Roofing Education 101

Poor Attic Ventilation Can Ruin Your Insulation, Destroy Your Shingles, And Potentially Raise Your Energy Bills?

Proper attic ventilation systems allow a continual flow of outside air through the attic, protecting the efficiency of the insulation and helping to lower temperatures in the living space.

It consists of a balance between air intake (at your eaves or soffits) and air exhaust (at or near your roof ridge).

The U.S. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) recommends a minimumof at least 1 square foot of attic ventilation (both intake and exhaust) for every 300 square feet of attic space. For example, if your attic is 900 square feet, you need a total of 3 square feet of ventilation. This amount should be divided equally between intake and exhaust ventilation (i.e., 1 1/2 feet of each) to insure proper air flow through the attic.

Why Take Risks?

Many homes in North America do not have proper attic ventilation. Why? Because most people are unaware that attic ventilation can impact the longevity of their entire home!

In the summer, improper ventilation can cause attic heat to build in excess of 160°F. This super-heated air eventually penetrates the ceiling insulation into the living area below.

Types of damage that can result include:
  • Premature aging of your roofing system (“fried” shingles)
  • Warping, cracking, or breaking down of wood framing
  • Damage to siding, exterior or interior paint, and wallpaper

A properly ventilated attic can help reduce the load on your air conditioner by moving the super-heated air out of your attic before it builds up and causes damage.
In the winter, various household appliances, bathtubs, showers, and cooking vapors can contribute to excess moisture build-up. Improperly ventilated attics will allow this moisture to collect and cling to the underside of the roof. The moisture will condense and fall, soaking the attic insulation and reducing its efficiency.

Additional structural damage can include:
  • Roof deck warping and rotting of the wood frame
  • Mildew growth
  • Buckling of shingles and felt

Finally, attics should be properly ventilated to help prevent ice dams in cold northern climates. During the winter, ice and snow on a roof will melt and run down the deck to the cooler eaves. This run-off can re-freeze, creating an ice dam that may force water back up under the shingles and leak into your home — causing hundreds or thousands of dollars of damage to your ceilings and walls. Adequate attic ventilation reduces the amount of initial melting that occurs on your roof, thereby reducing the chance that ice dams will form. Give us a call and we will check out your ventilation free of charge 865-851-5002 or email [email protected]

4 Ways to pick the perfect shingle color

By: Liza Barth
You don’t buy roofs often, so choosing the right color is very important to get right the first time. The shingle color has to work with your house and style, complement the neighborhood, and take into consideration any other preferences you may have. Here are some tips to help you consider the best possible color for their next roof.

  1. Match to your house. Take a look at your house’s style—do you have bricks or siding? Is your home painted? Is the style traditional or modern? Take a look at the GAF Style Guide with HGTV HOME Director of Design, Nancy Fire, to get inspiration and ideas for colors that match a variety of styles.
  2. Think about curb appeal. Whether you are staying in your home long-term or plan on selling in a few years, a neutral color will keep your house looking current. You can also distinguish your house by using more striking colors. Either of these options can increase your home’s curb appeal, which can increase the value of your home.
  3. Talk to your neighbors. If you live in a complex run by an association, make sure there aren’t any rules for choosing a shingle color. Some associations like all homes to look the same. If you’re not in a complex, consider your neighbors and what they have on their roofs. If you like your neighbors’ roofs, find out more about similar shingle colors and styles and how they may complement your home. If you want to be a little different and stand out from your neighbors, explore alternative shingle styles and colors that will make your home unique.
  4. Do your research. Get some samples and look at online tools like the GAF Virtual Home Remodeler to see which color shingle would look best with your home. Also, consider the architectural style of your home. What may look good on a Ranch-style house may not work for a Tutor or Colonial. Drive through different neighborhoods to get ideas and see examples.
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