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rachelsue20 04-27-2012 10:09 AM

Ideas for retrofitting baffles/insulation in vaulted ceiling of built out attic room
My husband and I purchased a historic home that had been previously renovated during the housing boom. Naturally, the investors did a flip it style renovation and put in granite countertops and tile floors, etc. but neglected many more important features such as insulation.

The center area of the attic had been converted into a bedroom, office, and bathroom, with a vaulted ceiling and knee walls. I have relatively easy access to the remaining attic space on either side. There are a ton of rafters which you can view from inside the attic space where baffles and insulation is missing. This would be the area of the roofline leading up to the ridge vent.

So basically from the outside of my house going in, over the built out attic room space, I have about half of the roofline/ceiling looking like this:

Shingles, plywood, baffles, insulation, sheetrock (for the ceiling of the attic rooms).

In the other half of that area, I have no insulation, so it is merely shingles, plywood, small open space between rafters, sheetrock.

Barring tearing out and then replacing the sheetrock to add baffles and insulation, does anyone have any suggestions on how to add insulation from the attic side, perhaps sliding something up the rafter space?

A few thoughts I had were, stick the tube for blown-in insulation up there and gradually pull it down, then put something to keep it from falling out, but that might have potential ventilation issues?

Another thought was to create a sandwich with a baffle, batt insulation and a sheet of rigid board insulation, and then try to slide it up to near the top of the eave (forgive me if I'm not using correct terminology here, I'm learning as I go).

If I was able to get it to go up there smoothly, using the rigid board insulation kind of as my method to get it to slide up, I would end up with shingles, plywood, baffle, batt insulation, foam board, sheetrock. Does this seem like it might work? Any potential issues with moisture or anything like that? Or anybody got any other crazy hairbrained ideas I could consider?

My plan for the rest of the attic space is to seal all penetrations to the downstairs, seal all of the flexible ductwork in the attic, put baffles against the soffit vents to keep them clear, blow in insulation along the floor, and possibly hire out having the knee walls spray foamed. Am also considering placing a radiant barrier against the gable wall along the front of the house, and along the rest of the exposed attic roofline, since both my upstairs and downstairs ductwork and HVAC systems all reside in my attic. Any thoughts/suggestions for this basic plan are also invited. Thanks!

joecaption 04-27-2012 10:16 AM

Not a great plan.
Not going to be able to just slide in baffles or foam because it's going to catch on the nails in the roof.
If you try and use blown in as you suggested there's no air flow and the shingles will get over heated.

What condition are the shingles in? The reason I ask is it's possible to insulate on the roof side, if the shingles were removed.

rachelsue20 04-27-2012 10:26 AM

The shingles are in pretty good condition. To the best of my knowledge, a new roof was put on in 2005. But I don't really know what "new roof" means, exactly. My inspector told me that when he looked at the property, and I would assume he is guessing based on his knowledge that they looked pretty new and that the house underwent a major renovation in 2005. Would it be better at that point to just tear down sheetrock from the ceiling and install the baffles/insulation, and then replace the sheetrock?

joecaption 04-27-2012 10:35 AM

In most cases, yes.
How wide are the rafters?

Windows on Wash 04-27-2012 11:52 AM

You won't be able to get the baffles up there effectively because they will catch the underside of the nails.

You could put a rigid poly-iso up there but it will still be difficult to to get the insulation details done.

Gary in WA 04-28-2012 07:49 PM

1. Where are you located?

2. What is the depth of the rafters on the sloped ceiling?

3. Are there soffit (intake) vents? Describe them, please...


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