COMMUNITY FORUM

tallycat77

08:45PM | 03/05/05
Member Since: 03/04/05
33 lifetime posts
Bvmisc
My first floor bathroom exhaust fan does not vent to the outside and from what I can tell, it just empties into the space between floors. I don't know the extent of the damage, but I can tell some floor boards above the bathroom on the second floor are loose. Two questions: How can I vent this to the outside (nearest exterior wall is approx 12' away and there is limited access between the two floors)? Any way to secure the carpeted subfloor upstairs without pulling up the carpet...?

Tallycat77

k2

05:13PM | 03/07/05
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Tallycat,

This seems to be an all-too-common occurrence, unfortunately. Seems like builders (or installers) don't take the trouble to install them properly--but it doesn't get any easier later on.

I, personally, wouldn't call this a great DIY project. As you say, the exterior wall is a long way away, and sheet metal (typically used in such runs) is not all that easy to work with--especially with the limited access. I'm no pro, but I understand that long runs, bends, flexible plastic ducting, etc. all cause ventilation efficiency to be lost. (Sometimes people deal with this problem with Jenn-aire ranges.) Not a great situation all around.

I have had limited success (in a previous home) in securing creaky subfloors under carpet. You may not like this solution (and there probably is better). But what I did was make very small cuts in the carpet (large enough for the screw head), and drove screws through those cuts, attaching subfloor to joists. Not the greatest "solution" but I had pretty good luck with it. And probably not what you want to do if you have quite a bit of screws to drive--this would be a lot of holes in carpet. Plus, it can take a good bit of planning to find exactly where the joists are!

As for the moisture problem, really, I would think it needs to be fixed--even if it means taking out drywall (messy work!) and re-doing it.

Regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Miscellaneous

tallycat77

05:12PM | 03/09/05
Member Since: 03/04/05
33 lifetime posts
Thanks k2. What if I were to pull back the carpet, exposing the subfloor, replace any wood damaged by moisture from the unvented bathroom exhaust fan and run a duct to either the side of the house or to the roof of the first floor bedroom. This is a 1.5 story townhome. I was thinking I could just run the dryer exhaust ducting between the joists and cut a hole to one of those gravity exhaust plates (that's what the kitchen uses. Would it be better to approach it from above, through the wood subfloor (so I can replace an damaged wood and stop that SQUEAKING) or to try and go through the first floor ceiling?? Thanks for any advice.

Tallycat77

k2

05:52AM | 03/10/05
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hey there tallycat,

Neither will be much fun to live with--whether via ceiling or floor. And I am not keen on recommending this for a DIY project.

I keep hoping we'll hear from someone who's got some good answers about the ducting; perhaps saving a good-sized project. I still think it's worth some asking around. For example, since it's a TOWNHOME, I doubt you're the only one with this problem! How have others around you dealt with it? Or are you the first to encounter it?

ALSO! You need to make sure which way your joists run. Is a run to the desired exterior wall even possible?

Assuming we can't find a better way: Given a choice, in my opinion, re-doing ceiling (taking out drywall) is preferable to floor, and here's why:

Obviously it (ceiling) won't fix the squeaking floor. And it has a couple other drawbacks: (1) working overhead--definitely an unergonomic position. And (2) you'd have to texture to match original--probably pro work.

But I really don't like the idea of taking up subfloor. It requires precision cutting with a circular saw, and it's heavy and stressful work. And subflooring is a structural material. Patching subfloor--even with like material--wouldn't ever be the same as original. You might have to span a couple of joist widths or you could end up with even more squeaking than before.

drywall is really cheap, for one thing, and you can cut it with a razorknife. But it's definitely a skill that takes time to perfect. If they have classes at the big box store, I'd recommend one.

You might NOT have to remove ALL the drywall for the run (depending on what you find up there). A couple of smaller patches would be preferable to one long run.

--> I keep thinking it might be possible to minimize the ceiling destruction! When you cut the exterior hole, pre-assemble ductwork and pass it between joists to the fan.... Could work, if the stars align in your favor!

Now--about that squeaking. You'll probably have to call in a carpet pro to re-do carpet. My experiences with carpet pros have been really positive. Amazing how easy they make it look, and they're usually not too expensive. You'll want to find one who'll help you with screwing down subfloor--or will at least wait while you do it.

Anyway, I'd approach this project carefully. There are some "gotchas". Keep us posted, OK?

Regards,

-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum

http://www.bobvila.com/BBS/Miscellaneous
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