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Attic Ventilation

For any homeowner have a clean flow of air in the attic is an absolute necessity to protect the home from unwanted damage that will occur if there is no airflow. What proper ventilation will do for an attic is provide a constant air flow through the attic proper and it in turn will help the insulation be more effective and help reduce temperatures in the home’s living areas.

attic ventilationHow the ventilation process works is simple, air is taken in from the soffits – located underneath the fascia and circulates into the attic. When the cold air comes in, it forces warm air in the attic out the vents that are strategically placed across the roof, to remove the unwanted heat buildup in the attic. There are many risks associated with inadequate attic ventilation and most homeowners don’t know they are at risk because they don’t have attic ventilation or unaware of the risks. And the risks the homeowner is taking can impact the health of the entire home that can cause thousands upon thousands of dollars of damage if not kept in check.

In the summer months, the attic temperature can climb to over 70*C, and the super heated air has nowhere to go but up through the roofing system or it is pushed down when it reaches a compressed state and the heat radiates into the living areas of the home.

Damage due to poor ventilation will cause

  • Heat release though the roofing system – through the decking to the shingles – will cause shingles to fry and the results will be cracks and erosion of the shingle, reducing the lifespan of the shingle and its effectiveness to channel water from the roof to the eavestrough.
  • Decking and trusses in the attic will be damaged if ventilation isn’t present. The wood structures will warp and crack and that could cause structural weaknesses in the roofing system, with the potential for your roof to fall in to your attic.
  • Heat that radiates back into the living area due to poor ventilation will cause damage to interior and exterior paint, siding and any surface materials that are on the walls, like wallpaper.

Having a good air filtration system in roofing system can have benefits that can reduce your energy use. In the summer, if you have good ventilation, your air conditioning system wont be working as hard because it wont have to cool super high temperatures that are created by poor ventilation.

In the winter, we use heat liberally, and in the heat there is moisture that travels throughout the whole house, creating a mildly damp environment. If the moisture is allowed to make its way to the attic with improper ventilation, the moisture will penetrate the wooden structures – like the trusses and the decking – and the damage will be wood rot, sagging and mold and mildew buildup that is harmful for your health. Also, proper attic ventilation will can help prevent a problem called ice damming. Ice dams are created when the attic is too hot and the heat release through the shingles causes the snow on the roof to melt. The water then runs to the rain gutters, and that is a good thing, right?

The short answer, the like the long answer is an emphatic NO. The water will rush from the shingles when temperatures are warm and when the temperatures drop, the water will freeze at the rain gutters, and the ice will force the gutters away from the fascia, creating a gap. When temperatures rise, the ice will melt and the water will run down the side of the house to the foundation, not what is was designed to do. Costly repairs to the fascia and potential soffit damage are the byproducts of lack of circulation in the attic that can be compounded be leaks in the foundation or any other area where the water drains.

durafloContact an Insulation expert to assess whether you have a good airflow in your attic and if not have an upgrade performed to your roofing system to protect your home for the damage heat and water can do if not prevented in a timely manner.

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