Many factors come into play while trying to maintain the desired temperature of your home in ever-changing New Jersey weather. While easily overlooked, leaks in your attic air seal are a common culprit in making this task more challenging. These leaks occur when small holes allow air to travel between the attic and living area, and in many cases are hard to identify. To help determine the integrity of your attic air seal, New Jersey Siding & Windows, Inc. suggests a few common signs to watch for.
When your furnace is working hard to keep the inside of your home warm during the winter, hot air will naturally rise. Without a tight air seal between the living floors and your attic, this hot air will continue to travel upwards to the top of the house. Once warm air is trapped in the attic, it can heat your roof, causing snow on the outside to melt and run down to the gutters and eaves, where it freezes once again. This creates something called an ice dam, which can expand and break apart parts of your roof. If you notice leaks in your roof or a buildup of ice around your gutters, it may be a sign that too much hot air is seeping into the attic and the seal needs to be redone.
Mold and Mildew
When heating your home in the winter, the hot air that escapes the house’s lower levels and rises will condense on the cold surfaces in your attic. This means that moisture will accumulate, which can cause severe damage if left over a long enough period of time. Moisture facilitates mold and mildew growth, which can create poor air quality inside the house and cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, especially for people with allergies. If you find that you are sneezing or coughing more than usual, check to see if there is mold growing in the attic. If there is, then it could indicate that too much hot air is being allowed into the space.
Cranking Up the Air Conditioning
Just as important as keeping hot air from entering the attic in the winter, you also don’t want hot outdoor air coming into your home during the summer months. Yet depending on the energy efficiency of your roof, the attic can reach temperatures up to 50° higher than those outside. If your attic air seal is not fully intact, that hot air can push down into the lower floors of the home. In these cases, you won’t be able to achieve a pleasantly cool temperature no matter how low you keep the thermostat. If you’re constantly checking the temperature and wondering why you just can’t cool things down, hot air in the attic may be the cause. Fixing the air seal can help you save money and achieve a more comfortable environment, but you may also eventually need to consider roof replacement to resolve the problem completely.
Fixing the Leaks
If you’re experiencing any of the issues above, it’s a good time to have your attic air seal inspected and repaired. New Jersey Siding & Windows, Inc. offers a number of attic insulation services, from air seal repair to radiant barriers and more. To learn more about attic insulation, roofing or other home services in Northern and Central NJ, contact us today to schedule a free estimate.