+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3

    Question Attic Venting in 1924 house - soffits vs. gable vs. insulation

    Hello all,

    We recently bought our first home - 1924 vintage - with a poorly vented attic. Humid in summer, and probably going mouldy as I type now we're in winter (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia).

    The roof has small round soffit vents (4x2" wide per side). These seem to be mostly painted over - probably not helping! There are also two square roof vents near the ridge.

    We have sought out advice/quotes from three firms with the following results:

    (1) & (2) were roofers - they agreed about needing new soffit vents. One suggested that just replacing those would do it (CDN$450). Another suggested that + two turbine vents (CDN$900).

    (3) Was an insulation guy - he said that given the roof's construction (dormer type upper floor), the soffit vents were next to useless. We should block them up, and completely fill the eaves with insulation, then install gable vents. A roofing firm quoted CDN$650 for the gables.

    Now, I'm a little confused... and would be massively grateful of some advice from the learned TOH community -

    - What is considered best practice for an old house in a northern atlantic climate (-25C - +35C range)?
    - Are the quotes given above reasonable for this type of job?

    Side view:
    Front view:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3

    Question Re: Attic Venting in 1924 house - soffits vs. gable vs. insulation

    Erm - have I posted this in the wrong forum? Apologies if so... any advice would be gratefully received!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Attic Venting in 1924 house - soffits vs. gable vs. insulation

    Most people in this forum are not going to comment on price --- it varies tremendously depending on region.

    Could you clarify whether you have ridge vents?

    Assuming you have a ridge vent; soffit vents would be important. It would not matter much whether they are in dormer part of the attic or the regular roof --- as long as the rafters all open to the ridge vents.

    From that regard, make sure the rafters are clear for venting and you have adequate attic insulation. You might want to consider installing attic baffles along the ridge lines to ensure the insulation does not block the soffit venting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Attic Venting in 1924 house - soffits vs. gable vs. insulation

    Quote Originally Posted by SearsHome View Post
    Most people in this forum are not going to comment on price --- it varies tremendously depending on region.

    Could you clarify whether you have ridge vents?

    Assuming you have a ridge vent; soffit vents would be important. It would not matter much whether they are in dormer part of the attic or the regular roof --- as long as the rafters all open to the ridge vents.

    From that regard, make sure the rafters are clear for venting and you have adequate attic insulation. You might want to consider installing attic baffles along the ridge lines to ensure the insulation does not block the soffit venting.
    Thanks for the reply! I realise that there are variations in price, but I've seen quite a few Canadians commenting on the forum, so thought someone may be able to offer an opinion.

    We don't have a ridge vent - only the two square vents near the ridge on the roof slope.

    Is it common practice when insulating to install gable vents and fill eaves/soffits with insulation, or is that just madness?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,159

    Default Re: Attic Venting in 1924 house - soffits vs. gable vs. insulation

    In general you want to keep the soffits & eaves vented. This allows cold air to circulate under the roof to keep the snow from melting and refreezing and then creating ice damns and leaks.
    As searshome mentioned baffles installed at the eaves will allow you to get a lot of insulation near the edge of the exterior wall, but still allow air to flow below the roof deck. Baffles are sold at home centers and can be polystyrene or corrugated material or fabricated.
    Ideally the intake(soffit vents) and exhaust(ridge or gable vents) should be more or less balanced, I've never heard of having too much venting. Codes give a minimum for new, but in a retrofit as much as you can provide is a good idea.
    Check out some websites for venting product like airvent or alcoa for ideas and recommendations.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •