In the summer, improper attic insulation allows the hot air trapped in the roof to penetrate the air-conditioned space. Additionally, improper venting and underlayment trap the hot air in the attic deteriorating your shingles and sheathing faster. When re-roofing with Duku, we use a synthetic cool grey underlayment product. It keeps the new heat from entering the attic and the existing heat away from the shingles all while providing 100% water protection.
Most people are familiar with the unsightly vents on people's roof faces, from turbines to simple plastic caps, which are designed to allow the release of hot air all while the soffits intake cooler outdoor air.
The intent is to create a natural draft of rising and escaping hot air that naturally draws in cooler air. Many houses have insufficient roof vents and even more have insufficient soffit venting to allow the new air to come into the attic space. Soffits often appear to be vented but this is often a cover up done by prior owners or contractors who installed the ventilated aluminum soffits directly over non vented wooden soffits. Unknowingly, your home's attic airflow is restricted. It's always good to double check soffits to make sure they truly are vented. The preferred method for roof venting is through the use of ridge vents, which as the name suggests, run along the ridge of your roof. This allows the highest and hottest air to vent from between the roof trusses or rafters, which sporadically placed standard roof vents won't allow. Now let's move on to the winter.
In the winter, attic insulation prevents cold air from cooling your indoor space while preventing the heated indoor space from warming up the attic. Why is heating the attic bad in the winter? The reason is ice damming. The diagram demonstrates how poor attic insulation lets the heat from the living space escape and rise through to the peek of the roof, making the snow melt. Since the air in the lower overhang portion is cold, it freezes the melting snow as it runs off. This eventually builds up and causes an ice damn. The continuous melting snow starts to pool and eventually migrates below the shingles. This starts to affect the shingles, underlayment and roof sheathing. Once these elements are broken down, the water penetrates to the interior of the house, causing significant damage to the ceiling, walls and flooring, not to mention possible mold issues if not tackled soon enough. Water damage from ice damming can be quite significant and can go unnoticed for many years.
The Ontario Building Code requires an insulation level of R45 for attics. If you are unsure of your current insulation, we offers free attic inspections. We also check for proper venting throughout. We offer in house shingle roofing, ridge venting, soffit replacements and attic insulation services. Contact us now for a free inspection.