Leaky and poorly insulated attics can lead to a number of negative side-effects for Greater Los Angeles homeowners — less effective and less efficient HVAC operation, moisture damage and mold growth, just to name a few.
The solution to all of these issues lies with attic air sealing and venting. It might sound contradictory to talk of sealing and venting at the same time, so perhaps it’s better stated as control of where and how air enters and leaves your attic.
The first thing you should do is inspect your attic for any existing trouble-spots or damage. Next, if you don’t know already, determine what sort of ventilation your attic has. Depending on your attic, this may be an easy do-it-yourself project, but to save yourself some trouble and ensure a thorough job, you may consider hiring a professional.
Signs of damage to watch for include:
- Presence of mold, mildew, water or condensation on any surface, including insulation
- Warped, rotted or discolored wood anywhere in the attic, especially on soffit panels or fascia boards
- Bubbled paint on soffit panels, fascia boards or the ceilings below
- Warped, worn, damaged or missing shingles
Water leaks should be addressed immediately. Water damage can be very expensive and difficult to repair, and leaks tend to get worse if ignored. Weatherproofing and installation of flashing will fix the vast majority of leaks.
Locations that might need air sealing, but are not as obvious:
- Kitchen and bathroom fans or appliances venting into attic spaces instead of directly outside
- Leaks or gaps around ducts, pipes, wiring, vents, doors or other attic entry points
- Insufficient air sealing between the attic floor and the rooms below
Insulation goes a long way in air sealing and preventing heat transfer. Ducts and water pipes should also be insulated for further efficiency.
Attic ventilation is crucial in allowing moisture to escape. Be sure vents aren’t blocked by insulation or other materials. The most effective attic ventilation is the use of continuous soffit vents combined with ridge vents. To discuss your attic ventilation options in greater detail, speak to one of our trained technicians.
At Around the Clock Air Conditioning and Heatingwe’re always happy to answer your questions. If you’d like further advice on sealing and venting your home’s unique attic, contact us today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air sealing strategies and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.