Why is Proper Attic Ventilation Important?

Ventilation in your attic is essential to many different aspects of your home especially the roof. The lack of proper ventilation throughout your structure can affect the life expectancy of your roof, the performance of your HVAC system and the ultimate comfort of the homeowner. Good attic and roof ventilation can lower your cooling bills and extend the life of your shingles.

Today ventilation of attic spaces is required by most building codes as well as by roofing material manufacturers and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). Most building codes require a ratio of 1/150 ventilation space to attic floor space.

Why is proper attic ventilation so important?

“Roofing experts say the majority of U.S. homes do not have proper roof ventilation, which can lead to severe roof damage. The Federal Housing Administration recommends at least 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space.

Highly rated roofers say excess heat that builds up in the attic with nowhere to go can create temperatures over 150 degrees in the summer, which may scorch shingles and roofing material, leading to premature replacement. Poor ventilation also can contribute to condensation, mold, and mildew in the attic.

In the winter, allowing cool air into the attic through intake vents will help prevent ice dam formation, according to Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency-driven program that promotes energy efficiency. Ice dams are made up of snow that melts and freezes again on a home’s gutters. The leading cause of ice damming is an overly warm attic.

“The more [heat] that can be kept out of the attic, the better,” says Scott Walunis, president of S. Bradley Company, a highly rated roofer in Willoughby, Ohio. “Creating continuous airflow from under the eaves to the [exhaust] ridge [on top of the roof] will push the heated air out of the attic. The goal is to get your attic temperature as close to the outside air temperature as possible.”

Exhaust vents can include either a roof turbine or ridge vent. A turbine is located on the top of a roof and uses wind to spin around and pull hot air out of the attic. Ridge vents extend the length of the top of the roof. These roof vents draw hot air out of the attic. It’s important not to cover any attic vents with insulation because this will prevent outside air from coming in and attic air from exiting.

Roofing experts say it’s also important to have plenty of intake vents above the eaves, which are also called soffits. “They deliver the intake ventilation past the insulation and to the exhaust vents where the heat is released,” says George Zentz, owner of highly rated Attic Insulation & Ventilation Pro’s in Shelby Township, Michigan.

Proper insulation on the attic floor will keep the attic cooler because it blocks heat from below, according to Energy Star,” explains Angieslist.com.

Many options to venting an attic space

According to thespruce.com, “there are many different options available to provide adequate ventilation to your attic space. As with any array of products, there is no one solution that works best for all situations. A careful comparison of all options is suggested before choosing a final solution to install. The following is a list of options for installing ventilation into a residential attic space:

Ridge Vent

A ridge vent is a ventilation strip that is placed along the ridgeline of the home. Prior to installing the ridge vent, a 1 inch wide strip of roof decking is cut out along both sides of the ridgeline to allow for air movement through the vent. It is important that air movement occurs and is not impeded by any framing members of the home.

Soffit Vents/Insulation Baffles

An important part of installing any system of ventilation into your roof system is to make sure that there is a point of entry and a point of exit for air flow. As a homeowner, it is important that you review the soffit areas of the home for soffit vents. The soffit vents allow convective air movement from the soffits of the residence to the ridge vent. In addition, insulation baffles must be installed at the point where the attic floor meets the roof line to prevent the attic insulation from migrating into the cavities and restricting the airflow from the soffit vents.

Whole House Fans/Powered Attic Fans

Fans and vents may be installed on the roof system that will draw the air out of the attic space and exhaust it to the exterior. These fans may be controlled by a switch or a thermostat which detects heat build-up in the attic space and automatically exhausts the attic space. There are solar powered options available that should be considered depending upon the location of the fan and the home.

Gable Vents

These vents are installed in the gable ends of the home or building. They are normally louvered vents that allow air to be drawn out of the attic space but prevent moisture from rain and snow from blowing back into the home.

Other Options

There are various other options that can be installed depending upon the construction of the home. These include louvered dormers, mushroom vents, and other options that allow targeted areas of the attic space to be ventilated,” according to thespruce.com.

Ventilation is essential and can be complicated to do on your own. Give us a call at 727-781-7663 or email No. 1 Home Roofing to discuss your attic ventilation.

No. 1 Home Roofing is proud to deliver quality service to its clientele in local communities, and therefore has years of experience in re-roofing and patching flat roofing systems.

No. 1 Home Roofing is a family owned and operated roofing company conveniently located on US Highway 19 in Palm Harbor, Florida. We are dedicated to providing top quality workmanship and materials to ensure that your new roof is done right. We specialize in shingle, tile, and flat roof installation, repairs, and maintenance. Contact us for an appointment and/or estimate at 727-781-7663.

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No. 1 Home Roofing is a family owned and operated roofing company and are conveniently located on US Highway 19 in Palm Harbor, Florida. We are dedicated to providing top quality workmanship and materials to ensure that your new roof is done right. Your peace of mind is important to our family!

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35753 US Hwy 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL 34684


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