Insulation..when is too much too much?

I think mom n laws condo has too big of a pile of insualtion in an area…The attic utilizes ridge venting…no soffit or gable vents at all…even if there were they would be covered by this pile…it is 24-30 inches deep…is it possible that when they had the blown in stuff “blown” in, they just piled the old batts on top?


You should have got yourself itchy (dig). There is no such thing as too much insulation, unless your compromising the integrity of the sheetrock ceiling (if present). An engineer would have to do load calculations. I wish I had two feet of insulation…:smiley:

I did “some” digging…and I did get itchy…what’s your point? :wink:

I wasn’t really looking for a defect here…just general info…ty…!

That’s a common problem, for the insulation to cover up any soffit vents. That’s what baffles are for. Could you not see any soffit vents from the exterior?

I would rather kneel on Ball Bearings than get laced with fiberglass…:smiley:

That’s a problem. How old is the roof and what did the nail tips look like on the attic side?

Yes, very possible. More often its the other way round. Blown-in on top of batts.


I get this feeling there are soffit vents that have been blocked. That area must be open for proper air circulation. In the picture it appears that the roof decking is not the original. Did poor circulation damage the original sheating? Was batt insulation added to the attic after the blown in was rendered useless from moisture?

Just tossing some of the real life encounters we face when ventilation problems are identified.

Erol Kartal

Just noticed…The paper side of the insulation should be faced towards the heated area of the home.

Erol Kartal

The attic is about 600 square feet…it is a townhome…and there are 3 ridge vents at the peak of the roof…and they are about 1 to 1.5 square feet…so I think there is enough ventilation. I did not see any soffit vents…that doesn’t mean there aren’t any…this was an attic in the 2nd story of this home…and roof covered w/ snow…so I could be wrong. But I think the 3 vents should be enough based on the size of the attic…please correct me if I’m wrong.

There’s nothing wrong with the roof vents. The problem is that soffits or gables are required for air to circulate. This and the insulation facing backwards are potentially serious issues.

Erol Kartal

Erol, the vapor barrier should be on the warm side of the insulation, in AZ and many southern states that would be away from the conditioned space, however the paper should still not be exposed



I think mine are installed loke that also…but my attic is over my unheated/cooled garage…so it’s ok right? I remember this from the course I took but I guess I missed it…that is the beauty of learning this way…you can be your *ss I won’t ever forget it again…thanks.

Everything you ever wanted to know about insulation.

The vapor barrier goes toward the “Conditioned” or “living space”.

At leaste in my neck of AZ.:wink:


Does this all depend on the climate of the region? I’ve only inspected in Illinois where paper side up on an attic floor would turn the insulation into a sponge.

Erol Kartal

*Sigh…I guess I know what I’m doing when the HVAC guy calls me for the appt…I thiought I was just going to be learning something about a furnace…now I can see I’ll be climbing and getting more itchier…better get out the “carharts”…:wink:

Erol, yes the local climate is the key, the vapor barrier should be against the warmer and moister (sp) air, for example here in florida where we have warm damp outside air, and cool drier (if the AC is working) inside air the vapor barrier would be the oposite of where you live.

From the link that Todd posted:

having said that with the relatively low RH in the air in AZ the inside of the property may actually be the moister (sp) or have the higher RH.

Confused yet … you should be :mrgreen:



Also from the link:

Blanket Insulation: Batts and Rolls
Installing batts and rolls in attics is fairly easy, but doing it right is very important. On unfinished attic floors, work from the perimeter toward the attic door. In new construction, the vapor retarder facing should be installed with the facing placed down toward the ceiling gypsum board, except in hot humid climates where unfaced batts should be used. If reinsulating over existing insulation, it is recommended that unfaced batts be used. If there is not any insulation in your attic, fit the insulation between the joists. If the existing insulation is near or above the top of the joists, it is a good idea to place the new batts perpendicular to the old ones because that will help to cover the tops of the joists themselves and reduce heat loss or gain through the frame. Also, be sure to insulate the trap or access door. Although the area of the door is small, an uninsulated attic door will reduce energy savings substantially. :mrgreen:

That sounds way too much like a judgement call to me…doesn’t sound too definitive…sigh