What the hail?

July 21, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Posted in house | 5 Comments
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So I’m trying to replace our bathroom exhaust fan that went kaput last week. I get up in the attic, lay down 2x4s across the joists and plywood planks on those to make a path to crawl on to get to the fan. I find out it’s in a particularly small, narrow, enclosed part of the attic. I bring up more 2x4s and another plank. I sweep away all the blown insulation in the way and get the planks where they need to go.

I started out holding my mini-flashlight in my mouth (there’s no light or outlet up there), but since there’s tons of blown insulation being thrown about up there, I decide to take a professional’s advice and wear goggles and face mask. This prevents me from holding the mini-flashlight in my mouth, so moving the 2x4s and planks around while trying to hold on to the light was extra fun. But I can still breathe. I guess that’s worth a little inconvenience.

So, I finally get the path set, and I find the guts to crawl into this very enclosed space. I plan carefully how I’m going to turn around and get out before diving in.

And I find it! I have the fan in sight, and it’s closer than I feared — yes! It’s still damn cramped in there, but I can breathe, and the fan is within reach. I’m not claustrophobic, but this is really tight, and hot. I start clearing away the blown insulation so I can see what tools I need, and the gentle rain gets harder. There’s a hard rain on the roof inches above my head. I tell myself that’s good — it’s cooling the air off, and it’ll be less hot up here.

Then it starts hailing. Hard.

It’s as if the hail and the roof of my house are joined in this bombastic full-volume chorus screaming “GET OUT!”

So I did. Without injury.

Tomorrow’s another day, right?

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5 Comments »

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  1. Yes, and before tomorrow hits, go to the hardware store and buy yourself one of those LED flashlights that you strap to your head. I don’t go into my attic without one of those.

    And good idea wearing the facemask and goggles. Breathing insulation is bad.

  2. I remember crawling around my attic to run the wires for my home theater speakers. Two of the speakers (by the outside wall) are way over where the roof is only a few inches above the floor. Lying on your belly with arms outstretched and a face full of insulation on a hot day is not a comfortable position to be threading wires and attaching bolts. But the results were worth it.

    Fortunately, my attic’s insulation is wool, not fiberglass, so it was only uncomfortable, not dangerous.

    Head-lights are wonderful. They’re really cheap at most hardware stores. I wish I had one when I ran my speaker wires.

  3. kool story – gonna add my own sometime soon like this –

  4. Dave, that is exactly the situation I was in. The roof (with nails poking down at me) was right above my head.

    I did find out that the folks who put in the bathroom fan originally were not total morons … they did put ductwork in that leads outside. Thank heavens for small favors. There’s a chance I could have this done tomorrow. Yippee!

    And thanks for the light helmet idea. I’m totally doing that.

  5. Wow! They were too dumb to use regular insulation in the attic, but at least they put duct work in. Ever since I found out that the ventilation fan in the bathroom they were moronic enough to board the window up in vented into the attic instead of outside, I’ve been freaking out at how lucky we are to not have an entire attic-of-mold. Then I found out about the fiberglass insulation and was picturing mold with sparkly bits of fiberglass (yes, I realize that my visions are unrealistic, but it’s actually very pretty with the black mold looking a bit like charcoal instead of like black mold and the fiberglass sparkling through in the sunlight after the roof caves in and all of this mess is exposed to the elements one sunny afternoon).

    Anyway, I also think my husband should strap a light to his big ole’ forehead! He does so much work with his brain that it’s about time he let that muscle do some more manual labor.


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