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Attic Ventilation Common Myths

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 Attic Ventilation Common Myths

Guardian Roofing – Dallas, Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Denton, Frisco, Arlington Roofing Company Specializing in Residential & Commercial Roofing.

The Common Myths of Proper Attic Ventilation

Few things are more misunderstood about the home than attic ventilation. In essence, all ventilation is about circulating air to keep it fresh and to reduce moisture levels. About 90 percent of homes in the US have unreasonably high levels of moisture. Understanding whether your home could benefit from some form of attic ventilation might just be, if not a life-saver, a roof-saver. Here are some of the myths and the facts you need to know about attic ventilation.

1. More Attic Ventilation is Good

Just like properly sizing your furnace and air conditioning unit, you want precisely the right amount of attic ventilation for your home. Insufficient ventilation can lead to moisture problems during the winter and decreased energy efficiency during the summer but too much ventilation can be just as bad, if not worse. Roof vents create an additional roof penetration, essentially another place of vulnerability where leaks can occur. Some vents are necessary, but you don’t want to needlessly increase the number of roof penetrations. More than leaks, these seams can cause blowouts during a hurricane or allow sparks from a wildfire to enter your home and set it ablaze.

So, how much ventilation should you have? Without exception, you should talk to a professional to determine what your home requires. Generally speaking, you need a ratio of 1:300, where for every 300 square feet of ceiling space, you need 1 square foot of attic ventilation. That said, air resistance and interference (such as vent grates) reduces the area of true ventilation. In other words, the entire vent opening doesn’t count as vented space.

2. Roof Vents are for Warmer Climates

Too many people believe the importance of roof ventilation is to increase energy efficiency during the summer. Good roof ventilation can do this, but shingle color, sun exposure and insulation are exponentially more important to overall energy efficiency than ventilation. Sure, installing roof vents for older homes can reduce your hot air during the summer, but there are probably more low-risk, cost-effective ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

Meanwhile, preventing moisture damage is a much greater benefit and applies to colder climates more than warmer ones. In fact, the colder the climate, the more likely it is that your home will benefit from attic ventilation. In order to install an unvented roofing system in colder climates, you’ll need highly rated, rigid insulation to prevent condensation on your roof sheathing. In warmer climates, you don’t need to worry about condensation. Think about how often dew forms on your grass. In these climates, hot attic spaces are eliminated by installing a thermal barrier along the roof line, instead of the attic floor.

3. Roof Vents Remove Warm Air during the Winter

Too many people believe that because heat rises, ventilating an attic space during the winter means you’re releasing warm air and creating a drag on your heating efficiency. If this is true, you’ve got bigger problems to worry about than letting warm air escape from your home. Poor insulation is usually the culprit, although if you enter the attic on sunny, winter day, your attic space can be warmed by the sun more than your furnace.

Unless your roofing system has insulation on the roofing deck and is designed without ventilation, your furnace should not be heating your attic. Worse yet, inadequate insulation is almost surely allowing moisture-laden air into your attic. When this warm, moist air hits your roof, it’s likely to form condensation that will lead to further deterioration of your insulation and/or wood rot. If you think this might be a concern, wait till the sun goes down and measure the temperature in your attic. It should be pretty close to the outdoor temperature.

4. Research Studies

Numerous studies have been completed regarding the effectiveness and optimization of general roof ventilation and particular types of roof vents. The benefit of roof ventilation is undisputed. Laboratory setting are a poor indicator of real world wind and weather behaviors. Moreover, regional differences magnify certain traits of roof ventilation over time. What works best in Arlington, TX is probably not the same as what works best in Houston, TX.

In some ways, roof ventilation is as much as an art as it is a science, and installing your own roof vents based on something you read online is like trying to diagnose a skin rash using WebMD. Finding a trusted and experienced roofer who has worked in your region for his or her entire career is a better for your particular roof than any research study or online “expert.”

5. I Have Roof Vents, So I Have Roof Ventilation

While hardly anybody agrees on the best roof ventilation system, everybody agrees some roof vents do hardly any good at all. Take, for example, ridge vents. The majority of roofing experts agree that ridge vents are the most effective and cost-effective roof vents available. Without baffles (blinders that prevent outside air from crossing over the vent), a ridge vent may create almost no ventilation at all. Gable vents may circulate air through only a small percentage of your attic. Static, roof-line, vents are effective for ventilation but generally aren’t recommended due to issues with leaks. Soffit vents may leave air trapped at the top of your attic. Most effective ventilation uses a ridge-and-soffit continuous ventilation system, but even these designs can vary from roof to roof.

If you don’t know how your roof vents work, or if you’re unsure about your attic ventilation in general, you should talk to a roof inspector about your current system and any inherent weaknesses that may be at work. The risk/reward for having no ventilation or poor ventilation, along with the negligible cost of installing a good-working ventilation system makes them one of the unforgivable sins of home maintenance negligence.

