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Old 01-13-2011, 08:27 PM   #1
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insulation in an over hang

I have a ranch style house with an attic. The gutters are all filled with ice and I can see gaps to the outside when I am in the attic. A contracter says I should have some space there to let it breathe. The only problem is that it is 21 degrees outside now and the icicles are dripping. This tells me there is too much heat loss going on. So I guess the question is, should I put insulation in the open spaces to stop the heat loss? I have an over head fan in the attic and open vents at both ends of the attic.Any help with this would be great thanks....


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Old 01-13-2011, 09:41 PM   #2
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I found a good 6" by 9" hole next to my Chimney for the old Octopus Furnace that was in our home, which was letting warm air from the basement & convection from the main floor escape to the attic space. Plugged with some Batt Insulation, and pulled back against that the blown insulation, which has helped alot in not letting snow melt in that place. Same with covering over the vent fan housing for the bathroom, which was also letting warm air escape. Depending on how deep the insulation is in your attic, you may have to add some, along with making sure that the baffles are in place if you have soffit vents. Take a picture of your attic & the roof with the snow melt & post.

When I leave my house every day, I look at our roof, and compare to a few neighbors, and houses as I travel to work, and I can say that the only places that I have seen snow missing on mine, is where it has blown off at the peak, otherwise, my roof has been keeping the snow on it like it should. Right now, it is 19f outside, but my attic is around 32f because of the snow insulating the roof. Now icicles on mine that I have noticed. You pretty much attic the problem with the attic in a way that you first find out where the air gaps are around the vent stack, lights, junction boxes, etc, and close those up with caulk and great stuff as needed. Insulation in the attic over all also helps in keeping the main floor warm, and attic cool in Winter, and during Summer, main floor cool, and attic space would be hot, but not overly so that it gets more than around 120f.


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Old 01-14-2011, 09:28 AM   #3
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If the spaces you're talking about are in the vented soffits, no-- don't stuff insulation in there. That could make things worse, as it will cut down on ventilation and make it even warmer in the attic. I would go with gregzoll's recommendation to look at places where warm air is entering the attic-- recessed lighting, hatch/door access to attic, vent stack, chimney, bathroom fans, etc. The bathroom fan is a big one: far too many people either vented them right into the attic, or didn't attach the plenum to the outside properly and it detached.

If you keep warm air out of the attic, you'll save money in addition to preventing ice dams. It's tough to attack this in the middle of the winter... but then, if you have a big leakage problem I guarantee you'll find it nice, warm working conditions in the attic while you resolve the problems.
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