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Amanda Ringler

By: Amanda Ringler on August 10th, 2016

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Does My Roof Need to Breathe? [Video]

attic  |  FAQ  |  insulation  |  roof  |  roof breathe  |  unvented attic  |  vented attic


While researching insulating your attic with spray foam insulation, you may have seen that it is essential for the roof of your home to breathe.

Well, that’s not necessarily correct.

RetroFoam of Michigan has more than 15 years of experience insulating thousands of attics across the lower peninsula. With that experience comes the knowledge of how to insulate an attic in a way that keeps your home comfortable and running more energy efficiently while saving you money.

Unvented Attic System

When insulating an attic and using an unvented system, the insulation contractor is installing spray foam right onto the roof deck of the house.

The adage that the roof needs to breathe isn’t necessarily correct.

If there is ventilation in the attic, that ventilation is in place for the main purpose of getting moisture out. That’s because moisture gets in through cracks and crevices in the roof deck.

When the entire roof deck is sprayed with foam insulation, everything is sealed off, so moisture can’t get in. This also means that you don’t need any ventilation in the attic to get moisture out, because the spray foam insulation keeps it out.

Vented Attic System

In some rare cases, it makes more sense and is more beneficial to insulate the floor of the attic instead of the roof deck. This is considered a vented system.

The first thing a good contractor must keep in mind is circulation. When you insulate the floor of the attic with spray foam, you are cutting that space off from the rest of the house creating an air seal. When this is done the attic must be vented.

The purpose of the vents is to bring cool air from outside into the attic to help it maintain a constant temperature, according to Energy Star. The problem with this system is the temperature difference between the attic and the rest of the home will cause condensation, which promotes mold and mildew growth.

Learning More About the Benefits of Spray Foam Insulation

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of foam insulation for your home, check out our foam insulation learning center.

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About Amanda Ringler

Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.