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Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Roof Care

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Insulation provides many benefits to a home, including a longer lasting rooftop, lower heating and cooling costs and a greater level of interior comfort. When a home's insulation meets the U.S. Department of Energy's recommended R value, homeowners could enjoy nearly a 30 percent reduction in utility expenses. Before an experienced Grand Rapids roofing service puts up the insulation materials, there are a few things homeowners should know about how insulation affects indoor moisture control and humidity levels.

Ridge cap, box and gable vents play a passive role in ventilating the attic. Their presence allows humidity and heat to escape out of the attic all day and night, every day of the year, without any input of energy. If newly installed insulation blocks these important openings, interior moisture will not be able to escape. This can initiate the processes of mold growth, mildew formation and weakening of the roof's joists, sheathing and rafters. Moisture can also cause loose fill and rolled insulation to compress and settle, eventually losing R value and becoming less effective. When roofers install any type of insulation, the placement of all vents should be noted so that the areas are not covered.

Another way to prevent moisture problems while adding new insulation is to install a vapor barrier at the same time.

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In northern climates, the vapor barrier should be located on the underside of the ceiling and facing the open air of the attic space. The interior barrier helps to protect the roof's underside from humidity and moisture that accumulates from everyday household activities like cooking and showering. An additional vapor barrier can be placed on the exterior portion of the roofing system for even more protection from water infiltration. This barrier protects against rain, melting snow and ice that could seep underneath the roof's shingles or tiles.

When roofers install the insulation, the work should be done on a dry, low humidity day. Because any mechanical ventilation equipment will have to be shut off during the installation process, dry air will help to protect the attic's bare wood. This is also true for roof replacement projects as the wooden plywood will be exposed during such projects.

After the insulation is in place, any mechanical ventilation systems, like whole house fans or attic fans, should be turned back on. This will help to disperse any odors or loose fibers. It will also help speed the curing rate of foamed insulation products.

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