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RTflorida 07-17-2009 07:26 AM

Rain Saturated Oven
I guess it is about time to share my pain.
Anyone who has lived in FL can attest to the lousy summers (90+ degrees, off the charts humidity, and the infamous DAILY rain/thunderstorms). Winter is another story, it just doesn't get any better, pretty much anywhere.

Anyway, some of you may remember back 2+ yrs ago when I completed my igloo build. I was asked by a forum member if I was concerned about the heavy summer rains. YES, I said; I plan to make a cover/modified tarp, much like a BBQ cover that will at least keep the horizontal rains from getting into the oven entry. I believe I volunteered my wife (hey, she is good with upholstery, curtains, and such) but failed to ever "officially" ask for her help.
By now, I'm sure you know where I'm going.....I never got around to my making my cover, too many other projects seemed more important, and besides - I was making pizzas and roasting without a hitch.....maybe the rain won't be an issue. WRONG

After two summers without water infiltration issues the rain finally bit me in the A#% - TWICE in three weeks. 4 weeks ago I decided I better check the oven after 3-4 days of torrential rain. Removed the doors to find soaked ash from my last fire and every brick looked wet (not just damp). Pissed, I decided that I wasn't going to waste my time going through a curring process and simply proceeded to build a huge fire and drive out the moisture. It worked, with no ill effects that I could see. It took over an hr. to get a fire going that would stay lit, but 8 hrs later (and a LOT of wood) all was dry. I had steam rolling out of the oven for at least an hr, with water actually dripping from the underside of my cantilever support slab on all 4 sides.
Then, being the idiot that I am, I still did not cover it before the REAL rains started a few days later. Over 11" fell in 7 days (as recorded by the fire station down the street). The worst was one afternoon when it rained over
4" in 40 minutes - overflowing my pool, back and side yards were 6" deep and I was about 2-3" away from becoming an official flood victim. Back to the oven; as you have guessed, saturated again. So far this week we have lucked out in my neighborhood, no rain since last weekend. I've let the oven air dry all week and will fire the piss out of it again this weekend. YES I finally have a cover, fitted it yesterday, complete with a weather seal around the Duravent pipe.
My only conclusion to this whole problem is that the entry area acts as a wick durring these heavy continuous rains, and after several hrs of rain each day over several days, the entire oven sucks up water. Other than the reoccuring arch crack the dome and surrounding tile grout is all in tact, so I don't think the water has come from anywhere else. The confusing part is that I made it 2 yrs without the slightest moiture problems (other than damp wood), I know we have had strange weather patterns for the past 2 months with rain coming from different directions than what they say is a "typical summer pattern"......guess that may be it.
In any case, the space shuttle may be able to see the fires I plan for this weekend.....then the cover goes on. Again, curring fires be damned, I'm going inferno.



dbhansen 07-17-2009 10:01 AM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
Sorry to hear about that, RT! We don't get that much rain in Wisconsin, but my oven getting soaked is a fear that's always in the back of my mind. The cover is a great idea.

dmun 07-17-2009 10:30 AM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
I think that if you don't live in an actual desert, it's a good idea to build a real roof over your oven. I know it's a bunch of work, but I think it prevents problems such as you describe.

texassourdough 07-17-2009 12:38 PM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
Hi RT!

I have alluded to my problems before elsewhere, but I have had a soaked oven floor (with a bit in the dome but not too much). Mine happens because the ledge around my oven is sandstone and that rock is like a sponge - just lets the water run through. Yes, I have waterproofed it and that helps still gets wet.

And I fully agree, drying out an oven is no fun (but fortunately not a disaster either!)

Living in San Antonio I don't have a big rain problem but I have decided to put my igloo under a real roof. I am going to build walls to shield the sides and put a standing seam steel roof on top (to match my house). Th landing below the chimney will still let some water in will be MUCH drier!

Seems like building a roof is something you only have to do once whereas a tarp is a repeat process!

Good Luck!

PizzaPolice 07-17-2009 01:13 PM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
Ain't nuthin' like adversity to enable a man to find find new combinations of cuss words.

It happened to me when I was in the process of entombing my BFO (Big F$%^$## Oven) No roof, high winds, torrential rain Vs. my crippled A$$ up on a ladder wielding a huge blue plastic tarp. As if I was daring the rain and lightning gods to smite me. You can bet I was issuing a long string of fiery phrases.

P.M. if you came up with any dandys...hahaha.

RTflorida 07-17-2009 08:42 PM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
dmun, agreed....there is no substitute for a REAL roof. If I were not so anti establishment and would have just gone through the bureaucracy I would have a "house style" oven. My HOA has always been an inept bunch of political wannabes, so I do everything without submitting for approval. As long as they could not see it from the street, they couldn't say an igloo it is.
The modified tarp/cover should get me by until winter, after it cools down and the daily rains subside. At that time I think I will proceed with a real enclosure, again without HOA approval (I have added a tree and my fence goes in this Thurs., no chance they can see my "structure" from the street.)

PP, made me laugh...thanks. I didn't realize anyone was around to hear me when I found things soaked. Suffice to say.....just the basic 4 letter words used in every way imaginable. Amazing how they can become nouns, pronouns, adjectives, prepositions. I didn't realize that I had such a grasp on language.

Have a great weekend everyone


PizzaPolice 07-17-2009 08:52 PM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
VINDICATED!!! | Mind & Mood | Cursing is good for you, new study says. Really

Swear on, my brother...

Frances 07-18-2009 04:55 AM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
Uh uh... so Igloos are not ideal for wet climates?

Sorry to hear about your oven RT. The good news is, you can drive the water out and the oven still works. The mosaics are still ok, you said, so the water all gets in through the entry way?

I've been finding my oven takes longer to heat up this year than it did last year, and was worried it might be caused by damp getting in. Hmm, I'll check for wet bricks next time, too. Though if that much water gets in, the insulation will be shot, too. What really worries me is that with my mosaics you can't tell if there are any cracks on the outside of the dome or not. Hmmmm, I can't really picture a roof over it either. :(

Re swearing, the article mentions giving birth... Well let me tell you, after going through that experience I haven't worried about my swearing so much. Anything I would ever say now (even if faced with a ruined oven) just pales in comparison to what I came up with then. Never knew I had such a large vocabluary. :)

Neil2 07-18-2009 12:25 PM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
With my igloo, I cover it with a tarp and just go through the curing firings every spring.

sarah h 07-18-2009 08:50 PM

Re: Rain Saturated Oven
Hmmm, it's done nothing BUT rain here for weeks? months?? - so much so that I only used my oven once, about a month ago (and that's a whole other story).
I'd better take a closer look tomorrow ...
RT, glad to hear your oven is OK in the end.


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