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The Experiment

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Tenting the roof structure with PVC frame, wrapped with heat shrink boat wrap. Frame went up today, shrink wrap Monday. We can work year round under cover w/no fear of weather.

Brackets to exterior wall, frame onto brackets, diagonally braced with heat shrink tape, final skin gives us a tight enclosure. There's a skirt to cover the coping around the edge to deflect water from the tent-building joint.

Breather panels go against the wall, vent into coping breather panel, which vents to exterior. Wind tunnel and engineering testing shows excellent venting capability. It's an entire perimeter vent.

All of it so we can repair the rotten joist ends. There's about 30,000 of these structures in Chicago, all rotten. They built them wrong, we're going to fix them.

More on this as the project progresses......

Tent Frame.....

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Breather Board, plastic laminated to foam board...foam's 1/6 the price of wood, doesn't move, no warping

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Breather board tucks up under stainless drip edge on interior of parapet....

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Vented coping takes cavity wall moisture and interior parapet wall moisture and transfers to exterior....

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To fix the mess caused by this sort of thing.....

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Which causes the joists to return to mulch....

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When the tent's up, the roof open, and the joists bracketed to the wall with our proprietary bracketing system, I'll put up the rest of the pics.

Repaired, ventilated, solves the interior parapet wall flashing conundrum perfectly.

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It is, isn't it. The whole heat shrink boat wrap thing just kinda jumped up at us when we were wrapping a boat for the winter. There's zipper windows, vent components, and all the stuff that makes for a nice work enclosure...no more flapping blue tarps in the breeze and the nightmares associated with flapping blue tarps.

Schedule 80 PVC struts, 2" copper tee's and couplers, etc. The whole repair biz came out of necessity in '08, as we all remember...all those people that ignored my reports, bought the things, then started calling me asking me *what to do now?*.... it just kind of happened and snowballed.

I'm not on the operations end; Kelly is the Leonardo "inventing" the systems. I'm just the guy that stands around making sure nothing really ****ing stupid happens.

So far, so good....

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Do you or Kelly have a website for this parapet flashing/ventilation repair? There is a massive audience that needs this kind of work. You could probably patent the procedure or at least create a working formula for other contractors.

I talk to many owners and potential buyers who don't want to give up on split faced block. I tell them there should be a blog that all these people can go to to help each other out but it appears the consensus is the owners of these types of buildings are too embarrassed or do not want to incriminate themselves that they are having moisture problems.

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Right here....

The patent is in process, we've been getting the engineering studies done that would back it up for large scale commercial work and code compliance, and we've got a few contractors who we've been vetting so we can give them the stuff and they do the repairs. So, we're trying the blueprint you described. It's complicated, expensive, and time consuming. In the meantime, we're fixing a few buildings.

Remember when Hier was doing the split face stuff for NPR about 10 years ago? One of the main problems with getting this impending disaster on the air and talked about is the reticence on the part of homeowners going on public record saying the largest investment in their lives was worthless. We've both had TV journalist types say they'd do stories but neither of us can get anyone to go on record. I don't blame them. It's a tragic mess that about several thousands+ homeowners have to deal with. You've seen 'em, you know how messed up it is. Right now, it's just gigs for rich people on the north side.

You should check out the perimeter wall vent flashing system. It completely solves the parapet wall flashing conundrum. We've even put this stuff on solid common brick parapets; it pulls moisture out of them and dries them out.

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