July, 2010
You Tell Us
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Authoritative sources on attic ventilation


To the editor,

Buildingscience.com is one authoritative source trusted by many ASHI members. There is an article on that website in the Digest section, titled "Understanding Attic Ventilation," by Joseph Lstiburke.

While it is longer than most Reporter articles, it seems to me that more of the Reporter articles need to be referring to authoritative sources or references (not necessarily codes) to support the positions taken in the articles and providing further information for those interested. As you can see in the Lstiburke article, attic ventilation is a complex issue, not easily simplified.

If you jump to the summary on the last page of the article, what matters to me in Minnesota is:

"Vented attic/roof designs have the advantage of a long, proven historical track record. However, they work best with airtight ceiling/attic interfaces and where duct work and air handlers are not located within attic spaces. The increase in the use of complex roof shapes and cathedral ceilings has resulted in problems with vented roofs."

To me, the highlighted text is the key issue missing from the article "Attic Ventilation" in the May ASHI Reporter. The last sentence is also very important. On the other hand, the calculations included in the article are beyond our Standards of Practice.

On the same website, there is an ice dam article that may be of interest: "Ice Dams" by John Straube.

Again, it emphasizes the critical aspect of sealing air leaks into the attic. I understand that many of our members do not live in a cold climate, but enough do that this is vitally important for those who inspect in the snowbelt. This year, that included a lot more inspectors than other years.

Best wishes,

Roger Hankey
First ASHI Member in Minnesota, ASHI #269

Enjoys The Word

To the editor,

I enjoy reading Bruce Barker's column "The Word."
I find it educational, informative and entertaining. I especially enjoyed his March column on wisdom.

And, your wisdom, Bruce, does not go unnoticed.

Yes, you are indeed a very good writer. Keep up the good work.

An admiring ASHI Inspector,

Bill Sutton
Bay Colony Home Inspection Consultants
Milton, Mass.

Your Letters are Welcomed
Please send your comments to the editor, Sandy Bourseau, sandyb@ashi.org.