When it comes to caring for your home, out of sight does not equal out of mind. There are many easily forgotten areas that are important to maintain. Attic ventilation, for example, serves a number of purposes for your property. These can include lower energy bills, cooler, more comfortable, living conditions, and an extended lifetime for your roof. Lack of maintenance in your attic can lead to disastrous results.
Attics work with your roof to keep you safe, but you need to make sure that your airflow is adequate and working well. It helps keep your energy costs down and protect your home from damage.
Ventilation is the process of allowing an adequate level of airflow to move through an area. Attic ventilation works to combine the natural processes of the stack effect and the wind effect to provide airflow through your attic.
The stack effect is when warm or hot air naturally rises up into your home, attic, or the environment. In an enclosed area, this creates a buildup of pressure. When the pressure gets too high, the hot air needs to leave as exhaust, but cool air needs to be able to come and take its place as an intake. This is why attics have fans leading to the outside. When it’s windy outside, there is more intake and stronger airflow — the wind effect. Both combine to create airflow using intake vents and exhaust vents.
Sometimes these vents need a mechanical power source to help improve airflow and make sure that intake and exhaust levels are high enough.
When there’s no airflow, your home won’t run as efficiently and it won’t be as comfortable. To work properly, a well-ventilated attic needs to include several intake vents around different areas of your roof. Most importantly, they should be at all of the eaves, soffits, and fascias. An exhaust vent needs to be close to the top of your roof and attic to work best.
Sometimes, two-story homes tend to feel hotter upstairs. It’s uncomfortable and can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to sleep. Rather than trying to deal with the extreme temperatures, all you need to do is make sure that your roof and your attic are properly ventilated. This helps push out the hot air rather than trapping it inside. This, in turn, cools your upstairs and creates a more uniform temperature throughout your home.
With a cooler home overall, you’ll start seeing lower energy bills. Since your attic and roof ventilation helps to release the hot air buildup, your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable. When your air conditioner is working more efficiently and not constantly fighting to keep your property cool, your electric bill will go down substantially. This is extremely beneficial for larger homes and homes with a second story. However, you will notice a difference for smaller or one-story homes as well.
Weather is harsh on your roof. Snow, rain, sleet, hail, and high winds build up pressure and cause excess strain. Even direct sunlight takes a toll. Though you might not see it immediately, all of these conditions will impact the lifespan of your roof. For instance, ice is one of the most detrimental weather conditions for your roof’s longevity. Icicles form along your gutters and when the weather warms up a few degrees, they melt. This water then continues to freeze over. The buildup of this melting and freezing cycle ends up getting inside of your roof and behind your shingles.
When you can see icicles, it’s a sign that your ventilation is inadequate. When you have the proper attic ventilation, the warm air is able to escape more efficiently so that the snow and ice can melt without damaging your roofing system.
Additionally, when it’s hot outside, a well-ventilated attic and roofing system gives your home the chance to expel hot air without damaging shingles or the structural integrity of your home. Both of the benefits from the cold and the heat will greatly enhance the lifespan of your roof. When your roof needs to be replaced less often, you’ll save time, money, and a lot of unnecessary hassle.
When you have an improperly ventilated attic, you’ll quickly notice increased damage to your shingles. Over time, this damage can get severe and will require maintenance and replacement.
Without any airflow, your attic will eventually get damp. Steam from your home rises up and gets trapped in the attic. When there’s no ventilation to let it out, moisture starts to build up and you’ll start experiencing mold, mildew, and problems with structural integrity. Walls and support beams will start to warp and you could experience issues that extend into your home’s living space. In extreme cases, people have noticed warped doorframes and blistered paint. Too much moisture will damage your insulation, which can be extremely harmful to your health. A well-ventilated attic will help keep you and your family safe and make sure your attic stays dry.
When you have a ventilated attic, you’ll notice fewer problems with pests or animals. Attics are often dark places and when the moisture is high, it creates a desirable home for insects and rodents. This is more so a problem during the winter, but it can also persist during summer months when animals are seeking shelter from the sun. The longer a pest problem persists, the more likely it is that they will damage your insulation and overall foundation. Plus, having a pest problem is a pretty big headache to deal with. Depending on the infestation, you could be facing high bills for exterminators and damages. To save yourself the trouble, make sure that your attic is ventilated. Proper airflow will help reduce the chances of unwanted guests bunkering down and creating a home in your attic.
To reap the benefits of proper airflow, there are a few things you can do. According to the U.S. Federal Housing Administration, you should have about one square foot of attic ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic floor space.1 While this isn’t always the case, it is a good starting point.
If you need to improve your airflow, but don’t know where to start, your best bet is calling a professional. A professional roofing company, like Advocate Construction, can take a look at your attic and walk through your specific needs. This is important because while airflow is crucial in your attic, there is also the potential to over ventilate your home. When your home has too much ventilation, you’ll experience more leaks and harsh weather problems.
When a professional roofing company comes in, they will do an attic inspection and let you know the proper steps you need to take in order to improve the airflow in your home. They will be able to help you take care of your attic ventilation problems and get you to a place where you’ll reap all of the benefits.
When you choose a professional company, you’ll save time, money, and the stress of having to deal with it yourself. Plus, when choosing a company like Advocate Construction, you’ll be able to relax and know that the job was done right, the first time around. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy the benefits of properly-ventilated attic.