Why Are Attic Vents In 1920's Craftsman Home Not Needed? - Building & Construction - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-15-2011, 08:46 PM   #1
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why are attic vents in 1920's craftsman home not needed?

House seems to function fine. No attic or roof ridge vents in 1920's craftsman balloon constructed two story house in Massachusetts.Pitched roof with gable in front. Only insulation is about 6 inches of loose mineral wall on attic floor without a vapor barrier.

I keep reading that many are adding soffit vents, roof ridge vents, fans, and other insulation to old homes.. What has changed to make the attic ventilation needed now.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:27 PM   #2
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Just because you don't have them, doesn't mean the house wouldn't be better off with them.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:19 AM   #3
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Well, I think the simple answer to that is the difference in energy costs; back then houses were a lot 'airier' and by that I mean air circulation was accepted if not encouraged so there was ne need for vapour barriers or even insulation....attics were part of the house 'envelope' and were therefore heated (more or less) by the heating system and moisture was vented throughout.

Nowadays, our house envelopes are becoming smaller and more airtight -hence the controling of vapour transport and the notion of keeping the heat in...that means that the attic is now outside the envelope and therefore does not benefit from the air circulation of yore.

So now attics have to be vented and vapour sealed in order to control moulds.

I think that's it in a nutshell.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:03 PM   #4
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Every piece of wood in my house was old growth redwood, I had only 1 small sofit vent at the rear of the house. Almost all the wood was in great condition.
I was told it was because of the wood used and also standards were different 70 years ago. It also had NO tar paper! (I've put in a bunch of vents)
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Like a cold beer on a hot day, condensation forms on the warm surface. That's why the ceiing is insulated, so that the attic can be ventilated. When it gets cold outside, if the attic was too warm the underside of the roof could 'sweat'
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
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The change is when you add insulation; http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...rent-this-time

I live near (90 m.) to the coast and hardly any older houses have venting, including my 1910 bungalow. When I remodeled and added insulation to the back roof, I added vents (intake and exhaust) there. http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf1999/tenwo99a.pdf

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