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How do I vent a roof without soffits?

Ryan_Konecny | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I’m renovating a 1910 two story home in Chicago that has about a 12/12 roof pitch and no soffits. On the second floor there is about a 6’ knee wall where the rafters meet so there is about 3’ of sloped ceiling. There are no dormers so the decking is continuous from each gable end on both sides. Above the roof collar is an attic space that currently has a gable vent on each side. All of the HVAC will remain outside of the attic space. 

So my question is how should I vent this roof? Should I keep just the two gable vents as is? The architect is suggesting adding a ridge vent. If we do add a ridge vent, should we also be adding an intake near the edge such as an under shingle edge vent? And if we go the route of edge and ridge venting, would we want to remove the gable vents?

The attic will not be conditioned and will remain out of the thermal boundary of the home. But knowing my wife, she will probably want to store something up there at some point. I want to try and seal as many joints, spaces, cavities, etc up there as possible. But in addition to sealing it off and blowing insulation between joists, should I add baffles between the rafters and insulate them too due to the sloped ceiling above the knee wall (and possible future storage area)?

I’ve been reading the blogs and Q&As on here, and I’ve found a lot of good information, but I’m not completely certain what is the best approach with this current situation. Any advice is greatly appreciated.




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