Visually inspect the insulation installation to ensure that the foam consistently meets the specified depth, with no gaps or voids. A balanced ventilation system, such as a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), or central fan-integrated ventilation with a fresh-air intake and timed exhaust, should be installed. Also pay attention to roofing materials. It’s more durable than other foam-based products and installs quickly with staples. High-efficiency and ultra-efficient attic insulation systems include: The International Residential Code (IRC) Section R202 defines class information for vapor retarders. These baffles should still be air-sealed with spray foam, but they’re a good option if you’re looking for a stock product. InterNACHI® is a registered trademark of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. This approach is especially prevalent in retrofits when the existing roof is in good shape but the attic is being conditioned. The current state and local building codes for the minimum R-value of air-impermeable insulation required for the roof assemblies in the home's climate should be referred to. Also, attic-access hatches are notoriously leaky. Hunter Cool-Vent Cool-Vent is a venting composite insulation board that consists of a 4'x8' panel of rigid polyiso, a middle layer of solid wood spacers, creating a standard 1" air space and a top layer of APA/TECO rated OSB or plywood. Installing all the insulation above the roof deck helps to eliminate thermal bridging through the roof. The code also allows for air-permeable insulation, such as fiberglass or cellulose, to be used under the roof deck as long as rigid foam is used above the roof sheathing. (See “Attic-Insulation Upgrade” in FHB #200.) In cold climates, snow can enter the soffit and ridge vents, melt, and potentially cause rot. For more on roofs and ventilation, check out these videos: For more photos, drawings, and details, click the View PDF button below. COVID-19 Notice. deep. A vented attic works in hot climates, mixed climates, and cold climates. As a roof coating, this product seals worn out roof surfaces and provides a tough flexible waterproof seal. The success of a vented attic or roof deck relies on its airtightness. No interior Class I vapor retarders (e.g., plastic sheeting) are installed on the ceiling side (attic floor) of the unvented attic assembly or on the ceiling side of the unvented enclosed rafter assembly. If any of these issues are of concern, there is another option. It’s also important to ensure that there isn’t anything in the attic except lots of insulation and air—not the Christmas decorations, not the tuxedo you wore on your wedding day, nothing. Condensation control is most often accomplished by installing rigid foam above the roof deck or by installing air-impermeable spray-foam insulation directly against the underside of the roof deck. March 27, 2017 . layers of polyiso rigid insulation are stacked on top of each other with their seams staggered and taped. of open- or closed-cell spray foam in their roof or to stack a half-foot of rigid foam on the roof deck. In a cold climate, the primary purpose of ventilation is to maintain a cold roof temperature to avoid ice dams created by melting snow and to vent any moisture that moves from the conditioned living space to the attic. In addition to the air-permeable insulation installed directly below the structural sheathing, rigid board or sheet insulation is installed directly above the structural roof sheathing; air-impermeable and air-permeable insulation. Similarly, not everyone can afford to spray nearly 10 in. when using open-cell spray foam, a low-perm Class II vapor retarder is installed where required. If that's so it seems like a rather questionable idea that's likely to cause moisture problems inside the building under the roof structure. How does one vent a lower roof that has no ridge? Direct-vent sealed-combustion furnaces or heat pumps should be installed instead of low-efficiency heating systems that draw their combustion air from the attic. Here, I’ll explain how to construct a vented attic properly. chute or baffle. Three 2-in. The vents and ducts in the roof require the occasional touch-up to keep them in working order. Otherwise, the insulation gets compressed or kicked around, which diminishes its R-value. This illustration shows a sloped roof with cavity spray-foam insulation sprayed on the underside of the roof deck and covered with sprayed-on thermal or ignition-barrier coating. The moisture content of the wood prior to applying spray-foam insulation should be measured to ensure it has dried to below 18% or to the levels recommended by the spray foam manufacturer. Click the Launch Slideshow button below for a related slideshow: Sign up for eletters today and get the latest how-to from Fine Homebuilding, plus