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attic venting for antique cape in New Hampshire

I have an 1830 Cape with knee walls in the upstairs. Previous owner blew in cellulose in the attic and down the sloping ceilings to the knee wall. The previous owner said they also removed the clap boards and insulated the walls again with cellulose. They have 2 inch button vents that appear to be painted over a few times and thus effectively closed. It has double gable vents at the peak of the roof. So the attic is not breathing right, clap boards are peeling, etc. Suggestions how to correct the attic venting?

Asked by Bob Reed
Posted Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:26

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This is a complicated house with lots of issues, and attic vents are probably not the solution. These sound like moisture realed issues; clapboards are probably peeling from moisture migrating through and taking the paint off with it. Start underneath, rather than above with good drainage, possibly foundation drains, make sure surface water drains away from the house.

Moisture migrating through the cellulose in the slopes could be condensing on your sheathing and could rot the roof. If you cannot ventilate the slopes, the roof should be insulated from the exterior - deep energy retrofit style; This is not a quick, easy and inexpensive project but whatever you can do will start to help.

Answered by Bob Irving
Posted Wed, 01/29/2014 - 23:52

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