There are 2 different methods to roof valleys: open vs. closed. What are the differences? Are there advantages to either application? Open valleys refer to trimming back the shingles along the valley metal, hence exposing the flashing and allow water to run-off. In closed valley applications the field shingles are installed across the valley. Closed valley applications can pose some challenges in the Alberta climate. If water does get behind the shingles in the valley it can freeze and cause the shingles to crack (freeze-thaw cycle). Water that collects in these valleys can lead to the shingles deteriorating at a faster pace, as they are in the photo below.
Household appliances that are exhausted through the Attic space must be connected to the proper roof vent. Bathroom fans, Clothes dryers and Kitchen hood exhaust fans are all vented using a type of Gooseneck Roof Vent. Goosenecks are installed much like an exhaust vent but do hold one key difference: an interior connection that allows exhaust pipes & hoses to be fastened directly to the vent. This provides for continuous air flow and eliminates any heat or moisture from escaping into the unconditioned Attic space.
Moisture, condensation, mold and wood rot can all result from breakdowns & errors in how vent hoses/pipes are exhausted. A very common error we find in Attic inspections is a bath fan vent pipe simply pointed at or leaning against a turtle exhaust vent (pictured below) instead of connected to a proper Gooseneck. Although it may look harmless the gap between the vent pipe and hole in this roof is a recipe for problems. Although some hot moist air will escape of out of the turtle vent, much will spill back into the Attic space. The plywood in this picture looks quite new which may indicate that it was deteriorated and replaced during the last roof replacement. Where most likely the roofer made an error and installed an exhaust vent where a Gooseneck Roof vent should have been used.
bath fan exhaust pipe pointed at incorrect turtle exhaust vent
The good news is that this is a simple fix: the shingles can be taken apart in this area, the vent pipe can be replaced with a new pre-insulated flexible exhaust hose, the hose connected to a new Gooseneck roof vent and the shingles put back together to continue to shed water.
The Energy Efficiency portion of the 2014 Alberta Building Code 9.36 comes into effect on November 1st, 2016. This will effect how homes are built and renovated relating to insulation. To learn more the City of Calgary is providing some great information on their website. You can learn more here
IDEAL Insulation & Roofing is also prepared to educate and perform to the new standards. If you have any questions pertaining to your project and code changes please contact us to discuss. We have a variety of products and services ready to meet your needs.
Did you know that IDEAL also offers all soft metal work including eavestrough, downspouts, soffit, fascia? Our qualified installers can install new or replace existing Eavestrough, Downspouts, Soffit & Fascia. Is your existing wood fascia rotting or paint chipping? IDEAL can clad it with new aluminum in a variety of colors to choose from. Aluminum fascia is available in a variety of heights and can even be ordered in custom dimensions such as the shadow board detailed in the photo below.
Does your current wood soffit have limited venting that is preventing adequate air flow into the Attic? IDEAL can remove the current wood soffit and install new vented aluminum, at any depth required. Are your eavestroughs sagging, overwhelmed by winter rains or missing from key roof lines on the House? IDEAL can install new 5″ eavestrough, add leaf guards to manage foliage or even upgrade to a 6″ product to accommodate excess water and deciduous materials. Downspouts can also be upgraded to larger dimensions to manage coniferous trees whose needles can often clog a standard downspout. IDEAL will assess your property and help design the appropriate downspout alignment to make sure the water run-off is moved away from the House and foundation, minimizing potential ice pools and water ingress.
IDEAL Insulation & Roofing is proud to be a partner in this years Home by Avi Stampede Lottery Dream Home. Together with our partners at GAF Roofing & Shoemaker Drywall Supplies we have supplied a beautiful GAF Grand Sequoia roof. Be sure to visit the Dream Home during this year’s Calgary Stampede and check out this one of a kind home!
