Insulating your attic plays a key role in the performance and lifespan of your home’s roof, and how much you spend on heating and cooling. Having your existing attic insulation evaluated by a professional roofer is the best way to learn whether you have enough if it’s installed correctly and if there are any related issues in the attic that need to be addressed. Here’s what a knowledgeable pro should check when evaluating your attic:

Air Leakage

Air leakage between your unfinished attic and the conditioned living space below can negate the energy-saving benefits of insulating, so a pro will do a thorough inspection to see if sealing leaks is necessary. Frequent trouble spots that need sealing are around the attic perimeter, the tops of interior walls and any knee walls, building components like a chimney, and penetrations through the floor for electrical wiring, HVAC ductwork, plumbing stacks, the furnace flue, ceiling light fixtures and bathroom exhaust fans.

Access Door Condition

An attic access door that isn’t sealed and insulated can be a significant source of energy losses that offset the savings you gain by insulating. A pro will check whether the door fits snugly in place, and will likely recommend adding weatherstripping and covering the attic side with a rolled batt product to insulate it adequately if necessary.

Existing Insulation

If you already have some insulation in your attic, your roofer will inspect it to find out the type, if it’s installed correctly, and look for issues like dampness, mold or compaction that determine whether it should be replaced, or can be left in place. If you’re supplementing existing insulation, your contractor should measure its depth, multiply that figure by the R-value per inch for that type, then subtract the result from R-49, which is the minimum recommended amount for our climate zone, per the Department of Energy.

Attic Ventilation

An experienced roofer will check that your attic has sufficient soffit and gable/ridge ventilation to prevent future condensation problems that might ruin your new insulation and whether there are baffles in place to keep the soffit vents unobstructed. The recommended minimum is one square foot of vent area per 300 square feet of attic floor space, evenly split between soffit and gable/ridge ventilation.

If you’re concerned that you may need more attic insulation in your Ann Arbor-area home, contact us today at Victors Roofing to schedule a free inspection.

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