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attic framing vs. soffit baffles

I would like to improve the air circulation in the attic of my 1902 folk Victorian, but the way it is framed is making things difficult. I hope you can help.

Basically, while my house does have soffit vents, there doesn't appear to be any easy way to get soffit baffles into place. As the attached pic illustrates, the rafters of my roof terminate on a beam that blocks access to the soffit. As you can see in the pic, there's a small, angled gap between the beam where the rafters end and the top of the wall plate (I think I got that terminology right...) As a result, there doesn't seem to be any way to both insulate the top of the wall plate and still keep the soffit vents clear. Any suggestions on how I might approach this? Thanks!

Re: attic framing vs. soffit baffles

Your roof doesn't happen to have a flare at the eaves? That's the way they used to frame flared eaves; the main rafters stop at the plate, and extensions are nailed on top of the sheathing, and then sheathed themselves. If that was what you have, you would access that space by drilling holes in the layer of sheathing that's before you; it leads into that extra cavity of the flare. You would need to determine exactly the place that the flare begins, otherwise you're drilling through the roof and not into dead space.:eek:
Otherwise, drill into the blocking and take a look at what you find; you should be able to see the soffit or fascia at some point.

Re: attic framing vs. soffit baffles

Thanks for the reply. Our house doesn't have flared eaves, so the only way to access the soffits is through that little gap, which will be totally plugged once I put that bit of batt insulation back in. :(

Do you think I could just wedge baffles between the insulation and the beam to which the rafters are attached? It would create a circuitous route for the air to flow, but at least it would flow...

Re: attic framing vs. soffit baffles

the method of framing used on your roof is pretty common, i run into it all the time on alot of the exterior retrofits i work on.

in your situation it sounds like your trying to vent the soffit from the inside out, where as the homes i work on we generally strip off the entire exterior of the house which lets us create pockets to vent through on the outside, we usually just use a large spade bit and create breather holes so to let air into the attic space, from there our insulaters install the baffles in every second rafter bay

Re: attic framing vs. soffit baffles

Hi, jkirk. I'm actually trying to get the air from the existing soffit vents into the attic, but there doesn't seem to be any way to both create an air channel and keep the top of the wall plate insulated. Well, not without having a new roof put on...

Once things cool off in the fall I'm going to pull up all the old insulation and seal as many leaks in the ceiling of the second floor as possible so as to avoid a repeat of last winter's ice dam catastrophe. But unless I can also get more cool air into the attic, I'm afraid we may have more water damage this year. :(

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