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dbhansen 09-16-2008 07:08 AM

Drying out the insulation board
It seems that the insulation board (Super-Isol) under my oven is saturated with water. :( I believe it happened when I was forced (by the weather) to cover the oven with a tarp while it was still fairly hot. I am on day #7 in the oven curing process, and the day in question was the day I installed my insulation blanket over the dome (so it retained a lot of heat and moisture under that tarp). I know it's wet because some water is seeping thru a thermocouple hole in the middle of my hearth. It might not all be saturated, but some of it is.

So, what now? Do I proceed as normal and keep curing? Today I'd expect to go up to 700 degrees or so. This week is supposed to be sunny and in the 70's, so no cover needed. Will it just dry out with the heat, or is there some danger to firing it when the insulation is so wet?

egalecki 09-16-2008 07:45 AM

Re: Drying out the insulation board
I got rained on in the middle of curing too, but I don't think I had as much wet as you seem to have. I suspect you'll have a hard time getting to 700 with that much water present. I'm thinking maybe a couple of days of really long but not as hot fires will get the moisture content down and then you can proceed with the regular cure. That's what I would do, but I could be wrong, of course.

I had a hard time getting a fire to light well when it got damp, and keeping it going was also a challenge until I got it a bit more dried out. Lots of nasty smoke coming out the front until it got less wet. It added a couple of days to my cure, but I also added my flue and my chimney during that time, backing me up even more, so it had a few days to get unsoggy.

I don't know what to tell you about your insulation board as far as will it damage it to heat it while it's wet. I just don't know. Does it seem weakened by the moisture? I didn't use that type, so I am not familiar with what it does when wet.

It'll take a really long time to get dry without added heat, I think.

mfiore 09-16-2008 01:21 PM

Re: Drying out the insulation board
I'm right with you on this one, Daren. Steady rain all weekend. Apparently my tarp has a little leak. My FB board is pretty damp, but seems to hold it's structure pretty fine. I assumed that with the curing fires, it would dry out. I hope that is the case. I'll be following this post carefully to see what others think.

james 09-16-2008 03:12 PM

Re: Drying out the insulation board
As long as it wasn't too wet, or too long, these boards should dry out and hold their structure. Like a lot of things FB, I have intentionally done bad things -- including leaving both SuperIso and FB Board out in the rain just to see how it held up -- and it was OK.

If you can avoid getting it wet, that is good. But don't worry about getting it wet to apply mortar or setting it in wet concrete during installation.

Mike, let me know how it goes.

For curing, you definitely should go slow and just take your time baking the water out. Your oven floor won't get hot until you do, and it won't be good to try to force it. Take your time.


dbhansen 09-16-2008 09:06 PM

Re: Drying out the insulation board
Thanks all. It does seem to be retaining its strength just fine. I'll just go slow with the fires and try to dry it out. I think I'll need to develop a better tarping system for the winter, or avoid using the oven when rain is in the forecast! I'm in the process of finding metal studs to proceed with the enclosure.

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