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Old 11-21-2014, 02:16 PM   #1
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Baffle chutes or not?


Old 2 story home, small... Attic has original insulation, years ago some county grant money , they came around and blew in some loose stuff.. I was in the attic a few months ago, checking to see if a bathroom vent that was installed a few years back was actually venting to outside or attic. It was outside, so that's good.
Anyways, I noticed a few baffle chutes here and there, not every joist, they were just loosely set there., at the time i didn't know what they were.
So with winter coming, we get a good amount of ice buildup at the soffet line, so i was going to go up there, make sure the baffles are installed properly, and then maybe put some additional batting up there.
I got frustrated with the thought of doing it myself. Just had a contractor look at it;
he states: - the house is 80 years old, and the slanted part of the roof is only built with 2 by 4's, not even 2 by 6's! And they are 30 inches apart.
- He states, he wants to just pack the slanted part of the entire roof with dense packing, just like you would a wall he told me.
- does not want to use any baffle chutes, because being only 2 by 4, there is no room for both insulation and baffles ( makes sense technically).
- said with the new homes, or even newer homes that have deeper joists, they use just the chutes in the slanted joists, and insulate. Leaving the soffet areas open (to keep colder). All makes sense.
- but he states with my situation, you have to make the call and say, let's attack the heat loss by insulating, over just putting in baffle chutes.
- He states because i have a good ridge vent in the roof, along with 2 gable vents, you should be fine with ventilation.
- So he would pack in the soffet area, the slanted part of the roof, and then put an additional 6 inches on the attic "floor".

said that's what he thinks based on my home, and his experience. He is quite reputable by the way.

Gentlemen: your thoughts?
I asked about, just making sure the baffle chutes are there, keeping soffets open, but then increasing attic floor insulation. He said, probably, but he still likes the idea of more insulation, and not using chutes.

Thanks guys.

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Old 11-21-2014, 02:40 PM   #2
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Baffle chutes or not?


He has no clue and is completely wrong and needs to go.
Even modern homes use trusses which are often just 2 X 4's.
Need to know what you have now for soffit venting.
Roof vents are useless without soffit vents.
Picture sucking on a straw with your finger over the end of it.
Collegeville tells us nothing about your location, questions like this are hard to answer 100% without knowing where you are.

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Old 11-21-2014, 02:57 PM   #3
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Baffle chutes or not?


Thank you, and sorry Joe, I always forget to state the location, the home is in Syracuse NY. So, yes, cold weather.

And you are right again, I've seen enough photos of home construction and attics and trusses.. and they are 2 by 4's. I think he may have just been stating that , seeing he is pushing insulating the trusses.. that we can't have both, you wouldn't be able to insulate the truss and staple a chute there as well.. so i think that's his point.


Just to let you, he is quoting me $700.00 to do the work.

As for soffit venting.. not 100% sure. I know the house was sided about 15 years ago, vinyl soffets, etc... I can't recall if there are vents in the soffet though. I know what you mean by that, the underside when you look up from outside, you see some vents in there.
I'm going to say, that I think they are there.

Could you recommend a solution?

PS. It just doesn't make sense to me why you want to insulate the slanted trusses (if that's what they are). I mean, you're not insulating the attic? the space itself? you're insulating the living space below, right? that's why you put a lot of insulation on the attic floor.

I asked why you insulate the truss area and not vent, he said you just want to make everything as insulated as possible.

Last edited by davemax; 11-21-2014 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:58 PM   #4
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Baffle chutes or not?


Only need to insulated the envelope.
Which would be just anyplace between the walls of the home.
The soffit area out over the walls and the roof area needs nothing unless it's a finished attic.
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:49 PM   #5
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Baffle chutes or not?


I'm puzzled why you want to insulate the "slanted" joists which I presume are the rafters above your insulated attic floor. Are these "slanted Joists" (rafters) to serve as walls for conditioned space in the attic? That would be the only time you'd insulate them. Otherwise, put in chutes and insulate up to the chutes and the top of the sill plate as best you can access it without blocking the chutes. You can calculate how many chutes you need based upon your location, attic size and the venting area of the chutes. Are your soffits vented? If not then the chutes won't ventilate anything.
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:28 PM   #6
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Baffle chutes or not?


I wonder if he's the same guy that insulated A house I saw long ago.
They had used 2" thick blue foam and had only installed it on the gable ends, not one speck of insulation between the joists.
Then they had plastic bags over the turbine vents to "hold in the heat".
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:44 AM   #7
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Baffle chutes or not?


Thank you all.
Yes, he was referring to insulating the rafters (what I called the upper portion, slanted boards).
I agree, no need at all to insulate those. And if I don't have soffet vents, I will still go with the chutes just to keep that area clear, and colder.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:56 AM   #8
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Baffle chutes or not?


Hey Joe,
I just had the second guy come out to look at the attic insulation. These guys come highly recommended in syracuse. He looked at the attic and states:
- it looks like someone did come in and blow insulation in the attic floor, and that it is probably sufficient, that part. Not much more could really be added.
- said the problem is below the knee wall . said, not sure if i have soffet vents, however, he said the chutes would do nothing, because the insulation that is down in those areas, which of course are very difficult to get to, are filled with about 3 inches of batting, however, there is no more room to put anymore insulation in that area because they are 2 by 4's. And that with only 3 1/2 inches of insulation, you only have about an R12. Said, that is not enough to keep the heat loss contained below, and that is what is hitting your roof and causing snow melt/ice.

- said you could pull out what is there, and attempt to put more in , however, it is still a limited space to pack anything higher to get the higher R value.

- said expense option is to start removing drywall, etc.. and use the spray foam.

- he said the chutes will do nothing if you remove the insulation, because the point is there is not enough insulation to begin with? He stated that with foam, you don't need chutes, because the foam insulates all of it. no need for chutes.

I don't understand that, again, i thought below the knee wall was to be left open?

where is this heat loss coming from that i get the ice?

One side note: he stated, that a metal roof would be good in the future to keep the snow off??

so now, i have both companies saying something about the 2 by 4 thing, and that one guy wants to put dense packed insulation in that knee wall area, and another said it won't make a difference, because it will still only give me r12, and both say no chutes?

Also, I still don't know what he is talking about with heat loss i have? He said the attic floor is fine, probably not so much heat loss. but it is the other area where there is heat loss., again, heat loss from where? i thought the only place you get heat loss is from the attic floor? no? and if some state there should be nothing in the soffit area, to keep it cold, then what could he be referring to?

I'd like to call him back , but not sure what question to ask him?

Last edited by davemax; 11-25-2014 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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Baffle chutes or not?


photos,
I was told that the house is considered a cape cod actually. the attic floor is only about 8 feet wide, and you can't stand up in there.. then there is an additional 6 feet or so slope on the sides to the gutters.
there are baffle chutes up there, I looked.. lots of blown in stuff, etc.. and some very old nasty looking stuff underneath, original I'm sure. kind of black and enclosed in it's own casing.. nothing looks like asbestos, although I did take some samples for testing
I can see what they mean.. there is no way to get down those slanted areas to the soffits in the attic..
but it does look like there is a lot of insulation up there.

ONe pointe, as you can see from the photos the soffit vents, however, I don't think they go anywhere. this siding was put up over original wood shingles, and wood soffits that never had vents.
I'm thinking it would be nice for someone to at least remove the soffit siding in a few spots and then punch through and put some real soffit vents up there, take advantage of the chutes that I already saw in the attic?

anyways, thought the photos would help.

Thanks,
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:18 AM   #10
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Baffle chutes or not?


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