Is your roof suffocating? Attic ventilation and the health of your roof
Attic ventilation often gets overlooked, but it is actually one of the most important aspects to consider during home construction. If attic ventilation is not done correctly, it can affect the health of your roof and lead to several issues, the most dangerous of which is roof failure.
Most homeowners fail to understand this and do not give attic ventilation the importance it deserves. It is a fact that most attics are insufficiently ventilated. According to the Federal Housing Administration, a minimum of 1 sq. foot of ventilation should be arranged for every 300 sq. foot of attic space.
Insufficient ventilation leads to high attic temperatures of over 150 degrees, especially in the summer. A high attic temperature is one of the biggest causes of damaged shingles, development of mold and mildew on the roof, and a buildup of condensation. In other words, inadequate attic ventilation causes the roof to suffocate.
Installing proper ventilation systems can bring the attic temperature close to the outside air temperature. Ensuring that the attic is well ventilated in the winter prevents the formation of ice dams, which develop in the eaves when the snow melts because of the heat buildup in the attic, and then refreezes at the edges of the roof.
Essentially, proper attic ventilation allows your house to breathe. It ensures that there is an escape for warm moist air within the house, and prevents the formation of mold and mildew within the house.
Otherwise, the heat up to 150 degrees can damage the roofing material from underneath the house, resulting in premature aging of the roof. It’s better to get the attic ventilation taken care of early on in your ownership of the house, because otherwise you will find yourself paying more for extensive roof repairs, and possibly even a full roof replacement.
There’s another problem – the roof manufacturer can declare the warranty null and void if they find out that the roof has been insufficiently ventilated. So you may find yourself having to pay for the full cost of the roof repair or replacement yourself, even though there are ten years or so left on the warranty.
Now that you know why attic ventilation is so important, let’s quickly give you an idea of what happens during the ventilation process.
Each roof is different, and the roofing contractor uses different ventilation formulas for each roof based on the square footage of the house and the shape, size, and type of the attic. The ventilation is done at the eaves and at the top of the roof, which allows for an appropriate intake and exhaust of the excess heat and moisture within the attic.
Get in touch with a local roofing specialist to find out whether your attic has insufficient ventilation and if any improvement is needed.
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