Sunday, November 7, 2010

Work in the attic: air sealing and insulating the soffits & adding more insulation

This is a job that I did not do myself. I had the work done by an expert to be sure it was done correctly with minimal damage to the exterior.

All work by Randy Vanier (Vanier Construction, Inc. 207-671-7454).

First, the problem: air infiltration into the house through the soffit and escaping from the proper vent (pink vent in the photos below) into the ceiling of the main floor. As shown in the photo below, Randy discovered that we had no insulation in the eaves either. Lots of work is needed to remedy this.

Surprise! No insulation. No wonder it is so cold in here.
To ensure proper air flow, Randy placed a proper vent in the space above that extended from the soffit area to above the insulation in the attic. As shown in the series of photos below, he then cut pieces of XPS foam insulation and used spray foam to hold everything in place and force any air to move through the vent into the attic space (rather than around it).

Test fitting the proper vent and rigid foam insulation.
Here is how the test fit looks from inside (before proper vent)

First step with spray foam behind foam board insulation and all cracks.
Everything spray foamed tight and sealed so air can only go into the attic space via the proper vent
A side view of the work, note this will be covered by the soffit so it is all hidden
Here's how it looks when finished

So that completes the air sealing the soffits. Next Randy added insulation in the eaves.


Randy was finished at this point, so I added some foam board insulation on top of the batts to make an insulated space that should make the bedrooms warmer and less drafty. 

Eave area with the foam board insulation and spray foam.
When budget permits, I may go back and insulate the floor with foam board insulation also. For now, I am calling it quits.

The final step was to add an additional 15" of blown in loose fill insulation to the attic area.

Attic showing additional blown-in loose fill.


I am looking forward to having Erik North back next week to evaluate our home and get the rebate into the State.


More than that, I anticipate we will be much more comfortable this winter while using less oil to heat our home.

Cheers,

Mark

2 comments:

Stuart said...

Hi,
Did it make a difference? I need to get this done to my house. Like yours, there is no properly sealed soffit from the rest of the house. In fact, cold air can come right up the soffit, in between the rafters of the first and second floor across the ceiling!! No wonder my interior ceilings are 58F. Can you let me know how much better your house was?

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