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Insulation baffles go by many names. Rafter vents, venting chutes, and wind chutes are some of the other words we use to describe exactly the same thing. But what exactly are insulation baffles and what purpose do they serve? This short read will tell you all you need to know.
What are insulation baffles?
Attic ventilation is as important to keeping your home your home as attic insulation is. Every effective home ventilation system has exhaust vents and intake vents. Intake vents, also called soffit vents, are installed at the soffit or eaves. These vents allow cool air from the outside into your home. Exhaust vents play the role of letting warm and stale air out of the home.
Insulation baffles are important for efficient intake ventilation. A lot of times, fresh air coming in through the intake vents are blocked by attic insulation and other debris. Insulation baffles are designed to prevent that from happening.
Why are rafter vents important?
Intake vents being blocked by insulation or anything else means your attic will not have sufficient fresh air coming in to ventilate it. As a result of this, both heat and moisture build-up in the attic.
This build-up of heat and moisture can be harmful, especially during the winter months. The heat in the attic will encourage the development of ice dams, which can cause a lot of damage to your home’s roof.
Moisture build-up can also lead to mold infestation and damage your attic insulation as well as the roof deck.
Very often, homeowners can’t really tell if they have adequate attic air circulation. They check at the soffit and assume they have vents just by seeing vent screens. However, it pays to double-check, because a vent screen without a vent hole is not going to provide sufficient attic ventilation.
How do baffles help?
Baffles are typically made of foam and are available in a variety of colors. With a proper installation, they allow air to flow over the insulation and other obstacles.
Keep in mind though that you do not need to install them at every rafter. Ideally, you will need to make sure baffles to install on the level at every soffit or intake vent in the attic.
How to install attic baffles
Insulation baffles cost between $0.75 and $2 per square foot including materials and labor costs. These baffles come in 16-inch and 24-inch sizes with perforated edges.
Here‘s how experts usually go about installing rafter vents.
- Locate exterior soffit vents. Make sure they’re not just vent screens.
- Make sure you have chosen the correct size baffles based on the rafter size.
- Clear any obstacles from the soffit, such as existing insulation.
- Remove the fascia board and vent screens.
- Slide the baffle into place over the insulation and staple it in.
Read more: Polyisocyanurate insulation