Attic Ventilation 101

Proper attic ventilation is absolutely critical to the well-being of your home’s roof. Though many people often inquire into their attic’s vetilation to reduce pent-up heat in the summer, this only begins to touch on the need for attic ventilation. Certain standards of ventilation must be met for many roof warranties to even be valid.

In the cold winter months, heat rising from your home will collide with the cold rafters and roof sheathing of your attic. This causes water to condense and often run down your rafters where it can eventually cause water spots on your ceiling’s drywall. A lack of attic ventilation in the winter can also lead to a major roof ailment known as icedams. These are formed when warm air in the attic causes snow on the roof to melt and create ice dams at the eaves of your roof near the gutter. As a result, water can backup under the shingles and cause serious water damage in the interior of your home.

In the summer, heat and humidity trapped in the attic can cause moisture buildup as well as elevated temperatures in the upper levels of your home. Heat from the attic can actually penetrate the insulation between the finished levels of your home and the unfinished attic space causing excess heat in your upstairs as well as increasing the airconditioning costs of your home. With proper ventilation, the hot, damp air from the attic is able to escape and drastically decrease the temperature in the attic as well as constribute to the longevity of your roof’s life. In extreme cases moisture buildup in the attic can even lead to extensive mold growth within the attic. Once this occurs, the repairs and removal of rotten wood can be very costly and time consuming.

Ventilation Options

To avoid the costly problems associated with poor attic ventilation and to ensure a long life for your roof, proper attic ventilation is key. With products like ridgevent, edgevent, gable vents, attic fans, and soffit vents Consumer Construction is able to install the necessary ventilation for your roof and provide your home with the protection it needs of moisture and humidity.

Continuous Ridgevent

Ridgevent is secured along the ridges/peaks of your roof and can be made of aluminum or covered with shingles to match your existing roof. When used in combination with soffit vents, this system is able to pull cool air through the soffits and expel hot air from your attic through the ridges creating an even flow of air along your entire roof deck. This method is one of the most popular forms of attic ventilation.

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are either cut into the wooden soffit on the underside of your roof’s overhang or newer homes may have ventilated soffit built-in. In either case, the ventilated soffit is designed to provide an outlet for cooler outside air to enter into your attic and push the warmer air out through the ridges or gables.

Gablevents

Gablevents are no longer frequently used due to more efficient methods of attic ventilation; however, they work similar to a ridgevent by allowing hot air from your attic to escape from the top of your roof. These need to be combined with either a soffit or edgevent system.

Attic Fans

Attic fans are also a popular method of ventilation and can be powered either electrically or with solar power. A popular model comes with both a thermostat and a humidistat which automatically turns the fan on when the attic reaches a certain temperature or humidity. Once the fan turns on it is able to expel any hot or humid air These work in conjunction with soffit vents or edgevents.