffles

And then you let the spray foam dry.

Foam and Baffles

But what to do with the excess foam?

We find a handsaw works best.

Foam and Baffles

The dried foam cuts easily off, flush with the wall. Another trick is to use a sharp, thin bladed knife.

So that's why my shoulder was aching that day! Not from the handsaw.

Foam and Baffles

And you are left with a nice clean window!

And a nice big mess!

Foam and Baffles

After spray foaming all of the gaps and cracks, there's still the open eaves at the truss ends. We've got to put something in there to keep the blow in insulation in place.

Foam and Baffles

You want your roof to breathe through the sofits, so whatever we put in, has to hold the blow in insulation inside the roof.

Foam and Baffles

We start by cutting a bunch of blocking and placing the "blocking kits" in between each truss.

Foam and Baffles

The blocking kits are nailed in place with a piece of plywood covering.

Foam and Baffles

But the plywood isn't enough.  Come a good wind, the blow in insulation will just fill up those sofits!

You can buy foam baffles specifically designed for this application for less than a buck each.

And they just get stapled in place.

NOTE: You actually don't need the plywood blocking for these foam baffles, but with the high winds up at the Momplex, we opted to put them in.  Cheap insurance.

The baffles went up really fast! 

Now we are one step closer to getting the Momplex fully insulated!

What's left?

- Vent Pipes in ceiling (done deal - will be blogging about in few days!)

- Plumbing Pipes for vents in ceiling (done deal too!)

- Electrical Boxes in ceiling with wire run to switches (still working on wiring)

- Vapor Barrier on ceiling

- Drywall hung on ceiling

- Insulation blown in ceiling

- Garage doors installed (happening right now!)

I feel pretty good about getting at least one Mom moved in by this year! 

So how do you insulate where you live?  Is insulating for hot weather the same as cold weather?  Have you used the baffles?  Do they hold up?  We'd love to know!

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