06 Jul PROPER ATTIC VENTILATION
WHAT IS THE PROPER ATTIC VENTILATION
In a nutshell, there isn’t one. Properly ventilating an attic space in our southern regions can be a real challenge. It was recently believed that the attic radiant barrier was the way to go. Either sprayed directly to the underside of the decking inside the attic or applied directly to decking before being installed on the home. Once applied, there was an immediate and noticeable change in the attic temperature. Much cooler.
However, recent studies have shown that this type of attic ventilation works by reflecting the suns heat rays back out onto the roof as apposed to allowing the heat and rays to enter the attic space and then be sucked back out through an exhaust vent location.
DEFECTIVE SHINGLES OR RADIANT BARRIER ISSUE
This constant reflection of heat and rays back out through the decking has shown to have had a negative affect on the actual shingles themselves. Cooking the shingles from the bottom side out, the reflection process aged the shingle matting prematurely causing the shingle to loose its protective granule coating, essentially rendering it useless and unable to shed water properly.
This in turn led many homeowners to believe that they had a defective shingle. A claim would be filed with the shingle manufacture and ultimately be denied because of the radiant barrier. Leaving the homeowner to pay for repairs/replacement out of their own pocket.
Then came the ridge vents. If you research online, you are told that ridge vents alone are all you need. That you can do away with all other forms of ventilation and just have the ridge vents. However, after personally being involved in multiple warranty claims against defective shingles, I quickly learned that ridge vents alone did not work as promised and was not considered proper ventilation by the shingle manufactures.
Power-vents are really considered to be the best form of attic ventilation that you can get. They run off an electric motor that powers a fan blade that comes on and runs at your desired temperature setting. I would also agree that power fans are the best form of attic ventilation…., Unless something goes wrong…and something always goes wrong.
Case and point, burnt out motors. The electric motors on power fans typically last 5 years or less. Excessive heat within the attic, dust, insulation and critters are all causes of burning out the motors. At the end of the day, they simply require to much maintenance for their cost. In fact, over 90% homeowners who currently have power-vents report that they do not work. Very common for power-vents.
Solar fans seemed to become popular within the DFW area in 2010 but almost immediately went away just as quickly. Their higher costs and slower run time during cloudy days left many homeowners felling a little ripped off. Just because its cloudy in DFW does not mean that its not hot. Attic spaces need consistent attic air-flow regardless of cloudy or clear skies.
Wind turbines are probably the most cost friendly of all the attic ventilation options. Simply powered by wind they require no electricity and virtually no maintenance to operate. However, wind turbines are not enough on their own. They also need a back-up plan.
THE HONESTROOF.COM KILLER COMBINATION
We began to combine wind-turbines with ridge vents approximately 10 years ago and watched the roof system as it aged. We noticed an immediate difference inside the attic space, but more importantly the shingles themselves were lasting longer then roof systems with only one form of attic ventilation.
This became our killer combination and was/is included on every roof system that we install, at no additional costs to our customers.
If a contractor is not actually installing a product with their own back and two hands, then they cannot honestly recommend products to homeowners based on true knowledge. Most roofing contractors are reading the exact information that homeowners are reading, either online or directly from the manufactures specifications.
Only hands on installers who handle and install products on a daily basis can really make honest and accurate product recommendations.
After 64 years in business, we know exactly what works and what doesn’t.