To create our homes, we use Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) for the ideal thermal envelope. We use SIPs because they provide high R values and one of the most energy efficient homes on the market today. In addition to our high R value SIPs, we also provide high performing windows and doors in our packages. Low performing windows and doors can cost you thousands more in energy bills and who wants that?
This timber frame home is wrapped and insulated with Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs).
Because SIPs and high quality windows and doors provide an extremely airtight structure, it is important to take two additional steps to create a healthy, happy and high-performance home. One, install a vented roof, and, two, integrate an air exchange system into your home to bring in fresh, quality air.
You may be wondering, what exactly is a vented roof system? A vented roof is an air space (cavity) between the structural roof (SIPs) and the roofing material (shingles). Air flow is essential for any roof system to “breath” so that moisture doesn’t get trapped underneath your shingles, which could cause mold and/or deterioration of materials. Moisture is the result of condensation when heat escapes the thermal envelope and encounters cold, moist air. (Even the highest performing thermal envelopes experience some thermal exchange/heat loss).
An example of the vented roof with the 1X3 strapping.
A vented roof will also prolong the life of your roof. At Davis Timber Frame, we design all of our timber frame and SIPs homes with a vented roof consisting of 1X3 strapping applied to the roof panels 16″ on center in alignment with the roof slope, with a layer of 7/16″ OSB roof sheathing applied to the top of the strapping. This venting system must be accompanied with an eave vent and roof ridge vent to allow air flow through the cavity.
What kind of benefits can you expect from a vented roof system? The possibility of ice damming, which can cause roof leaks and shingle lifting will be dramatically reduced. Water leakage through the panel, which can cause interior ceiling water stains and mold, is prevented, providing a healthy home for your family. If you are building in an area that receives cold weather and a lot of snow, a vented roof is a must! Also, increased performance of the roof reduces the heating and cooling needs, which means cost savings for you.
Both asphalt roofing suppliers and Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) companies recommend a vented roof system in any application of their products, in fact, most shingle suppliers will not warrant their product without a vented roof.
Now that you understand the benefits of a vented roof, you may be wondering, “What is an air exchange system and do I really need one?” To ensure a healthy living environment an air exchange system is a must. This is important because SIPs provides an extremely airtight structure and fresh air won’t circulate in due to the tightness of the structure; stale air is unhealthy air! An air exchanger introduces fresh, conditioned air to your living space, and can usually be incorporated as an add-on to your new HVAC system, or, can be installed as a stand-alone device. For ideas on ventilation and air exchange systems that would be most appropriate for your home and location, consult with your local HVAC professional.
To learn more about our high-performance home packages, call us today at 800-636-0993!