venting a bathroom through ceiling vs. sidewall

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Posted by: from Edmonton
8/7/2011 at 2:12:56 PM

We have the asbestos-based vermiculite insulation in our attic. While the jury is out on whether we should be removing it or not, we know we do not want to disturb it. We also need to vent our bathroom, so our home inspector suggested venting through the sidewall of the bathroom by building a lowered ceiling section over the bathtub, and cutting a hold in the side of our house. This is slightly more complicated than going through the ceiling, and also will presumably give the bathroom an even "smaller" feeling, but the tradeoff is the potential to stir up asbestos dust in the attack and have it settle in the living areas of the house. Opinions on this please?

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Date/Time8/7/2011 at 7:07:29 PM

Hi Rob! Yes you do not want to disturb that kind of insulation. I would remove it when you are able too. But if that is an issue venting thru the sidewall is possible. Did you consider using a remote ventilation fan. Where the vent is in the tub area but the actual motor housing would be in an adjacent closet if there is one near the bathroom. In most cases there is a bedroom closet nearby that may solve your problem as long as you can get the vent to the outside of the house. Also you maybe able to just build a bulkhead on an angle along the back of the tub area which would not take up too much space and would give you access to the outside. Not sure of your setup there so I am throwing stones in the pond. Hope this helps.


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Date/Time8/17/2011 at 6:08:45 PM

One more item to bear in mind when making your decision is where the vented air is going. If you vent through an exterior wall, but under the overhang of your roof, all that warm moist air will end up in your attic. Warm moist air combined with cold air in an attic can combinde to form condensation which can then begin to form mold in your attic, necessitating the removal of your asbestos insulation and possibly more depending on the extent of the mold growth.

Sorry if I complicated matters, but better to know all of the information.

Kelly Dickinson

Dickinson Contracting

Penticton, B.C.

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