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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 100 year old house in central Indiana. It's below average shape, I think was flipped at least once or spottily repaired here and there. The roof was redone some time ago, although the seller had no info on when or by whom, my guess they did it themselves.

The house is a small, 1.5 story--the second floor is really a finished attic right under the unventilated roof. The actual attic is about 4 feet wide. There is a ridge vent on top, but it seems they only put it up for looks since I couldn't see any openings/holes/gaps from inside the attic. There are no soffits and no inlet vents. Also not sure how much space there is between the roof and the sloped second floor ceiling that's right under the roof to even add insulation. The roof and the second floor get ridiculously hot and I really want to remedy that.

Attached is a pic from the inside, I can take some from outside as well if would help.

What would be a good approach here? I'm waiting on estimates from contractors, but would rather DIY it if possible just because don't think any local roofers would do this for less than $1000, and I could probably do it myself for around $300 in a weekend or two. Was thinking of just removing the ridge vent and cutting the outlet holes then nailing it back on. And for the inlets to use under shingle type of inlet like SmartVent (local stores sell similar products that claim can be easily DIY'ed), or adding vented soffits and drilling vent holes, then adding insulation.

What would be a better option here? Would I need permits and get engineers/architects/inspectors involved?
 

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The picture of the room does nothing. In order to find out if there is proper ventilation, you are either going to have to get up on the roof and use a Snake camera (can get them from any big box and even Harbor Freight. You can also find a local contractor with a FLIR and have them use it inside that top story to see if there is any signs of cooling.

Really need pictures of the roof from the outside. If the person who did that work, did not put any baffles up or blocked the vents on the roof or ridge if there are any. You may end up having to rip out all of that drywall to fix their mistakes. That also means that you may end up opening a huge can of worms and be in for more surprises.
 

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I agree with Greg, you and we are going to need more information.

The sloped ceilings are very difficult to improve, providing code minimum insulation while maintaining a ventilation path above. Even with good ventilation you need good insulation.

More pictures as suggested.

Bud
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here're some pics from the outside.




There aren't any soffits, vents, and certainly no buffles. They nailed OSB over old/ancient roof decking and shingled on top. As I mentioned before, there is a ridge vent, but it seems it's just there for looks. And the roof/second floor get ridiculously hot, so there is no way it's vented.
 

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You can open the ridge vent but it will do little good without some low venting.
Options:
1. They make under the shingle vents that could be installed a couple of feet up from the edge.
2. The more common solution would be an unvented roof assemble, called a hot roof.
It is basically an unvented roof assembly.

Here is a related link and on the left side of that article is a longer list of more related articles. Keep you busy :)
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/how-build-insulated-cathedral-ceiling

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bud, thanks for the link. So I was thinking of using something like this:

http://www.dciproducts.com/html/smartvent.htm

and opening the ridge vent.

The reason I want to do it at all is because of the heat--it is very hot upstairs even when cool downstairs. I figure that venting the roof and adding whatever insulation may fit above the ceiling may remedy that at least enough for the AC to keep up. At this point I'm not ready to rip out the ceiling--it's plaster and way more work and mess than I'm ready to deal with.
 

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Not sure how your overhang is constructed. Those decorative blocks under the eave, are they rafter tails or is there a cavity above them. If there is a cavity above the soffit we see in the picture then either that covering can be opened up to provide ventilation or the edge vents you linked can be used. All providing there is an air path to the upper attic and we still haven't addressed insulation.

Even a well ventilated roof like yours will run 140°, as opposed to 160°. Unless you have a good breeze natural venting just takes the edge off of the temp. Insulation is the bulk of your protection from the heat.

As for what might fit, I don't know what depth you have to work with, but code would be looking for 10" t 12" or r-38.
https://energycode.pnl.gov/EnergyCodeReqs/?state=Indiana


Bud
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
These blocks are rafter tails and there is no cavity above them, just the roof deck. I was thinking of cutting holes in the board between these and then adding vented soffits below.

Regarding the insulation--I'd have to really look into it. I can get into the attic space, but it's really tight and houses some nasty spiders, so I haven't been eager to crawl in there and to look down the slope between the rafters. That said, the ceiling is very warm to touch on any sunny day. And as far as spacing for insulation, there is no more than 8", probably more like 6". I suppose I could have some blown in or spray foam, but not sure how much it would help.
 

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To move forward you really need to know what is in there for insulation. If zero or very little then it will still be hot up there even with a bit of insulation.

now, it is controversial, but in some cases they dense pack those cavities with cellulose. I can try to dig up some of the articles or related discussions. The origin of the method, I believe, is the weatherization assistance program where time is money and they know how to blow cellulose. The result has been many homes insulated that way with no complaints that I've heard. But I'm not at the top of the food chain by any means.

But it is tempting as it isn't that expensive and dense pack does a great. If you consider this approach, the first place to go would to find a company that has been doing it. In Maine they do. Not sure about your location.

They usually have really skinny guys.

Bud
 

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Welcome to the forums!

IMHO, SPF would be a bad choice as you probably don't want the remove the existing shingles to do it right. Cellulose (not DP) or FG would work with some rigid foam stepped down from the old board sheathing by an inch. Then add another rigid board on the rafter faces (adding furring for depth) to stop the thermal bridging of the rafters, then drywall ADA fashion; http://www.buildingscience.com/documents/information-sheets/air-barriers-airtight-drywall-approach/

A vent on the roof would be a lot easier than drilling/screening holes between rafter tails since it is two story, though "Smart Vent" would not be my first choice;http://www.cor-a-vent.com/blog/INVent-vs-SmartVent.cfm

Gary
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A vent on the roof would be a lot easier than drilling/screening holes between rafter tails since it is two story, though "Smart Vent" would not be my first choice;http://www.cor-a-vent.com/blog/INVent-vs-SmartVent.cfm
I'm actually leaning towards this option though the roof is kinda steep and getting up there won't be easy.

Not sure where to buy this product, seems they only distribute through wholesalers, but local Menards has what looks like a similar product:
http://www.menards.com/main/buildin...423374263-c-13260.htm?tid=4325123198175953390

There is also a much cheaper product but seems like a Chinese knockoff, so I don't think I'd go for that one.

That said the SmartVent seems to have been around forever and online reviews are good all around. Is there a reason not to use it, or not to use a product like it, other than a blog post from a competitor?
 

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I'd be worried about a lawsuit, unless true. Post some figures and the source for me to change my mind...lol.

Gary
 
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