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Old 10-11-2014, 12:08 PM   #1
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Gambrel Attic Insulation


Background: New owner of '79 tri-level house, N. Illinois, initial blown-in insulation, no baffles, vinyl siding, two attics.

I am trying to improve ventilation and insulation. 1st level attic straight forward. Second floor attic is an issue.

2nd floor Gambrel roof: On the side wall I removed some of the solid vinyl soffit (should have been vent vinyl panel) l and found original soffit opening in wood soffit. When I look up the side wall I see 1.5 " opening between side wall and attic plugged with insulation as well as some insulation has fallen into the side wall. When I look from attic to side wall I see 1.5" inch opening before a 2x6. I can not just slide a baffle as it would hit the 2x6. I would have to bend the baffle before the 2x6 somehow,and then unplug 1.5" opening.

The 2nd floor attic also has power attic van and one gable vent. The power fan was never hooked up by previous owner

I received many insulation quotes. Many say not to add baffles/soffit vents as it will produce cold walls. Some say add additional vents lower on roof and just vent between lower and higher roof vents.


What to do?
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:37 PM   #2
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Ventilation should be balanced and without intake air, a PAV (Powered Attic Ventilator) will just pull air from the conditioned space below.

Post up some pictures when you get enough posts.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:18 AM   #3
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Added pictures.

Good point about the PAF. Forget to mention the 2nd gambrel attic space is ~1,000 sq ft in addition to the PAF (not yet hooked up) it has 4 traditional vents on peek and the 1 gable vent.

Trying to determine best inbound source for venting.
1. Do I add soffit vents at bottom or side wall and unplug the 1.5" inch opening between attic and side wall? My concern is side walls will get cold. I believe the 2nd floor walls are drywall, std insulation between studs and wall board as seen in the photos.
2. Add more roof vents lower on roof close to where side wall meets roof? Could there be a concern any backflow in to the vent from snow/ice as melts during the winter?
Attached Thumbnails
Gambrel Attic Insulation-house.jpg   Gambrel Attic Insulation-view-side-wall..jpg   Gambrel Attic Insulation-original-soffit-vent.jpg   Gambrel Attic Insulation-looking-up-soffit-opening-attic.jpg   Gambrel Attic Insulation-1.5-inch-side-wall-before-2x4.jpg  

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Old 10-12-2014, 03:57 PM   #4
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I would use SmartVent or similar above deck vent on those sections.
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