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Community and Q&A

Creating a “Tent” Inside Attic for Insulation

Lindaloowho | Posted in General Questions on

I have an unfinished attic/roof assembly that is a square pyramid in shape. I was wondering if, after air sealing the ceiling (attic floor) carefully, if I could drape material from just inside the soffit vents, up to a peak above the insulation but well below the ridge vents? This draped fabric would take the shape of a square pyramid “tent” inside the attic. 

The purpose of this would be:

*to build a containment unit for blown in insulation
* to deflect warm air away from the insulation in the summer and hold warm air in during the winter
* to act as a large baffle (along outside of “tent”)  for cold air running under the roof deck from soffit vents to ridge vents
*to protect the insulation from potential leaks in the roof deck 

Any reasons why this wouldn’t work, or why it isn’t a good idea? What material would you suggest that is easy to work with and is inexpensive? 

Thanks for your input!

Linda

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Replies

  1. GBA Editor
    Kiley Jacques | | #1

    Hi Linda,

    This is an interesting idea. I haven’t heard of anyone doing it. I’m commenting to give your post a bump, in the hopes that a reader or two will weigh in. I, too, am curious to know what others think. In the meantime, you might be interested in what Martin Holladay has to say about radiant barriers.

  2. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #2

    Linda,

    This is another of those ideas you haven't seen done because there is no gains to be had by doing it.

    The usual way to keep ventilation paths clear when insulating the floor of an attic is t0 provide baffles to a level just above there the insulation will reach. Extending those baffles, as a tent or any other way, provide no benefits.

    - Attic floor insulation doesn't need any cover to protect it from wind-washing by cold or warm air.
    - The air entering the attic at the soffits doesn't benefit from being contained all the way to the ridge.
    - The place to deal with potential roof leaks is the roof. Relying on a fabric as a secondary barrier against roof leaks may cause more harm than good. If you do get a leak, you want it to end up in a large area where it can dissipate, and you want it to be visible on the underside of the sheathng so you know it is going on.

  3. Lindaloowho | | #3

    Thanks Malcolm,

    So I can stop the paperwork on patenting the “attic insulation tent” then?
    Lol.

    Your answer has provided some good information. Some things I didn’t even know I needed to know.

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