Eave insulation in 1/2 story attic w/ gable vents


Old 05-04-07, 05:24 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Smile Eave insulation in 1/2 story attic w/ gable vents

I have a 1938 1.5 story 2br 1 bath approx 1450 s.f. home in the Southeast.

After recent electrical repairs, I've been replacing removed flooring and insulated the floor voids with cellulose. At same time, I've installed a power ventilator on one gable end to help make my work in the attic less miserable.

I've moved on to the "wings" of the attic, the space past the knee-wall. I've been fluffing and leveling the existing glass wool blown insulation, and adding cellulose as needed to fill to the top of the floor joist/ceiling rafters. I'm laying plywood down there for storage.

My question relates to the the work I've already done, e.g., use of cellulose, addition of the gable fan, and now, the removal of insulation from the eave soffit area which is packed with blown insulation.

I seem to remember that the eaves should be left uninsulated. I've started the messy miserable job of pulling the insulation from the eave using a small handheld garden tool to reach into the soffit area.

Someone at work stated I didn't need to do this, that my attic was large enough to stand upright in the middle and with the two large passive gable vents and now the power fan it had sufficient ventilation.

Any advice recommendations are appreciated for this job. Things have changed over time when over insulating was first stated to be a big issue. Since then, I've seen higher and higher r-factors recommended, even for this southern climate.
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Old 05-04-07, 06:34 AM
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The insulation inside your soffit isn't likely creating any problems by being there. My concern would be that if there was a roof leak, it could get wet and stay wet... or that someday some unsuspecting carpenter will get a suprise if he removes the soffit from outside and gets a face full of insulation! Not that it's ever happened to me... Soffits are not usually insulated, and if cellulose is out there it's likely only what blew out there when the attic was filled.

If you don't have soffit vents, you don't need to go to all the work of removing the insulation. Your gable vents are old school and will probably work just fine by themselves. The main thing is adding enough insulation in your attic so that your A/C does not have to work so hard to keep up. If you are able to put plywood on the top of the floor joists for storage, you obviously do not have enough insulation up there. It's a question of which is more important... storage space or energy efficiency and the resulting savings.

The Dept. of Energy has helpful information in this regard:

Old 07-27-07, 09:17 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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Smile Energy Links and Soffit Insulation

I stopped pulling the glass wool from the eaves about 1/4 way through until I heard from the forum. The glass wool was blown in and your right that this old home doesn't have soffit vents. I also got the gable fan now too and it stays running into the evening on many days, though not all thanks to cooler than usual weather.

I wondered about the depth of insulation... things sure have changed in regard to how much insulation is recommended. I remember when they thought more than three inches in the southeast was a waste.

I thought maybe putting down plywood, albeit not nailed, would be an improvement over what was there. I added at least up to the top of the ceiling rafters and added it as many voids as I could.

I guess I'll plan for removing the plywood except where I need it for storage and go for double what I have.

Thanks for the answer

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