Home Improvement Experts,
I just moved into an old (circa 1940s) house in Charleston, SC. It
needs a lot of work, and I decided to start in the ~1700 sq ft. attic
because the house has no attic insulation. I was going to add some
soffit vents prior to the cellulose insulation, but then discovered
that my soffits aren't connected to the attic. There is a series of
2x4s running the length of the house keeping the soffits separated
from the rest of the attic. Now, the attic has two gable vents--the
east side has a 2' x 7' triangular one, and the west side has a 2' x
2.5' square one. In addition, there are two turbine vents, one of
which needs a strong squirt of WD-40 (it makes an awful noise).
Now, I've run the gauntlet with my question--is this enough
ventilation, and have heard a multitude of responses. Some claim it's
fine the way it is, others say I need to drill holes through the 2x4,
and a man at Lowe's tells me I need to install a ridge vent. However,
I'm thinking the guy at Lowe's is trying to sell me something I don't
need, because I've read a bunch of times that ridge vents are
worthless if you don't have soffit vents.
So, I pose my questions here to the experts and hope I can clear up
this mess. Basically, I want to know
1) If the existing setup is enough ventilation.
2) If not, what can I do to improve it?
3) And finally, if I can't afford the improvement, what is most likely
to happen (i.e. will the R-values not work the way they should, or is
toxic mold going to build up in the house)?