Most homeowners believe the purpose of attic ventilation is to remove heat that builds up in the summer. That's accurate of course. But what that answer leaves out is just as important as what it includes. Roof ventilation is important, as it helps you avoid frequent roof repair and maintenance.
Here's how an effective ventilation system provides year-round benefits:
Without proper ventilation, the temperature in the attic may rise to about 150 degrees or higher. Insufficient ventilation may make your roof damper and hotter, causing your shingles to weaken. Furthermore, it may lead to other problems, such as mold and mildew formation, and condensation build-up. If not properly vented out, it can radiate into the living space affecting the comfort level inside the house and contributing to higher utility bills. The reduced temperature in your attic will help keep the ductwork and air inside your home cooler. The resulting effect will be a reduced strain on your air conditioning unit. During colder months, ventilation reduces moisture to help keep attics dry.
Proper ventilation helps you avoid serious health problems. Research shows that many people who live in modern, properly insulated houses with central heating systems often experience air pollution about 10 times worse than when they are outside. Having a low-grade or an inappropriate ventilation system puts you and your family at greater risk of exposure to bacteria, viruses, mildew, mold, fungus and harmful gases.
Ventilation systems are essential because they balance the temperature inside the attic with the temperature outside. This is evident during winter, where the cool air that enters through vents assists in avoiding the formation of ice dams. Proper ventilation systems also prevent an increase in humidity. During summer, you need proper ventilation, as it keeps your roof at a cool temperature despite the heat.
Protects Against Damage To Materials and Structure
The shingles and decking of your roof system may deteriorate prematurely due to heat and excessive moisture buildup. By reducing the surface temperature of the shingles and the existence of moisture on the underside of the decking by properly ventilating the attic space, a homeowner may be able to extend the life of both of these materials.
Defends Against Ice Dams
Winter creates a special attic ventilation problem in areas where snowfall and cold temperatures are common occurrences. The problem begins with the formation of ice dams which prevent melt water from running off a roof. Ice dams can form when warm air from the home accumulates in the attic, lower areas of the roof remain cold and a heavy snow cover accumulates on the roof. The melted snow flows down the roof until it reaches a colder spot, such as the eaves, where it refreezes, forming a back up of ice commonly called an ice dam. A properly designed ventilation system creates a "cold roof" -- a condition where the roof temperature is equalized from top to bottom, which helps eliminate the conditions that lead to the formation of ice dams. Roof damage occurs when the water pooling against the dam begins to back-up under shingles. Plus, water can infiltrate into both exterior and interior walls, leading to rotted roof decks and rafters, ruined insulation, moisture inside the walls, and mold and peeling paint, which could cost a homeowner hundreds of dollars more to repair.
Not sure if your attic ventilation is adequate? You can avoid all these problems by having the right materials and working with a professional and experienced roofing company to properly install a ventilation system.
Visit our website today and make an appointment with one of our ventilation experts to determine if your attic ventilation needs improving or replacing: www.precisionroofingmi.com
Subscribe to Precision Roofing's Blog