Roof Vents and Attic Ventilation: Why Proper Roof Ventilation is Important
You’re probably aware that most attics and roofs are vented. Maybe you’ve seen a fan in the side of your attic under the eaves, or maybe you’re aware of the ridge cap at the peak of your roof. What you may not know, however, is that most homes don’t have enough attic ventilation and that this lack of adequate ventilation can be raising your energy bills and doing damage to your home. Proper attic ventilation is an important part of overall roof maintenance.
What Does Attic Ventilation Do?
Attic ventilation is important to keep the air flowing through your attic, rather than simply letting it sit. Ventilation essentially helps outside air pass through and out of your attic, removing excess heat and moisture from the air of your attic as it does so. Air is taken in through areas like your soffits and eaves through, and is exhausted through the roof at your ridge cap or by a roof vent. This helps create the right air balance in your attic, which plays an important role in keeping your home comfortable.
How Much Attic Ventilation Do You Need?
Since most roofs are under-ventilated, many people have no idea just how much roof ventilation they need, or what kind to purchase. The FHA recommends that you have 1 square foot of attic exhaust (both intake and exhaust) for every 300 square feet of attic space.
What Happens When There Is a Lack of Ventilation?
A lack of ventilation can cause a whole host of problems in and around your home. Depending on the climate that you live in, lack of proper ventilation can have a serious impact on your energy bills and the lifespan of things like your roof.
Super Heated Attics
One of the problems that a lack of attic ventilation can cause is a super heated attic. Without the air moving through the space, the air trapped inside starts to heat up with the sun beating down on the roof. This heat then transfers itself through the floor of your attic and begins to warm the rooms of your home. This in turn leads to higher energy bills as your fans and AC work to combat it.
Shorter Roof Shingle Lifespan
Another issue with the fact that your attic is becoming super-heated is the lifespan of your roof shingles. The heat from your attic won’t just be transferred down into your living space; it will also be transferred back to the roof itself. This causes the shingles to become overheated, essentially frying them and decreasing their lifespan.
Warped Wood and Walls
The heat transfer from a super-heated attic can damage a lot more than your residential roof and your energy bills. It can also warp the wood framing in your attic, which in turn can warp walls and door frames, as well as transfer down the walls to blister your paint and wallpaper.
Moisture Build Up
The summer isn’t the only time you need to worry about a lack of attic ventilation. During the winter steam from your shower, clothes dryer, and pots and pans can all get trapped in the attic where it condenses. This condensation can drip back down onto your insulation, rendering it less effective. It can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew in your attic and in your insulation where it can harm your family’s health.
Condensation and excess moisture can also form on your eaves and soffits, driving moisture back up under your roof and forming ice dams that can cause leaks as well. Proper ventilation keeps the air moving all year long, which moves the moisture out of the attic before it can condense.
Get Proper Attic and Roof Ventilation
Having your attic and roof proper ventilated is the first step in keeping your home more comfortable and secure. Call to find out if you have the right amount of ventilation, and what type to purchase to suit your needs, and know that your attic and roof are in good shape.