special offers. The classes for vapor retarders, as defined by the IRC, are: In cold climates, interior relative humidity can directly affect the sheathing's moisture content (MC) with open-cell or closed-cell spray-foamed roofs, and it is recommended that wintertime relative humidity in homes located in Climate Zones 6, 7 and 8 be maintained below 35%. Find here detailed information about roof replacement costs. Proper ventilation in the work area should exist during application. A compact duct layout with short, straight duct runs should be installed. Option 2: Insulate above and below the roof Not all homes have deepenough rafters to insulate to desired R-values easily. To keep moisture out of the roof assembly, a roofing underlayment with 1 perm or less (class-II vapor retarder) must be installed under the shingles. of net vent area for each linear foot of soffit vent (assuming a ridge vent is in place), depending on the slope, amount of insulation, climate, and depth of vent space. Quadruple your inspection business and reduce your liability with the Start your subscription today and save up to 52%. Unless you’re bulk-filling rafter bays between 2×10 or 2×8 rafters with closed-cell spray foam, this approach will likely require you to fur out the rafters to accommodate additional insulation to achieve desired R-values. Ductwork should be sealed and tested for air leakage. The BEHR Multi-Surface Roof Paint is a premium The BEHR Multi-Surface Roof Paint is a premium quality, durable, 100% acrylic latex flat finish. roof with asphalt shingles on a 2 story roof with chimney). Roofing Project Guide. vented or unvented attics that are insulated above the roof deck with rigid foam. Option 3: Insulate above the roof By adopting this approach, you’re essentially building a site-made SIP (see “Built for Foul Weather” in FHB #221). If the attic space is going to be conditioned, either for living or mechanical purposes, or if a home design calls for a vaulted ceiling, provision R806.3 in the International Residential Code calls for the roof deck above the space to be vented continuously from the eave to the ridge. Expert insights on techniques and principles. Similarly, not everyone can afford to spray nearly 10 in. It’s also an unbelievable energy waste no matter where you live. This approach is most popular on timber-frame structures, on vaulted ceilings, or on roof assemblies where you want the rafters to be exposed from below. After all, the shingle color and the roof orientation are much more significant concerns when it comes to shingle life. Become a member and get instant access to thousands of videos, how-tos, tool reviews, and design features. So much information has been devoted to the subject of roof venting that it’s easy to become confused and to lose focus. The AccuVent soffit insulation baffle is made of rigid recycled plastic. of airspace between the top of the insulation and the back of the roof sheathing. Any of these approaches can adequately prevent condensation from occurring within the roof when the rigid foam or spray foam is installed at the appropriate thickness. Don’t think you can get away with putting ductwork in an unconditioned attic just because you sealed and insulated it. It works in the Arctic and in the Amazon. The approach also remedies thermal-bridging issues. This can reduce their service life by roughly 10%. The intent of roof venting varies depending on climate, but it is the same if you’re venting the entire attic or if you’re venting only the roof deck. All of our manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, technical and customer service locations continue to … A leak-free roof membrane that is fully adhered to the roof sheathing should be installed. A key benefit of venting the attic is that the approach is the same regardless of how creative your architect got with the roof. So we have to take some of the responsibility out of the builder’s hands and think of other options. A licensed professional applicator should be hired to install the spray foam. Product is black in color. This way, it’s not as big a deal if the ceiling leaks air or if the ducts are leaky and uninsulated. Corrugated Galvanized Steel Utility-Gauge Roof Panel Gibraltar's galvanized steel corrugated panels Gibraltar's galvanized steel corrugated panels are trusted by professionals and homeowners for a variety of applications. The air-impermeable insulation shall be applied in direct contact with the underside of the structural roof sheathing for condensation control. The code calls for a minimum of 1 in. The air-permeable insulation shall be installed directly under the air-impermeable insulation; or. the installation complies with the latest International Residential Code; a fully adhered, leak-free roof membrane is installed; the roof sheathing and framing are dry (below 18% moisture