Guest User
7/21/2011
Well summer is up in swing so I am starting to think about winter! In Jan of this year (2011) we had a standing seam metal roof installed on our home. (built around 1890) The roofer did install new synthetic underlayment and also my invoice states they installed a ridge vent under roofcaps to improve ventilation. However, this past winter was the first time we ever had frost in the attic forming on the roof decking where it started to look like patchy mold forming when it melted. We had shingles prior to the metal roof. The roofer did put the vapor barrier over (covered) the existing opening on the ridge of the roof. We do not have any type of electric ventilation etc and to my knowledge I do not think we have soffit vents? I brought it to the contractor’s attention to which he seemed stumped and mentioned we should replace our older windows and seal any "drafts". For a quick fix we ran a kerosene heater up there to try to dry it out. What type of ventilation do I need? I mentioned "slicing" the vapor barrier to expose the ridge vent to the roofer but he stated the vapor barrier was breathable so I shouldn't need the ridge vent "uncovered". Help please! I am at a loss what to do especially when the contractor doesn't seem to be of much help. We spent $10,000 total to have this roof and a flat TPO roof done and I hate to have my metal roof silently rot our decking away! Any thoughts? Amy
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
7/21/2011
Hi Amy. By definition, a vapor barrier will not be very breathable. This is the result of moisture that originates inside your home's living space migrating into the attic and condensing on the cold underside of the roof deck. To avoid condensation in an attic, you need at least two of the following three: vapor barrier directly behind your ceilings, lots of insulation on the attic floor, and good ventilation including intake vents (usually at the eave soffits) and exhaust vents (ridge vent works well). Tighter windows actually could worsen the situation by holding more moisture inside the home. I highly advise getting good ventilation in the attic. A great source of information on venting is www.airvent.com
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
7/22/2011
Have an energy audit done on the home to identify the bypasses in the building envelope. Air sealing (sealing of envelope bypasses into the attic and unconditioned space) will help reduce your necessity for ventilation dramatically and most ice damning issues are the result of air/heat loss and not a malfunction of the roof. Tighter window can hurt as Todd indicated despite the reverse being more commonly thought of as true. If you can, go with passive venting (i.e. non-powered) ventilation sources.
Guest User
7/24/2011
Thank you both for your responses! How can I tell if I have eave soffit vents? We never had soffiting on our eaves before this. The bare wood of the eave was exposed. I attached a picture of the soffits I have.
Guest User
7/24/2011
So in your opinion do you think I need to oped up the ridge vent by slicing through the barrier? Here is a picture what it looks like. The ridge vent that was there ran almos the entire length of the ridge on the attic roof. You can also see the discoloration I was starting to get on the wood which I assume is mold.
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
7/24/2011
The picture is of your gable soffits. They do not appear to be vented, which is not uncommon. I am more interested in your eave soffits -- at the bottom of the roof -- and whether they are vented.
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
7/24/2011
Assuming that the metal piece on top is indeed a ridge vent and it has been properly installed then, yes, at the very least, I would sya open up to the ridge vent. However, I would encourage you to maybe get someone else involved in looking at this. Sometimes a reason for leaving underlayment in place at the ridge is that the installer is afraid the ridge will leak if the underlayment is opened.
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
7/25/2011
I would like to see some eave pictures as well like Todd indicated. If we could see that, the extent of the impreciseness of your ridge venting will be more clear.
Guest User
8/3/2011
Sorry it took so long for my reply. I attached a picture of the ridge and you can aslo see the eave soffit as well. I understand the concept of an eave soffit but I guess where I am confused is prior to having the soffits installed there was just the bare wood and to my knowledge no type of "venting". What changes the dynamics of that if a soffit is installed? I apoologize if I am looking at it simple minded!
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
8/4/2011
Thanks. That is helpful. You do not have soffit vents. If possible and if airflow can be achioeved, they should be installed and the ridge vent opened up. That said, based upon your home's exact construction, I am not sure how helpful or feasible this is. Would you like to call me sometime at 1-800-543-8938 ext 201 and we will talk this through? Thanks.
Guest User
8/4/2011
Definitely would like to talk to someone! I was just looking at your panel of experts and I see that Dick is the president of ATAS, that is the roof we got. (ATAS MRD-194 standing seam) Small world! What hours are you available to chat? (not sure if you are on east coast or west coast) We are in Pennsylvania.
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
8/4/2011
I am east coast time ... usually can be reached 8 - 5. That said, I have been out of town and am just now catching up so if we could talk tomorrow or later that would be much appreciated. ATAS is a great company ... you have a good product ... just need to figure out this ventilation thing. It may be helpful to call in to their technical department. They may very well have a local rep who can come look at your roof.