Interested in finding out if your home or commercial attic is properly ventilated? Contact us today to schedule a free inspection with a member of our team of Dallas/Fort Worth roofing experts.

Guardian Roofing: Give us a call at 817-500-4906 or let us schedule a free roofing inspection for you!

_______________________________________________________________________________________
Guardian Roofing and Construction grew up locally and understands how people in this area value their homes. We’re committed to providing superior residential roofing services in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex including Arlington, Azle, Denton, Keller, Mansfield, Bedford, Plano, and Southlake, Lantana, Frisco, Colleyville, Southlake, Grapevine. The experts at Guardian Roofing are leaders in the residential and commercial roofing industry and are here to help with your roofing needs.

The Better Business Bureau gave Guardian Roofing and Construction an A+ rating. Owens Corning rated Guardian “Preferred,” along with only 145 other Roofers for the entire state of Texas. We are also members of the Commerce of Fort Worth.

Whether you need a roof repair, routine inspection, TPO roofing, roof restoration or a new roof, at Guardian Roofing and Construction, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and make it happen.

We highly recommend contact a roofing company after a storm to properly inspect your roof. Inspecting your roof after storm damage can be very dangerous and should be done by a qualified professional. At Guardian Roofing we offer FREE roofing inspections and 24 Hour Emergency Service! Contact Us today or call 817-500-4906

The Guardian of Quality
817-500-4906 Call today!

 

 

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TPO or PVC Commercial Roofing?

TPO or PVC Commercial Roofing?

Guardian Roofing – Dallas, Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Denton, Frisco Roofing Company Specializing in Residential & Commercial Roofing.

TPO or PVC Commercial Roofing and How They Compare

Over the last several years, it seemed as if TPO supporters have wanted to push the membrane onto every roof. Certainly the material has done very well and gained a large market share. But other membranes haven’t gone away, and some have a fairly stable market share. It’s easy to understand why single ply hasn’t done well on smaller roofs in urban areas, with their large numbers of penetrations and often chopped-up shapes; for these roofs, mod bit (or possibly a coating system) seems like an obvious choice.

What about PVC? It has a similar reflectivity to TPO and was the original weldable sheet. But there were questions about the plasticizers; what happens as they migrate out of the sheet? TPO was seen as being inherently flexible; over the years, it’s proven itself and has steadily improved in terms of weathering resistance. Manufacturers have been investing heavily in TPO but, surprisingly to some, PVC remains a viable alternative. In fact, we are starting to see investment in new capacity.

Let’s look at a comparison of the performance of the two sheets:

PVC_TPO-chart1[1]

In terms of weathering (i.e., based on the Heat Aging and the Accelerated Weathering tests), TPO has the clear edge over PVC. This may surprise some diehard PVC users, who may be unaware of the advances made in TPO formulation over the last several years.

While TPO has superior weathering and slightly better tear and break resistance than PVC, PVC does have some characteristics that certain customers need or prefer. For example, PVC has better chemical resistance; it does not absorb or get weakened by oils and greases. This means that PVC is the preferred membrane for restaurants and other buildings that have grease traps on the roof.

Also, PVC is slightly more flexible than TPO, which some contractors like. There used to be talk about welding differences, but both membranes weld well. TPO requires higher temperatures but, once a crew has adapted, welding is as straightforward as it is for PVC.

The following chart gives a snapshot of the overall performance of TPO versus PVC:

PVC_TPO-chart2[1]
So next time you’re debating which product would work best for an upcoming roofing job, it may be helpful to refer to the two charts above before you make your decision.

Guardian Roofing: Give us a call at 817-500-4906 or let us schedule a free roofing inspection for you!

_______________________________________________________________________________________
Guardian Roofing and Construction grew up locally and understands how people in this area value their homes. We’re committed to providing superior residential roofing services in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex including Arlington, Azle, Denton, Keller, Mansfield, Bedford, Plano, and Southlake, Lantana, Frisco, Colleyville, Southlake, Grapevine. The experts at Guardian Roofing are leaders in the residential and commercial roofing industry and are here to help with your roofing needs.

The Better Business Bureau gave Guardian Roofing and Construction an A+ rating. Owens Corning rated Guardian “Preferred,” along with only 145 other Roofers for the entire state of Texas. We are also members of the Commerce of Fort Worth.

Whether you need a roof repair, routine inspection, TPO roofing, roof restoration or a new roof, at Guardian Roofing and Construction, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and make it happen.

We highly recommend contact a roofing company after a storm to properly inspect your roof. Inspecting your roof after storm damage can be very dangerous and should be done by a qualified professional. At Guardian Roofing we offer FREE roofing inspections and 24 Hour Emergency Service! Contact Us today or call 817-500-4906

The Guardian of Quality
817-500-4906 Call today!