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Just wanted to get some best practices or opinions on this. I have two teenage sons that want to make some money on one of my flips. The house has literally no insulation - maybe 4 inches at its peaks and not solid throughout. So I told them they could install baffles, mark electricity and put in insulation.

The current baffles are just 12" of cardboard, flimsily installed but doing their job given the insulation isn't loose fill. I would like to install something like this baffle. Given the roof doesn't have a huge slope the areas where you install the baffles are extremely small.

Is there any way to make this process easier? Any suggestions on install method or a type of baffle that would make retrofitting easier?

  • @isherwood - sorry was typing on a phone and had some grammar issues. Corrected those. I need bigger baffles and I want to load up - 2 feet loose fill - on insulation. – DMoore Nov 28 '16 at 5:33
  • Ok, but you still contradict yourself with "literally no" and "maybe 4 inches". – isherwood Nov 28 '16 at 14:01
  • @isherwood - I am sorry you cannot understand. I suggest you just skip the question. – DMoore Nov 28 '16 at 15:54
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Two obvious but invasive ways are to:

  1. Take up the roof sheeting and work the baffles from above the rafters.
  2. Remove the ceiling drywall under the baffle area and install the baffles from below.

With a low sloped roof trying to work within the confines of the attic will be very difficult. If there are protruding roofing nails the tight areas can be dangerous if you bang your head or arms against the nails. And hope that the workers are not claustrophobic.

I have a roof pitch of 5//12 over my garage attic and I can say even at that slope it is very difficult (but still possible) to squirm down into the spaces to work at the outer wall area. With a pitch of 3//12 I think I would be contemplating one of the invasive measures above. If the roof is shot and needs replacing use #1 else go with the ceiling removal as in #2.

  • The house has a one year old roof and taking down drywall on ceiling would cost a TON of money due to texture on ceiling and having to redo 11 rooms. – DMoore Nov 26 '16 at 3:43
  • @DMoore - Well I am just trying to paint the picture of the various issues involved. Trying to fit those pre-formed foam baffles would be very hard to install, in my estimation, on a low pitched roof. It would probably be much easier to install home made baffles made from slabs of quarter inch plywood that have 1x1s pre-mounted along the edges. These you can shove all the way down to the lower edge of the roof at the top wall plate. Once positioned they can be screwed to the bottom of the roof sheeting at the center and upper corners where there is clearance to work. (continued) – Michael Karas Nov 26 '16 at 8:52
  • (continued from above). They should sturdy enough that no specific mount points are needed at the lower ends. – Michael Karas Nov 26 '16 at 8:59
  • I get what you are saying. I used the example because I have used those types of baffles in the past. I have also just stapled cardboard, which is what this house has. The problem is the 12" of cardboard is running at a 45 degree angle and it doesn't seem to have a lot of stiffness left in it. I am afraid if I just start spraying insulation in, the soffits will get covered. I am up for any sort of suggestions, short of hiring midgets. I like your idea of 1/4" plywood. Can you expand on install method and how high I should go? Everything is 16 OC. – DMoore Nov 28 '16 at 5:38
  • @DMoore - There are probably a multitude of ways to build baffles. One I described above could be say 12" wide and long enough to extend up to over the insulation fill level. For sake of discussion lets say 4 feet long. You can put 1x1" pieces along the long edges of the plywood and screw those on in the work shop. To install I would put these between say every second rafter (unless you have it in you to do all of them) with the 1x1's against the roof sheathing. Then screw through the plywood and 1x1's into the roof sheathing to secure in place. (continued) – Michael Karas Nov 28 '16 at 7:08
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Our 46-year-old tract house has a 3-in-12 pitch truss roof, loose Rockwool insulation, and no baffles at all, not even the cardboard. The 2 x 4 studs are 24-inches OC. The roof sheathing is minimal thickness and maybe someday I will redo the sheathing. At that time I will have baffles installed.

If and when I put in bats without adding baffles, I was going to try laying them perpendicular to the ceiling joists, at least at the perimeter. I think this would allow enough airflow over the top of the bats. I don't think a lot of effort to introduce baffles is worth it. I have worked in this attic a lot and the danger from roofing nails is real. I once worked my way all the out to the edge to pull wiring and I will never do it again. The webbing of the double Fink trusses restricts movements. I would not put teenagers in that situation because breathing in loose Rockwool (and whatever else is in that air!) is not healthy.

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