Attic Insulation Baffles and Their Importance

Free air flow in attics is essential to keep humidity out of a house. For if we fail to attend to this housekeeping detail, then we may find ourselves battling with mold. Read on if you are interested in knowing where the humidity comes from, and how to channel it away.

Humidity and Principles of Attic Insulation Baffles

Humidity, or warmer moist air accumulates in homes from bathing, showering, drying laundry, heating, and so on. Good cross-ventilation expels it through open doors and windows in summer. When these openings are sealed in winter though, the humidity remains trapped inside.

Trapped warm air inside homes naturally rises towards the ceiling, and the same applies to humid air too. That’s why mold develops on the upper walls and ceilings of bathrooms. Some of this warm air then finds its way into attics through tiny gaps in ceilings.

Why We Can’t Allow Humid Air to Collect in Attics

If we allow humid air to accumulate in an attic, then several things may happen:

  • The surfaces in the attic will be permanently moist, even dripping.
  • This creates an ideal opportunity for air-borne mold to flourish.
  • Over time the roof timbers will gradually swell, and begin to rot.
  • This creates an unhealthy environment just above residents’ heads.

The correct solution is to ensure adequate ventilation throughout the attic, so the humid air can escape through vents. Most everybody knows that in Calgary. Surprisingly few may be aware of the important role that attic insulation baffles may play in this.

attic insulation baffles
Styrofoam Insulation Baffles (The Energy Smart Academy BY Public Domain)

Venting Attic Humidity With Insulation Baffles

We know how humid air enters an attic, accumulates there, and can cause damage. It stands to reason the only way to avoid this is to install attic vents. Public opinion generally holds that soffit and ridge vents are adequate. At Valiant Exteriors we understand that this is not always necessarily the case.

Ceiling insulation is taped over at the edges to prevent accidental airflow, and provide a continuous air barrier. However, this method is imperfect, and may fail in inaccessible places. Soffit vents in the eaves can create a positive airflow. However, this may not always reach as far as the ridge vents.

Attic insulation vents made of plastic, cardboard, or metal compensate for this shortcoming by causing a more directed, positive airflow. They are usually between two and four feet long, and nest between rafters. There should be a two-inch gap between them and the underside of the roof deck. Chat with our attic insulation vent installer now.

More Information

Maintaining Eaves as Interactive Systems

Attic Vents Provide Natural Protection

Insulation Baffles in Place in Ceiling