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-   -   Removing Insulation off of soffit.. (http://www.diychatroom.com/f103/removing-insulation-off-soffit-98496/)

paige2 03-15-2011 01:23 PM

Removing Insulation off of soffit..
 
Today we removed the pink batt insulation that was stuffed between the roof joists and was therefore covering the ventilation for the soffit..We live in Innisfil, Ontario so we get pretty cold winters and we are finding all of the interior of the exterior walls to always be cold..The house is a bungalow and we find that it is not holding the heat in the winter and is hot in the summer..So we did some investigating and have been asking lots of questions regarding this problem..We were told that the soffit should not be covered at all!! So my question is: I decided to keep the batts around the pvc pipes just in case..Is this correct? The builder had used blown in insulation in the attic without any pink batting underneath but there is vapour barrier..Are the bathroom fans and electrical boxes for lighting suppost to be covered with insulation? Not sure If I should uncover them...I'm hoping that uncovering the soffit will allow the house to breath better and circulate the air properly so we can save some money on our utility bills....Any suggestions?? thnx

Wildie 03-15-2011 07:31 PM

It seems that your builder blew cellulose insulation into your attic space.

It should be one foot deep! The cellulose should not be in the soffit, although it will do no harm, as long as the vents are clear. To allow the air to move from the vents, plastic chutes are installed between rafters, wherever a vent is located.
The venting is necessary to allow the attic to be cooled, in order to improve the lifespan of the roof material.

The insulation should cover the 4" octagon electrical boxes and the bathroom fan.
If you have 'pot' lights that project up into the attic space, special boxes are used over these, to keep the insulation from coming in contact with the hot pot lights.
The bathroom fan should have a metal exhaust pipe running to a roof or soffit vent. The metal pipe should be wrapped with R12 fibre glass insulation, held in place with tape or a cord.

HomeSealed 03-15-2011 08:45 PM

Paige, most of Wildie's advice is good, although your insulation is not necessarily cellulose just because it is blown in. If it is fluffy and white or pink, it is fiberglass. If it seems more dense and gray in color, it is cellulose. Either way, in your region, you want over R-50 up there, which would be a minimum of 16" + depending on material. In addition, you'll want to air seal every penetration from attic to living space. These penetrations literally suck up the warm air and moisture into the attic. Use spray foam around all electrical boxes (including fans, etc), chimneys, plumbing vent stacks, top plates, etc. As for the "pot" lights, it depends on whether or not they are rated for direct contact with insulation... As mentioned, baffles should be installed at every soffit vent to insure proper attic ventilation. You can stuff fiberglass batting around them to prevent the blown-in stuff from falling into the soffit, and prevent wind wash.

Gary in WA 03-15-2011 09:09 PM

Here's my recent answer on the baffles using them to prevent wind-washing; http://www.diychatroom.com/f15/moore-vents-attic-44424/

I wouldn't stuff fiberglass to stop the wind; http://books.google.com/books?id=a29...(1995)&f=false

Hopefully you had a medium or high density blow-in product installed: http://www.diychatroom.com/f98/bigge...ulation-90438/

Gary

Wildie 03-15-2011 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeSealed (Post 610220)
Paige, most of Wildie's advice is good, although your insulation is not necessarily cellulose just because it is blown in. If it is fluffy and white or pink, it is fiberglass. If it seems more dense and gray in color, it is cellulose. Either way, in your region, you want over R-50 up there, which would be a minimum of 16" + depending on material. In addition, you'll want to air seal every penetration from attic to living space. These penetrations literally suck up the warm air and moisture into the attic. Use spray foam around all electrical boxes (including fans, etc), chimneys, plumbing vent stacks, top plates, etc. As for the "pot" lights, it depends on whether or not they are rated for direct contact with insulation... As mentioned, baffles should be installed at every soffit vent to insure proper attic ventilation. You can stuff fiberglass batting around them to prevent the blown-in stuff from falling into the soffit, and prevent wind wash.

