While the homes of the 1970s had eight-foot ceilings, most homes being built today feature ten-foot or vaulted ceilings. However, you don’t have to move to enjoy the extra headroom. If you live in a ranch with an attic, you can raise the ceilings. Before making that change, you should understand how it will affect your roof.
The roof on your home depends on the support system, and that includes the joists in the ceiling. It’s not as simple as pulling down the drywall and finishing off the bottom of the roof deck. A new support structure must be put in place to prevent the roof from sagging over time.
There are also some homes where the ceiling cannot be vaulted without changing the entire roof structure. Look in the attic to see how the roof is constructed. If there are 2×4’s connected with metal plates, then you have a trussed roof. You will not be able to vault the ceiling without making major changes. However, if the roof is framed with big lumber rafters, then you can proceed with the project.
Proper air flow is vital for every roof, regardless of whether the interior ceilings are vaulted or flat. A two-inch gap must be maintained between the roof deck and the insulation of the home. Failure to properly treat this area will result in ice dams during the cold Oklahoma City winters.
There are ways to eliminate the air space completely by using cellulose insulation instead of fiberglass. Cellulose insulation naturally inhibits airflow better than fiberglass. Cellulose fills every nook and cranny of the cavity when blown in by a professional. A better option is high-density sprayed polyurethane foam. It has a high R-value and is actually impervious to air.
It is important to remember that all of these options are part of larger systems. The best choice for your home depends on the type of roofing material and ceiling materials your home has. Cellulose insulation or sprayed polyurethane are great choices for ceilings finished in drywall, but not for tongue-and-groove ceilings.
Vaulting the ceilings of your home adds aesthetic appeal and creates a sophisticated look. It can make you feel like you’ve bought a new home without the hassle of actually moving. To ensure the project is done safely, talk to a structural engineer. Robbins Roofing, Inc., is a local company offering residential roofing in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Dallas, Texas. Visit us on Facebook to learn more about roof maintenance, repair, and renovations.