Soffit's seem blocked from attic

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Old 09-03-13, 09:22 AM
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Soffit's seem blocked from attic

Went into my attic to check the air circulation and notice the insulation was pushed right up against where the air from the soffit's should be coming in. There is a layer of pink insulation on top of a layer of loose insulation. I moved the loose insulation away from the corner and it was packed very tightly. There is a gap between the roof and the wood on the bottom of about an inch. Is this where the outside air should be coming in? I turned off all the lights and didn't notice any daylight coming in at all. How do I go about unblocking the soffit's when there is only a little bit of room in the gap?
I should note that my house if about 100 yrs old and I'm pretty sure the attic space was left neglected by the previous home owners.
 
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Old 09-03-13, 10:26 AM
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For a visual, google rafter baffles. They fit between your rafters, against the roof boards or sheathing, providing an air channel. But, the other components in the equation are soffit vents and ridge or roof vents. Assuming that you have these two components, it's a matter of pulling the insulation back, stapling the baffles in place, and pushing the insulation back against the baffles. Not necessarily a fun job, as it's usually hot and tight, but not difficult. If you don't have vents, you're getting into considerably more work. Since you could not see light through the soffit vents, it is possible that they are not cut all the way through. I have actually seen situations where vented soffit was installed directly over the original soffit boards, but the original boards were not cut open to allow air flow. Wrong! It is also just as likely though that the insulation has been pushed out far enough to block the soffit, so pull the insulation back, then check with the light again.
 
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Old 09-03-13, 10:37 AM
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I did pull the insulation back to where I could see a 1 inch gap, which I'm assuming is to allow airflow from soffits. So either enough loose insulation got down in there to block the soffits, or like you said, the soffits are just covering wood and there is no actual air flow. I don't have a ladder big enough to get to my soffits from outside. Should I cut an exploratory hole up stairs in the attic and see what is under the wood and see if I can see the soffits? I don't think I'd actually be ruining anything
 
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Old 09-03-13, 10:59 AM
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Before cutting anything open, I would reach down to the soffit between a pair of rafters in the attic, and see what I could feel that way. Look at it from the outside first, so that you know exactly what you are feeling for. You may even be able to stretch your hand out far enough to get a decent picture with your camera or phone.
 
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Old 09-03-13, 11:12 AM
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I can't reach down in. There is a piece of wood that the insulation is sitting on and it run almost right up to the roof. There is only about a 1 inch gap, too small for me to fit a hand down to feel if I can actually feel the soffit
 
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Old 09-03-13, 12:02 PM
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With a 100 year-old house it would be common to NOT have soffit ventilation. They are ugly, but mushroom vents low down on the roof would be easier than making soffit vents at this time. A couple of other possibilities also come to mind.
 
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Old 09-03-13, 01:07 PM
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I can see soffits on the outside, if there is no ventilation is it just a matter of cutting some holes in the wood to create ventilation.
Also, at what point should I just call a professional to have a look
 
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Old 09-03-13, 02:22 PM
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It won't cost you anything, so my suggestion is to post a few pictures here, say one looking up at the soffits, and maybe a couple of the roof from different angles.
 
 

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