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Tom Hanrahan

03:40AM | 01/04/03
Member Since: 12/28/02
23 lifetime posts
Bvroofing
We have problems with ice dams on occasion on our roof. I am tracking down the source of the warm air leaks into the attic, but with a folding stair providing access into the attic, I know I cannot completely eliminate all warm air.

I suspect that our attic isn't vented enough. We have a power vent which is used in the summer, but I suspect there isn't enough air flow to wash the underside of the roof with cold air in the winter. We have gabel vents, but no soffit or ridge vents. (the house was built circa 1955)

Do I use turbine type vents? Install a ridge vent--and then wouldn't I have to install soffit vents?

Piffin

05:57PM | 01/05/03
Member Since: 11/06/02
1281 lifetime posts
You can install all the vents you want in the top of the roof and gables but if there is no makeup air coming in at the soffits to let the underside of the sheathing ventilate, you won't increase airflow or help your situation.

Tom Hanrahan

12:30AM | 01/06/03
Member Since: 12/28/02
23 lifetime posts
Is it possible to retrofit the soffits with vents?

Is there a formula for how many per square foot of roof?

rmurray223

09:37PM | 01/06/03
Member Since: 01/03/03
97 lifetime posts
what kind of overhang do you have now. a vinyl/aluminum overhang with a vented looking piece every 3 or 4 feet or is it a solid wood overhang with no vents appearing? this is what determines if you are going to need more

Tom Hanrahan

12:55AM | 01/07/03
Member Since: 12/28/02
23 lifetime posts
There are NO soffit vents in this old house. The overhange is 12" or so and are covered with vinyl and there is solid wood underneath.

I suppose I would determine the number of vents needed, remove the vinyl and cut between the rafters with a Rotozip and install a vent? and then refit the vinyl around the vent?

Sounds like a multi-weekend, warm-weather project!

rmurray223

10:54AM | 01/07/03
Member Since: 01/03/03
97 lifetime posts
haha yeah it is definately a weekend project and a rotozip will be your best friend on this thing, my suggestion would be to cut between the rafters (obviously) where you will be putting the vented soffit pieces its not a piano so the cut underneath doesnt have to be pretty just big enough so that it is about equal to the vented soffit piece. for the vented pieces generally you will want to install 3 solid pieces and then one vented, rinse, repeat along the whole course of the overhang. also while your at it you are probably going to want to install baffles in the attic area. they look really low tech but they do a great job of distributing the air properly and are super easy to install and can also be picked up at home depot or any wholesale roofing supply company, but it is definately something that you should be able to handle. just as long as you set aside some time, oh yeah make sure you have a dust mask on hand its going to be a touch messy.

Tom Hanrahan

12:55AM | 01/08/03
Member Since: 12/28/02
23 lifetime posts
How do i remove the vinyl covering the soffits? Do I just bend it downward and snap it out of hte J-channels? (or whatever those L-shaped holders are called)

Alos, can you tell me what baffles are? I'm not familiar with those.

Thanks.

"also while your at it you are probably going to want to install baffles in the attic area.
they look really low tech but they do a great job of distributing the air properly and are super easy to install and can also be picked up at home depot or any wholesale roofing supply company, but it is definately something that you should be able to handle."

rmurray223

02:35PM | 01/09/03
Member Since: 01/03/03
97 lifetime posts
the vinyl is kind of tricky because of the metal fascia piece covering it,and if you have gutters it is going to make it harder. I would suggest remove the metal fascia piece and gutter if applicable (be careful not trash the gutter) then carefully remove the vinyl, if you just try to get the vinyl out alone you may be in for alot of frustration and may end up ruining the vinyl in the process. the vented soffit can be found at a home depot or prefereably a wholesale company, bring a piece of your old soffit so you can match the colors. The baffles which is its technical term is just a thin piece of styrofoam that sort of resembles a flat "W" shape that you staple up between the rafters they are a few feet long but if you go up to the supply store they will know what you are talkin about, and they are real easy to install and are quite effective, what they do is channel the air that is incoming and distribute it evenly, low tech yet really effective. oh yeah if you have gutter you are going to need some new gutter spikes the ones you pull out may not be salvagable, same place you get the other stuff.
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