content) before the spray foam is applied; and. In Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, and 8, any air-impermeable insulation is a Class II vapor retarder or has a Class II vapor retarder coating or covering in direct contact with the underside of the insulation. I did the math based on the equations in the article and got 3.4' of ridge vent (18 NAFV) for my new 320 sqft addition? in. As a foundation coating, this product seals masonry, foam board insulation, wood and metal surfaces to protect, preserve and damp-proof, below grade surfaces. The map at right, which is based on table R806.4 of the IRC, lists the minimum R-values required to prevent condensation in unvented assemblies in various climate zones. In mixed climates, ventilation serves either role, depending on the season. Option 1: Insulate below the roof The most conventional approach to insulating a roof is to put all the insulation below the roof deck. Asphalt shingles require special attention when installed on unvented roof assemblies in hot-humid, mixed-humid, and marine climates due to inward vapor drive. Get complete site access to expert advice, how-to videos, Code Check, and more, plus the print magazine. Similarly, in coastal environments or in regions with lots of rain and wind, moisture can be forced into the vents and into the roof assembly. Metal roof colors vary by material, which range from steel and aluminum to copper and zinc. On 2019-02-27 by Pretty Mhlongo. Views: 234832 Because the roof isn’t in play here, it doesn’t matter how many hips, valleys, dormers, or gables there are. In essence, you’re creating a hybrid vented/unvented roof system.The goal in an unvented roof is to keep the roof deck—the principal condensing surface in roof assemblies—sufficiently warm through the year to prevent condensation from occurring. ... .3 Vent and insulation clearance. That can be a pain, but you won’t run into the problems associated with having too little air circulating under the roof. Closed-cell spray foam works in all climates, but especially well in climate zones 5 through 8, where high R-values are desired and where air-impermeable insulation also must be a vapor retarder. Where wood shingles or shakes are used, a vented air space of at least 1/4-inch separates the shingles or shakes from the roof underlayment above the structural sheathing. Scrape away the debris, then spread a bead of caulk around the duct or vent … An alternative option is to insulate the rafter bays with a less expensive insulation like fiberglass or cellulose and to control the temperature of the roof sheathing with rigid foam onthe exterior. Mechanical and electrical equipment and wiring should be covered prior to the insulation being applied. 8 ft. Climb up onto the roof, then use a box cutter to slice through the old caulk. It should be noted, however, that in high-snow-load areas, you still need a vented over-roof to deal with ice damming. To read more about them, view our Roofing … Unvented assemblies work particularly well on complex roofs that would be difficult or impossible to vent properly or on roofs where it would be difficult to insulate properly if the roof were vented. Additional cavity insulation should be installed as needed to meet the desired R-value (see Figure 3). You can vent the roof cladding, which will increase its longevity, but the expense of fastening battens over the roof sheathing, then adding another layer of plywood over the battens as a nail base for the shingles, may not be worth the expense. To install the rafter vents, staple them directly to the roof decking. With regard to recessed lights and other ceiling penetrations, it would be great if we could rely on the builder to air-seal all these areas. “Now That You’ve Had a Home Inspection” book. Inspect the roof assembly to ensure it has proper drainage protection above the roof deck. InterNACHI® can help you get licensed in your state or province, Shingles that are installed on unvented roof assemblies operate at slightly higher temperatures, roughly 2°F to 3°F warmer than shingles on vented assemblies. This doesnt seem like very much when the ridge is over 20' long. Rafter vents ensure the soffit vents are clear and there is a channel for outside air to move into the attic at the soffits and out through the gable or ridge vent. Metal roof costs are typically around the same as asphalt roofs. Attic space can be used for storage, but only if you build an elevated platform above the insulation. The exception is hot-dry climates such as in Phoenix, where condensation isn’t as big an issue. These R-value requirements are intended only to prevent condensation and don’t supersede the code-required R-values for energy efficiency, which are also listed. where rigid foam insulation is used as the air-impermeable insulation layer, it is sealed at the perimeter of each individual sheet interior surface to form a continuous layer. It’s hard to screw up this approach. Some manufacturers don’t warranty or offer only a limited warranty when their products are used over an unvented roof assembly. Cut 1-in.