Addressing Insulation and Ventilation Issues
A properly vented and well-insulated attic can extend the life of your roof and lower your monthly heating and cooling bill. Good ventilation can reduce heat build-up in the summer and allow warm, moist air to escape during the winter. Here are the signs to look for to ensure your roof is properly ventilated and insulated.
Signs of a Poorly Ventilated Roof
If you do not see any attic vents on your roof or in the eaves, you will want to add some. These vents may vary in shape and size. Look for ridge vents, gable vents and continuous roof air vents that run along the peak of the roof. Touching your ceiling on a warm sunny day to see if it is hot helps to indicate that the roof is trapping heat, raising your cooling bill and damaging your shingles. Ice dams are also an indication of a poorly ventilated roof.
Be sure to inspect your attic during the winter, looking for dampness or frost. If your initial inspection indicates that your roof is not properly ventilated, then it’s time to take action. For the best results, it is important to place ventilation near the peak of your roof and place soffit vents in the eaves.
Proper Insulation Methods
When inspecting your attic insulation, make sure it is not obstructing the air flow to your vents. Ensure that recessed light fixtures are not covered with insulation as they can become extremely hot and present a fire hazard. This is especially true with poured or blown-in cellulose that can drift into the fixtures over time. If you find that the recessed fixtures are allowing too much air into your attic, consider replacing them with flush-mounted fixtures. Any paper-faced insulation should be installed with the facing down to prevent moisture from becoming trapped, resulting in an ineffective method. Other signs of poor insulation include mold, mildew and rusty roofing nails.
A simple way to check the effectiveness of your attic insulation is to place a thermometer up there for about an hour on a cold winter night. If the temperature is ten degrees warmer than the outdoor temperature, or closer to the indoor temperature than outside, it could indicate an insulation issue.
While taking on these projects yourself may appear to be more cost-effective, there is also more risk to your health and safety. Consider factors like how steep the pitch of your roof is and what type of insulation you have. Many homes built before the 1970’s have fiberglass insulation that can cause skin irritation, difficulty seeing or breathing and other more serious problems. For a free estimate on your next insulation or ventilation project, contact us today.