Help with Attic Insulation over a front porch

mcarmeloMay 10, 2013


I am trying to fix a leak in my attic and noticed that over the front porch, which is only just a 4ft x 8ft concrete slab covered by the roof. It is closed on 3 sides and open on the front side.

My questions is this, I saw that instead of insulating the area over front porch (which just has that vinyl siding material on the ceailing) they just put cardboard boxes as a wall. I attached a link, you may need google plus, I am not sure. I was wondering if I should take that doen, or take it down and use some type of insulation there?

Any recommendations from anyone that might know would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

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Here is a pic

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:09PM
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I'd remove it. Likely a p.o. "improvement"

The space over your porch and your attic is all unconditioned so there's no reason to partition them unless part of the porch roof is missing thus allowing wind-driven moisture into the attic.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:44AM
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OK Thanks. So by having that open it will not make a difference in energy efficiency? I was looking at adding some insulation to the roof and was up there tinkering and trying to fix it up properly before I sprayed insulation into it.

I guess, now that I am thinking of it, it wouldn't make a difference on energy as it is linked only to the attic and not the living space.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 12:50PM
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There are many ways to insulate an attic and the answer to your question will depend on what method you chose.

May I ask what kind of insulation are you intending to use? I ask because you mentioned "spray". Are you using spray foam?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Your porch (being open on one side) doesn't really need to be insulated at all. It was probably done as a courtesy in case you wanted to fully enclose it in the future. The important thing is that the ceiling above your "living space" is insulated, because that's the area you heat/cool. The cardboard you pictured is a leftover from whomever did the insulation job. It's function was to prevent insulation from being blown into the entire vented soffit of the porch- allowing it to vent properly. I'm guessing the 'vinyl siding material' on the ceiling of the porch you mention is solid, but when you step outside and look at the soffit area (where the gutters attach), that vinyl material is ventilated. The little holes in it that ventilated soffit area must NOT get clogged with insulation, or you will trap moisture. DO NOT remove the cardboard pieces, as they are preventing the insulation from spilling over into the soffit, where it could/will absorb and trap excessive moisture and prevent the porch form "breathing" properly. Remove it ONLY if you plan to completely remove all the insulation, too...which would be silly...because it shouldn't have any bearing on your leak issue. Hope that helps answer your question!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 8:43AM
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DO NOT remove the cardboard pieces, as they are preventing the insulation from spilling over into the soffit

I'd use a less moisture sensitive material than cardboard.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 10:00AM
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I just had a new un-ventitlated porch (no roof vent or soffit vents) overhang attached to my house and this winter (live in toronto, canada) I am noticing ice build up along the side of the wall. Now I am not sure if its caused by heat/venting issues or roof or gutter issues. I was thinking of maybe putting some vented soffits? I have attached a photo of my current issue. Any advise would be great.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Looks like spillage from the downspouts and/or eavestrough. Be sure there is sufficient slope on the eavestrough, that it's clear of leaves and the lower downspout (not visible) is not blocked. Enough freeze/thaw cycles and you'll get spalling of the brick. (Also in TO)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2014 at 1:56PM
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Now that the weather is warmed up a bit, I decided to record what was happening with the water and I think it's simply a poor job done with the eavestrough and down spout as you mentioned. I think they accidentally over shot the down spout to line up with the bottom eaves and restored to some sort of macgyver to direct the down spout into the eaves. I have posted a video here

let me know your thoughts.

Here is a link that might be useful: video

    Bookmark   December 14, 2014 at 2:40PM
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Yah, that's a bad installation. Forgot high school physics: Water has adhesion and cohesion. These principles are important in the real world... The drop needs to go into the gutter, not empty above. You could fix that problem by placing some aluminum around the exit and into the gutter so the water has to do down further before it can go laterally. Water won't climb up, but it will hold the edges and go sideways, which is what is happening.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2014 at 5:08PM
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