Attic voids are tricky. They hide beneath your Attic insulation, out of sight & out of mind. They could be anywhere: above a shower, above a closet, surrounding a cinder-block chimney or simply a large hole that was cut for electrical wiring or plumbing vent stacks. Wherever they are in your attic and no matter the size they pose a problem. They are penetrations in your ceiling vapor barrier. Attic voids compromise your Home’s ability to keep heat and moisture out of your Attic space. They allow heat to rise up from your conditioned living spaces into your Attic. They also allow cold air from your Attic to travel down within your interior walls. Ever had a cold wall inside your House and wondered why? It could be that winter air in the Attic is descending down into your living spaces. Older homes are rife with voids. They didn’t manage air flow to the same extent that we do today. If you have an older home invite IDEAL to inspect your Attic. If it has been longer than 10 years since anyone has added any insulation there is most likely some positive impact that IDEAL can provide. We’ll also provide a full site inspection of your Attic where we seek out potential issues such as attic voids.
A new energy efficiency research company launched this year that is providing homeowners and contractors with new data on residential heat loss. My Heat uses technology born at the University of Calgary to provide a Heat Score for houses that have been scanned with a Thermal camera from the air. These scores can be used to identify hot or cold areas in a home, largely focused upon the attic/roof. As a homeowner you can now see a thermal scan of your home where you can identify warm or cold areas. There is much to be learned of their sources, heat loss can be due to construction factors such as insufficient insulation, voids allowing for cold or hot air to pass or appliance issues such as furnaces. Lifestyle factors such as number of inhabitants, cooking/laundry/washing habits or heating factors such as furnace and fireplace will also impact a My Heat score.
With this information homeowners and contractors have a comparative score that can be used to identify heat loss quantitatively. This information is very new and subsequent scans and casual relationships must be reviewed in order to properly understand it’s relevance to homeowner lifestyle and home construction techniques. On the surface it is an exciting opportunity to measure overall heat loss on a scale that was previously unavailable. Here at IDEAL we are very interested to see how our work with insulation applications and products will impact the My Heat scores of our customers. My Heat is currently offering data on the town of Okotoks, AB with plans to scan more cities in the near future. You can learn more at www.myheat.ca Stay tuned!
Soffit ventilation is an important part of a healthy Attic. Older homes rely on fresh air to be drawn in through the soffit vents. The air fills the soffit cavity and then travels over the wall plate (under the roof) and into the Attic space. When inspecting an existing Attic we find all to often that this transition from soffit to attic space is congested, blocked, hampered by existing insulation or completely inaccessible. As insulators we do our best to free up the ventilation from the perimeter, but it is not always possible. If we can’t physically reach out to the perimeter due to low slope roof pitch then there is little we can do. Often in older homes there are 2×4’s framed in place that block soffit ventilation that can only be removed from the outside with the soffits open.
It is always encouraging to find attics like the one pictured below where the current plywood insulation stops are low enough to allow for ample air flow, as evident by the amount of daylight that appears in this picture. We have excellent access to the perimeter which will allow us to install new styrofoam air chutes, which will maintain the intake air flow and help minimize insulation contact with the underside of the roof. We can handfill the insulation under the new air chutes to ensure the exterior wall plate is insulated and then proceed with blowing the new loosefill fiberglass. There is a high certainty that this attic will continue to vent properly with improved insulation qualities.
IDEAL Insulation & Roofing is proud to be recognized as one of HomeStars Best of 2016 Award winners for Calgary, AB. HomeStars is one of the most trusted online forums connecting consumers with residential contractors. It has become a valuable tool to promote current jobs as well as communicate with prospective clients. When our customers tell us that they read positive reviews on our company we know that they are speaking of HomeStars. To be selected as a HomeStars Best of 2016 Award winner exemplifies the role that they play in our business and our communication with future clients to come. Thank you HomeStars!
Identifying Mold in your home can be a scary proposition. Why is it there? How long has it been an issue? Is it dangerous to the health of myself and my family? These questions are best answered by a qualified mold remediation professional. To help research this topic the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has published a detailed document on identifying mold. It’s a case study prepared for a Saskatchewan First Nations community that experienced overland flooding but their insights can apply to all households that experience mold growth. The document pertaining to Homeowners identifying mold is located HERE.
IDEAL Insulation & Roofing encounters mold on projects frequently, most often during the winter months due to condensation. It is often the result of excessive moisture generated in the Home due to lifestyle coupled with poor Attic ventilation and insufficient insulation. IDEAL can often help with improving these factors to aid your efforts in removing the source of the mold from your home. Contact IDEAL today to schedule a free site inspection where we will share our expertise in identifying the insulation & roofing issues within your home.