Did you know that proper attic ventilation plays a huge role in the effectiveness and longevity of your roof? Like every other part of the home, the attic needs to “breathe”. This allows the air temperature inside the attic to balance with the outside air temperature, which helps extend the life of the roof. Roofers in Kitchener can help improve attic airflow and ventilation, which will have benefits inside and outside your home.
Problems Associated With Inadequate Attic Ventilation
Attic ventilation helps keep roofs from overheating. Overheating can occur due to external air temperature or direct sunlight or it can happen from the inside, when warm air inside the house rises and gets trapped in the attic. Some problems associated with overheated attics are:
- Shingle Breakdown. An overheated roof can cause roof shingles to dry out and break down faster than they normally would. They may become dry and brittle and break off in a storm or blow off in the wind.
- Warm Homes.Trapped hot air can case upper level rooms to be excessively hot in the summer. This can make the living space uncomfortable and/or cause your air conditioner to work overtime as it tries to cool the home.
- Ice Dams. A too-warm roof in winter is a major cause of ice dams. Warm roofs melt the snow that falls on them. This melted snow runs down the roof and re-freezes at the eaves where it can build up and create an ice dam. Ice dams cause their own set of problems when ice and water back up under the shingles to cause water damage and leaks inside the home.
How Roofers In Kitchener Ventilate Attics
The National Building Code (Section 9.19) requires that all attic spaces above an insulated ceiling be ventilated with at least 1 square foot for every 300 square feet of insulated ceiling area. For low slope roofs or those with cathedral ceilings, the ratio is 1 square foot per every 150 square feet of space. Attics are ventilated through fresh air intake points and stale air exhaust points. Ideally, these are balanced to allow continuous airflow throughout the attic.
- Intake Vents. Located at the eaves and/or soffits, these vents allow fresh, cooler air to come in to the home.
- Exhaust Vents. Air exhaust vents expel hot air from the attic. Since hot air naturally rises, exhaust points are located at or near the roof ridge. Ridge vents can often be seen running along the top of a roofline. These work much like a window screen, allowing hot air to escape passively. Turbines are another option. These have vanes that spin like a fan to pull warm air out of the attic. They are located at strategic spots on the roof. It is best to use just one type of exhaust ventilation system rather than try to mix the two.
- InsulationAnd Air Sealing. Proper insulation and air sealing is essential to well-functioning ventilation. Insulation and sealing prevent air from inside the home from entering the attic and vice versa – it prevents heated or cooled air from the attic from entering the home. Neither your A/C or your attic ventilation system will have to work as hard to even out the temperature inside the attic if the area is properly insulated and well-sealed.
It’s important to have the right amount of attic ventilation. More is not necessarily better since any penetration to the roof is a potential area of moisture intrusion and vulnerability. Too little ventilation will lead to many of the problems discussed above. Your best bet when it comes to figuring out your attic ventilation needs is to talk to roofers in Kitchener. These pros can assess your current airflow situation, examine the effect it is having on your roof, and recommend an appropriate course of action to correct the problem.
Contact The Roofman For An Attic Assessment
If you have noticed problems with ice dams, hot upper level rooms in summer, or don’t see any intake or exhaust vents on your roof, contact The Roofman at 519-744-3830 to arrange an attic assessment. We can help make your home more comfortable, protect the integrity of your roof, and help lower your utility bills with improved ventilation.