Slightly uncomfortable....

I took the temp from the attic access, put it in hold mode and snapped a pic. There was one ridge vent and the blown-in insulation was blocking all of the soffit vents. Outisde temp was only about 70-75.


Recommend having a contractor remedy the situation because of improper airflow.

Yup. That’s what I wrote.

Would be interested if you went back and measured attic temp on a still, clear July/August day with similar outdoor temps after the problem is “corrected”.

I agree.

According to this studyand several others, “average” attic temp is 40 degrees F higher than the ambient temp. Variances to that would come at different times of the day, etc.

I don’t see 144 degrees as a defect. The blocked soffit vents, regardless of temperature, would be a defect.

The darker the shingles, the hotter the attic.

I didn’t state in the inspection or on this forum that I thought 144 degrees was a defect. But to be the devil’s advocat, according to your statement, 40 degrees above the ambient temp. would be around 115. The temp. reading was almost 70 degrees above! Also, this inspection was around 2pm.
I only noted the blockage of the soffit vents and the apparent lack of ridge vents in the inspection…and of course advised further investigation by a qualified contractor.


the bigger problem in the Pacific NW isn’t the high temp, its the mold that will grow on the backside of the roof in the cooler months. Warm moist air from the home will condense of the roofing and you will see dark spots. I tell my clients you can’t have too much ventilation in these parts,


Soffit vents being covered is a norm in my area. I find attic ventilation issues in 90% of the homes I inspect.

That gave me no choice but to design a web page on Attic Ventilation.

It’s simply amazing to see so many re-roofs and newly constructed homes that have ventilation issues.

HOUSE AIR LEAKAGE- There’s the defect…losing heat, that isn’t that cheap anymore, and letting moisture into the attic where mould may grow. So in this time of high energy costs, which would you want to do?? (1)Improve the attic venting which will in all likelyhood increase the rate of warm air loss from the home (and in some wet homes may increase the condensation in the attic) …or (2) airseal at the ceiling level which reduces both heat loss and moisture transport to the cool/cold attic where it condenses and may, over time, rot the roof sheathing!! Your choice!!!

Stopping the moisture transport upwards (doing a good job and not lip service) usually reduces condensation enough so that additional venting is not needed!!

So what do you think about the concept of conditioned attics with no ventilation at all? Is this an issue?

My feeling is that if you are not seeing the attic at the worst time of the year (up north: coldest days in January/February), in most cases, it will be hard to truly make an accurate determination if there is a ventilation issue. I have a check box on my report that tells my clients to check the attic during this period.

I wish there were more coming on board with the conditioned method
Maybe by the end of my career I’ll see more than 1-2 a year


Just out of curiosity, what was the indoor temp?



By coincidence, I have been referring people to that article for 5-6 years now for the very last graphic of how to deal with kneewalls and outer attics in a truly energy efficient and cost effective manner. We were doing that in our insulation company about 1983-84.

Absolutely. Not only is this an issue…It’s worse with the conditioned attics. The summer months (w/ hot attic cavities) will deteriorate that roof in less than 10 years.

Here’s a roof surface that I inspected which was only 9 years old. Not a single vent was installed in the entire roof surface.
shingles_no-vent (1).JPG

The Seller ended up calling me and yelling at me for telling my Buyers that the roof shingles needed to be replaced now. She told me that she had those shingles installed nine years ago. I told her to get a roofer in to evaluate her shingles, and if her roofer says that the shingles are fine, I’ll buy the new shingles for my Buyers.

She never called back. Hmmmm…I wonder why?


Not fair those look like they were a 5 year shingle to start out with. They almost got twice the life!

I’m sure you’ve seen this one that I now use

[FONT=Verdana]Energy efficiency and insulation instructions for attics:[/FONT]

What’s your thought on Owens Pink-cap?


You always seem to blame cases of premature shingle failure on “improper attic venting” even when the particular shingles have had class action lawsuits due to across the board general failure.

In the past 15 years, I’ve seen many shingles in even upscale housing not lasting 13-15 years (and we live in a much more temperate climate than most of the US.) Researcher Bill Rose has been calling manufacturers on shingle quality since the early to mid 1990’s.

Last one I saw recently was a 25 year warranty shingle with curling/cracking/fissures at 8-9 years…and this house had lots of attic venting!! I checked the web and found the manufacturer had put out 2 “Information Sheets” on this particular product, no longer makes it and replaced it with an improved version.

As I’ve said before:

(1) research has shown that shingle colour, shingle quality, shingle orientation, shingle installation have much, much more to do with shingle
life than does attic ventilation.

(2) In the very hot south to reduce cooling costs, they have been installing IR heat reflective barriers on inner rafter surfaces for 10-15+ years. These cause the roof decking to operate at much higher temps due to radiant heat being reflected back to the sheathing, thus not allowing much cooling. We don’t seem to be hearing about a big increase in roof failures due to this extra heat in the hottest parts of the country where some HI’s have reported attic temps of over 175 degrees F!!

(3) The Build America program and Building Science Corp. has introduced the “conditioned attic” concept. This is a heavily researched program due to its aim of raising the energy efficiency of housing effectively and cheaply. If severe premature failure of roofing materials was occurring, we’d soon know about it.

Hadn’t seen that particular article by Southface but they have come up fairly frequently when I have done some web searches. Seems like they have a fairly knowledgeable and experienced staff. Comments on the article:

  1. Attic stairs should be banned as they are expensive to make energy efficient!! I have told customers they must have been invented in the south 30-40 years ago where heating costs were not an issue. Have actually had past clients remove them and replace them with the next:

  2. In the 1980’s, a window/door manufacturer up here starting manufacturing an insulated and weatherstripped attic hatch from the cutouts for glass in polyurethane insulated steel door panels. Cost for a hatch that fits between 24" OC trusses is about $50. You still should add about another R20 rigid foam to the top of the cutout panel with an R value of about 10.

  1. The graphic of the kneewwall insulation system does not actually show that you have to airseal the floor joist cavity openings under the kneewalls as just laying fiber glass batts or installing loosefill insulation will only slow and not stop air leakage!! This gets into a lot of finicky and maddening work…so insulate down the slopes to the outside wall…(a) less airsealing to do, (b) you get a conditioned space for ducting/storage, © no venting required (would have to be if left cold), (d) access doors do not have to be insulated and weatherstripped, (e) you use less insulation
    See last page of for a cut on airsealing through the floor system when insulating the kneewalls

The PINKcap:
Awful expensive for what you get but better than nothing!! There are other cheaper systems.

from the website:
*“when positioned on a flat surface with no air leakage” *

How often do you get this in an attic?? Going to be hard to get airtight seal with the cap. If you’re going to keep the stairs, I like the insulated and airsealed/weatherstripped attic box. Built one this winter for an older immigrant Russion widow who would not give up the stairs. The first night, she said she noticed a big difference in her upstairs temps although it was not finished with only some rigid insulation simply laid over the box.

Normal room temp. maybe 72 or so.

I blame attic ventilation because it’s true. In my years in the inspection business, I’ve seen many young roof shingles fail due to improper ventilation.

The only roofing shingles that will last twenty years without the venting are the shingles placed on roofs with no insulation in the attic cavity. This is due to the natural ventilation that occurs in an empty cavity.

I want you to prove me wrong.