Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Winter Roofing Efficiency Matters
Winter can be a busy season for Grand Rapids roofing professionals as cold weather arrives and snow becomes a concern. Although a homeowner may focus intently on indoor solutions to household heating needs, it is important to realize that the roofing system can play a huge role in the comfort levels experienced in the living space. Waiting until winter conditions arrive to inspect one's roof can be risky, especially for a home that has an aging roofing system. It's wise to take care of inspection and efficiency adjustments during the fall months to ensure that one's home is ready to weather the winter.
The home's envelope is a primary factor in indoor comfort levels and energy efficiency. Walls, windows and the roofing system comprise the envelope. The surface area of these locations can allow heat to travel out of the living space, leading to colder indoor conditions. This heat loss can be reduced through the use of insulation, making it important to be sure that there is sufficient insulation in the structure. Attic insulation can be inspected to determine if more is needed. If the insulation is 4 inches in thickness or less, it can usually be supplemented with more material. The R value of additional material should be at least 38.
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If an attic lacks insulation altogether, the addition of material with an R value of between 49 and 60 is appropriate.
A combined approach of updating attic insulation and air sealing the home can provide energy savings of up to 10 percent. Air sealing includes placing caulk at window joints. Additional protrusions from the roof and openings in the walls may warrant the use of caulk as well. Weather stripping is a better choice of sealing material for doors. In most cases, these materials are quite inexpensive and easy to place. However, air sealing out-of-reach spots on the roof might require assistance.
Although it might seem unusual, it is important to verify that outside air can move freely through the attic. Soffit vents facilitate this airflow, which can prevent the roofing system from becoming too hot. During the winter months, too much heat between the insulation and the roof can lead to the melting of snow on the top of the roofing system. This can create ice dams, which could lead to permanent damage to the roofing materials. Proper insulation allows the home to feel comfortable without creating a structural compromise. Professional insight may be helpful to ensure that optimum conditions are achieved.