Roof insulation is a great way to prevent your home from losing hot or cold air. That reduces the amount of money you have to spend on heating or cooling and makes your home more efficient. However, when adding roof insulation, you may face some new challenges.
Here's a look at some of the unintentional side effects of roof insulation and a few tips on what to do about them.
1. Loss of Ventilation
Sealing and insulating your home helps to keep your home at the desired temps as explained above, but you don't want to accidentally seal your home so tightly that you lose all your ventilation. Adequate ventilation is critical to protect the indoor air quality of your home.
Whilst you are insulating your attic, take care not to put the insulation over vents that open to the outside. If you struggle with poor indoor air quality, you may want to take advantage of this opportunity to add extra ventilation to your home.
2. Mouldy Insulation
While it's nice to let some air circulate out of the house, you don't want holes in your roof. Even the smallest roof hole can allow unwanted moisture to get in and that can cause your insulation to get mouldy.
To prevent this issue from becoming problematic, make sure that you check your roof for issues before installing your attic insulation. Then, patch those holes as needed.
3. Ice Dams
In cold weather a well insulated attic can lead to ice dams. Here's how that happens: Snow falls on the roof. Then, the areas of your roof above where the attic has been insulated gets warm, and the snow melts in those areas.
The melted snow rushes down the slope of the roof to its edge. Then, because there's typically not insulation around the very bottom edges of the roof, the snow refreezes at that point. That creates something called an ice dam. That can damage the gutters attached to your roof.
If you anticipate having issues with ice dams, you can add heat strips to that part of your roof. Alternatively, if you have a metal roof, you can replace your existing gutters with lower profile gutters. On a metal roof, the ice dams will arch over low profile gutters.
4. Condensation on HVAC Ducts
If you have HVAC ducts going through your attic, the ducts may be hotter or colder than the air surrounding them. That can lead to condensation on the ducts. To prevent this, you may want to add insulation around the ducts when you insulate the rest of your attic.