You’ve heard that attic ventilation is a good idea for your home, your energy bills, and your roof. But before you run out and buy insulation, here are three things you should know first.
You Need the Right Amount. While 90 percent of all homes have moisture levels that are too high, and ventilation is meant to reduce moisture, it’s also important to understand that more isn’t necessarily better. Roof vents, for example, are a great way to add ventilation, but can also be a potential source of roof leaks. Some vents are necessary, but you don’t want to needlessly increase the number of roof penetrations. So, how much ventilation should you have? As a general rule, a ratio of 1:300, where for every 300 square feet of ceiling space, you need 1 square foot of attic ventilation.
Roof Vents Aren’t Just For Warmer Climates. Most people think that roof vents are there to let the warm air out, thereby reducing air conditioning demand in the summer. Yet preventing moisture damage is a much larger role of roof vents and one that is even more important in the winter than summer. Why? Because condensation forms in your attic because the temperature inside the attic is higher than the outside temperature and the moisture in the air becomes trapped – in your attic. Yet with proper ventilation, that warm air can escape. As a side note, with appropriate ventilation and insulation, your furnace should not be heating your attic.
You May Need More Than Roof Vents. While many roofing experts agree that ridge vents are the most effective and cost-effective roof vents available, they are often not enough to fully ventilate an attic. Similarly, gable vents may circulate air through only a small percentage of your attic, and soffit vents may leave air trapped at the top of your attic. So what’s the takeaway? Attic ventilation is not a one size fits all approach. More than likely, you will need a combination of roof vents, attic fans, and ridge vents.
If you are unsure about your attic ventilation system, the best thing to do is speak with a licensed roofing contractor. Ventilating your attic properly will not only add years to your roof, but is one of the most cost-efficient forms of home maintenance.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in hail damage, roofing restoration, and weatherization. ASAP has offices in Dallas, Texas, and Denver, Colorado.