Do I Need Soffit Baffles If I Don't Have Soffit Vents??? - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 10-27-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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Do I Need Soffit Baffles If I Don't Have Soffit Vents???

I'm going to add insulation to my attic and I need to know whether or not I need to go through the hassle (and pain) of installing soffit baffles. I currently have unvented soffits that the insulation would definitely get into when I blow in the new stuff. Do I need to install baffles or should I just skip that step?


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Old 10-27-2010, 09:59 AM   #2
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I would add the baffles to save money for the cost of the material which will blow into the soffit space.
How is the attic vented?


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Old 10-27-2010, 10:47 AM   #3
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It's a 1960s era ranch so it just has the vents on the ends of the peaks of the roof and also has an attic fan. I know this isn't optimal and I MAY end up adding soffit vents later but not for a couple of years.

Adding the baffles won't save me money, in fact it will likely cost me more as the ones I saw at HD and Lowes cost about $1.80 a piece and the insulation only costs like $10 a bundle. I would be saving roughly 1 square foot of insulation with each baffle and each bag has roughly 17 square feet of insulation at the depth I will be blowing. So I would spend $1.80 to save $0.59 (net loss of $1.21 per baffle installed). Plus it would be a huge pain in the butt to install all those baffles as the area where they would be installed is a tight area to get to and I would need about 60 to cover all the areas where the soffit is exposed.

So is there any technical reason I should install the baffles? I understand that if I don't and then go back and install soffit vents later it will be much more mess and hassle. But the attic of this house currently looks good and it's been that way for 40+ years so in my mind I probably really don't need to add the soffit vents (or baffles).
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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If no ice dams or mold inside on the roof sheathing in 40 years, that's a pretty good track record. I would air seal the attic from all holes in the top plates, etc. before adding more insulation:
Seal the attic hatch access door to be certain the attic fan doesn't draw the house conditioned air out along with the gas unit's back-draft.
If in a hot climate, the attic venting will help with your AC's loads:

Most roofing manufacturers require venting for their warranty.

Some roofs shouldn't be vented, depends on conditions and location:

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Old 10-27-2010, 12:20 PM   #5
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I would install baffles now if you ever plan on venting the soffits.
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