The Importance of Proper Attic Ventilation

attic ventilationProper attic ventilation is just as important as a fully insulated attic.  The insulation will help keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, but the attic ventilation will reduce moisture in your attic and help prevent ice dams.

In the summer your attic gets hot.  If the air cannot move out of the attic then the air temperature continues to rise.  This creates a strain on your cooling system.  The heat in your attic can actually damage the asphalt shingles on your roof, causing them to blister in the intense heat.  An efficient ventilation system can decrease attic temperatures by as much as 40%; cooling costs are reduced and living conditions in the home improve.

In the winter the heat from your home will rise into the attic.  If it cannot escape, it will stay trapped at the roof where it will melt and cause ice dams at the eaves.  The water vapor will also cause moisture to build up in your attic.  If the moisture cannot escape you will get frost build-up and water damage in the attic of your home.

A properly ventilated attic space plays an important role in your home’s efficiency.  In a cold weather climate such as Colorado it seems counter-intuitive to let outside air into your attic during the winter months.  Unless you have living space in your attic, your furnace shouldn’t be heating your attic.  Insulation will keep the warm air in your home and the ventilation will keep moisture out.

It’s important to note that you don’t want to over-ventilate your attic space.  For every 150 square feet of floor space you should have 1 square foot of ventilation.  A proper balance of ridge vents, attic rafter vents and soffit vents will ensure good air circulation.

Soffit vents line the lower extremes of the roof along the eaves and provide for the intake of cool outside air.  Attic rafter vents are baffles that ensure outside air moves from the soffit vents through the attic to the roof vents without being blocked by insulation or other attic materials.  Roof ridge vents are installed along the ridge line of the roof. Ridge vents are where hot air, moisture and stale air are exhausted.

An attic fan is a great way to get air moving through your attic space.  Excel Roofing will install a solar powered attic fan starting at $699.

In some ways, roof ventilation is as much as an art as it is a science.  Installing your own roof vents based on something you read online is like trying to replace your transmission while watching a YouTube video. Finding a trusted and experienced roofer who has worked in Colorado is a better judge for your particular roof than any research study or online “expert.”

For a free estimate on the costs to properly ventilate your attic, call Excel Roofing today.


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