It’s time to re-insulate your attic with spray foam, you’ve known it’s coming for a while now. The rising energy bills and the air leakage are just too much of a hassle. As you prepare to get the work done you have some options to consider. You can either spray the attic floor to keep a vented attic like you most likely currently have, or spray the roof deck (underside of the roof ceiling) for an unvented attic. Choices are great but what’s the benefits of a vented vs unvented attic?
Vented Attic: Pros and Cons
Most likely you already have a vented attic as it’s been the traditional way to insulate that space with cellulose or fiberglass for some time now. Having a vented attic with spray foam on the roof floor still might be the best choice for your home in some circumstances.
For instance, if you have an extremely high pitched roof a vented system may make more economic sense since there is less area to spray. If you don’t plan on storing things in your attic a vented system could also be appropriate. You’ll still be insulating the floor of your attic so you will notice a drastic reduction in airflow, but you’ll want to consider the extreme temperatures. In the summer the attic will still be very, very warm and the reverse is true in the winter, so you probably won’t get a lot of use out of that space.
With a vented attic, regular review of the vents is key to ensure the attic ventilation is working properly.
Unvented Attic: Pros and Cons
The new school of staying cool has a brand new way of thinking when it comes to attics. The unvented system. It leads some people to concerns over whether or not they need their roof to breathe. But these fears are unfounded. When you seal up your attic you’re including it in the building envelope, the outer shell of your house that blocks airflow. That means the temperature in the attic will be the same as the rest of your home and that’s good because a temperature difference is the leading cause of moisture, which can lead to mold. You would also be adding some protection and safety to the roof if you go with an unvented system. All of that adds up to another livable space to use for storage.
Which type of attic system you want ultimately comes down to what you want to do with it. If you feel like you need that extra storage or just don’t want to take the risk of moisture buildup unvented is undoubtedly the way to go. A high pitched roof lends itself to a vented system and will still reduce the air leakage in your home. If you just aren’t sure you can always call RetroFoam of Michigan and we’d be happy to review your attic to help you make the best decision between a vented vs. unvented attic.