Q: I’ve had three contractors over to my home and obtained three totally different solutions about how my lavatory fan ought to exhaust. I’m past annoyed. How are we householders supposed to guard our largest investments, our houses, if upkeep recommendation is mistaken? I’ve learn on-line about severe mould and wood-rot issues brought on by bathtub followers. I’m assured it is possible for you to to present me the proper reply. I want you lived in my city, so I would stumble upon you for recommendation on the grocery retailer on occasion! Sharon P., Evanston, Unwell.
A: Do you wring your palms, like Sharon is undoubtedly doing, every time it’s a must to spin the wheel hoping it stops on the proper contractor to work on your house? Are you able to think about signing a contract for $1,000, $5,000 and even $50,000 whereas hoping every thing goes to work out?
I do not find out about you, however I hope just for issues that I can’t management, such because the climate, and the subsequent time the large fault 60 miles west of Portland, Oregon, underneath the ocean goes to unzip its total size and unleash a mammoth tsunami. Sure, geology was my school main, however I digress.
Now take into consideration what a shower fan actually is. Whenever you take a sizzling, steamy bathe, the fan is a pump. It pumps lots of and lots of of cubic ft of moist air to some distant location. The final place you need this air to be is inside your attic house. The moist air will gas the expansion of mould and mildew on the roof framing and the sheathing that covers the timbers. Wooden rot is an absolute certainty over time in the event you dump bathtub exhaust into an attic.
This moist air should exhaust to the outside of your house. That is non-negotiable.
However it could possibly’t simply exit anyplace. The very best place for it to exit is thru your roof. The new moist air is dumped onto your shingles or different roof masking that’s made to get moist. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to’t do that in the event you dwell in a chilly local weather the place snow can construct up on a roof. Right here in New Hampshire the place I dwell, it’s totally doable to have 2 ft, or extra, of snow cowl on a roof. Snow can cowl the vent outlet and the moist air has nowhere to go.
The subsequent greatest location for a shower fan cap is a wall that’s not less than three to five ft from a roof overhang. Most roof overhangs at the moment have steady soffit air flow strips. Bathtub exhaust is nearly at all times heat, and this air will float up and into the soffit air flow openings. You now have put the water proper again up into the attic with out realizing it.
Only a yr in the past, I noticed the best possible bathtub exhaust fan roof cap. I want it had been obtainable after I constructed homes. It’s made by Lifetime software, the producer of the most effective plumbing vent-pipe flashings. This cover will work nicely for tens of tens of millions of houses that by no means see a snowflake.
The pipe that extends from the fan to the outside of your house must be a stable galvanized metallic pipe or an authorized insulated flex duct that may be a part of a equipment for a distant bathtub fan the place the fan is much away from the lavatory. Should you use sections of metallic pipe, make sure you tape every joint with the true metallic duct tape utilized by HVAC contractors. Do not use cloth duct tape from a house heart.
Pay shut consideration to the set up directions revealed by the fan producer. They state what number of elbows might be within the piping and the way lengthy the piping might be. Don’t exceed these limits.
I urge you to at all times learn set up directions earlier than you speak to contractors. Ask pointed questions of the contractors to see whether or not they actually know the right way to set up one thing. Keep in mind, no really skilled contractor will likely be offended by your questions. Ask away!
Tim Carter writes for the Tribune Content material Company. Go to www.askthebuilder.com for movies and knowledge on residence initiatives.