If you've been looking into roof replacement options or even are considering roofing repairs, you've likely heard numerous references to attic ventilation. But why is this so important? It almost seems counter-intuitive to let cold air enter your home, doesn't it? Attic ventilation may not be the simplest of concepts, but it is an important one to understand if you're about to have your roof replaced or want to do a better job of roof maintenance. Here's a closer look.
Why is attic ventilation important?
Hot air rises—it's a basic principle of physics, and it's also why hot air balloons float! The same happens in your home. Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, the heat in your home tends to travel upstairs and into your attic. If there is no place for this warm air to escape, the attic temperature just continues to climb higher and higher.
An overly warm attic can lead to a number of issues. In the winter, it can cause the snow on your roof to melt, trickle down to the edge, and form ice dams, which loosen shingles and lead to leaks. At any time of year, more moisture ends up staying suspended in warm air, so your attic will grow damp and humid. This dampness can cause your insulation, attic walls, and even support beams to start molding. Plus, the high attic temperature is not great for your shingles. It causes them to break down and start crumbling faster.
How are attics ventilated?
There are two main types of attic vents. Ridge vents are long vents that stretch across the length of a roof ridge. Soffit vents are small, grate-like vents that are placed along the eaves of your roof. Some roofs are designed with both styles of vents, while others have just one or the other. If your attic is very large and prone to hot air accumulation due to the design of your home, you may also need an attic fan to bring in additional fresh air.
Regardless of which type of vents you have, they function the same. They let the hot air seep out and bring cold air in, lowering your attic temperature and keeping humidity under control.
How can you tell that your attic needs its ventilation system improved?
If you notice that your attic is moist or warm, you probably need to improve your ventilation (by adding more vents). Prematurely crumbling shingles and ice dam formation are also signs of poor ventilation.
To learn more, contact a roofing contractor at a company like Absolute Roofing.