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To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

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  • To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

    Hi All,
    I see a lot of different styles out there. A lot of unenclosed igloo domes or Bald heads (like my own soon). And a lot with elaborate enclosures. Having read about the building process of the enclosures, etc. I am wondering if there is a reason for doing it other than design style.
    Is the added insulation of the enclosed dome necessary? Is there a lot of heat loss from the unenclosed domes?
    I am asking because I have an idea for a unusual design and it would require the dome to remain partially unenclosed.
    Ideas?
    Bob
    Bob

    Always ready for pizza

    http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

  • #2
    Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

    If you are in an area that experiences heavy rain or snow, go with an enclosure.

    Speaking from practical experience, an igloo can have moisture problems. No matter how hard you try to stop it, water can and will get in to some degree. I went through a 2 wk period of hell last year drying out a saturated oven. After 2 days of trying to keep a fire lit and finally keeping it going, water began streaming out of the support slab on all fours sides. It took 2 weeks of daily 4-5 hr fires to dry it to the point of being useable.
    We get alot of horizontal and freakishly heavy rain in the summer here. I made it over 2 yrs without a single moisture issue, then we were hit with 1 1/2 weeks of daily torrential rain in late spring. I think I solved the issue by completely refinishing my igloo - covering the old mosaic tile with more insulation, heavy pvc pond liner to waterproof it, covering that with surface bonding cement and then finishing with Type N mortar and 2-3 inch polished river stones...also added a new front facade (extra row of brick) and a field stone overhang.
    Long story short - it is much easier to keep it all dry if it is in an enclosure.

    RT

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    • #3
      Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

      Hmmm ok I will have to give it some more consideration. We are moving to Beijing. The weather there I am not real familiar with. Little snow in winter, not tremendously cold, not sure how much rain, etc. Going to have to do some climate research.
      If I were building here where I am it would be different. The weather here is much like Florida's (Mom & Sis are in your neighborhood, Tampa area). You get Hurricanes we get Typhoons, Cyclones. Same storm, different name.
      If I go enclosed it will mean scrapping my idea entirely. Or maybe building it up against the side of the house and extending an overhang over it.
      We shall see.
      Thanks
      Bob
      Bob

      Always ready for pizza

      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

        Yep, it's all about waterproofing. When you build walls and a roof there are really well established ways to keep the water away from the inside of the structure, even though there are things like chimneys sticking through.

        If you see any houses in the neighborhood with plain stucco roofs, you probably live in a desert, and you are good to go with a plain stucco dome.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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        • #5
          Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

          The problem is, an oven expands and contracts so much during the heating cycle it is almost impossible not to have cracks in an igloo. The only sure fire way would be to construct an armature system over the dome but not actually attached to it, that you would then cover with your choice of render. I thought there would be enough expansion room with 2" of blanket, then 2 1/2" of perlcrete, topped with a hard mortar shell and mosaic tile. I was wrong. I had several hairline cracks in the mortar. Then there is the area where the dome sides meet any ledge or counter you have around the oven. An most definitely, have some type of overhang above your entry.

          RT

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          • #6
            Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

            The road to discovery is a long one fraught with perils. Seems the road to pizza is longer
            Bob

            Always ready for pizza

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

              I cover my dome with a tarp in the rainy season (Oct-Feb). In March I re-cure it to drive out the accumulated moisture. Light rain doesn't bother it much.

              Mine has an acrylic stucco coating directly on the vermicrete.

              To my mind, the advantages of a dome is that it has a lower visual impact on the yard. Mine is also on piles instead of walls.
              Last edited by Neil2; 02-09-2011, 04:36 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                My two reasons for an igloo were 1) aesthetics (while visiting Italy 5 yrs ago we saw several igloo ovens finished in local tile and stone, loved the look and 'had' to build one). 2) My HOA (home owners association). in the 10 yrs prior to my oven build I had completed over 20 outdoor projects that I SHOULD have asked for approval and didn't. ALL of them added considerable value and improved my property, none being tacky or out of place. I'm the guy that does whats right and what I want, and refuses to bow down to procedures and covenants put in place by a major developer who never lived here or ever will.
                That said, I knew any kind of structure (enclosed oven) would certainly be visible from one, if not both streets and would never be approved if submitted to the board. I built my oven over a 4 month period and only my 2 direct neighbors (friends) knew what was going on. We have always had 1 or 2 wanna be politicians in my neighborhood and I had heard grumblings over the yrs that various board members were not happy with my lack of respect for their 'authority', yet none had ever served any notice or spoken to me directly. Our board has a history of selective enforcement (to save money - legal fees). They knew deep down I was improving the neighborhood, just resented my denying them their position of authority.
                I guess my point on reason 2 is - If you live in the city or any type of developement , you may have restrictions imposed on your neighborhood; you might want to look into it. Several families have moved into my neighborhood and were not informed or the deed restrictions and covenants until they had gotten deep into their various projects.

                RT
                Last edited by RTflorida; 02-10-2011, 12:00 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                  Originally posted by Filthymutt View Post
                  Is the added insulation of the enclosed dome necessary? Is there a lot of heat loss from the unenclosed domes?
                  There should be no more heat loss than enclosed ovens as long as the dome has sufficient insulation. Even with several inches of insulation over the core a dome can still look like a dome depending on how you finish it.
                  George

                  My 34" WFO build

                  Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                    Hi DirtyDog,

                    I didn't enclose mine, I may regret it during rainy and typhon season, have to wait and see. Check(Pompeii in Japan), to see my oven.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                      RT!
                      Thank you for reminding me of one of the reasons why I will never move back to the States. The land of the free where you can not even do what you want to your own house and yard. HOAs, Condo Committees, the PC crowd, etc. etc.

                      If they don't like that it's visible from there places, tell'm not to look.

                      Good luck on your project, I sincerely hope you can finish it without the local bully patrol bothering you too much about it.
                      Bob

                      Always ready for pizza

                      http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                        Hey L, I just looked at your oven. Like it! Exactly the type of thing I was thinking to do if I stay traditional, which I probably will. Seems I looked at the wrong one the last time. Last time I did the search for Pompeii Japan I ended up seeing an oven in Tokyo that was Completely Enclosed. So, when you just mentioned yours not being enclosed I thought Huh? So, a little more looking around got me to the right one. Very nice.

                        On a side note, I think this site is great. BUT, the search facility leaves much to be desired.
                        Bob

                        Always ready for pizza

                        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                          I have had a series of cracks develop in my exterior dome and am considering enclosing it. I think it will look better then just having it covered in black plastic when I am not using it. Too much water gets in with even a hair line crack.
                          -John

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                          • #14
                            Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                            Probably better off enclosed I suppose. Better safe than sorry, seems like a lot of peoples domes crack sooner or later, so i will likely do the same
                            Bob

                            Always ready for pizza

                            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/memb...ing-build.html

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: To Enclose or Not to Enclose, that is the question

                              You can always go with the dome first. If, over time, you have problems with moisture you can enclose it.

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