Attic ventilation is not discussed as often as other topics related to roofing, yet it is one of the most important parts of your roof’s design. Here we'll explain more about the importance of ventilation and why you should have any issues addressed as soon as possible.
Problems Caused by Improper Ventilation
An attic needs a balanced ventilation system to allow continuous circulation, which permits moist, hot air to escape. Trapped heat and moisture in an attic can cause the following problems:
Structural Damage. The attic’s structural components, which include the rafters, trusses and decking material, are all made of wood. They are therefore susceptible to extreme levels of moisture and heat. The wood will warp over time, leading to such problems as sagging roof lines or even a collapsed roof.
Wet Insulation. Materials such as batts, foam and blown-in insulation absorb moisture readily, which means they lose their insulating power. Wet insulation allows “holes” in the insulating layer, allowing outdoor temperatures to affect your home's interior.
Ice Dams. Ice dams are formed when trapped attic heat raises the roof deck temperature to above freezing and melts snow on the roof's surface. The snowmelt flows to the eaves before refreezing. The ice slowly forms an ice dam that traps water on the roof deck. Ice dams often cause further damage that has to be addressed by a professional roofing contractor.
Mold & Mildew Growth. Warm, moist spaces with little sunlight are perfect breeding areas for mold and mildew. As an indoor air pollutant, mold spores can easily spread into your living areas and may trigger allergies and other respiratory problems.
Proper Attic Ventilation
Attic ventilation can either be passive or active. Passive ventilation involves proper placement of vents that allow balance between the exhaust and the intake vents, with some roofing systems having intake vents in the middle of the roof area. Regardless of the design, attics with passive ventilation have to be designed by professionals for utmost efficiency.
Active ventilation involves the use of exhaust fans that forcibly pull heat from the attic and suck fresh air in. With low-maintenance, solar-powered systems becoming more affordable, you may want to consider installing this system if your existing attic ventilation isn’t sufficient.
To learn more about attic ventilation or our services offered by our
, call Roofing & More today at (703) 828-1620. We serve Burke and Alexandria, VA, along with many other Northern Virginia communities.
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