Here in Ontario 12" of cellulose meets the minimum code. However, when it comes to insulation, more is good!
Cellulose is very popular here, perhaps the most popular. When I mentioned cellulose, I admit to reading between the lines! :yes:

HomeSealed 03-16-2011 08:42 AM

Gary, those are nice links, but unfortunately have little to do with this application. I'm fully aware that fiberglass will not stop airflow, that is why we use a low-expansion closed cell foam around our window and door installations, and why air sealing the attic is highly recommended. The area in question around the baffles does not need to be sealed, as it is not connected to any conditioned airspace. Furthermore, in my professional experience, it has been effective in preventing excessive wind wash, or the blowing of loose insulation away from the baffles. That, along with preventing the loose insulation from falling into the soffit is its only purpose and function there... When we don't use batting, we will use plastic bags filled with cellulose, but either way, it does the job.
-Brandon

paige2 03-16-2011 08:55 AM

The blown in insulation is white and pink..when my husband and his friend insulated the garage they didnt cover the soffits and used the pink batting but never checked the rest of the attic so it was getting some air flow..there are baffles between every other roof joist..I was only able to do one whole side yesterday since it was so hot up there and i was starting to get claustrophobic lol...Do you think that once we remove all the pink batting that we should install baffles between every roof joist and should we see a difference in the tempertures on the interior of the exterior walls (that is if the insulation is decent lol) How can I find out what the R value is there doesnt seem to be any paperwork stapled up in the attic to tell u what type and who did the installation...

paige2 03-16-2011 09:12 AM

haha thats funny "Up there" I dont live in the Great White North" hahah..We dont have any pot lights..so i should buy some spray foam in a can to seal around all fixtures then..I noticed that the one pipe leading out of the roof had a bit of a gap around it..So once we get the air flow working properly in the attic then we should see a difference in the humidity in the house..right now the hygrometer is reading 54% on the main floor and it is a damp and rainy day today...I really hope we are doing the right thing by removing all this batting..I dont want to end up having a mould problem in the attic.....i should take some pictures and post them so everyone can see the attic..

Wildie 03-16-2011 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paige2 (Post 610490)
The blown in insulation is white and pink..when my husband and his friend insulated the garage they didnt cover the soffits and used the pink batting but never checked the rest of the attic so it was getting some air flow..there are baffles between every other roof joist..I was only able to do one whole side yesterday since it was so hot up there and i was starting to get claustrophobic lol...Do you think that once we remove all the pink batting that we should install baffles between every roof joist and should we see a difference in the tempertures on the interior of the exterior walls (that is if the insulation is decent lol) How can I find out what the R value is there doesnt seem to be any paperwork stapled up in the attic to tell u what type and who did the installation...

Some soffits have perforations all over, others have perforations at periodic intervals. Sometimes they have a 'register' every few feet.
If you have a continuously perforated soffit, it wouldn't hurt to have baffles between all the rafters. However, if you only have soffit venting at various intervals, you only need baffles where the vents are.
Keep in mind, venting has nothing to do with retaining heat. In fact it is to disapate heat in the summer.
It would be a good idea to spray foam over the top of the fixture boxes to keep moist air from entering the attic from the inside.
You should also have a seal around the jamb of the entry hatch also.
And don't forget to insulate the attic side of the hatch cover also. I glued some expanded foam insulation on mine with construction adhesive.

If your blown insulation is white or pink, my guess is that it is fibre glass. I think that fibre glass insulation is about R3/inch, and you should have a minimum of R40. So, it should be in excess of a foot deep.

paige2 03-16-2011 02:04 PM

It is continuous soffit all along the whole underside of the house...Im going to post pictures now so you can see the attic...ignore the pink insulation on top of the blown i picked it all up after i took the pictures and left some in between the "v"s (roof trusses...) I noticed that once i got to the very back of the house the blown insulation was really deep and once i investigated the whole attic it wasnt as deep at the front as the back is im guessing maybe 6 inches deep at the front.......I'm thinking that they cheaped out in the insulation department...unfortunately we are passed the time to go back to the builder and get them to warranty their crappy work.. I noticed today that it was quite cool up in the attic now that the soffit is exposed..

