Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rebuilding the floor

After the floor comes out, some of the glue and pressboard will remind attached to the joists.

In the middle is a section I removed with the Multi-Max scraper blade, but then learned it's easier to just chisel off the worst then sand with a sander.

I used my Bosch Random Orbital Sander.  It's readily available at Lowes and I think only around $60/$70 bucks and works pretty darn good.
I like how it has a wet vac port.

Then I sistered (attached) 2x6 to the out side wall floor frame, so the plywood flooring would have support along the edges.
Then spray foamed every crack. The black line down the middle is a metal frame strut and even though I replaced the outside joist bay with plywood (salvaged from different projects) there was still spaces where air leaked.

Then I added the insulation
I really like the JM Johns Manville from Lowes.  It has a plastic vapor retarder on one side and breathable material on the other sides.  NO PAPER food for mold!  It's very nice to work with. Hardly any iching after handling it, and the price isn't much different from the pink stuff.  Not enough to make me itch!!

This picture shows the uninsulated joist bay with the drain waste vent (dwv) pipes.  The black pipe on the left, is the original kitchen dwv.  I always had problems with the sink drain and after seeing how messed up the pitch was -no wonder. The white pvc pipe is my new washer dwv.
The 2 pipes on top of the insulation on the right is the kitchen water pipes. I insulated them, but now have decided to move my hot water heater and I removed them. The dvw joist bay was insulated before it was covered.

First sheet of flooring in! Yea! I decided to go with 3/4 osb tongue & groove. I would use plywood if I was building this to last 80 years, or if it was going to be exposed to the weather, but I used osb 15 years ago for my skirting around my crawlspace, painted it with exterior paint, and just ripped it out a few years ago and only the bottom half was rotted.

The section on the hallway side of the furnace was a trip!  The hole for the gas pipe was drilled through a joist because thats where the hole for the furnace hook-up was.  It had dropped almost an inch. To fix it
I placed a 2x6 perpendicular on edge, crossing 3 joists, wrapped a ratchet strap around both the broken joist and the perpendicular 2x6 and ratcheted the strap until the broken joist became level with the other joists.

Then I reinforced the broken joist with plywood and a few cross braces.
Sorry no pics, but was so involved I forgot...

All insulated!

And covered!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Out with the floor!

Just make sure when your cutting the floor out, you set the blade to a correct depth. 1/8th" below the bottom of the plywood..  This allows the blade to cut effortlessly and also prevents you from hitting something underneath like pipes, wires, ducts or even cutting joists!.

I always thought the plumbing running to the kitchen was in the same joist bay as the heating duct, to prevent them from freezing, but as you can see below, they are not in the heating duct bay, but the bay next to the duct.

The kitchen water pipes were sitting on the 1/2" of insulation, I can't believe they didn't freeze and burst!

   The joists in my mobile home run the length so the heating duct & pipes can sit in a joist bay.
  In some mobile homes, the joists are set up different.

Every seam of the particle floor board has a 1x6 board running under it perpendicular to the joists 
(already removed) so the seams could be reinforced.

Just remember when your cutting through the floor board, you will run into the 1x6 support board (you will know when you hit the 1x6, it will put a strain on your saw). I just cut through the floor board first  then went back and lowered my blade to finish cutting the 1x6. 

 You'll probably hit staples, so after your done, your blade will be junk. You can use a cordless saw or I use a cheap corded Skil circular saw with a cheap blade to cut out the big chunks, the use my lightweight Ryobi circular saw to cut across joists and closely along edges.

As you can see on the left, the particle board is flipped over and the 1x6 is glued and stapled.
There is not a possibility of separating the particle board from the 1x6.

I cut the floor out between the joists because the 'press board' is glued to the joists and I figured I would leave a wider place to step. On the right is the outside wall.  Along the whole outside wall last year I had replaced all the 'belly board' with plywood.  It was falling apart and just a wide open door for any critter looking for warmth...

The easy part of removing the floorboards is cutting out the middle, but it's the area close to the wall and around the furnace that was a pain.  What I hate about DIY shows on tv, or even how-to websites, is they show you the easy stuff, not the parts that make you want to curse! So here's some pics of how I did it.  There may be easier ways, or harder ways, but this is how I did it.

Luv my Ryobi w/ Lithium battery
Don't forget your mask

I cut as close around the edge as I could with the circular saw. Just make sure you remove all the staples from around the edges of wall or it will get caught up.

I ran the jigsaw perpendicular as far as I could then finished it with a small handsaw. (Another great tool, the Skil jigsaw).

Left is where I cut out a notch to get a better spot to cut along edge with sawzall.

Right is piece of floorboard I cut off the edge.

Ryobi tools rock!

After you do something a few times, you  find easier ways to do things.  I found that it's easier cut the outside edge with the sawzall before you cut the rest of the floor. First I drill a hole close to the outside edge then stick the sawzall blade in and start cutting as close to outside bottom plate as possible.  As you pass by each stud, it's hard to get real close. I went back with my dremal multi-max and trimmed those spots.


