23 Mar What’s In Your Attic?
What’s In Your Attic?
Homeowner’s Complete Guide To Attic Insulation
As Nashville’s Master Elite Roofing Contractors, we are always happy to provide free roof inspections to homeowners. Sometimes these inspections can reveal very unusual things!
One example would be a fairly new roof with a large amount of nail pops. A nail pop is when a roofing nail is raised and can break through the shingle causing damage and potential leak points. For some roofing companies, this would be puzzling. The roof looks good and there appears to be nothing wrong.
However, experienced roofing contractors will immediately ask to look inside your attic! While what’s in your attic doesn’t appear to be connected to your roof – it is! For instance, if your fairly new roof has nail pops, the most likely culprit is your attic insulation!
The Immense Importance Of Insulation
More is not always better! This is especially true when it comes to attic insulation! Don’t go overboard and install large amounts of insulation in your attic. We’ve seen insulation levels of more than 3 feet! In addition, we have found a lack of baffles installed near the eaves blocking soffit vents. Large amounts of insulation in an attic can cause shingles to buckle and nails to pop during hot summer months. The correct amount of insulation is critical to an efficient roofing system!
There is no argument that attic insulation is an integral part of a roof system. Ventilation problems can arise from both too little as well as too much insulation. Lack of proper insulation can lead to heating and cooling issues for living areas. And as we already discussed, too much and be at the detriment to your roof.
IS SPRAY FOAM INSULATION RIGHT FOR YOU?
Spray foam insulation on the underside of the roof decking will magnify the effecs of the heat. During hot summer months an extremely high attic temperature can cause shingles to deteriorate, distort and even buckle. It is so important to work with a contractor who understands the proper balance between roofing ventilation and attic insulation. When properly installed, these two components will work to keep the attic temperatures and humidity levels low enough in the sweltering summer months to prevent damage to your roof.
Cold temperatures in the winter pose another type of threat. Poor attic ventilation can lead to ice dams and condensation in winter. By ensuring that you have proper insulation in the attic during cold weather with allow you to keep heated out of this space! Despise what you may think, warm heated air needs to stay inside of your home and not be allowed up into the attic! Warm attic air during cold temperatures can create condensation on the roof deck and also cause water damage to the wood decking and support rafters. Warm attic air can also cause snow to slowly melt on the roof. While this might not sound like a bad thing – it is! The result is water that drips down toward the eaves, freezing again and becoming an ice dam! Ice dams can cause major damage to both your interior and your roofing system!
Installing the proper amount of insulation in an attic requires that you be aware of the recommended R-value for your particular area! Then you must insure that the right amount of insulation has been installed to meet that value. You should also be aware of the following:
• No exposed ceiling drywall should be visible anywhere. Make sure that space between joists and studs is filled.
• Do not cover attic vents. This may require baffles to allow the soffit vents to properly ventilate.
• Do not compress insulation! Compressing insulation reduces its ability to insulate against heat or cold.
• More is not always better! Too much insulation can result in moisture buildup and rotten wood, cause mold, damage the roof and also roof leaks that damage the interior.
• Use an insulation such as polystyrene or polyisocyanurate insulation sheets around area that are prone to moisture like pipe jacks.
A Few Words of Caution
Foam insulation is a debatable topic among many professionals and homeowners. Many believe that the high R-value of spray foam makes it more energy efficient. It is often seen used on the entire roof deck, including between rafters.
We cannot argue that spray foam’s insulation properties make for a cooler home in summer and warmer home in winter. This is attractive to homeowners because it will reduce heating and air conditioning bills.
Roofers see a different side of using spray foam insulation and how there is a very expensive, and possibly dangerous, side of this type of insulation. In fact, most major roofing manufacturers will not warranty their asphalt shingles on a roof that has been lined with spray foam! This is because the attic can be sealed so efficiently that ventilation is ineffective and air doesn’t flow properly. And as we have already discussed, an improperly ventilated roof will be damaged and will not live it’s full life expectancy!
Lastly, if water does infiltrate through the roof shingles, your roof deck can rot without any visible signs. A spray foam insulation will not allow any moisture to penetrate which means moisture is trapped between the foam and the shingles. If this happens, you will be facing a very expensive and invasive repair!
Roofers Installing Roofing Systems The Right Way
Proper attic insulation and roof ventilation are crucial to maximizing the life expectancy and efficiency of your roof. When you work with a knowledgeable and qualified roofer, you can insure that the proper underlayment, starter strip, ridge, and shingles will be installed! They will also inspect your current home to ensure that the proper amount of ventilation is in place which will ensure your new roof will provides years of protection for many years to come! Contact local roofers, MidSouth Construction today to learn more or request a free roof inspection.