Airtightness Results of Roof-Only Air Sealing Strategies on 1-1/2 Story Homes in Cold Climates

Stacey Rothgeb, T. Schirber, C. Ojczyk, G. Mosiman, T. Murry, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


In this second study on solutions to ice dams in 1-1/2 story homes, five test homes located in both cold and very cold climates were analyzed for air leakage reduction rates following modifications by independent contractors on owner-occupied homes. The reason for choosing this house type was they are very common in our area and very difficult to air seal and insulate effectively. Two projectsfollowed a roof-only Exterior Thermal Moisture Management System (ETMMS) process. One project used an interior-only approach to roof air sealing and insulation. The remaining two projects used a deep energy retrofit approach for whole house (foundation wall, above grade wall, roof) air leakage and heat loss reduction. All were asked to provide information regarding project goals, process, andpre and post-blower door test results. Additional air leakage reduction data was provided by several NorthernSTAR Building America industry partners for interior-applied, roof-only modifications on 1-1/2 story homes. The data represents homes in the general market as well as homes that were part of the state of Minnesota weatherization program. A goal was to compare exterior air sealing methodswith interior approaches. This pool of data enabled us to compare air tightness data from over 220 homes using similar air seal methods.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages50
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Work performed by NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, St. Paul, Minnesota

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-62073

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102014-4431


  • 1 1/2 story bungalow
  • adhered applied membrane
  • air seal
  • attic insulation
  • Building America
  • energy heel
  • exterior insulation
  • ice dams
  • knee wall
  • NorthernSTAR
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • roof deck ventilation
  • roof-only exterior insulation over-lay
  • spray foam
  • vaulted ceilings


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