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
8/4/2011
Soffits need to be opened up, you need proper insulation at the eaves, vent chutes installed and properly ridge ventilation. Your eave ventilation should always be continuous and greater than your ridge ventilation. I would also have an auditor look at your attic to identify the envelope (air barrier) bypasses as well as thermal and insulation deficiencies.
Dick Bus
8/4/2011
Amy, feel free to contact us also. but I do agree with the recommendations being made so far. An Energy Audit of your attic would be a good place to start. Also verifing that you have good ventilation in the attic space is important to prevent condensation. I can be reach at 800-468-1441. Thanks for using our product.
Guest User
8/16/2011
Thanks Dick, I called and left you a message. I never had an energy audit done and curious if you have any recommendations? I am in the Lehigh Valley. Also I would like to have another contractor come out and assess the ridge vent and soffits to see if there is addiitonal modifications that need to be done. Would like to discuss your contractor recomendations as well. I appreciate everyone's assistance. Amy
Eric Novotny
An informed customer is the Best Customer!
8/17/2011
Amy, If you want to email or call me, I can help walk you through the process. Eric
Guest User
5/28/2012
I need to replace the roof on my cottage and want to install a standing seam metal roof. I have been told by a one contract I am getting a quote from that there are breathability issues with metal roofs. That is, metal roofs do not get enough ventilation to get the extra moisture out. Is this true? I would really, really love to have a metal roof installed, but am now very concerned about problems down the road. Thank you. Michele
Todd Miller
Isaiah Industries, Inc.
5/29/2012
Very few roof systems "breathe". The situation the contractor is discussing is best and usually handled through attic ventilation. Metal poses no special risk in this area. Can you tell me a bit about what ventilation there is in your attic?
Guest User
12/20/2012
Well I am back. Sighhhhh. :( I am at the point that I regret getting this roof and spending all this money. I did have the roofer that installed the ATAS standing seam roof back in Jan 2011 come and open up the soffits and also install the vented soffit vinyl covering. It seemed like it helped last year. (maybe it was just at the tail end of the colder weather and it wasn't cold enough to cause problems. Trust me I went up there EVERY DAY to check) Well low and behold the first cold spell we had this winter so far it dampened up and there was a light layer of frost on the decking again. Now it seems it is spreading to other areas of the decking since the soffits are opened up? More of the decking is getting condensation. Gah! Did I make this situation worse? (going back to the roofer installed is NOT and option and I won't deal with him again. EVER.) Plus since I have a flat roof butt up against the west side of the roof he "couldn't" open up the soffits due to the ice dam etc) But the funny thing is the west side of the decking isn't as bad as the east side. That is the part of the decking that is BAD with mold/condensation. Dick Bus... I did have Kistler Building come in to look. (they are an ATAS installer here in Fogelsville) and Ted stated maybe opening up the soffits more or possible mechanical ventialtion (fan). Otherwise they had no other suggestions. :( I am curious. Should we have had some type of insulation put UNDER the metal roof before installation? It just seems that the metal gets so cold and there is only the vapor barrier between the metal and the plywood(decking), where before I had the tar paper and the shingles and I didn't have condensation issues. All I know is I have mold in my attic and I need to get this resolved since I have 2 small children in our home! I need a serious recommendation for someone in the Lehigh Valley/Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area in Pennsylvania to trouble shoot this! Amy
Amy Dietrich
12/20/2012
Well I am back. Sighhhhh. :( I am at the point that I regret getting this roof and spending all this money. I did have the roofer that installed the ATAS standing seam roof back in Jan 2011 come and open up the soffits and also install the vented soffit vinyl covering. It seemed like it helped last year. (maybe it was just at the tail end of the colder weather and it wasn't cold enough to cause problems. Trust me I went up there EVERY DAY to check) Well low and behold the first cold spell we had this winter so far it dampened up and there was a light layer of frost on the decking again. Now it seems it is spreading to other areas of the decking since the soffits are opened up? More of the decking is getting condensation. Gah! Did I make this situation worse? (going back to the roofer installed is NOT and option and I won't deal with him again. EVER.) Plus since I have a flat roof butt up against the west side of the roof he "couldn't" open up the soffits due to the ice dam etc) But the funny thing is the west side of the decking isn't as bad as the east side. That is the part of the decking that is BAD with mold/condensation. Dick Bus... I did have Kistler Building come in to look. (they are an ATAS installer here in Fogelsville) and Ted stated maybe opening up the soffits more or possible mechanical ventialtion (fan). Otherwise they had no other suggestions. :( I am curious. Should we have had some type of insulation put UNDER the metal roof before installation? It just seems that the metal gets so cold and there is only the vapor barrier between the metal and the plywood(decking), where before I had the tar paper and the shingles and I didn't have condensation issues. All I know is I have mold in my attic and I need to get this resolved since I have 2 small children in our home! I need a serious recommendation for someone in the Lehigh Valley/Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area in Pennsylvania to trouble shoot this! Amy

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