Wildie 03-16-2011 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by paige2 (Post 610721)
It is continuous soffit all along the whole underside of the house...Im going to post pictures now so you can see the attic...ignore the pink insulation on top of the blown i picked it all up after i took the pictures and left some in between the "v"s (roof trusses...) I noticed that once i got to the very back of the house the blown insulation was really deep and once i investigated the whole attic it wasnt as deep at the front as the back is im guessing maybe 6 inches deep at the front.......I'm thinking that they cheaped out in the insulation department...unfortunately we are passed the time to go back to the builder and get them to warranty their crappy work.. I noticed today that it was quite cool up in the attic now that the soffit is exposed..

I would leave the deep insulation where it is and bring the shallow stuff up to the same level.
If you have insulation in the soffits, its easy to remove. The perforated soffit just slides along, so all you have to do, is remove a couple of sections, drop the insulation, then slide some more into the vacated area and drop its insul.
Once the insulation is removed, slide the soffit back into position.
Collect the insulation in garbage bags and put in the attic. You can't have too much insulation.

It appears that you had inexperienced guys installing the insulation.

paige2 03-16-2011 06:59 PM

Actually i already pulled out all the batts...it was quite the job reaching all the way down to get to it but i did it!! I think we will have a insulation company come in eventually and give us a quote on getting more insulation up there since its not a balanced spread...i tried to add the pics but it said they were to big...any ideas on how to down size the photos??

HomeSealed 03-16-2011 08:15 PM

Wildie was right, no use in pulling out the batts... Either way, with blown in material, you'll want a solid 18" or so. Energy Star recommendation for your region is at least R-49, preferably R-60... and don't forget the air sealing. That step is crucial. I've seen studies showing added insulation and ventilation can actually yield higher energy consumption without proper air sealing.

Gary in WA 03-16-2011 10:00 PM

Be sure to cover the edge of the blow-in near the soffit to prevent the cold outdoor air from negating the insulation R-value. I showed two different baffles in the earlier link, the foam ones from Lowe’s need the extra WindBlocker but the plastic ones from H.D. bend around and over the outside wall. http://books.google.com/books?id=3kL...201991&f=false

I agree with H.S above, the air sealing is way more important than even the insulation, be sure to thoroughly do that, second paragraph; http://books.google.com/books?id=Eq1...page&q&f=false

For the optimal insulation over the exterior walls (because the space is reduced by roof slope) and prevent wind washing; http://www.homeenergy.org/archive/he...96/961110.html

Gary

Gary in WA 03-17-2011 12:48 PM

“Do you think that once we remove all the pink batting that we should install baffles between every roof joist and should we see a difference in the tempertures on the interior of the exterior walls (that is if the insulation is decent lol)” ---- No, the exterior walls will not be much warmer. The added ventilation will remove any moisture in the attic coming from below. The added attic insulation will help hold the heat inside the room. If warmer walls are your main concern, check the insulation in them. A house looses 25% of heat loss through roof but 35% at walls and another 25% at windows and doors; http://www.explainthatstuff.com/heatinsulation.html

You may want to upgrade the low density wall insulation with higher density material rather than putting all your money in the roof, a place for diminishing returns on the money; http://www.buildings.com/ArticleDeta...1/Default.aspx
Adding some insulation in the attic will help bring it to a uniform level. Check locally with your B.D. for R-values required.

http://www.enersavesystems.com/pdf/E...Insulation.pdf



Here is some help with the pictures; http://www.diychatroom.com/f98/how-a...to-post-20532/

Gary


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