Proper Attic Ventilation

It is a fact that proper attic ventilation is an essential part of home construction. Unfortunately, much of what we now know about attic air flow was not taken into consideration in past building practices. Because of this, the typical homeowner may not be aware that their home lacks proper air circulation. Letting your attic “breathe” avoids many unnecessary headaches we are about to discuss.

Here are Some of the Advantages of Proper Attic Ventilation

  • Correct attic ventilation helps in the prevention of ice dam formation.Example of IMPROPER ATTIC VENTILATION Two items are at work here, air flow, and insulation. Many home owners are aware of the need for adequate insulation, but fail to take air flow into consideration. As we all know heat rises, and even with a good level of insulation a certain amount of heat will get released into the attic. Without proper air flow the snow will melt causing ice dams. The ice accumulates in the gutters and eaves growing and contracting as the temperature fluctuates from sunny to cloudy and day to night. These now moving sheets of ice, act just like little glaciers that tear up the roofing. This at a minimum will cause premature wear, at a maximum the gutters may tear off causing property damage to anything that lies below.
  • During the warmer months heat will be prevented from building up if there is enough ventilation in the attic. This will result in an improved comfort level in your home. Costs of air conditioning will be minimized and roofing materials life span will be maximized.
  • Proper attic ventilation prevents building of moisture during other seasons. It used to be common to vent kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans directly to the attic. This was later found to be one of the major causes of excess moisture in the attic. Moisture in the attic can lead to the production of mildew, mold, wood rot as well as poor air quality inside the home.Example of PROPER VENTILATION
  • Proper attic ventilation is an essential element when it comes to the validation of the terms of a manufacturer’s shingle warranty. Re-roofing a house can cost anywhere from $5000 to $30,000 plus, depending on the size and scope of the project. The manufacture’s field inspectors know just what to look for when trying to void a warranty, and proper attic ventilation is high on their list.

A properly vented attic is a critical element in extending the life of your roofing shingles. A good time to do an inspection of the attic ventilation is during the autumn months. This helps prevent more serious problems from occurring in the coming winter.

Pre-Winter Roofing Maintenance – Checking of Attic Ventilation

  • Examine the attic for any signs of dampness and moisture. Moldy smell in your attic, mushy insulation, ceiling condensation, and corrosion around the outlets or vents are normally caused by poor ventilation.
  • Attic vents should be cleaned with any debris or dirt being removed. Ensure that vents are cleared from any item like leaves or tree limbs. While you’re up there look for nests of birds or rodent indications. These unwanted house guests are often a cause for poor attic air flow.
  • Make sure that all vents in the attic are open all year round. Even during winter, the attic should also be expExample of CORRECT ROOF VENTING osed to drafts of air to maintain proper ventilation.
  • If attic fans are installed, check to make sure the blades are turning freely. While doing this, be cautious, the fan blades are very sharp.

An excellent roof system requires properly ventilated attic. This helps in controlling indoor temperature which is an effective way to save energy costs. Again, roof damages, formation of ice dams as well as reduction of the overall lifespan of your roof will most likely happen if proper attic ventilation is taken for granted.

Have any additional questions? Call an experienced home inspector or roofing professional. These professionals are knowledgeable and do a very good job. Following these few tips will give you an efficient roofing ventilation system which means peace of mind all winter long.

Tim Negrilla – Your Local Home & Business Building Inspector!

Tim Negrilla – Homes Inspections, LLC

Your Local Home & Business Building Inspector!


PS: Remember; always check references before hiring a contractor.

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