Ventilation, Storm Damage and Insulation -

Insulation and Ventilation

Ventilation and Storm Damage

Soffit ventilation is imperative for all attics and works usually in a passive manner with the venting on the roof.  Proper ventilation is needed all year but is most needed in the summer months for all homes everywhere.  An overheated attic can push heat into a home, causing upper levels of a 2+ story home to be much warmer.  Ranches with basements can also experience a large temperature difference as the cooler air is forced into the basement.  There is an equation that is used to determine how much ventilation is needed for passive systems (passive means not using a power vent, or attic fan, on roof). and is determined by our energy expert.  Another little-known fact is that the high heat can decrease the life of shingles on a roof.  

Power vents, or attic fans as they are commonly called, work well under specific conditions.  Things to be taken into consideration are the height of the attic, the number of roof vents or ridge venting in proximity to the fan, type of soffit venting and number.  Soffit and roof venting systems generally have screens on them which can become filled with debris, restricting the air flow into and out of an attic in a short period of time.

In many instances where high winds have caused damage to the exterior of a home, there is the likelihood that insulation within the attic may have been compromised.  A strong wind would move upwards along the outside of the home and force its way into the attic through the soffits and moving insulation away from drywalled areas, this is called wind washing. 

Cantilevers and Rooms Above Garages

With areas that are ‘bumped out’ or overhang outside and rooms above garages, there will be a temperature difference.  If a garage is heated, the room above may only have a slight temperature difference.  The codes had changed in the early 2000’s to ‘full cavity’ applications of overhangs and garage ceilings. Prior to that there may be voids above the insulation, dependent upon type of material and framing of the garage ceiling or cantilever. Homes build before the 90’s may only have a half full cavity – or even less.  Old homes would have little to none.

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