Attic Ventilation to Reduce Moisture
LESLIE: Damon in Texas has a question about radiant barriers. How can we help you with that?
DAMON: Hey, guys. It’s getting about that time of year where I can actually go in the attic and live for a couple hours.
DAMON: And I want to put in a radiant barrier but one of my concerns is moisture buildup on either side of it and if it’s on the top side where I hang it on the rafters, will it get into the wood or will it – if it’s on the bottom side, will it trickle down into the blown-in insulation just above the sheetrock deck?
TOM: Is this something you do every year with installing a radiant barrier or is this a new project now?
DAMON: Oh, this is a totally new project. I was just – one of those things that – you know, you try to figure out ways to save energy in your house and …
TOM: Right. I know radiant barriers are popular in your part of the country but I’ve never been able to conclusively prove that they do anything, in terms of actually being super-effective.
As far as moisture is concerned, though, as long as the attic is properly ventilated and especially if you use ridge and soffit vents, then moisture shouldn’t be an issue because any moisture that builds up should vent out.
DAMON: Right, OK. And if I were to put it in, I would have to make a slot along my ridge to make sure the air got …
TOM: Make sure or add a ridge vent if you don’t have one.
DAMON: Ooh, well, that can get expensive.
TOM: Well, it’s not terribly difficult to put a ridge vent in. I mean typically, if you put a ridge vent in, you take a circ saw with a nail-cutting blade and you cut a slot down at the peak of the roof, peel out all the asphalt there and then attach the ridge vent on top of that. There are – there’s a wide variety of ridge-vent quality.
Take a look at – I think it’s actually AirVent.com. It’s the site for CertainTeed. They make – Air Vent is one of their brands and they make a ridge vent that’s got a baffle on it that speeds up the depressurization at the ridge and helps the air really get drawn out very efficiently.
DAMON: Wow. OK. So you don’t have any good experience with radiant barrier?
TOM: No. And I’ve seen a lot of hard sales for it and that makes me really uncomfortable: a lot of promises without a lot of data to support that it works properly.
DAMON: Right, right. Because I’ve had demonstrations where the guy, he takes a cigarette and he puts it out on there and he has it sitting in his hand and he’ll take a lighter to it and all this, but anyway …
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, OK, that’s – yeah, I would throw a guy like that out of my house really quick.
DAMON: Alright. Well, thanks, guys.
TOM: If I want a magic show, I’ll go to the theater.
TOM: Good luck, Damon. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.