-thick rigid polyiso insulation into 2-in.- wide spacer strips, and glue them to the inside face of each rafter with a spray-foam adhesive like Pur Stick (www.todol.com). The air leakage from these holes and systems is a major cause of ice dams in cold climates and a major cause of humidity problems in hot climates. Baffles placed in this area channel intake air into either the attic space or vent chutes, and also prevent insulation from falling into the soffit and blocking airflow. An unvented roof assembly is possible only if you keep the roof sheathing warm enough to prevent conditioned air from condensing against it. It almost looks as if someone sprayed open or closed so insulating foam along a metal roof ridge vent. In a situation where mechanical systems or ductwork has to be in the attic space or when there are lots of penetrations in the ceiling below the attic, it’s best to bring the entire attic area inside the thermal envelope. Beyond the decreased capacity for insulation when venting the roof deck, venting the roof deck or the attic has some other drawbacks worth considering. They recommend a min. This coating is mildew and algae resistant and will not discolor or yellow when exposed to typical high roof temperatures. Moving the air-control layer and thermal-control layer to the underside of the roof deck has significant advantages in cases where the HVAC system is located in the attic. This is easy to accomplish in simply constructed roofs and difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish in roofs that have hips, valleys, dormers, or skylights that interrupt the rafter bays. Duct-sealing is faith-based work. Seal and insulate leaking roof ducts with caulk. You can only hope you’re doing a good-enough job. (See “Energy Smart Details” in FHB #218 for more on ice dams.). The surfaces of the roof sheathing and structural members should be clean so they are clear of any debris or dust to ensure proper adhesion of the spray foam. UltraShield is available in popular earth-tone colors and in 55G drums. air space under the sheathing for ventilation, 2 in. Unfortunately, we manage to screw it up again and again, and a poorly constructed attic or roof assembly can lead to excessive energy losses, ice dams, mold, rot, and lots of unnecessary homeowner angst. It’s also easier and often less expensive to pile on fiberglass or cellulose insulation at the attic floor to hit target R-values than it is to achieve a comparable R-value in the roof plane. It works absolutely everywhere—when executed properly. Rafter vents come in 4-foot lengths and 14-1/2 and 22 … To be sure your roof is getting enough ventilation, there are simple calculations that you can follow. Even when you’re really diligent about air-sealing, you can take a system with 20% leakage and bring it down to maybe 5% leakage, and that’s still not good enough. The attic or rafter assembly meets one of the following conditions regarding the air permeability of the insulation directly under the structural roof sheathing: air-impermeable insulation only. For lower cost restoration of large-flat roof buildings, we suggest a Fluid Applied on Built-Up … Insulation is applied in direct contact with the underside of the structural roof sheathing; air-permeable insulation only. vented attics that are insulated over the ceiling deck with increased amounts of blown fiberglass or blown cellulose; unvented attics that are insulated on the underside of the roof deck with blown spray foam; and. Can you increase the amount of venting as long as you balance then soffit and ridge vent? The thickness of the insulation will vary depending on the type. I’ll also explain when it makes sense to move the thermal, moisture, and air-control layers to the roof plane, and how to detail vented and unvented roofs correctly. Become a member and get unlimited site access, including the Unfortunately, we can’t be sure the builder will air-seal well or even air-seal at all. A vent space clearance of at least 1” must be maintained at the location of the vent and between insulation and roof sheathing. A vapor retarder is defined as “a measure of the ability of a material or assembly to limit the amount of moisture that passes through that material or assembly.”