This is part 6 of the prep work we did to get everything ready to blow GreenFiber cellulose insulation in our attic. At the bottom of this post we have a link to every post in this series if you want to check out the whole shebang :)
After we finished cleaning our attic, getting the wires/cables in order, making the map, fixing the exhaust vent, and re-stapling up the old insulation, we were finally able to get to one of the essential prep-work items all the tutorials talk about- adding vent chutes.
Vent chutes, also called soffit baffles or air chutes, are these styrofoam or cardboard covers that you put at each soffit vent to block blown insulation from clogging it and to guide the air coming in from your soffits up and over the insulation. This helps keep your attic ventilation in order: if you have insufficient ventilation, your attic gets hotter than it’s supposed to and all that insulation you added has to work against much more heat.
Vent chutes are also fun to pose with.
Did you notice the ninja Mochi in the above picture? I know I can kinda be distracting so if you did, go you! And yes, woot! This is Evan again. Hi.
But back to business. Some things you’ll for sure need to install these things
- hard hat (nails poke through the roof from the shingles… and bumping into them hurts)
- staple gun
- long poking device (we used a garden hoe, pictured above)
- vent chutes
- some boards to lay on (I chopped some to length for easier carrying)
- good breathing mask
- head light
- eye protection
- gloves, long sleeves, and long pants to keep insulation off your skin
To find where your soffit vents are, go outside and look at the edge of your roofline anywhere there is an overhang. You’ll see the outside of your soffit vents from there, so make a mental note of how many there are. Then go into the attic when it’s light outside and turn the lights off. You should be able to see daylight filtering in where you found the vents outside, where the roofline meets the attic floor. If a vent is currently blocked by insulation you won’t see light, which is why it’s good you counted them from the outside already.
You’ll want to start by clearing a way as much existing insulation as you can. I used a garden hoe for this; getting it all with my hands would have been hard even for my long-armed self. Make as much room for the chutes as possible because they are flimsy and it is hard to push them past insulation below and nails sticking in from above (these are the things that cause the most trouble).
The best method I developed (took me three tries) is after you’ve cleared a path, put your long poking device inside the vent chute (between it and the ceiling) and push down to hold it away from the roof. This way you can guide the chute past the protruding nails.
Once you have the chute in place it is time to staple!
No real secrets I’ve found here. Just make sure you have a staple gun you can shoot with one hand. This would have been very difficult (or impossible) if I had to use both hands to shoot it. Try to press with your body and leverage your weight to push instead of your fingers if you can. It recommends doing a staple every 4 inches or so. Do the best you can, and then use your garden hoe again to press the insulation (the excess you pulled out in the beginning) back against the bottom of the chute. This will help hold the base of it against the roof (where it’s harder to reach your staple gun).
You might end up at some odd angles, and you will DEFINITELY end up incredibly sweaty, but it really does not take too too long to install these very necessary items.
Psst – To see the whole process from start to finish, check out our other posts! You can see our overall plan for blowing insulation, and check out all the prep in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, and the actual blowing of insulation. Big project!
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