Insulation issues


Old 07-30-03, 02:52 PM
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Insulation issues

I am a new homeowner and very novice at this insulation game so bear with me please.

The house is a one and half foor cottage meaning my attic has been converted to two bedrooms and a small powder room. My knee walls are about 4 and a half feet high.

The previous owner insulated the outside of the knee walls with fiberglass bat and closed them off with some gyp. I have no insulation in the knee wall space floor and highly doubt I have any insulation in the angled wall or the attic.

I am considering installing soffits where I now have wood plank that do not allow any ventilation to go up into the knee wall space and then up to the attic.

If I do install soffits should I simply leave the existing fibreglass insulation in the knee wall and insulate the attic as well? I'm worried about the angled wall in this case as it means ripping out my plaster walls to get to this space.

Or, can I forego soffits entirely, insulate with some codeboard (extruded pink fibreglass board) directly against the roof between the rafters ? This would allow me some functionality of the knee wall space in the wintertime.

The attic at present does have two vents on either side at the top of the gable and two large vent boxes that stick out of my roof.
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Old 07-31-03, 08:21 PM
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This is a common insulation problem for the do it yourselfer. In my opinion you are better off letting a professional do it for you. They will insulate the floor behind the knee wall space, the slant wall and the attic. They will also provide free air passage from the knee wall area to the attic through the slant wall by installing baffles. They will also provide you with soffits vents or drip edge vents, which ever is applicable in your situation. This should not take them more than a day to do and for less than US $1,000.

They should not damage the plaster on the slant wall, but they will need access to the attic and if you do not have a hatchway, they will create one. Again this is not difficult for a professional to do nor expensive.

Insulating the underside of the roof will do more harm than good, especially if the roof is not ventilated. Furthermore, even if you insulated this area, it would still be cold there. Insulation prohibits heat flow and does not stop it. Without a heat source like a vent or a radiator in this area, it will get cold there. Examples of this are kitchen cabinets and closets against outside walls. It gets cold inside them because they do not have a heat source.
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