View Full Version : Attic/roof insulation...

11-11-2006, 12:22 AM
The issue here is the 'darn' ice dams. Because of the construction of this old house, ice dams form along all gutter edges. Not much of an overhang for soffit vents. Maybe 4 inches. The ceiling rafters are 2x4's. THere is the 3.5" insulation there. The roof rafters are full 2 x 6's. There's not much room for soffit vents, not much room for getting the cold air through that 2.5 foot length of ceiling where the heated side almost touches the outside. Any suggetions on how this could be handled? (I can get past the psychological issue of decades of spiderwebs (black lace) hanging up there).

11-11-2006, 03:04 PM
Here is a site for some ideas:


If you had more room for insulation in the soffit areas insulation would probably be an efficient solution, however, the alternative to keeping the roof and soffit area at the outside temperature thereby preventing the thawing and refreezing that causes ice dams is some sort of edge of roof heating system. Here are several links to products which, although expensive, are effective:


11-11-2006, 10:59 PM
Thanks, Aurora. Sure don't like the idea of the heating elements outside. Installing them on a two story is NOT my idea of fun! Not to mention the electric bill. The roof snow shovel is a problem, too, because of the two stories. Not sure of the one guy's idea of installing a kerosene torpedo heater in the attic either! YIKES!! Just wish there was some easier way out of this dilemma. Am considering finessing the styrafoam vent sheets and trying to pack some insulation between them and the ceiling. Would require some clever method of providing venting through that dinko 3" or so soffit. Made especially cumbersome because of the relatively shallow roof angle. Too steep on the outside, too shallow on the inside. WHy is that??

11-14-2006, 01:11 AM
If you have 4" of overhang then I'd definatly try to install some venting in those soffits. Since these are the air intakes they're needed in keeping your attic cold and providing airflow. There are a few different types of vents you could install like what's on the following links. This first link would be the easiest


These next two would require modifications to the roof edge



And you'll surely want to remove the insulation from those soffit cavities and install the ventillation baffels to keep the channel open. This link here' will help you out some in that. Best to staple them on the sides of the rafters using galvanized stapels.


You'll need to also block all the warm air entries into the attic. Like using the spray foam to seal around the plumbing stack, electrical raceways, etc. Also insulating and weatherstripping the attic hatchway. Along with making sure any bathroom exhaust fans are ducted out the top of the roof. And if there's not a vapor barrier under your insulation then consider painting your ceiling with a vapor retarder paint.

11-15-2006, 12:23 AM
Great sites, kaktuskid. Thanks. The first one was especially informative. I envied the guy in the first pic of the last site. Looked pretty comfy layin' there in the soft insulation and everything bright and new. It's more difficult in this situation, as there's an additinal 2 1/2 foot of sloped space that's only 6" high and 24" wide pitched down from the attic 'floor'. Add to this the ancient, heavy black lace cobwebs, (not that that would bother me...too much), just not an easy way to access that. Am considering yanking the gutters and facia and either blowing or vacuuming those spaces and maybe slipping some airdam material up there. At that time cut whatever soffit vent holes I can manage and screen them up. Sure hate the two story work...but it's starting to appear that attic access is not the way to go here.