August 2009 Edition 

Attic Ventilation

We are having our roofing shingles replaced and thought it would be a good idea to increase the attic ventilation. What would you recommend?
You’re right! Now is the time to add additional ventilation. Proper ventilation will aid in lowering your utility bills and increase the comfort inside your home.
In the summer, heat build-up encourages the premature aging and cracking of wood and roofing materials. Unwanted heat can transfer back down into the living area which reduces energy efficiency.
In the winter, warm air generated by laundry, showers, dish washing and cooking can linger in the house and cause moisture build-up.
To prevent these problems, a well insulated and ventilated attic is a must. First, check your attic insulation. You should have a minimum rating of R-30 which is approximately 12 inches of blown fiberglass insulation. If you are going to add insulation, go ahead and install R-38 which is approximately 16 inches.
Next, work on the ventilation. It is important to have proper ventilation and the appropriate amount of ventilation. In a balanced system, wind blowing over the ridge creates negative pressure that draws the warmer air out of the attic. Replacement air then enters through the underside of the eave called the soffit. Even without wind, the natural convection action of rising warm air maintains a continuous air flow.             There are many different types of vents  on the market. Some people prefer the power roof vent fans, but I say why burn energy to save energy? Passage ventilation is the best. Go with continuous soffit and ridge vents.
Full perforated continuous soffit vents allow the maximum amount of air into the attic which will allow the maximum amount of heat or moisture to escape.
Continuous ridge vents allow the heat that is trapped at the ridge of the roof to escape. Install ridge vents on all areas of the ridges.
The new type of ridge vent allows you to cover the vent with roofing shingles and is barely visible.
Ultimately, proper ventilation and insulation help maintain a comfortable environment inside your home, increase energy efficiency, prevent moisture damage and contribute to the longevity of a roof.
When replacing the roofing shingles, there are five important questions to ask the contractor:
1. Do you plan to remove the old shingles? Removing the old shingles allows the contractor to inspect the roof sheathing and repair rot or other damage. It also allows for inspecting the areas at the flashing to see if the flashing is working properly. And finally, it provides a smooth surface for the new shingles.
2. How will you charge for extra work, like replacing rotted wood? The contactor cannot always tell if there is a problem with the old roof that has created rot in the roof sheathing. That’s why it is important to include in the contract an hourly rate for extra work or a square foot price for replacing the sheathing. If possible, plan to be there when they remove the shingles, so you can hopefully see any damage.
3. Will you replace damaged or rusted flashing? The most common cause of roof leaks is improperly installed flashing. Flashing normally goes behind the siding and extends underneath the shingles to prevent water from entering at vertical walls. Most older types of flashing are long sections called “continuous” flashing. This type of flashing sometimes leaks. The newer method is called “stepped” flashing. It is a series of overlapping pieces of sheet metal, approximately 8 inches square, that are bent into a configuration of an “L” and installed on each row of shingles. Make sure the contractor will inspect the flashing and explain your options along with pricing.
4. Will you replace plumbing roof vent flashing and valley flashing? Always replace the rubber boots that are installed around the plumbing vent pipes. All roof valleys must also have flashing installed.
5.  Once you start, will you stay on the job until it is done? Some less-reputable contractors may have the materials delivered, start the job and then disappear for a few days. Make sure the contractor will stay until the job is done. It may take a couple of days to complete the project. Ask if the contractor will cover the roof with a tarp in case of rain and pick up every piece of debris when finished. And to ensure timely completion, don’t make the final payment until every detail is complete.

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Quote Of The Month

"When you finally get your head together, your body falls apart.”


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Diana Coombs

Solid Source Realty, Inc.

10900 Crabapple Road

Roswell, Georgia 30075

**** Thank You****