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Old 02-13-2017, 10:05 PM   #1
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Attic Baffles, Replacement, and Other Things


A leak above out bow window took me to the attic and it raised some questions ...

Currently there are cardboard baffles ... they are saturated at the moment and bowed down under water weight. This is where my water issue came from as the baffle was dripping its water into an unsealed cavity above the bow window. Step one dry the cavity out, close it in, and seal it.

Step 2 ... was looking at if it was time for a baffle replacement. Previous owner blew in additional insulation which may explain the baffles, but am concerned of their ability to hold water ... there were many wet spots in baffle areas as I explored the issue ... things are really wet at the moment as we are in our next thaw cycle ... with probably a freeze shortly thereafter. Didn't expect them to be holding water.

Question ... It was damp in the attic cavity with noticeable water/dampness on rafters, and roof sheathing. Normal?

Curiosity --- How much soffit venting is typical. I have full soffit venting on two side of the house ... minus the bow window area which extends into the soffit area. So that is approx 18" x 40' on each side.

And so ends my exploration today.
Thanks in advance,
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:54 AM   #2
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Re: Attic Baffles, Replacement, and Other Things


Somethings very wrong if your baffles, sheathing and rafters are that wet.
No location in your profile so we have to guess about what may be causing it.
My first guesses are ice damming, no storm and ice shield under the shingles, lack of air sealing, not enough roof venting.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Attic Baffles, Replacement, and Other Things


Nothing should be wet up there and the baffles are not intended to hold and water. They provide an air path that cools the bottom of the roof to prevent snow melt above. And they carry away any moisture related to warm air leaking into the attic from below.

Air sealing will be your number one task because it sounds like a lot of your moisture is coming from warm inside air.

You may also have leaks due to ice dams so tell us if ice is forming on the edge of your roof. Emergency measures are to remove the snow and ice if it will cooperate.

Common problem with solutions available. Not sure what sealing you are referring to above that window.

Bud
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:08 PM   #4
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Re: Attic Baffles, Replacement, and Other Things


Thanks for the replies... as to location: Edmonton Alberta where we have gone through a few thaw and freeze cycles this year which is not normal for us.
Right now we are in a few days of above zero again so everything is melting and humid outside. There is nothing left on the roof anymore ... so at least I don't have to do any cleaning off.

Roof Venting ... yes, had posted in another forum as well and had some comments on that. The roof was done a few years ago and they went from 3 standard roof vents to a single turbine. Thinking that they sized to the space didn't really thing anything of it. Doing a bit of research now -- looks like 1 turbine may be undersized for a 40 x 25' space (based on GAF calculator). Are turbines easy to retrofit to finished roofs, or are there other alternatives? Of course the turbine is installed in the centre of the width.

The baffles ...they are cardboard and have absorbed moisture. Not sure how old they are but looks like they have simply broken down over time. Looks like a day soon to will replace them ... I assume one between each rafter. Any suggestion as I see various types out there ... remembering that it will all be retrofitted as insulation is in the attic already.

The window ... guess my concern was the cavity above the top of the window that is framed in, with plywood at the bottom of the cavity that I assume is the top of the window frame, needed to be filled in. Perhaps not the case if the moisture was not in the attic. The immediate issue of the baffle directing/dripping condensation into the cavity has been removed.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:39 PM   #5
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Re: Attic Baffles, Replacement, and Other Things


With most houses, when all of the snow melts off of the roof it is an indication of heat from inside. That heat can be caused by air leakage or minimal insulation.

Google accuvent baffles and look for the ones with a flap that folds down and blocks the incoming air from blowing on the end of the insulation. And yes, one in each bay.

A picture or two of that window from outside and inside the attic will help us identify how it is framed. Two concerns. One, does that framing leave an air path from the surrounding walls or basement where warm air can find its way up to that cold roof. Two, the lack of soffit vents due to the window placement means no direct cooling from outside air and no air flow to carry away any moisture that may be coming from below. The outside pictures will help us with ventilation suggestions.

If you remove any of the wet baffles be sure the insulation doesn't end up touching the roof.

If you are looking at the top of the window out in that soffit area, before you fill it with insulation or add new (plastic) baffles you will want to air seal everywhere possible. Probably easier said than done.

Pictures.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:50 PM   #6
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Re: Attic Baffles, Replacement, and Other Things


---------------------------------Welcome to the forums!----------------------

Sounds like you have more than normal humidity in the attic... what is the ventilation ratio of intake to exhaust? One central exhaust turbine sounds lacking, need some numbers ? ... turbines (non-powered) do not work well when you need them most (when wind is not blowing).

That is one problem with the cardboard baffles. How thick is the insulation and what type? There is a better choice than the Accuvent....

Gary
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