Installing a Drip Edge

Today we are going to take a little break from talking about insulation. Though I'm sure we will come back to it in the future, I think I've driven my point home with it for now. If you didn't catch it, insulation is MUY IMPORTANTE! If you don't have it, GET IT! If you don't have enough of it, GET IT! Ok, if you didn't get my point before, now you do!:)

Now, onto drip edge! We've talked about drip edge before, but today I want to talk about the installation of drip edge. Before I jump right on into it, I want to give a briefing on drip edge in case you forgot what it is. What you need to know about drip edge is that it will save you a lot of potential hazards and stress in the future. A roof should have a SLIGHT overhang for water runoff. If the overhang is too short, it can lead to rotted roof sheathing and fascia, stained siding, soil erosion, or flooded basements. Thus, here comes in the drip edge to prevent those problems!

To install the drip edge, you take the wide, flat part of the material and slip it under the first layer of roof shingles. The outer edge must be extended over the gutter. Then you're going to take roofing cement and secure the drip edge to the house. Apply a continuous bead of roofing cement along the top of the drip edge, then press firmly on the shingles to secure the drip edge. For safe measure, it's a good idea to secure the ends of the drip edge with short roofing nails. If you do this added measure, make sure the roofing nails are up under the shingles.

There are plenty of DIY videos and tutorials online on how to properly install a drip edge if are a visual learner or need to read more detailed instructions. If you're like many people, you're just going to leave this job to the professionals so you don't have to worry about climbing up a ladder and dealing with stuff on top of your roof. It's a risky situation! I hope you've learned a little more about drip edge and can see the importance of adding these extra touches to your roof in order to give yourself and your home added protection.

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Turtle Back Vents!

Today we are going to continue to talk about ventilation. Can you tell I feel pretty strongly about a properly ventilated home? It just makes the job of a roofer so much easier! Likewise, it makes the job of the actual roof so much easier. Today I'm going to introduce you to the turtle back vent.

When compared to the ridge vent, the turtle back vent is not quite as superior. It's still a good ventilation option, but it's not as expensive as the ridge vent; thus, slightly inferior. Turtle back vents (also known as louvers) are installed as close to the ridge as possible in order to catch as much warm air as possible. As the warm air comes through the soffit vents, the warmest air will rise up to the ridge. Turtle back vents are not a continuous vent, thus they must be spaced out evenly on the roof in order to avoid pockets of hot air and moisture. Turtle back vents are fairly easy to install, are relatively inexpensive, and are easy to incorporate into older buildings or structures with pre-existing static air. There are a few downsides to these vents as well. They don't have as much curb appeal as other vents, they are not as efficient as ridge vents, and they are susceptible to leaks if not installed properly.

The amount of ventilation you need in your home depends upon which vents you have. For example, when using ridge vents, it's recommended to have 1 sq foot of ventilation for every 300 sq feet of attic space. With turtle back vents, the recommendation is 1 sq foot for every 150 sq ft! So as you can see, you need twice the amount of turtle back vents as you do ridge vents. They are also cheaper though as I said.

When it comes down to it, you just need to talk with your roofer and weigh the pros and cons of whichever ventilation systems you're looking at, and pick the one that is best for YOUR home! Ridge vents may be great for one home and turtle back vents may be better suited for another.

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No soffit vents? No problem!

We've been discussing ventilation recently, and the great importance of it. Soffit vents are a very common type of ventilation, as we've discussed. Most people, but not EVERYONE can have soffit vents at their house. Soffit vents can be cut in, but you would have to look to make sure insulation is not blocking the airflow from the soffit. If that seems like too much of a hassle, have no fear.... GABLE vents are here!

Gable vents are on the side of the house in the "gable" (hence the name).

Gable vents can be a great alternative to soffits, or even a great addition if you just want that added ventilation. Most commonly, gable vents are not used in conjunction with soffits, but at times the can be. Gable vents can add a little bit of charm to your home, if you're looking for curb appeal. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which is always nice to have a variety to choose from when dealing with things on the exterior of your home. Gable vents can be constructed of wood, metal, or vinyl, and have slats on them that prevent outdoor weather from entering in the attic. Remember me telling you that my daughter's house had bats in the attic before they moved in? Well having a gable vent would've prevented that because they have a screen on the inside to keep out insects, bats, and anything else from the outside.

So as you can see, there is no excuse for not having a good ventilation system in place for your home. The benefits of it FAR outweigh the risk of not having one.

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Power Attic Ventilation

So I'm getting on a ventilation kick! Last week we talked about ridge vents. This week I want to talk about power attic ventilation. Ventilation is just so important in protecting your roof, I want you to know about some of the different options you have!

The basic purpose of power attic ventilation is to remove heat from your attic so that cooling loads are reduced. The vents exhaust the hot attic air and draw in the cooler ambient air. This helps your HVAC systems to not have to work quite as hard to cool your home, in turn, saving you money. A common thing to do with this ventilation system is to have a thermostat in your attic that signals the attic fan to come on once a certain temperature is reached, and then to turn off automatically once it cools to the desired temperature.

Now, as I want to present you with different options to be able to ventilate your home properly, they are not all equal in my book. I still think other forms of ventilation are superior to this, but if it comes down to having no ventilation or having a power attic vent, of course I would choose the power attic vent, hands down. Don't get me wrong, it's not a BAD system, it's just not the most energy efficient. Personally, I don't think using electricity to ventilate the attic and reduce cooling loads is very often justified. There are other techniques that will give you better results, sealing off the room and maximizing the insulation, adequate ventilation openings, solar powered attic fans, etc.

A lot of this comes down to what system is best for YOUR house. Also, did your builder do an adequate job of picking the right forms of ventilation to suit your house. Make sure this is a high priority whenever you're building a house.

So, your homework for the week is to check your house and make sure you have proper ventilation. Check your roof, make sure there are no "ripples". If you don't know how to do this, give me a call! If you're not local, give me a shout anyways and I can either help you through it or refer you to someone in your area who can!

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Ridge Ventilation

Welcome back! Last week I talked about how fall and cooler weather was right around the corner, and this week we have it!! Yesterday was the first official day of fall, and it brought a slight drop in temperature, which has been wonderful. So today, I want to talk to you about ventilation; specifically, ridge ventilation.

Just so we are all on the same page, ventilation provides the condition to allow air to flow (hot air out and cool air in). Effective ventilation is a balancing act, which is why it is so important to have the proper types of ventilation for your specific home. Obviously, not all homes are created the same.

Ridge vents are located at the peak of the roof, making them virtually invisible from ground level. They provide a greater airflow than other vents do. I've discussed previously some of the dangers of a poorly ventilated house, but I wanted to briefly go over some of them again as I don't want you to miss the importance of proper ventilation. Too much heat and moisture can cause shingles to fail prematurely; excess heat requires more air conditioning, costing you more money; too much moisture can cause mold, mildew, and roof rot; and proper ventilation is required for most roof warranties to withstand.

Ridge vents are most common on shingled residential buildings. They allow warm, humid air to escape through the attic. Ridge vents help to prolong and protect a homeowner's roof from common culprits within the home.

Now, as with all things, you have to make sure your ridge vents are installed properly if you want them to work properly. There are DIY websites and youtube videos that teach you how to install ridge vents. If you're pretty handy, you shouldn't have a problem. Otherwise, leave it to the professionals! If you've installed it yourself and have a problem, don't be too quick to blame the ridge vents; make sure you have a professional come take a look at them before you throw in the towel!

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