Do I have soffit vents?

Old 11-08-07, 08:46 AM
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Do I have soffit vents?

If I have two open windows in my attic, can I put insulation all over the floor, including right up to where the wall and floor meet?
My early 1900's house has a huge attic with two window like holes on the north and south sides. They are covered in mesh and have louvers on them. I really need to add insulation, but I don't want to do any damage. I've sealed up all the holes I have found and am ready to insulate.
I don't even know if I have soffit vents up there. How do I figure that out? I don't have gutters, so there's no danger of ice dams. It's hard to describe the roof line, but if viewed from above, the ridges look like a plus sign. Looking at the eaves from the ground, I don't see any holes.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Old 11-08-07, 09:18 AM
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If you find out that you dont have soffit vents, then I dont see why not. Your attic can been designed in 2 ways: ventilated or sealed-off. Apparently yours is ventilated, thus the louvers. However, it is designed unconventionally. Typically, air flow is better promoted if air is allowed to travel from below, through soffit vents, up and out through vents placed higher in elevation (louvers, ridge vents, pot vents). If you can make sure you do not have soffit vents, then I dont think you will be disrupting the way air flow was designed to move through your attic.
Old 11-08-07, 12:03 PM
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Those windows sound like gable vents. If you are going to add cellulose insulation just build a blocking box out of someting like even cardboard to keep the insulation back from it about 1 foot to allow air flow. What kind of insulation do you have up there now? It should be kinda easy to pull back whatever is there and look around the eves to see.
Old 11-08-07, 05:07 PM
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Check what is required by your local building code office. Keep in mind that these are minimum requirements. If you can't see openings in your soffits, you may not have soffit ventilation. However, if you have aluminum or vinyl coverings over soffit & fascia, you will observe perforations that will hide the soffit openings. Older homes usually had eave vent ventilation only. It might be wise to consult a structural engineer to see if you have adequate ventilation for your home.

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