Another ventilation post, Am I doing this properly?


#1

Good morning all,

My wife and I just bought our first home after living in rentals for too long. It’s a 1500SqFt cape cod in a quiet rural area in VA and the first 2 storey home I’ve lived in since moving from England 7 years ago.

We bought the house at the end of Winter when it was nice and cold, we had an inspection before we closed and did everything by the book.

To cut a long story short, now the weather’s hit the usual 90 degrees I found the upstairs too hot to use. The A/C is in great working order and rated properly for the house however I have to close off the downstairs flow to 1/3 and open upstairs fully.
This keeps the A/C running almost 24/7 which will bleed us dry.

After weeks of reading, asking questions and talking to different contractors I came to the conclusion that we didn’t have sufficient ventilation in the attic. The only exhaust in the top attic are 4 6" holes with aluminum pans (Which I’m now blocking off) and soffit intake was practically non existent according to the 1/300 rule.

I had a roofer come out 3 days ago to install a Cobra ridge vent on the 30’ apex of the 12/12 pitch roof. I installed baffles in the top attic for a path from the side attics. Now I’ve started taking out the old solid PVC soffit and replacing it with continuous vented soffit.

The temps in the top attic are easily reaching 150 degrees. When I walk upstairs the temperature change is insane - As soon as your head gets to the top stair there’s a 20 degree change and I can feel heat radiating from the ceiling which makes the upstairs unuseable.
We have no moisture, mold or rot in the top attic.

Basically I’d like to know if I’m doing this properly. We just bought this house and I have a bad feeling that I may be throwing money I don’t have at it to keep it cool.

I took some pics yesterday of the soffit and what I’m trying to do. The bad drawing of the side profile of the house is a result of not enough coffee.

Any input is very much appreciated.
Thanks.

members.cox.net/kjfj/profile.jpg - This is basically what I’m aiming for. The ridge vent and baffles are in and the insulation is already there.
I’m working on the soffit intake over the weekend.

members.cox.net/kjfj/index.html - These are pictures of how the roofline looked before we started and where we’re at right now.


#2

Hi,

So has it gotton better with what you have done so far?

I do not think I would have gone the way you did.


#3

I only started the soffit vents yesterday and today it’s raining hard and the temps have dropped outside so it’s too early to tell.

How would you have gone about it?


#4

Hi,

It is hard to say without being there.

The guy who did the siding probably closed off the cross ventilation that was designed to ventilated that type of house.

So I would have reopened that vents he closed off.

When you talked to someone about problems make sure they know what they are talking about.

I was at a house on Friday. Everyone was telling the homeowner they needed a roof and all the ventilation that you are doing.

So I inspected the roof. They need a $250 repair.

So instead of a $10,000 it will cost them $250


#5

I just came down from the attic and the ridge vent doesn’t seem to be leaking and there’s definitely an updraft from the 4’ of soffit vent I installed.

I don’t see any evidence of gable end vents or any other intake/exhaust and as far as I’m aware the siding is original from when the house was built in 1985.

The contractors I had round were to check out the A/C and the roof, of course they both wanted to sell me the most expensive solution possible ($4k for ridge/soffit) but to get recommendations from multiple aspects was valuable and free.
I guess everyone has their preferences as far as ventilation goes but to install gable end intake/exhaust louvres and a fan was very expensive and none of the contractors I spoke to turned up or called me back to schedule an install.
The rest of my info has been from forums such as these and general posts from people with similar situations.

I paid $325 for the ridge vent with a 5 year warranty on workmanship/materials and I’m installing the soffit myself so my financial investment isn’t too much.


#6

Hi,

Glad it is working.

That was a good price for that work.


#7

remove the pan vents. they are short circuiting your new ridge vent. instead of them being an exhaust vent they are acting as an intake …so now your airflow is only between the cans and the ridge instead of the soffitt and the ridge. replace all of the soffitt panels with fully vented.


#8

I’m not a big fan of un baffled ridge vent but you have a good steep pitch so there shouldn’t be any problem with snow intake.
In my opinion you did it right.


#9

YOU SAID YOU CLOSED OFF THE BOX VENTS FROM UNDERNEATH SO THE SMALL VENTS DON`T NEED TO BE REMOVED,you should install rafermate where the insulation spaces are tight,and especially into the soffits to maintain airflow,now the main thing is how much insulation do you have there,6"or r-19 is way too little,w/those high temps you want as much insulation as possible to put,i would want r-38 min,and would be happier w/r-50,the idea is that ventilation ventilates the heat that enters your attic,but insulation protects it from interior living spaces–the design limits how much you can put,but use as much as possible,use an UNFACED(NO PAPER/OR FOIL)insulation so as not to create condensation problems,the more you put the less the heat will radiate into the living space,and will stay in the attic where it should be,when you change the roof stay away from dark colors!,as a result you will save on a/c,and winter heating bills-good luck