Best Attic Baffles For Insulation – Detailed Guide

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Attic baffles play a crucial role in keeping your home comfortable and safe. They keep the whole space clear so fresh air can make its way inside the attic. This is all due to the soffits which are under your roof eaves towards the vents at or near the highest course of your roof.

When & why do you need Attic Baffles?

Attic baffles stop the blown-in insulation from blocking fresh air which is entering inside your attic from soffits. Attic baffles will:

  • Add up warm air in your home rises as ultimately reaching your attic. Warm air holds more moisture than cool air, therefore the moisture we create in our homes from bathing and cooking travels to the attic.
  • Reduce the impact of attic moisture which will damage the roof deck over time.
  • Prevents wind washing and drifting of insulation.

In brief, baffles are designed to supply a channel of air to flow through specific parts of your attic. They are also referred to as wind baffle, insulation baffles, rafter vents, or venting chutes. They are usually made up of cardboard, or rigid foam board, or PVC.

The best thing about attic baffles is that they are available from most home-improvement stores. They can also be installed simply with a couple of staples if you would like the DIY approach.

Surprisingly even the foremost well-insulated attic space should require the help of attic baffles to supply the extra air circulation. The most important function of an attic baffle is to draw the air in from outside your home and allowing it to circulate around your attic. You have to situate the baffles where circulation is especially required.

Best Attic Baffles for Roofs in 2022

1. SmartBaffle 24 (SB24) Insulation Baffle for 24″ Rafter Bays – Best Overall Attic Baffles

best attic baffle

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Specifications

Air Channel 2 inches
Attic Side Installation 4 inches from Roof Deck
Dimensions 36 x 26.5 x 0.13 inches
Thickness ⅛ inches

 

If you are looking for durable baffle vents, then the SmartBaffle is the best option for you to buy now. These plastic vents will keep your house ventilated without any damage to the roofing.

Material

One of the best material for baffle vents is corrugated plastic. These baffles are made with this plastic having ⅛ inches in thickness. It is lightweight and the manufacturers guarantee that it will not crush, tear or break.

Design

It has double bending routes that run 2.25 inches from both sides. This helps while cutting the baffles in half to fit the attic rafter spaces. In addition, it gives double coverage at the eaves area (the overhanging lower border of the roof).

best attic baffle

Source: amazon.com

Versatile Insulation

The SmarBaffle SB24 can be used for a variety of old insulations and can insulate on its own. Each piece cut guards against any insulation blockage as well. Also, these can be used with loose fill insulation, fiberglass insulation, or spray foam insulation.

Durable

A high grade corrugated plastic is used in these attic ventilation baffles. It makes them more long lasting than cardboard or styrofoam baffles. You can install them with either cap nails or staples without any problem.

Fire Resistant

These vent baffles are fire resistant while cardboard or styrofoam vents are not. The polyethylene material used in SB24 baffles is Fire and Burn tested under the testing standards of IBC and ICC. So, in case of any accidental fire, the roof wood will not catch fire.

Why it is the Best Attic Baffle?

The SmartBaffle 24 fits in bay roof attics with ease. Also, it can be installed in older houses as well as new ones. A number of different roof insulations are compatible with these rafter vents. Overall, the best thing about the SB24 baffles is their fire resistance feature which is tested and approved by IBC and ICC.

PROS:
  • Wide Baffles
  • Heavy Duty Material
  • Easy to Install
  • Fits with various insulations
  • Versatile Design
CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Can be difficult to cut
Customer’s Perspective:
The baffles are wide and can be separated with ease. Moreover, the plastic used is 10 times more durable than any other material. However, some customers have shown concern over the expensive price tag, given that only 24 baffles are provided in the pack.
Final Verdict:
These are some of the best baffles one can get for their home or office building. It even fits well with old-school houses built in the late 70s or 60s. The SmartBaffle 24 can be used with a number of insulations and keep the roof well ventilated.

2. Durovent with Baffle Attic Vent Channel – Best Styrofoam Baffles for Attic

best attic baffle

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Specifications

Dimensions 24 x 46 x 2 inches
Ventilation System 23-1/2 x 46 inches
Material Polystyrene
Truss Fit 2 ft.

 

Sometimes plastic baffles are short in width so this is where styrofoam baffles come in. If so, these improved, wider, and adaptable DuroVent baffles are the best option for you to buy now!

Moisture Resistant

The polystyrene used in the manufacturing of these baffles is high quality. So, these are 100% waterproof and do not let any kind of moisture through. It keeps the rood wood safe and free of any fungus.

Installation

The baffles are wide enough to fit through rafters with the least hassle. If you use a pre folding box, it will make the installation even easier with custom cuts. Moreover, center trusses ( approx. 2 ft) can be easily covered with these baffles easily.

best attic baffle

Source: amazon.com

Improved Design

It has a hollow mesh design that allows small air pockets to easily travel upwards. The ridges at the end make sure for seamless ventilation. In addition, it can be used without any insulation.

Wide Flanges

At times, DIY attic baffles are difficult to staple near the soffit vents. To tackle this problem, the DuraVent baffles have wide 2 inches flanges that can be installed with ease. It also allows accurate overlapping and alignment, if needed.

Spacing

These baffles can be used for 46 inches attic rafters, as they can easily fit through 23 inches bays. It is an integrated baffle system that does not need any blocking material between the vent and the top plate. So, this also reduces the overall cost of rood insulation.

PROS:
  • Wide Truss Fit
  • Easy to Install
  • No Spray Foam needed
  • It can be stapled to a drywall ceiling.
  • Minimizes Draft
CONS:
  • Need Ultra sharp Blade to Cut
Customer’s Perspective:
If you are tired of stapling together a lot of narrow baffles that don’t sit well with the rafter, then these baffles are for you. They fit perfectly through the rafters. Moreover, no blow insulation or blocking material is required for their installation. While it definitely has its pros, some customers find it difficult to cut the baffles with ultra sharp blade to separate them or to customize the size.
Final Verdict:
Overall, it is a good product regarding roof insulation. It works well both in hot and cold environments by keeping the moisture outside. The wide vents with the top ridge allow air to pass through readily. A wide fit and central truss fit are its best features.

3. Durovent UDV2248 Rafter Ventilator Pack of 70 – Best Ventilation Baffles

best attic baffle

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Specifications

Linear Feet 560
No. of Pieces 70
Dimensions 22 x 48 x 1 inches
Roofing Nails 3/8 inches T50 Staples

 

For a mildew and rust free attic, the Durovent UDV2248 is the absolute deal you will want to purchase!

Adjustable

These attic ventilation baffles are designed to cut according to the attic rafters. Depending on the need, they can be adjusted and overlapped for perfect ventilation.

Quality

Given the Styrofoam material, these attic vent baffles are a good choice over cardboard baffles. The strong and flexible styrofoam baffles allow fresh air ventilation from exterior soffits. Also, these baffles prevent blow in insulation that can block soffits and cause mildew.

Installation

The DuroVent UDV2248 baffles are easy to install, even over insulation. Wind washing effects are also reduced to zero after installing these vents. Some customers suggest using 1 inch squares from plastic milk jugs stapled to the middle of the baffle for easier maneuvering and installation.

best attic baffle

Source: amazon.com

Price

If we compare the DuroVent with the above mentioned SB24, these baffles are cheaper in price. Moreover, they are provided in larger quantities (70) that can cover a bigger area, approximately 560 linear feet.

Lightweight

One of the best things about the DuroVent baffles is their feather light weight. They easily fit through the insulation over the soffits so air can travel upwards. Also, their lightweight prevents them to slip down towards the soffit even after years of use.

PROS:
  • Cover larger area
  • Lightweight
  • Mildew Resistant
  • Eliminates Wind Washing
  • Waterproof
CONS:
  • Requires Fragile Handling
Customer’s Perspective:
These are amazing attic ventilation baffles to use while on budget. One of the best things about these baffles is their design that can be overlapped and reduced as per need. However, on the flip side, these are breakable beyond a specific point. So, they should be used with care while the installation process.
Final Verdict:
All in all, these are some solid baffles to keep the moisture and stale air out of the attic with their wide air ways for ventilation. Moreover, the baffles weigh around 4.8 ounces which keeps the insulation safe. Also, the mildew resistant feature is a winner..

Importance of Air circulation in your Attic

Air circulation is important, especially within the attic. If you are not having sufficient air circulation you will be susceptible to the build-up of moisture which as a consequence leads to mold and mildew problems. This brings a ‘musty’ smell we all relate to attics.

However, you have to concentrate on these aspects of correct attic management, in terms of cleaning and insulation if you do wish to know more. The only problem which you will probably encounter is the poor circulation and possibly improperly installed insulation. This can rotten damage the structural components of your attic.

An attic baffle, alongside correct insulation, is meant to rectify or prevent these problems from occurring. They permit the air to circulate under or near the insulation.

What is the role of Soffit Vents in Attic Baffles?

A soffit vent is basically a form of ventilation. It allows stale air to pass freely to the surface of your home or an office block for instance. These are available readily particularly within the summer months, as moisture can begin to create up within the attic. You can easily push it back through the usage of a soffit vent.

It has an easy and functional design with the added benefit of keeping unwanted pests from entering your home. Soffit vents and baffles add tandem together, and you will find attic baffles between the rafters, or the roof sheathing just to make protection for the soffit vents.

3 Major Benefits of Attic Baffles

If you decide to not have an attic baffle you will potentially be leaving your home to additional debris and moisture to enter through the soffit vents. If this does happen, the soffit vents won’t function as best as they always do. They will start supporting the formation of mold or fungi instead of preventing it.

As we mentioned earlier, attic baffles are designed to be easily installed and can be done by yourself if you select too. Or alternatively, you will hire an insulation or attic contractor like ourselves.

Good attic insulation happens when roof vents allow air to enter and exit the attic. Fresh, outside air enters the attic through soffit vents or gable vents and exits through rafter vents or ridge vents. When it does that, it removes damp, stagnant attic air and replaces it with clean dry air. Without baffles, attic insulation can block soffit vents by restricting the power of the roof ventilation to attract air.

Basically, attic baffles let the air starts flowing in your attic. And when it does, you enjoy the next benefits.

  • Less Mould & Mildew – Even with a well-sealed roof, moisture can accumulate within the attic. If it is not over-excited through ventilation, it can accumulate to the cause where mold and mildew spores find a welcoming environment to grow. Mould and mildew prey on organic materials, including the wooden network for your roof. Hence they will eventually damage the roof to the cause of weakening the rafters and/or roof deck.
  • Fewer Ice Dams – Ice dams happen when snow and ice above the roof melt, avalanche the roof and refreeze as they flow over the soffit section of the roof. This is not warmed by the warmth of the house. Ice dams can damage your roof and eaves troughs. Good ventilation facilitated by baffles keeps the temperature more consistent throughout the attic, which makes ice dams less likely to make.
  • An easier Home – A well-ventilated attic helps attic insulation do its job better, which turns your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Which Kind of Baffles you should Buy?

Installing attic baffles is messy and sweaty but it is not that difficult. The most important challenge is picking the right baffles for your home and climate. They are available in standard widths so your decision must consider cost, depth from the roof deck to avoid hitting roofing nails, and sort of fabric.

Cardboard will absorb moisture and Florida’s average humidity is 75%. This means that the cardboard will weaken over time and by holding moisture, there is the likelihood of mold. So we started researching the value of varied baffles to ascertain what proportion the builder saved using cardboard.

Right below we will discuss a few basic types of attic baffles to make the finest selection for yourself:

  • Cardboard baffles –They are not ideal as it can prevent money in locations like Arizona and Nevada, with low humidity. You can buy it at the cost of fewer than $1.00/baffle.
  • Styrofoam rafter vents – This type will avoid the moisture concerns you have got with cardboard. They appear like egg cartons and have extra cones to stay the air vents open. Its market price is starting slightly below $2.00/panel.
  • Plastic baffles – They are stiffer and ready to withstand the pressure from insulation being blown into the attic, especially spray foam insulation. These product costs start at roughly $2.50/panel.

How to Install Baffles in an Old Attic?

Aside from providing space for storage for your seasonal clothing, attics serve a functional purpose within the ventilation of homes. They supply airflow below the roof deck, reducing heat growth and preventing moisture from damaging the roof structure.

When finishing an attic space, airflow through the rafter bays as the spaces between roof rafters must be maintained. Baffles, or channel vents, direct air from soffit vents at the rock bottom of the roof to a ridge vent at the height by preventing blockage caused by insulation.

Let’s have a quick guide about how you can install baffles in an old attic:

Step No 1: Determine the dimensions of baffles you would like by measuring the space between your attic’s rafters. Baffles are commonly available to suit rafters that are 16 and 24 inches apart on the centre.

Step No 2: Position the primary baffle. If you are finishing the whole attic space, place the baffle directly adjacent to the soffit vent so air vents directly into the tray of the baffle and are captured against its bottom.

If your finished attic includes knee walls along the lower sections of the space, you simply got to install baffles where drywall are going to be attached on to the roof rafters. Staple the baffle through the side flanges onto the roof deck.

Step No 3: Continue installing baffles by moving up the rafter bay towards the height of the roof. Overlap each baffle. Repeat the method on each rafter bay.

Step No 4: Seal the baffles. If your baffles extend all the way right down to the soffit vents, prevent air from escaping through the joints between the vents and therefore the baffles by spraying spray foam where the baffles meet the events. Counting on your roof’s construction, you will also need foam blocking to fill larger spaces. Caulk the surface of every baffle where it meets the roof deck. Caulk the seams between each overlapping baffle

Step No 5: Install insulation in each rafter bay over the baffles by following the manufacturer’s directions.

Things Needed

  • Staple gun
  • Spray foam
  • Foam blocking
  • Insulation

Warnings

  • Always wear eye protection when employing a staple gun.
  • Always wear a dust mask and eye protection when working with insulation.

Tips

  • Cardboard baffles are often cut and bent, so as to suit tightly with soffit vents, more easily than foam baffles.

How to Install Attic Rafter Vent Baffles

Insulation alone can not save the attic floor from getting rid of all that moisture and heat. In addition, stale air builds up that can be home to a number of bacteria or fungi that can damage the wood. So, attic rafter vents are a must to save the attic from mold and mildew.

Before you start, grab a staple gun, a measuring tape, a blade for cutting baffles, and a headlamp along with the baffles. Safety gear such as goggles, and masks is a must for baffle installation. Otherwise, small dust particles can be harmful, especially to the eyes and lungs.

The installation process is as follows:

1. Determine the No. of Baffles

To calculate the number of attic baffles needed, measure the length and width of the house. Then, multiply and divide them by 150 to get the square footage of the vent space. Again, divide the footage by 2 to get the number of baffles required.

Alternatively, you can calculate the length and number of rafters to get an approximate idea. Another way for this is by calculating the linear feet. Measure the length of the attic roof in inches and divide the total inches by 12.

Check the baffle length and the number of baffles (multiply by 2) in one pack. For example, the DuroVent baffle is approx. 4 ft long and 70 in a piece. So, 4×140 gives 560 linear feet.

2. Locate Soffits

As the attic baffles go above soffits, find them. Soffits are small openings for air. If you are not sure where they are located in the attic, use a stud finder. Once you have found them, plan the baffle placements for even coverage against all soffits.

3. Make Soffit Template

Next, measure the soffit dimensions and make a rough template on any scrap available. This acts as a cutting guide for attic baffles to fit in. Cut the baffles a little bigger than the soffit size so they cover the whole vent without leaving any air pocket.

4. Staple the Baffles

Once the baffles are put in place, staple them to the attic rafters with a stapler gun, with staples 4 inches apart. Also, pull away any insulation that is blocking the soffits with care. You can also staple the baffles to the wall plate.

5. Overlap the Baffles

Cut the baffles as per the measurements, and overlap them. Make sure that there is no gap left between the baffles. Attach them to the top ridge vent of the roof for better airflow.

Do You Need Baffles with Batt Insulation?

Batt insulation is one of the most common types of insulation used in housing. It can be of
different materials such as fiberglass, cotton, or stool wool. Baffles are generally required to keep the insulation from blocking soffit vents or getting moist which can result in mildew. In addition, baffles keep the insulation in its place.

So yes, baffles are needed with the batt insulation. It serves as a ventilation system of outside air and lets the inside air and heat escape outside. Choosing not to install baffles can result in compromised roofing and an overheated attic.

Major Do’s and Don’ts to Follow for Attic Baffles Insulation

  • DO check your attic’s level of insulation. If the insulation is at or below the extent of the joists, add more insulation.
  • DON’T assume your home has enough insulation. Measure it to determine its R-value.
  • DO remove damaged insulation. Wet or compressed insulation has no value for keeping your home warm. Replace it with new insulation.
  • DON’T install insulation without repairing water leaks. Make sure that the roof and any pipes are in fitness. Water logged insulation has no insulation value.
  • DO add extra insulation to bring it up to recommended R-levels. In hot climates like Houston’s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends insulating attics to a minimum of R-30.
  • DON’T install insulation without wearing proper protective equipment. Wear gloves, goggles, long sleeves and long trousers to guard against fibreglass cuts on the skin.
  • DO seal air leaks before adding insulation. Use spray foam around attic windows and vents, and check around eaves.
  • DON’T stand on the joists when installing insulation. One wrong step and you will fall flat the ceiling. Use planks or plywood to face on and move them around as required.
  • DO select the right sort of insulation. You will use batt or loose fill insulation. Loose fill is great to travel over the highest of existing batt insulation to enhance insulation values.

When you follow these dos and don’ts, your home attic baffles will help keep the cool air in during the summer and therefore the warm air in during winter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cost to install baffles in the attic?

A single attic ventilation baffle can cost around $0.75 to $1.5 per square foot depending on the material, and design, including labor cost. Corrugated plastic baffles are almost $30 to $40 expensive as compared to styrofoam or cardboard ones. Styrofoam baffles are usually preferred. If you opt for DIY attic baffles, then the only baffle cost is there.

How to install attic baffles from the outside?

If it is impossible to reach the attic from inside, exterior installation is the way to go. For installing attic baffles from the outside, remove the fascia board and attic vent screen at first. Also, remove any overhang insulation. Then, install the baffle from the top plate of the exterior wall until it goes all the way. Replace the vent and fascia board and you are done.

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