Attic Insulation

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Posted by: from Regina
5/26/2013 at 2:12:34 PM


I live in Saskatachewan and purchased my first home approximately 1.5 yrs ago. The house is 80yrs old, but the roof was recently reshingled (3yrs old). We had record snow falls this past year and there was ice damning damage to the north side of the house.

I have had 'Flood & Restoration' come in to remove wall boards and dry the place out. During that process it was discovered that there is no vapor barrier in the walls or attic of the house. There is 12 inches of blown in insulation presently in the attic.

My concern is how to address the attice insulation to increase R values and prevent ice damning in the future. Do I have to have it all removed and start from scratch?

It was suggested that I shovel the loose stuff to one side, put down the plastic along with a few bats of pink insulation and then shovel the loose on top of that and repeat with the other side.

Would that work as well? I need help!!

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Date/Time5/26/2013 at 4:44:01 PM

Hi Marg

Regina was my home town when I was growing up. The first thing you should try to do here is try to identify the "right " problem and then subsequent issues cascading from that key issue.

Correct me if I am wrong . What I see here is an old house located in central Regina that was built long before construction or engineering planners allowed for any significant insulation, proper ventilation, moisture management or the like. Hence, your upper ceiling is leaking heat too quickly, along with house moisture and it's all collecting in your attic that results in heat and moisture buildup and nowhere to go.

First off you should try to get a handle on the moisture problem first as it will come back to haunt you again and again even if you slow down the heat loss. If moisture collects and freezes in your attic it will cause significant issues when you have a warm spell as it will leak back into the house if you don't have plastic under the insulation. The 6 mil plastic will solve two problems this way. Make sure you seal all holes with tuck tape,

The next important step is to add ventilation pagodas (as I call them) to your roof. Get ones that give you the Maximum ventilation without any maintenance issues. Their are several World Class manufacturers here in Canada. (email me directly if you need more information). You will also need to ADD fully functioning soffitts to your home's attic. Note" They were virtually unheard off 80 years ago. Without them you will not have sufficient airflow. They're function is to allow cool air from under the roof edge to be drawn into the attic under your shingles and allow them to be cooled (instead of being cooked to death). To operate effectively they must be kept clear especially important when using loose fill insulation. You will need to install foam vents in the attic to prevent insulation from covering the soffitt entry points. The next issue then would be the type of insulation and the thickness.

I hope this is helpful information and I wish you well on finding help you need. Go Riders!

Norm Richter (Ottawa)

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Date/Time5/26/2013 at 6:36:52 PM

Hi Marg,

I agree with Norm...its very important that you add vents to control your moisture issues. I had few clients this year having experienced similar damages.

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