How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Why are there leaves in my attic?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Metal Roof Ridge Vent Leaking
One reason to find leaves in your attic is an open ridge vent on a metal roof. The openings created between the lines of raised metal where they fit under the ridge cap provide ventilation to exhaust hot attic air. But, if the slots are not sealed, a brisk wind slides leaves up the roof and into the slots, where they drop down to form a long line of debris in the attic insulation below.
How To Fix Leaking Metal Roof Ridge Vent
The problem can be solved by sealing the slots with either a solid closure strip or a foam-like one that allows air to flow through it. Here’s a diagram of both solutions from the installation manual of Gulf Coast Supply and Manufacturing, a Florida manufacturer of metal roofing products.
There is another technique that secures the ridge cap (or an older style cap called a “ridge roll”) down snug to the roof with a screw on either side of every crimp in the roof panels. We don’t see that one too often anymore.
Static roof vents like the slant-back type shown below can also allow blown-in leaves if there is no screening at the opening or it is damaged. Openings in gable end or soffit vents do the same.
A cluster of leaves mixed with bits of insulation that looks like a bird’s nest turned on its side is a squirrel or rat nest, a sure sign that critters are living in your attic. And a sprinkling of leaves, mixed with bits of roofing shingles and grit, means that some sheathing was replaced and the roof was open for a while during the last roof replacement.
If you plan on exploring your attic anytime soon to make sure everything is alright, please read our blog post What are the hazards to avoid when going into an attic? first.
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To learn more about roofs and attics, see these other blog posts:
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