A Very Long Week

The first Florida job (Tampa area) was followed by a drive down to the Fort Myers area for job 2. I warned the guy running the second job that he wasn't getting us "fresh"--I was pretty much ready to go home at the start of that work. Nine straight days of work/travel is not something I'm going to be repeating soon.

When I tell people my work involves 'crawling around in attics,' that is not meant as hyperbole. I've been in a bunch of them, including belly crawls in the summer in Vegas, Tucson, Phoenix, and Florida.

First, this attic job was quite possibly the worst I have ever worked in:

I have now instituted a rule: when somebody as short as me can no longer sit up to work in the attic, it is TOO DAMN SHORT. At least until we start hiring building science midgets to do these jobs. Working conditions were a major-sweat out--early June in a Florida attic is plenty warm enough, thank you.

It was a somewhat interesting exercise to maneuver in a place like this--it required some conscious planning. "Roll on my side, use my hand to pull my foot over this beam, shift my weight to my hip, grab the overhead truss, slide myself backwards. Now feel around blind to try to find my drill." As you can imagine, this seriously cuts down productivity, compared to--say--standing on the ground.

The biggest problem was the approach to installing our experiment, which included roof sensors, two types of insulation, a heating/cooling system, humidification, exterior weather sensors, and air sealing the setup top and bottom. We should have bitten the bullet at the beginning, torn down all the ceiling drywall, and worked from rolling scaffolding--much easier access. Drywall (and drywallers) are cheap: I think that the cost there would have easily offset the man-hours added by poor working conditions. For instance, two of us well-trained building scientists burnt a man-day VACUUMING INSULATION FROM THE FLOOR OF AN ATTIC. This was done because the oversprayed insulation landed on the attic floor, and need to be cleaned up so that the spray foam would stick to the drywall.

But I wasn't in charge of the job.

Okay, so I didn't totally lose my sense of humor during this work:

Anyway, the hellish Florida job is over; I have never been so glad to land in Manchester to see 60 F rainy weather. You couldn't pay me enough to live in Florida. I'm in New Hampshire at Bird and Jen's now; spent last night watching Tivo'd cooking shows;, and I'm on my way down to Boston today. Big wedding get-together! Woo hoo!


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