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Old 01-26-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
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Cape cod side attic insulation problems (fun)


Hello all,

I have a 1997 Cape Cod house in NY approx 2000 square feet with a ridge vent and no gable vents. The actual attic is unfinished with what looks like r-30 faced (facing down to heated space) on the attic floor. No other insulation up there just that (its clear between the rafter bays). I have no real problems with that set up. However, the side attics are another story. While remolding an upstairs bathroom i took out a medicine cabinet and looked on the other side to find, a side attic which was probably around 70 square feet. It was insulated with r-30 fiberlgass batts (paper facing away from roof) and kraft paper covering the entire thing. Being curious i checked behind one and no baffles , r-30 was right up against roof with no air flow. Not suprisingly i then found some mold on the plywood in several bays. The worst being a bay that is below a skylight which i see made that bay real nice and moldy. The knee wall in that area had unfaced r-11 on it. There is also some hot/cold water lines (insulated with foam covers) on the bottom of the knee wall facing the roof. I ripped out all insulation on the roof because of the mold and I am starting over.

My question is:
1)Is it really possible to get off the mold safely. People are telling me use bleach but im seeing in many places on the net that bleach doesnt actually remove all mold. Obviously, when i get the roof replaced (its not really bad) i would probably have the plywood ripped off if i had too.

2)I was going to just insulate the kneewall with r-30, and cover that with e-low and tape the seams. There is a small heatduct in there going into the bathroom. But im worried if i do that those pipes may freeze. The other option is leave the knee wall alone, baffle the inside of roof bays (after i clean the mold off) and use batts to insulate it leaving a gap for air.

3)This is on the east side of the house. The entire west side is insulated at the kneewall along that side attic and elow covers it. Nothing on the rafters over there.

4)I realize that the rest of the east side is probably like this too, but can't get to most of it now (cathedral ceiling) no access on sides of east facing dormers.

5) I can get pics if needed. The floors of the side attics are plywood covered with insulation underneath (not sure what).

6)Wish i would have known this before I bought it .

Any advice is helpful. Thanks.

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Old 01-27-2011, 01:49 PM   #2
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Cape cod side attic insulation problems (fun)


judging by the lack of response i guess no one really knows. Ive received several different opinions from contractors. The general consensus is prob wait till spring rip off the roof, any of the plywood that has mold on it and start over. Baffle the inside of the plywood with foam baffles, put up fiberglass insulation behind it, and some type of sheathing after that like low-e or that tyrex material. Then leave the knee wall alone since you can do one or the other but not both. I think ill be going with a metal roof next time as i dont want to deal with the roof again anytime soon and we have high winds here. It's going to be pretty expensive to do all this. But i cant get to alot of the roof from the inside the way this house is built so i dont see many options.

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