Roof with no Attic

Discussion in 'Roofing and Siding' started by picolin, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Aug 16, 2011 #1

    picolin

    picolin

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    Hello, I just bought my first house in January and given that this is my first summer in it, I am faced with a dilemma. The previous owner made some additions but didn't think things through very well.

    My problem is that on the master bedroom, the roof that was added does not have an attic. There is insulation below the boards that hold the shingles, but there is no space for the hot air to escape. This results in a hot room during the day, and sometimes even through the night as the AC struggles to cool it down.

    My question is: should I consider creating an attic there to give some heat relief, or is there something else I can do to add to its R value?

    I'm sorry I don't have a recent picture of it, but I was able to get one from Google Maps:

    [​IMG]

    Thanks in advance!

    ~Alex
     
  2. Aug 16, 2011 #2

    oldognewtrick

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    I would look into installing spray foam insulation. It's not cheap and I usually don't reccomend it, but in this situation it may be a viable option.

    Oh, and :welcome: to House Repair Talk!
     
  3. Aug 17, 2011 #3

    nealtw

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    There should have been some roofing removed on the old roof when this new one was added to allow air to flow up to the old peak. They should have added more vents to the peak as the roof area is 30% bigger than it was. The new sloped roof needs air intake vents at the bottom witch may be a problem and if there is no holes to the main roof you could put vents on the upper part of the slope. If the ceiling in the bedroom is also sloped, they should have cross strapped with 1x4s or 2x4, under the sheeting so air could travel from the lower corners and out the top.
     
  4. Aug 17, 2011 #4

    picolin

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    Oldog, it looks like spray insulation goes on the inside part of the sheeting. I don't have access to it, since the roof seems to be "sandwiching" a layer of insulation.

    So, it's:

    Shingles
    Sheeting
    Insulation
    Ceiling

    No space in between. At least none that I can see.

    Nealtw, I'll get up in the attic to see if I have any room for what you are talking about. I can't put the air intakes at the bottom, since the ceiling is high and I have another room next to it.

    Come to think of it, I remember seeing those intake vents in the the "Florida Room", which is just a fancy name for a sun room, but they would be sucking in nothing but hot air since that last room is rarely used.

    I'll get some pics of what I'm talking about when I get back home tonight, including the attic.
     
  5. Aug 17, 2011 #5

    joni97

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    I'm no expert, but it sounds as if you have the equivalent of a vaulted ceiling.
    We have exactly as you described 'Shingles..Sheeting..Insulation..Ceiling' and no space in between. I'm assuming you also have a vapor barrier between the insulation and the ceiling.
    If the room stagnates and overheats, is there no way you can install an air return at the highest point inside the room, to keep the air circulating, and subsequently cooler.
     
  6. Aug 17, 2011 #6

    picolin

    picolin

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    Well, there is already a return in that room, but it's not at the highest point. Could that be my magic bullet? As I mentioned, I'll post some pics later on tonight so as to better illustrate my conundrum.
     
  7. Aug 18, 2011 #7

    picolin

    picolin

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    OK, as promised, here are the pics. Sorry about the pics in the attic, it was pretty dark and couldn't get the camera to focus correctly:

    http://alexlutor.com/House/DSC02644.JPG
    http://alexlutor.com/House/DSC02645.JPG
    http://alexlutor.com/House/DSC02647.JPG
    http://alexlutor.com/House/DSC02648.JPG
    http://alexlutor.com/House/DSC02649.JPG

    It looks like just about 4" of insulation was installed. The second picture is the little holes on the roof on the next room. I see those on the outside of the house as well.
     
  8. Aug 18, 2011 #8

    nealtw

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    Good pictures, I can feel the heat from here!
    It's hard to answer all my questions from here, evan with the pictures. The roof size has been increased by 25 or 30 % so I would start by adding two more of the vents that are just above the new roof. Just space them out on the same line as the others, stay on the same side. The soffet vents are fine but you do want to check that air can get from there to the attic on the other side of the attic.
    Now for the addition, I can not tell from here if you have soffit all the way across the bottom of the rafters.
     
  9. Aug 18, 2011 #9

    picolin

    picolin

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    It doesn't look like there is air flow, since it seems to be covered by those boards on the attic side. I think that's my complication. Should I think about investing on redoing the whole section to give me an attic there?

    Nealtw, you mention adding two more exhaust vents. I thought about that, but where would I put them if the air doesn't flow? A good analogy would be trying to attach a vent to a pillow. No air would escape because the filling would restrict any air flow. I checked and I do have soffit vents all around the house.

    I'm starting to like more and more the idea about adding the return to the high point in the room. That would definitely keep the hot air out without having to disrupt the roof structure.

    Funny, I was thinking of installing solar panels on top of the roof to give it shade and hopefully coo it down. Until, that is, I saw the prices of the panels. Oh buddy, forget it. We're talking tens of thousands there. I don't want to dish out $50 for an LED bulb because it would take years to recoup the investment. Solar cells are just too expensive for my puny budget, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  10. Aug 18, 2011 #10

    nealtw

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    As the air warms up in the attic it will flow out of the top vents and is replaced with cooler air from the soffits. You can check with the city and find out how many you need.
    The question is, do you have soffit vents that supply enough air to each bay above the insulation on the sloped roof.
    Vents are a good investment, pay for them once. You want to take a few minutes and think about winter, heat loss , ice dams, mold, and rot, then ask yourself ware you want to start.
    Changing air flow inside may help but you are paying for that air, and you may want to do that.
     
  11. Aug 18, 2011 #11

    nealtw

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  12. Aug 18, 2011 #12

    picolin

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    Thanks for that very useful link. I've been looking for a comprehensive guide like that for some time now.

    I see your point about the soffits, but I think I'm SOL there. The soffits that feed that portion of the roof are indoors. Seriously, whoever built those two rooms didn't care that much about thinking things through.

    These two pictures are looking towards the master bedroom (the one with the issue) from the sun room, which is where the roof ended and the soffits are located.

    http://alexlutor.com/House/Indoor_Shingles.jpg
    http://alexlutor.com/House/Indoor_Soffits.jpg

    Since we are never in the sun room, it gets really hot. If the soffits get any air sucked in, it will be hot.

    But you got me thinking... maybe my solution is to try to cool the sun room so that it will provide the chambers in the roof with cooler air through the soffits. Maybe I just need to keep it at around 80 or so degrees. Not exactly arctic temperatures, but cooler than whatever it has in those chambers...
     
  13. Aug 19, 2011 #13

    nealtw

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    I am not sure you want to feed your cooled air here, you still have to replace it some where else.
    I would be more inclined to remove the plywood soffit in that room and build an insulated box from side to side and cut a good size vent into which ever side would be the coolest.
    Or install vents in the outside wall of this room and help the heat in this room with free air flow.
     
  14. Aug 19, 2011 #14

    nealtw

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    BTW The picture of the attic shows the open end of a vent pipe. Nothing should end there so you need to figure out what that is and correct it.
     
  15. Aug 30, 2011 #15

    picolin

    picolin

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    Ah yes, that vent pipe is harmless, I believe it's plugged on the other side. It used to be for the old boiler, but they installed a newer one and with it a different exhaust. I'll double check on it, though, thanks for pointing that out!
     
  16. Aug 30, 2011 #16

    nealtw

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    You want to make sure the pipe isn't an easy path for a fire. Pipe should pbe removed, hole at both ends should be covered with drywall or something like that.
     

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