A Quick and Easy Guide to Roof Attic Ventilation

Sep 11, 2023

WRITTEN BY:

Moises V.

CATEGORY:

Uncategorized

POSTED ON:

September 11, 2023

UPDATED ON:

October 10, 2023

Got Questions?

Do you want to extend your roof’s lifespan, save money on energy bills, and ensure your home is comfortable year-round? If so, don’t overlook the role of your attic’s ventilation.

And it’s not just about finances! Poor attic ventilation can also pose health risks by fostering mold and mildew growth, which releases contaminants into indoor air.

But how do you ensure your attic has sufficient ventilation over the years?

Read on to learn everything you should know about roof attic ventilation. 

If you need help ensuring your attic ventilation is in top-notch shape or want to address other roofing concerns, contact us now.

 

What Is Attic Ventilation?

Attic ventilation provides airflow through the attic space to regulate temperature and moisture levels. This prevents heat buildup, moisture damage, and mold growth. 

When an attic has adequate ventilation, hot air escapes through the roof’s peak, and cool air enters along the eaves. So, good attic ventilation systems have two main components: 

  • Intake Vents: These are located at the bottom of the attic, near the eaves, and allow cool air to enter.
  • Exhaust Vents: They’re located at the top of the attic, near the roof peak, and allow hot air to escape.

 The amount of ventilation or the size of attic vents needed depends on the size of your attic and the climate.

 

Importance of Attic Ventilation

house attic under construction mansard wall insulation with rock wool

Here’s why you should ensure your attic has proper ventilation: 

  • Temperature Regulation: Proper roof ventilation allows hot air to escape the attic during summer. This prevents your home from overheating and reduces the strain on your air conditioning system.
  • Structural Problems Prevention: Proper attic ventilation controls moisture levels. If left to build up, moisture can lead to mold growth, roof sheathing rot, and other structural problems. 
  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Adequate passive ventilation can keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, saving you money on energy bills. 
  • Ice Dam Prevention: Ice dams can form on the roof when warm air from the attic melts snow on the roof. The melted snow then refreezes on the eaves, causing a dam that can prevent water from draining off the roof. Ice dams can then lead to leaks and water damage on roofs
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality: Allowing cold air into the attic space contributes to better indoor air quality by preventing the attic’s buildup of pollutants and moisture. Good indoor air can have a positive impact on the overall health and well-being of your household. 

 

How to Ventilate Your Attic: Using Vents

To ensure your attic and living space are well-ventilated, you must select the best roof vents. 

As we discussed earlier, there are two types of vents: intake and exhaust. You’ll find different types of each in the market, so we’ll help you understand more about them below.

Intake Vents

Below are the most common and effective intake vents you can use to improve your attic’s ventilation. 

Soffit Vents

Does your home have a sizable roof overhang or eaves? If so, soffit vents are the most popular and effective roof intake vents for such homes.

A soffit vent is installed in the soffit, which is the underside of the eaves of a roof. This type allows fresh air to enter the attic from the outside and displace the accumulated hot, stale air. It works well with ridge vents (exhaust vents).

Fascia Vents 

Try fascia (also called over-fascia vents) if your roof eaves aren’t large enough to accommodate soffit vents. 

These vents are small openings near the roof’s edge. They allow fresh air to enter the attic through the fascia board, and they’re as effective as soffit vents. 

Exhaust Vents 

turbine ventilator on top of a roof uses wind power to exhaust heat and moisture from attics

Here are some types of exhaust vents you might come across when improving your roof ventilation:

Shingle Vents 

Shingle vents seamlessly integrate with your roofing materials. They’re low-profile continuous exhaust vents running along the ridge or peak of the roof. These vents are installed beneath the shingles or roofing materials, making them nearly invisible from the ground.

Turbine Vents 

If your region has a lot of wind throughout the year, try whirlybirds or turbine vents. They work when the wind spins a turbine, making them energy efficient, easy to install, and more affordable than alternatives.

Turbine vents are suitable for small attics because they don’t occupy much space. And they can still work even in low-wind situations.

Ridge Vents

Ridge vents should be your go-to option if you want an inexpensive and easy way to improve your roof ventilation. These exhaust vents are installed at the peak of a sloped roof, especially on shingled residential buildings.

Gable Vents 

Does your home have a gable-style roof? If so, then gable vents will help you ventilate your attic effectively. 

These vents sit on the gable ends of a house, which are the triangular areas created by the intersection of two roof slopes. 

Gable vents can also act as both intake and exhaust vents based on the wind’s direction. However, they function best as exhaust vents.

 

How Do I Know If My Attic Is Properly Ventilated?

There are two primary ways to check if your attic is well-ventilated: 

  • Check for ice dams on the eaves during winter. The presence of ice buildup is a sign of poor attic ventilation.
  • Check to see if your ceiling is hot during summer. If it is, then your attic isn’t well-ventilated.

If you notice any of these signs, talk to roofing experts. They’ll conduct a professional roof inspection to assess the situation and suggest remedies based on their expert findings.

 

How Often Should Your Attic Ventilation System Be Inspected? 

It’s best to inspect and repair your attic ventilation systems once a year. This ensures your intake and exhaust vents are functioning efficiently.

 

Conclusion

Understanding the value of sufficient attic ventilation and taking proactive steps can profoundly impact your home’s structural longevity, energy efficiency, and overall comfort.

So, don’t wait! Protect your home and contact Viking Contractors for expert assistance in maintaining the health and integrity of your roof and attic.

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