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Old 09-28-2011, 04:14 PM   #1
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Attic venting on 1910 home


I have a two story 1910 colonial with a triple hip roof and full attic. Soffits are about 24" deep in some areas and are vented vinyl covered but the plywood under the vinyl was never opened up anywhere.




I had a new roof put on 2 years ago and they added 4 static vents as they is little to no ridge area to use.

I have a gas furnace/airhandler in the attic and this is causing really bad ice damming in the front of the house where the gutter meets after the single 2nd floor window. There is an hvac vent in the celing right in front of that single 2nd story window also which does not help at all. The attic stays in the mid 40s when it is low 20s outside and I know that is bad. The damming is so bad that it backs up behind the gutters and into the soffit area and drips out the vinyl vents - brown water which means the plywood is getting wet and rotten I am sure. Those deep soffits are saving it from coming into the house at least.

There is very little insulation in the attic, just a single batt between the joists throughout.

I was thinking about opening up the plywood soffit in some areas to increase ventilation but I am not sure it will help much with the furnace being up there.

I was also thinking about doing blown in cellulose, but I am not sure how to handle the furnance? Box it out in plywood maybe to keep insulation away? Others have said to spray foam between the rafters to keep the roof deck cool.

Maybe another downspout in the area the damming is worst?

Any thoughts?

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Last edited by argetni; 09-28-2011 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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Attic venting on 1910 home


Get those soffits vented as soon as possible----Get proper insulation up there too.

Be sure that the soffit vents remain open when you insulate--

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Old 09-29-2011, 08:19 AM   #3
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Attic venting on 1910 home


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Originally Posted by argetni View Post
I have a two story 1910 colonial with a triple hip roof and full attic. Soffits are about 24" deep in some areas and are vented vinyl covered but the plywood under the vinyl was never opened up anywhere.




I had a new roof put on 2 years ago and they added 4 static vents as they is little to no ridge area to use.

I have a gas furnace/airhandler in the attic and this is causing really bad ice damming in the front of the house where the gutter meets after the single 2nd floor window. There is an hvac vent in the celing right in front of that single 2nd story window also which does not help at all. The attic stays in the mid 40s when it is low 20s outside and I know that is bad. The damming is so bad that it backs up behind the gutters and into the soffit area and drips out the vinyl vents - brown water which means the plywood is getting wet and rotten I am sure. Those deep soffits are saving it from coming into the house at least.

There is very little insulation in the attic, just a single batt between the joists throughout.

I was thinking about opening up the plywood soffit in some areas to increase ventilation but I am not sure it will help much with the furnace being up there.

I was also thinking about doing blown in cellulose, but I am not sure how to handle the furnance? Box it out in plywood maybe to keep insulation away? Others have said to spray foam between the rafters to keep the roof deck cool.

Maybe another downspout in the area the damming is worst?

Any thoughts?
Open up the soffits ASAP as stated previously.

You can get a ridge vent on that small section or use the box vents that are there.

Ice Damns are a result of heat loss and not a ventilation issue directly. Ventilation just removes the excess heat by allowing ambient air to wash through the roof and scavenge off the heat.

Get and energy audit and get the attic floor air sealed and insulated. That will dramatically reduce the ice damning potential. Between that and the soffit repairs, problem solved.
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