Attic Ventilation and Insulation

What is R-Value?

In the world of insulation, "R" stands for resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. The lower the R-value, the lower insulating power. Almost all insulation products must tell you their R-value with the exception of pipe and duct insulation.
 
As it gets colder and colder, staying warm becomes a larger priority. One untapped source for adding heat to your home is to look at your home’s insulation. Insulation is a home’s hidden treasure for all the benefits that it can provide! From the coldest winters, to the blistering hot summers proper types of insulation are the key to energy conservation and comfort. 

What is ventilation?

You’ve probably heard that ventilation is very important, but what exactly is ventilation?

Ventilation is simply the process of providing a continuous supply of outdoor air to the attic space of a home or building.

What is proper ventilation?

Simply having ventilation in an attic space, however, won’t properly ventilate a home. In order to have proper ventilation, ventilation needs must be specifically calculated based on attic space square footage and correctly installed. Our experts here at Xcel Roofing have the professional tools to help determine the needs of your house.

Proper ventilation consists of 50% intake ventilation placed near the lower part of the attic space, and 50% exhaust ventilation placed near or at the roof peak.

It is estimated that as many as nine out of 10 US homes have improper ventilation. Fortunately for our homeowners, our professional consultants offer a full line of home ventilation products supplied by Lomanco and services to supply the proper amount of ventilation to your home.

Why ventilate?

Proper ventilation is needed to fight heat and moisture, whether you live in the north or the south, your home must be ventilated all year-round. 

Having an unventilated attic will cause temperatures to soar. The high temperatures can cause damage to shingles and roof sheathing. The heat can also radiate down into the living area.

Moisture is a home's number one enemy, and can cause rot, mildew, mold, paint blister and ineffective insulation. 

According to our partners at Lomanco, it is estimated that more than half of all homes show visible signs of improper ventilation.

Proper ventilation reduces energy bills, winter ice buildup, and eliminates mold and mildew, which can lead to major health problems. Ventilating the attic space extends the life of shingles, insulation, and other building components.

Your crawlspace?

The crawlspace in the foundation of a house is often overlooked when it comes to ventilation. Having ventilation properly installed in your crawlspace will provide much needed moisture control. Our supplier Lomanco provides a complete line of foundation vents.

What is ice damming?

Ice damming generally follows a snowfall, the heat from the attic will melt the snow which then refreezes as it reaches the colder portions of your roof. The forms a small ridge of ice at the end of your roof.  

Ice damming occurs in the following situations:

  1. There is not enough insulation and poor air infiltration between the attic and the living space. This causes warm air to rise and go into the attic. 
  2. The warm air in the attic melts the snow on the roof deck. 
  3. The melted snow begins to run off the roof. 
  4. Once it hits the soffit area it begins to freeze. It freezes over the soffit because the warm air that was under the roof is no longer there and the cold air under the soffit begins to freeze the melted snow. 
  5. As the snow accumulates on the roof time-and-time again after each snowfall, the ice dam gets bigger. 
  6. There is not enough insulation and poor air infiltration between the attic and the living space. This causes warm air to rise and go into the attic. 
  7. The warm air in the attic melts the snow on the roof deck. 
  8. The melted snow begins to run off the roof. 
  9. Once it hits the soffit area it begins to freeze. It freezes over the soffit because the warm air that was under the roof is no longer there and the cold air under the soffit begins to freeze the melted snow. 
  10. As the snow accumulates on the roof time-and-time again after each snowfall, the ice dam gets bigger.

How are ice dams prevented? 

Preventing ice dams is simple in theory: keep your entire roof the same temperature. Our Xcel roofing experts can help you by determining what ventilation is proper ventilation for your home, adding additional insulation and sealing off any air leaks that may be finding their way into your attic.

Conserve Energy...

Proper ventilation conserves energy all year long, while improper attic ventilation is one of the most common energy-wasters in homes today.

It is not uncommon for a poorly ventilated attic to reach temperatures between 140 and 150 degrees during the warmer months of the year. This hot air not only speeds the deterioration of paint, roofing, and insulation, it also makes its way down into your living areas.

Proper ventilation will help to remove the superheated air from your attic. Removing the hot air prevents your air conditioning system from working as hard, saving you money on your utility bill. 

Attic ventilation is equally important in the winter months to reduce attic condensation. A home relies on insulation to help retain heat produced by a heating system; if your attic is not properly ventilated your insulation can become wet from the condensation.

Insulation

Besides a well ventilated home, we want to stress the importance of insulation in your home. Proper ventilation and insulation will take away the worry about your home’s efficiency and safety. 

There are primarily two types of insulation:

 

Fiberglass Insulation

Fiberglass insulation is one that most homeowners are familiar with because it is a very popular material used in residential homes. It is a type of fiber composed of glass that is primarily considered a thermal insulator because it traps pockets of air and slows the spread of heat and cold throughout a home. When fiberglass is installed properly, it can reduce energy costs by up to 40 percent! It is also a popular home insulation choice because it is fire resistant. It can be dangerous to install and inhale, so we recommend using our expert installers at Xcel Roofing.

 

Cellulose Insulation – Higher R-Value per inch

Cellulose insulation is not the color green, but it is a green material! 80 percent of it is made from post-consumer recycled newspaper. It is a nice dense material, and our contractors from Xcel Roofing love that it can easily fill up the space in cavities. When insulating spaces like a home’s attic, there can be spaces that are hard to work around. Cellulose insulation is known for filling those gaps. This type of insulation has the best R Value as well.

Any type of insulation needs to be inspected to make sure that it is doing its job right. We offer free inspections and can look at your insulation to make sure it is up to snuff. Give our office a call or fill out the form below to learn more!