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Old 08-22-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
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Venting Columns

I building 5 tapered columns on a breezeway using exterior 3/4 mdf (signboard). 6 ft tall on a 3 ft eng. stone base. approx 3 in. air gap around 6x6 post. I once had a house with hollow columns that had a small vent on the side. It looked like a louvered vent that would go in a gable only it was about 1 1/4 in. dia. and had a screen betind it. I'm painting the ends and inside and out with 3 coats of acrylic latex and caulking the bottom and caulking the top with self leveling caulk. The house is near Louisville so I get all kinds of weather. I think I can seal it up tight as a drum but should I?. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:08 PM   #2
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From what I know about venting, the only reason roofs are vented and nothing else, is because of the size. Attics have a large area so without venting you would develop condensation. Your wall cavities have a small area so they don't need venting. If condensation built up in our wall cavities, then we would have to build vents in every stud bay in our homes.

A column wrap encloses a small area so you shouldn't need any vents. Out of the dozens of column wraps I've seen and built, I've yet to see one that had a vent. If it is required in your area then it's a regional thing, I have never heard of it.


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Old 08-23-2010, 11:22 PM   #3
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Caulking shape: pp.#35:

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Old 08-25-2010, 10:24 AM   #4
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Thanks, if I thought that's what I'd think, too. I'll put some pic's up in a few days.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:39 PM   #5
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Wraped wood columns should be vented at the top and bottom and covered with screen to prevent entry by insects. The moisture content of the supporting posts will translate this moisture to the surrounding columns rotting out from the inside slowly, peeling of the paint is the first sign of moisture passing through, especially pt posts. If replacing only the column it is still wise to vent the columns of the condensing air space given thermal penetration and air gaps.
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column , exterrior mdf , mdf , vent

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