Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Basements, Attics and Crawl Spaces
Reload this Page >

Insulating a 1950s attic, no soffits + icicles on flat roof

Insulating a 1950s attic, no soffits + icicles on flat roof

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-10-14, 07:02 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 71
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Insulating a 1950s attic, no soffits + icicles on flat roof

Hi All,

I want to insulate my attic but need to deal with a few issues before i do, namely vapour sealing it and making sure it's adequately ventilated. The issues i have are:

i)

My house is attached and the rear of the house has a flat roof while the front does not have an over hang. There are soffit vents on the roof but they exist on the eves and don't appear to vent into the actual attic (see P1050765-P1050767.jpg). I wonder is there a way to feed these soffits into my attic? I worry if i insulate i might start getting frost problems. I already have some frost forming where my angled roof meets the flat roof (see P1050761). My energy audit guy suggested either adding baffles to the soffit (but i believe they're behind double brick) or sprayfoaming the rafters to make a hot roof. I'd prefer to do the former but don't know how best to access those soffits, i assume i have to knock some bricks out to get to that section of rafter?

- EDIT, i just had a closer look at the front of the house and the angled roof does have an overhang with eves and soffits, perhaps i need to look closer in the attic and see if i can find them. Should i just look for daylight?

ii) I noticed that there is a gap in the grout between the bricks between one pair of bricks which leads to the outside air. I wasn't sure if i should plug this or if this was left intentionally in order to vent the attic? Should i close this gap with a open cell foam?


iii) P1050767 also shows icicles forming off my flat roof. I know this is a sign of heat leaking into my flat roof. I've noticed three possible locations, a hole in the wall below the flat roof, a hole in the attic where the electricians have fed wires from the attic into the room below the flat roof (when removing knob and tube) and a unsealed pot light. I can seal the first two pretty easily but don't have access to the flat roof. Can i seal this pot light with spray foam? (with the power off)


iv) I also need to seal the electrical pot lights in the attic (see P1050758). The surface around them is quite uneven, i know i should use something like this but i don't think the dimensions of my beams match that box. Am i meant to create a box in the attic around the pot light to match this gasket?

cheers guys

oman
 
Attached Images      

Last edited by oman4eva; 02-10-14 at 07:45 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 02-11-14, 11:32 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Soffits look like a lost cause, and there don't seem to be enough of them to make a difference. I would consider putting box vents lower on the roof to act as an intake, and then install a ridge vent on top as an out take. The most important thing is that attic needs to be reinsulated. I would do that first before I worried about proper venting.
 
  #3  
Old 02-11-14, 07:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 71
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks SmithFan,

I am eager to insulate but i want to make sure all the attic sealing and ventilation is done before i insulate as it will be impossible to work in the attic once there's 2 ft of insulation.

i'll look into those vents you mentioned, i believe they require soffits to function though. I hope my soffits aren't a lost cause.

oman
 
  #4  
Old 02-16-14, 08:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 71
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
how critical are ice dams?

Hey all,

I have found that my ice dam and ice problem has gotten much worse. I now have ice growing down the corner of my house (see pic).

I know this is due to heat escaping from my attic, melting snow above which then freezes on my eaves and block the drain causing ice to grow over the drain and down my wall.

What i worry is that damage could happen to my building envelope before i get a chance to fix the cause (insulation). I have temporarily thrown up some ice melt up onto the roof in stockings (Quick Ice Dam Cure | Roofing | House Exterior | This Old House). And hopefully that will give the ice a pause.

Should i be overly worried, i am planning the insulation but it might take me some time given i'm juggling family, work and house repairs. The corner of the house where the ice exists has shown signs of water damage in the basement and the concrete around that region shows signs of repair (a quick fix before the last owner sold). So my worry is that this ice could be breaking the envelope of the house apart and introducing moisture into the house.

I'm considering getting an insulation expert in to do the job (seal pot lights, party wall and blow in insulation in attic and inject foam into flat roof). However if the job could wait i'd proceed to work on it myself.

Do you think i can wait to fix this problem? Or should i act fast.

cheers
oman
 
Attached Images  
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: