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Knee walls are usually present in finished attics. The sloped roof creates a small space that can hardly be used for anything other than storage or, in some cases, to house air ducts.
So when finishing the attic, builders usually build a small, finished wall to close that space, many times with small doors to allow access for storage, sometimes with no access at all.
The problem with knee walls is that, for the most part, the space behind them remains unconditioned and the knee walls themselves are often poorly insulated.
The soffit vents, built to keep the roof cool, allow a lot of air in the space year round.
During the summer, that compartment can reach scorching temperatures, and because it is improperly insulated and air sealed, that heat will be transferred to the adjacent room through walls and floor and to the rooms below through the ceiling.
Mike Rusk and Larry Janesky from Dr. Energy Saver, propose a different approach to knee wall insulation. The knee wall system developed by Dr. Energy Saver includes that small space into the building envelope, while preserving roof ventilation. SilverGlo, a special type of rigid foam board lined with radiant foil on both sides, is attached to the bottom of the rafters with special fasteners. The seams are then sealed with spray foam to prevent air leakages. The idea is to keep the temperature in the compartment behind the knee wall, as close as possible as the temperature in the adjacent rooms.
The SilverGlo foam is infused with graphite for higher R-Value, and the foil liner will reflect heat back into the room during the winter and back to the outside during the summer.
For more information on the SilverGlo attic and knee wall insulation system and for tips on how to save a lot of energy and money in Cleveland, visit our website or call us for a comprehensive home energy audit!