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Old 11-15-2008, 03:27 PM   #1
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attic ventilation chutes question

I'm trying to create additional ventilation in my attic, followed by more insulation. To increase the ventilation, I've added a ridge vent and a series of louvered circular vents to my soffits. In adding the circular vents, I noticed that a fair amount of blown in insulation had been blown into the soffit, preventing airflow into the attic. I cleared that out. Now I'm adding plastic chutes between the roof trusses. There had been some chutes installed in the attic when I purchased the home, but not enough and not well enough.

I have encountered two problems. First, the 16" chutes I purchased are the right size to fit between the trusses, but there's an extra truss/joist of about 2" attached to one truss. That prevents me from inserting the chutes down to reach the soffit opening. Second, the angle of my roof on my ranch home is so narrow I am doubtful I'd be able to install batting or cardboard to block additional blown insulation from reaching the soffit. Or, I could install batting or cardboard, but I would end up leaving a good 6-12 inches, or maybe more, uninsulated from the wall line in.

Does anyone have any good solutions? Thanks.


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Old 11-20-2008, 10:52 PM   #2
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As they say, 'I feel your pain'. I'm going through just about the same problem right now. My roof is so low (I'm 5'6" tall and I have to walk with my head down and my knees bent when I'm standing under the peak of the trusses) and getting the styrofoam chutes/baffles down to where they are supposed to be is very difficult. There is no clear, flat surface up there either, so the only place to walk is on the studs. The batt insulation that is up there now is packed right in to the end of the joist, so there has been no air coming in from the soffits. So I bought some knee pads and I have a small chunk of OSB that I put down to lay on so I can pull the insulation out from the edge of the joist. I kneel down on the 2x4's, carefully scooch as close to the end of the truss as I can, pull the old, dusty insulation towards me, fold it back (which means it's practically in my face) cut about 12" off the end, put the baffle in place between the 2x4's, staple it, swear because there was only one staple left in the gun and now I have to get out of that tight spot, climb through the trusses to the other end of the attic to get the box of staples I should have brought with me, go back and start all over again. Seriously though, I reach as far as I can to get the chute where it belongs and I can only reach far enough to get staples into about 1/3 of the top of it. But I'm told that's okay because when I push the batt of insulation back to where it was, it actually holds the bottom of the chute in place and blocks the blown-in from going down into the soffit. I have to use a 40" stick (it's the plastic extentions that go to my wet/dry vac) to push the batt of insulation back in place. I haven't been putting chutes where there is a vent pipe going up through the roof. I just skip those.

A couple things I found: the ceiling fan on the main floor was being vented directly into the insulation batt that was covering it. All this time I was sure it had been vented up through the roof. The exaust pipe for the water heater comes up from the basement, through the wall between the kitchen and bathroom and is vented up through the roof. But, for some reason, there is nothing covering the space between those two rooms, nothing at the top of that wall, so all the heat from that vent pipe and probably from inside the house was just going up into the attic. It's a 10' by 9" gap.

I think I found a company I want to come over to add the blown-in insulation, but the guy said they don't come into the house and up through the attic access in the ceiling. He said it's too messy and the door or a window would be left open too long. They take a vent off the roof and crawl down into the attic through that. I've never heard of that, have you? It really makes sense, that is, if someone is small enough to fit throught such a small hole. He also said he would fill the open gap between the bathroom and kitchen walls and vent the bathroom fan out through the roof and add another roof vent. All for about $945 including materials. The stuff up there is R-19, but he's going to bring it up to R-60. I never realized insulation could be so involved.


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