. Today, there are a variety of roof shingles to choose from, including rubber roofing, steel roofing and more. © 2021 The Taunton Press, Inc. All rights reserved. Through provision R806.4, the IRC also allows you to build an unvented roof assembly. In most climates, builders have to insulate the roof sheathing to prevent condensation from occurring within the assembly. November 17, 2020. If you’re spraying foam on the underside of the roof deck, be sure you’re using the right product. Low-density, open-cell foam is permissible, but in climate zones 5 and above, it has to be covered with a vapor-retarder coating, like rigid foam or painted drywall. Ensure that the weather conditions and temperatures for installing the insulation exist as recommended by the spray foam manufacturer. The unvented attic space is completely within the building’s thermal envelope. In a hot climate, the primary purpose of ventilation is to expel solar-heated hot air from the attic or roof to reduce the building’s cooling load and to relieve the strain on air-conditioning systems. How do people get this simple approach wrong? Atlas Signature Select: A Comprehensive Roofing System. Finally, in wildfire zones, floating embers can enter the vents and cause roof fires. If you choose to vent the roof deck, then be serious about it and really vent it. Cut the polyiso insulation to fit snugly in each rafter bay, and foam it in place against the spacer to create a 2-in. A complete resource that includes the best materials and the right techniques to build a sturdy, leak-free, attractive roof on any house. Average cost to have roofing replaced is about $5,250 - $10,500 (replacing a 1,500 sq.ft. In hurricane-prone zones with frequent high-wind events, vented-soffit collapse can pressurize a building, which can cause windows to blow out and the roof to be blown off. For best performance, the airspace in the vent chute should be a minimum of 2 in. Flash-and-batt (or flash-fill) assemblies are also allowed. of open- or closed-cell spray foam in their roof or to stack a half-foot of rigid foam on the roof deck. Researchers who have studied cathedral ceiling ventilation recommend 10-20 sq. The success of this approach hinges on the ceiling of the top level of the house being absolutely airtight before any insulation is installed. You can build an airtight entry attic, but you should know that the more it is used, the leakier it gets. Some foam plastic insulations will require thermal protection or an ignition barrier to separate these from the living space. and provides certification to help you stand out from the crowd. That’s not enough. They don’t follow the rules. if possible. The space above the top plate of exterior walls—at the bottom of each rafter bay—is especially important. So I’ll start by saying something that might sound controversial, but really isn’t: A vented attic, where insulation is placed on an air-sealed attic floor, is one of the most underappreciated building assemblies that we have in the history of building science. For a cost effective quality foam roof recoat, we recommend UltraShield acrylic elastomeric roof coating. How to Inspect the Attic, Insulation, Ventilation and Interior, Fiberglass Insulation: History, Hazards and Alternatives. Also, check to be sure that you are in compliance with the manufacturer warranties when installing shingles over an unvented roof in all climates. Advent ACM150 Rooftop Air Conditioner, White, 15000 BTUs, 115 Volt AC Power, Three Fan Speeds Installs; Premium, Thick, Watertight Vent Opening Gasket with Six Dense Foam Support Pads ASA Electronics ACM135B RV Trailer Air Conditioners Advent 13 500 BTU Air Conditioner Black Installing the insulation being applied think you can only hope you ’ using... An ignition barrier to separate these from the attic, insulation, ventilation serves either,. Spraying foam on the roof sheathing should be covered prior to the insulation exist recommended. Your subscription today and save up to 52 % assemblies in hot-humid, mixed-humid, and,!: History, Hazards and Alternatives polyiso insulation to fit snugly in each bay—is! Used, the airspace in the work area should exist during application, I ’ explain. InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors insulation ; or, roughly 2°F to 3°F warmer than shingles on assemblies. And insulated it Home Inspectors 2°F to 3°F warmer than shingles on a 2 story roof with asphalt shingles vented... Keep the roof sheathing Phoenix, where condensation isn ’ t think you can get away with putting ductwork an... Their roof or to stack a half-foot of rigid foam to create a 2-in are leaky and uninsulated insulation ventilation... Their products are used over an unvented roof assembly is possible only you... Durable than other foam-based products and installs quickly with staples in their roof or to a! Of this approach a registered trademark of the structural roof sheathing ; air-permeable insulation shall installed... Check, and more floating embers can enter the soffit and ridge vent if any of these issues are concern. Inspect the insulation installation to ensure it has proper drainage protection above roof... 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