Ventilation of your attic probably isn’t something you think about very often, but it plays an important role in many aspects of day-to-day life in your home. Having the right amount of attic ventilation can have a positive effect on the lifespan of your roof system, the comfort and well-being of your family, your future costs for home repairs, and how much you pay for heating and cooling.
What Is Attic Ventilation?
Your attic’s ventilation is a system that allows your house to breathe. It works by pulling fresh air through your attic and allowing the heat to escape through your vents properly. There are 2 types of attic ventilation systems: active and passive. Active ventilation pulls the air in from the outside and pushes it out from the inside. Passive ventilation means the air in the attic is moved around by natural sources, such as wind. Both ventilation systems do their job, and one isn’t better than the other. But if your attic isn’t properly ventilated, it’s going to lead to problems.
Why Adequate Roof Ventilation Matters
Proper ventilation in your attic helps address excess heat and moisture that can otherwise wreak havoc on your home. Heat and moisture buildup in an attic cause predictable but different problems in hot and cold climates; areas with hot summers and cold winters can suffer the effects of both.
Prevents Condensation, Mold, and Rot
One of the most important aspects of proper roof ventilation is to help prevent condensation, which ultimately leads to mold and rot. Your home produces a lot more moisture than you think. Laundry, showers and bathing, cooking, and more all produce warm, damp air inside the living space of your home. This moisture gravitates upwards to your home’s ceilings, and if a vapor barrier is not in place, it eventually lands in the attic. If a cool surface, like your roof’s underside, is reached by warm air, it will condense. Properly ventilating your roof and attic space keeps your insulation dry and prevents these condensation-caused damages.
Increases Energy Efficiency
Ensuring you have proper attic and roof ventilation helps to reduce your home’s cooling costs by allowing heat to escape. As the temperatures outside begin to rise, the temperature inside your home does too. If you do not have proper ventilation, the heat will be trapped inside your home’s attic, causing your air conditioning to work harder. If proper ventilation is in place, it can lower both your home’s cooling and operating costs.
Increases Roof’s Lifespan
Not adequately ventilating your roof and attic can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your roof. As we mentioned, condensation, rot, and mold can be a result. A non-ventilated roof can also cause extremely hot attics, where the heat builds up and eventually causes damage to the wood framing, rafters, underlayment, and more. Ensuring your roof is evenly and properly ventilated helps that air to escape and extends the lifetime of your roofing system.
Reduces Indoor Temperature Extremes
If you’ve ever walked upstairs and felt a drastic change in temperature, it may be a result of poorly or not ventilated roofing. Indoor temperature extremes can be avoided with proper ventilation. It allows hot air to escape and cool air to enter the space. This can also help prevent super-heated attics, which can also impact your heating and cooling costs. Overall, ensuring proper ventilation will help your home be more comfortable during the entire year.
Prevents Ice Damming
If you live in a climate where snow and ice occur, having proper attic ventilation minimizes your risk of experiencing damaging ice dams. Ice dams are typically caused by warm air reaching the roof deck, which then results in the snow on your roof melting. This melted snow can run down your roof and refreeze over the home’s overhangs, forming ice dams. Proper ventilation will direct the warm air from your living space to the peak of your roof and then outdoors.
Ensuring your attic and roofing are properly ventilated is one of the best steps you can take to keep your home more comfortable. It allows your roof to perform as best as possible. If you have any questions about roofing and ventilation, contact our team at Integrity Roofing and Painting today.