The Messy, Awful, Expensive, Best Option Around
When I first purchased the bus I knew the upstairs ceiling had water damage and would need to be removed. Although this would create a lot more work, it would also give me the opportunity to see whats up there structurally as well as improve the insulation situation. Originally, the bus had about as much insulation as a beer can. All the walls were thin sheet metal, the floor plywood, and all single pane glass windows. Having such a lack of insulation in a structure creates three main issues; an inefficient building, a difficulty regulating temperature, and condensation buildup possibly resulting in water damage. Issues such as inefficiency I will just have to swallow, after all it is a bus from the 1960s and I have no plans on replacing all that single pane glass. However, I can add insulation where it will take it and dropping the ceiling is the first step.
Being an impatient individual, I decided the best way to remove the ceiling panels was to smash them down with a hammer rather than drill each rivet out. Unfortunately this was a terrible idea which resulted in much more work. Although my way was quick to get the ceiling down, it left a mess of broken rivets that still needed individual attention to be smoothed out in order for the new ceiling to sit flush to the frame. After grinding down the remaining rivets, I decided to add some wood to the existing aluminum frame to give me more material to fasten the new ceiling to.
Once the ceiling was demoed and everything was ready to be covered back up, I started prepping for my insulation. I decided to go with a spay foam application because when properly applied it creates a seal ensuring there will be no condensation issues. All that said, there are a lot of downsides to spray foam as the kits are very expensive, difficult to get use too, and fairly unpleasant to apply. In my case, I needed two of these kits (around $600) to ensure the ceiling was completely covered. The first tank I entirely over sprayed, resulting in excess foam that needed to be removed, as well as many shadow areas that needed to be re-sprayed. The second kit went much better as I had a smoother technique and changed from the straight nozzle to the fan nozzle creating more manageable spray pattern. Although the spray foam kits where pricey, messy, and required weeks of cutting and sanding the foam down, I still believe they were the best option as they yielded a great end product that I am satisfied will not condensate. With the spray foam complete, all that was left was replacing the ceiling panels, but first....
Patrick Sills is the owner and creator of Double Decker Coffee Roasting. The purpose of the Build Blog is to share the story of the physical build, its components, Patrick's growing education in the coffee industry, and the overall creation of the business. Warning: if run on sentences, poor sentence structure, or simple spelling mistakes bother you to the core stop reading! The Build Blog has a very loose format, I am a builder not a writer, just thought some people might be interested in the story. Enjoy!