When it comes to taking care of your home, the roof ventilation may be one of those things that you haven’t taken into consideration for a while, but in fact, plays a crucial role in your home. Your roof system’s lifespan depends on how much attic ventilation you have in place, and at the same time, helps you save from the unnecessary and future roof and other related repairs to your heating and cooling system.
Attic Ventilation: How It Works
The intake vents need to go all the way down through the soffits, while the exhaust vents are placed at the roof ridge – this is a good example of a great ventilation setup. With this setup, there’s a continuous airflow through the said space. The cool air will then pass through the soffit vents. On the other hand, the warm and humid air exits through the vents by your roof ridge.
The Importance Of An Effective Roof Ventilation
Without proper ventilation, too much heat and moisture may build-up on your roof – which could lead to damage and unnecessary repairs. For instance, improper moisture buildup in your attic could cause severe problems during both hot and cold weather conditions such as:
– With extreme heat and hot weather conditions, the high temperatures from outside will just make the temperature even hotter in the attic. When your attic roof is exposed to this type of heat, it doesn’t just cause heat in the attic, but may also cause damage to your roof shingles. Additionally, the heat may also radiate down to your living space making it more uncomfortable for you and the family especially if with an uneven attic floor. This results in higher electricity consumption as you try to crank the AC up, not to mention the amount of money you have to spend for the potential damage this may cause to your home.
– If you’re living in an area where it gets below freezing temperatures, the warm air may easily escape through your attic moving to the roof deck’s underside. While your roof deck starts to get warm, the snow that has accumulated on your rooftop will then melt. When this happens, water will start to trickle all the way down to your roof. What happens next? The water will then get frozen once more as the water reaches the colder and outer edge of the roof. When this happens multiple times, you may notice an ice formation along the eaves, which means that water and moisture are nowhere to go. If the water can’t escape and it has nowhere to go, it may go to the shingles, which could cause damage. Ice damming is a common issue many homeowners experiences, but with the right type of underlayment, you can eventually get rid of this problem. You may use a self-adhered underlayment around the nails. This is waterproof and tear-resistant. This stops the moisture and water flow coming from the attic or exterior walls, which simply means that it won’t cause damage to the drywall, or has no chance of reaching your home’s interior walls.
– When humid temperatures from your living area start to enter the cool attic, that humidity will then start to condense and become liquid as soon as it has contact with cold surfaces. Deterioration and roof damage are some of the common things that could happen when you keep this from happening. With a deteriorated roof system, your attic insulation will follow and it could cause further damage. On the other hand, warm climates can trap moisture in between the layers causing mold and mildew. This may cause allergens and even cause your cooling system to malfunction.
Improper Ventilation: Signs To Watch Out For
As you can see, improper ventilation causes numerous problems. Listed below are some important things that you should watch out for to determine whether your ventilation is starting to malfunction:
– A sudden surge of your household cooling and heating bills. Your insulation will become less effective if it becomes wet – and when this happens, your electricity bills will try to keep up with the poor ventilation system in place.
– You find the need to have your HVAC system repaired more often. This is because your heating and cooling systems are compensating for the failed ventilation system causing the machines to work harder. When this happens, the system starts to breakdown faster, or may even malfunction at times.
– Ice damming or building found on the edge of your roof during the winter season.
– Your shingles and roofline start to create a rippled, or sometimes wavy appearance. This is caused by the moisture that’s trapped underneath.
– Metal materials on the attic start to corrode. This includes electrical boxes, nail heads, HVAC system parts, and light fixtures.
– Noticeable water stains or signs of decay and deterioration on the parts supporting your roof.
– If you’ve started to notice that your family is suffering from respiratory symptoms and has more occurrence of allergic reactions, this is usually because of the molds, and fungi spores that have grown passing through your indoor air supply.
What Can You Do About An Attic With Poor Ventilation
If you’re experiencing any or all of the above signs, it is best that you immediately contact a certified and licensed roofing contractor. They will be able to inspect your ventilation system. They know the right measurements and can provide you with accurate information on how to move forward. More often, they will provide you more information and give you different options on how proper ventilation can be done to ensure effectiveness and prevent this problem from recurring.