Energy problem – no snow on roof
Q: I was walking around my neighborhood today and saw that my roof barely had any snow on it, but my neighbor’s houses did. I think we have the same roofs. Is this a problem?
Probably. If you don’t have snow on your roof, this points to an energy leak through your attic to the roof. What’s probably happening is the warmed or heated air in your home rises, and the last place it gathers is the attic. Typically, there are attic vents or ventilation fans to disperse the additional heat. There is also a ton of insulation in your attic, or at least there should be, to prevent overheating the roof.
Now, if no one had snow on their roof, that would be one thing. The sun might have warmed the roof and melted the snow. Or the snow may have melted because of a mild temperature. But since your roof is the only one with the problem, you most likely have an energy leak.
This could be serious. If energy is leaking through your ceiling and out to your roof, heating it frm underneath and melting the snow, there is a real potential for serious (and expensive) roof damage or even structural damage to the attic. Ice jams could result as well. All this is in addition to wasting money on energy – because you’re losing the energy through the roof.
This is the reason high grade insulation is in place in the attic, and the reason vents are there as well. The isulation is there to prevent the heat that is built up from seeping through the ceiling to the roof, and the vents alleviate the heat buildup. The two work in tandem.
Check the insulation level in your attic. I think you’ll find it is inadequate. Check to make sure also that your vents are unobstructed. If you have attic ventilation fans, make sure they work. If you are in the attic and it is extremely warm, the insulation is probably doing some of its job but the heat build up is too great. There’s probably a ventilation problem. On the other hand if it is very cold, the insulation is probably woefully inadequate and barely stopping any heat from leaving your home.
Did you know?
The last 3 houses I looked at for an energy assessment had R-19 insulation in the attic studs? In this area, R-49 is recommended for attic spaces. Check your attic insulation right now.