paint-protection for plywood, to withstand water, snow, etc?

Our basement boiler-room (steam-heat, water-heater, other heater, all gas) has, up high, a window looking out into a grate-covered pit. (Grate at ground-level.)
For safety from CO, we keep the window open a few inches, always, allowing boiler-updraft to drag in fresh air.
Problem: leaves (southern Westchester county) and then snow, potentially 100% covering the grate, dangerously.
What to put over the grate to keep leaves and snow away from it.
Used to have ugly office-chair rug-protector draped over it. Recently the boss (of this house) tossed it out, calling it UGLY. (Well, yes, it was -- but it added safety.)
Happens that six months ago I (surrepticiously) retrieved from our garbage some old half-inch pieces of plywood.
My idea is to use one of them to lay one of them across near-grate concrete-blocks, to return the room to a "safe" condition.
To avoid instant UGLY!-judgement, maybe painting it dark-green would help.
QUESTION: how to weatherproof it?
What kind of paint, primer, brands, number of coats, etc?
THANKS!
David
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David Combs wrote:

the grate? Size and location would help ..... does it have to be at ground level for foot traffic or in driveway?
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Stupid of me to not have said that I would make a half Tee-Pee (sp?) out of it, leaning it from the away-from-house-wall edge of the grate up against the wall, a foot or two off the ground.
Sorry!
David
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On 27 Nov 2008 05:11:13 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Right here- if it were me. . . I'd close the window, install a CO detector. . . and if it indicates a problem I'd install a pvc dedicated vent that only opened when the furnace called for air.
I've heard that there is some sort of energy thing going on where it cost more to heat the great outdoors. I don't know for sure as I've been trying to *seal* things up around here- not open them up.
-snip-

And invite wood eating insects to live on the warm side of that board. Do it right- do it once.
This is probably the most expensive way out- but at $60, it will probably pay for itself in lost heat in a few years- not to mention the safety & esthetics 'payback'. http://www.myhvacparts.com/Catalogue/Accessories/Termination%20Kit.htm
Jim
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After sleeping on it, I'd like to correct that. If I had a CO leak, I'd *fix* it before somebody died.
Jim
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wrote:

You don't want any detectable CO, it is highly poisonous. Very low levels are expected, nor is it practical to remove all CO, as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are in equilibrium.
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Sounds like you are making a nice haven for rodents. Very thoughtful of you as they like warm cozy places to live. .
I'd run a proper vent up the side of the building with a screened air intake at least 48" above the ground. Not seeing your setup I can't give exact methods, but you can replace a window pane and use PVC in periscope fashion, or a through the wall vent that is commonly used for fresh air intakes.
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I agree, Ed's suggestion is the professional - safe solution. Go for it. Don't play around. I also suggest that you follow the suggestion to add a CO alarm. I have three in my home. Yea, as a teenager I once was caught by CO, I was OK but a few other people ended up in the hospital. Nasty Sneaky stuff.
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id put some rustoleum paint on it.. overkill, but good paint for outdoors,its oilbase..
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