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Half insulated attic space is driving me crazy


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02-13-12, 08:24 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Half insulated attic space is driving me crazy

I have a fairly unique issue with an attic space above my garage (adjacent to a bedroom). The previous owner, for reasons unknown to me, decided to insulate and drywall the sloped ceiling. This space does have a 6" vent in the cieling, but there are no soffit vents. Regardless, it's cold in there, but probably not as cold as it could be because of the added insulation.

Now, here's my issue. It's kind of nice to have a drywalled attic space, but there's a couple spots he neglected to insulate. This is the result when it snows:



That one spot to the right (and the other spots near the top) drives me crazy for several reasons:
  • This is the side of the house that faces the road. Contractors passing my house are surely mocking my insulation skills.
  • Why the HELL would you go through the trouble of insulating an attic and not insulate one small spot?
  • Over time shingles could wear unevenly
  • There's obviously heat escaping into that space if snow is melting as a result - I feel like I can mitigate this.

So I have two options:
  • take all insulation out by cutting some of the drywall and pulling it out - turn the attic into a true cold zone and insulate the cieling of the first floor room (that attic is also over) better.
  • Insulate the roof of the attic better and trap more hot air from escaping.

There are also two other small attic areas around the bedroom (at the very top and to the left in the picture) that connect to this larger attic area.

I'm undecided as to which option makes more sense.


Last edited by tavenger5; 02-13-12 at 09:11 AM.
 
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02-15-12, 07:32 AM   #2 (permalink)  
Anyone have any ideas? I'm still kind of stuck on what to do about this.

 
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02-15-12, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)  
I see the melted snow but, I'm not sure which part your referring to. The strip between the garage and the bedroom?


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02-15-12, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)  
I would be concerned with moisture due to poor ventilation.
The quick and cheap solution from what I can see is to tear out the drywall, make sure the ventilation is there, and blow in 10-14" of blow insulation.
This will unfortunately loose that nice space.

Alternatively, you could seal off the attic and spray the underside of the roof with that spray foam insulation, then finish that off with drywall. This is not a cheap solution however as this stuff is pretty pricy.

 
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02-15-12, 10:13 AM   #5 (permalink)  
yes, the strip of melted snow to the right coming off of the peak of the roof, and the portion in the middle of the picture to the right of the dormer. There are similar strips on the other side of the roof.

 
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02-15-12, 10:34 AM   #6 (permalink)  
Unfortunately I absolutely need to use this as storage space. There is no basement - house is on a slab. I should take up the floor over the living space (about 5'), and spray foam that. That is obviously where a lot of heat is escaping. It also doesn't help that two air ducts are in that ceiling/floor, which I'm sure aren't sealed properly.

 
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02-15-12, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Better question: Is this space finished as a usable room? You may just use it for storage but when it is time to sell it the extra bedroom will add value to the home.

You might be looking at a two pronged approach. Maybe you should insulate/seal the floor to reduce the warm air from getting into the bedroom. But also insulate/ventilate the attic/roof to reduce the heat loss there. I would do the floor first though.


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02-15-12, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)  
The space next to the attic is a usable bedroom. The previous owner, for some reason, did the crappy insulation job and drywall on the attic ceiling. I think they wanted to make it some kind of room that never would have made sense because of the sloped ceiling.

 
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02-16-12, 11:21 AM   #9 (permalink)  
Posted By: Tolyn Ironhand Better question: Is this space finished as a usable room? You may just use it for storage but when it is time to sell it the extra bedroom will add value to the home.

You might be looking at a two pronged approach. Maybe you should insulate/seal the floor to reduce the warm air from getting into the bedroom. But also insulate/ventilate the attic/roof to reduce the heat loss there. I would do the floor first though.
I agree with you on this approach.

Posted By: tavenger5 The space next to the attic is a usable bedroom. The previous owner, for some reason, did the crappy insulation job and drywall on the attic ceiling. I think they wanted to make it some kind of room that never would have made sense because of the sloped ceiling.
Gee, wonder if your previous owner owned my house at some point (j/k).
I have a very similar room in my attic (but I have a 10ft high ceiling in the attic). Meat locker in the winter, and sauna in the summer (haven't experienced the summer yet, but I know it's going to be hot).
A friend of mine is now doing that spray insulation. I had him over for a few beer and to get his opinion on my arrangement (meat locker and potentially adding more insulation to my attic). Long story short, he said depending on what we find between the ceiling at roof of the room, spray insulation might be my better option for the tight space between the ceiling and roof. He did mention that spray is still pretty expensive to do.

 
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02-17-12, 07:44 AM   #10 (permalink)  
haha, that's funny. Yeah, the only problem with spray foam is the cost. I would have about 200 sq feet to do, so a kit of the closed cell is $350. I figured I could get an inch of that down then lay bats over top since there's a 2x10 height.

 
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