The photos below shows where the heating duct had a large split in the seam and cracked across the top.

How much did it cost me to heat the crawl space the last several years!

At first I thought the people who built this MH stepped on it, then didn't bother to repair.  But as I investigated more I realized that underneath this spot is the metal strut (web), and I think that when this was moved, it must have flexed so much that the duct just split.  The thickness of this cheap duct is as thin as roof flashing.  In fact that's what I used to repair it (with 1/2" self tapping sheet metal screws).


For some reason, some MH's had a

"Many mobile homes have a sheet metal connector that links the bottom of the furnace to the crawlspace. The purpose of this connector is to draw air from the crawlspace into the furnace (when it's operating) and distribute it through the duct system. Depending on its size and on its location within the furnace cabinet, the connector can draw a substantial amount of fresh crawlspace air into the mobile home. The decision to seal the connectors off is based upon the overall tightness of the home (if the house is really tight, don't fix it). Even if connectors function as makeup air inlets, the crawl space is probably not the best source of makeup air."
Here's what mine looks like below

I decided to leave the small section of duct that extends into the crawlspace, and close up the rest (photo below).  Since I plan to make this as airtight as possible, I thought extra air would prevent a strain on furnace if cold air filter is not cleaned as often as it should.  I plan to extend the duct to outside of the crawlspace.

I used this heavy duty roof flashing repair tape ( just got at Home Depot in roofing dept -15 bucks maybe).  It sticks like crazy and I repaired a few spots several years ago on the roof, and that stuff is still there and really well adhered. And thats after several years of snowy weather!!  
I might use this to seal my ducts, we'll see...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Deconstruction has begun! No, I'm not using a sledge hammer...

 I am not a licensed contractor, nor am I telling anyone how to do this, just sharing my experience - whether it's the right way or wrong way, I'm just a woman with a desire and short on cash
SO, as my Dad used to say, 'If you think you can, or you think you can't - your right'... 

I have 3 prybars, papa bear, mama bear & baby bear, thats all you need, for now! 
Just so you know, if you take the paneling down, it's trash!  It's glued and stapled, and the glue strips the back of it.  Doesn't matter how careful you try to be..

In this photo, I had just begun deconstruction. The tv was built into the wall and framed out. Below it was a built-in book/display case. The opening on the right is the hallway. At this point, the frame around tv & display case has been removed. (right of the tv is a partial section of a lobster trap I found on the beach).

Here the tv has been removed. At the top of the wall, you can see a dark strip. That is where I've already taken the trim off.   Above tv on the ceiling is the remnants of a wood stove chimney, that also will be removed.

This view is from the spare room/laundry room looking out towards living room & kitchen. To the left of the hole the tv was removed from,  that grey box is the furnace. The wire hanging is connected to the furnace.

That wire that is hanging in above pic comes from the electric panel, to the this strange looking connection box (below left), then two wires comes out of this box, one to power the furnace, the other to this emergency shut-off switch (below right) by the door (it has been cut out of paneling because that panel will also be removed).
connection box
Shut-off switch

Well, on with the show...

The wall between the living room and laundry room has been removed, and that's the furnace on the right. The wall studs are 2x2's.  The floor is continuous.  The way a mobile home is made is that the floor is laid down, then walls set on top.  Here is a really good  diagram .
One thing you will find is that the insulation in a mobile home (MH) is about 1 inch thick (about R-0) lol. I bought used 1 1/2 inch, used 4'x8' sheets of polyiso insulation. I completely covered the outside of my MH with the sheets of this insulation.  But thats for another post (stay tuned for that).

The black spots on insulation is just dust, not mold.  Usually when you see that, it means air leakage!

On the other side of this wall is the bathroom.  The ceiling was easy to take down, just messy - make sure you wear safety glasses and a mask.  The structure of the roof as you can see, is trusses. The ceiling panels run the width, from one side to the other.  The material is a press-board, and is stapled along each truss.  It came down in fairly large sections, and it was pretty lightweight.  There was plastic sheeting/vapor barrier holding the insulation in the ceiling, which made it easier to take insulation down, bay by bay.

One more thing, when you pull the ceiling down, the panels are under the trusses and on top of the outside wall top plate, so they break off along the edge. And not clean, but sticking out. I knew I had to cut them flush, so the drywall would set flat.  What to do?  The only way I could think of to cut it flush, is with the awesome tool my neice got me last year. 
The Dremel Multi-Max.  It has saved me from so many potentially frustrating situations, that I don't know what I would do with-out it!  I just absolutely love it!  It oscillates rather then spins. The wood blades are fairly reasonably priced, but the blades that are labeled wood/metal are a little more pricey. And if ya hit a nail or staple with the wood blades, it pretty much ruins them.  But this tool cuts that press-board like butter..
Luv it, luv it, luv it!!!