Amazon Contextual Product Ads

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Attic Gable Vent

Gable vents, photos courtesy of

Gable vents, photos courtesy of

Attic ventilation isn't something I think about regularly, but this winter brought that issue to my attention. We were astounded to see one foot of ice build up on the north side of our roof. Since that area got the little to no sun exposure, improper insulation and ventilation increased chances for getting ice dams.

Once the snow started melting, M and I went into the attic to investigate what went wrong. We quickly realized that the attic had a poor ventilation system. Original to its 1950's form, our house had no soffit nor any other air intake vents. With no intake vents to bring outside air into the attic, warm humid air lingered, keeping the attic hot when it should be the same temperature as the outside. The warm attic in the winter caused the snow to melt, run down the roof, and refreeze creating ice dams. Not only does an incorrectly ventilated attic create ice dams, it also promotes the growth of mold. Gable vents would remedy this issue by allowing cool air to enter near the base of the attic allowing warm air to exit through the roof vents. 

We bought two "easy to install" gable vents from Menards for $25 a piece. M first measured and cut out the hole in the wall, running into some issues since he only had a jigsaw and dremel to do the job. The first hole was too small so he had to trim away the wood and aluminum siding before fitting in the mesh and vent pieces. We tied the vinyl vent piece to our steel fish tape and dragged it up to the hole securing it overnight since we ran out of time. The next day, after screwing the vinyl plate in place, M caulked and installed the wire mesh panel. All in all, installing the gable vent was an easy fix to a big problem. 

*Message from M: I modified the installation method since I did not want to remove and reinstall the siding.

Our gable vent from Menards

Measuring and cutting out the hole

Tackling the aluminum siding

Hole in the wall

Hole in the wall from the outside

Turned out that the hole was too small so M had to trim off more wood and siding

After trimming, M fished the vinyl panel into place.

Holing it in place overnight

After screwing the vinyl plate onto the outside wall, M caulked and screwed the mesh panel into place

Gable vent from inside the attic

Gable vent caulked and screwed to the siding. Hooray for ventilation!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Training for Mountains: Urban Hiking

M and I got creative with our workouts because the winter took so long to thaw out. We set up a home gym and did weight training through winter. I also downloaded an app called 7Min Full Workout where you do 12 body weight exercises for 7 minutes; basically 30 sec for each workout with 10 sec rest. The workout was intense and we would do the circuit three times through. It was effective but I got bored quickly. We then got a gym membership at Planet Fitness. Membership was $10 per month but M and I didn't like it. As soon as things warmed up, we canceled our membership and started training outside.

Besides indoor training, M and I practice for the mountains with urban hiking. We strap on our backpacks and walk around town. We choose routes with the most elevation change within walking distance, even though WI is pretty flat. To make the workout more intense, we gradually add weights to our backpacks to simulate backpacking conditions. Today, we hiked with 35 lbs packs and also found a park near us with a relatively steep hill. The hill is about 50 ft tall with a 30 to 40 degree incline. We generally do a minimum of 10 hill climbs with our packs and try to do 4-5 miles of hiking per day. Though we may get curious looks when we hike through town, we find it is the most effective way to train for the mountains.

Urban hiking

Urban hiking

Hill climbs at the park