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Vented vs. Unvented Attic: Which is Better?

By: Malcolm Bean on March 12th, 2018

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Vented vs. Unvented Attic: Which is Better?

spray foam  |  unvented attic  |  attic  |  attic insulation  |  FAQ  |  insulation  |  vented attic

You’re looking to re-insulate your attic with spray foam because you’re tired of losing money, but there are just a few more things to consider.

When insulating your attic, the contractor can either spray the attic floor to keep a vented attic, or spray the roof deck for an unvented system. The roof deck is the underside of the roof.

RetroFoam of Michigan has more than 15 years of experience insulating thousands of homes across the lower peninsula. With this experience comes the knowledge on the benefits of vented and unvented attics.

Vented Attic: Pros and Cons

More than likely you currently have a vented attic, because it’s been the traditional way to insulate that space with cellulose or fiberglass for quite a long time.

There are still some circumstances where having a vented attic with spray foam on the attic floor might be the best option for your home.

If you have an extremely high-pitched roof, a vented system may make more economic sense since there is less area to spray.

Another thing to consider is if you plan to use the attic as storage space. If you don’t have plans to use the attic as storage, then the vented system would be a good fit.

It may not seem like a problem, but weather is another factor to consider. You will notice a drastic reduction in airflow, but your attic will have extreme temperature changes. In the summer the attic will still be very hot, and it will be very cold in the winter.

The last thing to know with a vented attic is it’s important to ensure your attic ventilation is working properly with regular checkups.

Unvented Attic: Pros and Cons

The unvented system is the new way to make your attic a conditioned space and energy efficiency.

The biggest concern people have with the unvented system, is whether their roof needs to breathe. This is an old school way of thinking. When you seal your attic space you’re including it in the building envelope – the outer shell of your home that blocks air flow. This means the temperature in the attic will be the same as the rest of your home.

This is a good thing because those temperature differences are the leading cause of condensation, which leads to mold growth. This system allows for another livable space to use for storage.

The unvented attic system also adds protection and safety to the roof of your home.

Choosing the Best System for Your Attic

Deciding on the attic system you want in your home comes down to what you want to do with the space and what works best with the design of your home.

If you want the extra storage and don’t want to take the risk of moisture buildup, the unvented system is the best fit for your home. A high-pitched roof lends itself to a vented system and will still work to reduce air leakage in your home.

If you’re not sure which system will work best in your home, give us a call at 866-900-3626 or fill out the form on our website to schedule a free in-home estimate.
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