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During the hot days of summer, does your home heat up, and never seem to cool down?  Even in the evenings?  With climate change, the weather is getting more fickle, and the summers are getting hotter, unpredictable, and more humid.


Many homes experience what I call the evening heat release effect.  During the day, if you don't have air conditioning, the heat in home makes you uncomfortable and rises up into your attic.  In addition, your roof is bombarded with the sun's rays also heating up the space in your attic.  While it's up there, this heat can damage your roof shingles (see section below) but in the early evening as it cools outside, that same heat can penetrate back down into the home again, if you don't have adequate insulation.  Adequate insulation (an R50 as outlined by the ecoEnergy recommendation) will reduce how much of this heat migrates back into your home, and should help your home cool off faster as the sun recedes into the night.  If you have Air Conditioning the proper level of insulation will ensure protection against loss of that precious cool air.  With electricity prices expected to double or even triple in the next decade, with Alberta's Climate Action Plan, reducing air conditioning cycles is in the best interest of your pocket book.


A crucial component of your attic is to ensure you have adequate ventilation.  Once the heat gets up into your attic, in the summer or the winter, it is no longer doing you any good, and can damage your roofing material, and cause complications such as ice damming along the edges of your roof line (see section below).  If you don't expel the super heated air in the summer, you run the risk of significantly reducing the life of your shingles.  In the winter, all that hot moist air in your attic can form icebergs and result in water damage to your ceiling when a chinook or warming trend occurs (one of our leading causes of panic phone calls when a chinook hits).

Attic ventilation has two components.  The air intake is usually through vents mounted in your soffits, or if you don't have soffit vents (common on older homes) we recommend that you install passive roof vents low on the slope, to facilitate air intake.  If you have soffit vents, you should have air chutes installed to protect the soffit from insulation blockage and direct the intake air flow along the underside of your roof sheathing.  The second component is air expulsion.  The idea is to get the warm, moist air out of your attic as quick as possible.  This is done through a variety of roof vents.  Newer homes may have ridge venting, gable vents, or even a power fan mounted on the roof.  As we are focussed on retro-fitting older homes, we offer a few options.  We can install a galvanized whirlybird or additional passive roof vents, up high, close to the peak.


As an insulator, when I am driving around the city in the winter, I have a habit of looking at peoples roofs.  I can tell exactly who has, and who has not upgraded their attic insulation to sufficient levels.  The houses with poor insulation have all the snow on the roof melted, and the ones with great insulation, have a nice even layer of snow.  Ice damming occurs when your attic is overheated in the winter, and fresh snow on the roof melts, runs to the edge of the roofline, and then re-freezes.  As this repeats itself over and over (and it does in chinook prone Alberta), the icebergs can build up to epic proportions.  As kids we all loved to play with this icicles, and icebergs, but as adults, we could do without the damage to costly shingles and roofing materials.  Continuous air flow, and proper attic insulation levels, to preserve the costly heat in your home, and keep it out of your attic in the first place, is the best way to fight ice damming.

The summer might not seem like the obvious time to upgrade your insulation, but it's actually ideal.  Prices are generally more competitive as the industry is not in panic mode, and we offer the most competitive, quality attic insulation upgrades in the industry.  Also in the winter months, scheduling the job is an issue an can be inconvenient with your schedule.  In the summer we have more capacity and can meed just about any timeline you have in mind.  Why wait until the winter panic season to do your upgrade, inquire now.