Ice damage to roof

The Importance of Proper Attic Ventilation For Your Home

Posted by Justin Hornbeck on January 24, 2023

Protect The Integrity of Your Home

Your roof is your home’s primary form of protection. It is vital to ensure proper attic ventilation to maintain the integrity of your roof. Adequate ventilation is directly related to the lifespan of your roof, temperature regulation in your home, and avoiding costly repairs.

What is attic ventilation?

To ensure proper roof ventilation, you need a continuous flow of hot and cold air through the space. A proper system has two main functions: Intake vents are installed around the bottom of the roof, oftentimes in the soffits. The cool outside air flowing through the intake vents allows the hot air to rise to the highest points of your roof where the exhaust vents are installed. If both ends of this system are not functioning properly, it will certainly lead to issues for your home and roof.

4 Reasons Why Attic Ventilation is Important

graphic showing proper attic ventilation vs improper
Making sure your roof and attic are properly ventilated allows your roof to perform its job correctly. Ensuring the comfort of your home while avoiding unnecessary damage. Even using premium quality materials like Owens Corning Shingles® won't prevent damage resulting from inadequate ventilation.

1. Prevents condensation

The cause of attic condensation

The most important job of roof ventilation is to prevent condensation caused by temperature changes on the outside and the moisture from inside your home. In the winter months, warm, damp air produced by your showers, laundry, and kitchen gravitates upward to your home’s highest points. If that moisture reaches the cool underside of your roof, it will condense.

Condensation impacts more than your roof

Condensation in your attic over time will cause mold and rot to your attic and roofing materials. This is an unhealthy environment for you and your roof. The moisture can cause mildew to grow, which leads to serious health issues. It also causes the decking to swell, warp, and rot. Eventually, this leads the decking to lose its load-bearing capacity and its ability to hold the nails that keep your shingles attached. When your attic is properly ventilated, it will keep the area cool and dry.

2. Extends shingle lifespan

When the temperature outside rises, a lack of proper ventilation can also allow the temperature in your attic to rise. This exposure to heat will distort the roof sheathing and cause the shingles to warp and crack. That heat can also cause damage to the wood framing, rafters, and more. When you ensure the hot air is escaping the attic, you can help extend the life of your roofing materials.

3. Regulates temperature in your home

If you often notice that your upstairs is drastically warmer than your lower levels, attic ventilation, or a lack of it, could be at fault. If hot air gets trapped in your attic, it can make the rooms below uncomfortably warm and raise the cost of your heating and cooling. Making sure cool air is continuously entering your attic regulates the temperature of your home and allows you to be more comfortable.

4. Prevents ice damming

Ice dams cause serious damage and can also be the result of improper ventilation. They are typically caused when warm air reaches the deck of your roof. The warm air causes the snow to melt and run down to the overhangs of your roof. Away from the warm air, that runoff can refreeze, causing ice dams, which can cause major damage to your shingles and gutters.

Ice buildup behind and underneath the roofing materials causes damage to and compromises the integrity of your roof. Heavy blocks of ice hanging from your gutter also creates a hazard to people and pets below. Proper attic air flow should keep your attic at a similar temperature to the outside air to prevent snow from melting. It will help to migrate all the warm air from your living space to the peak of your roof and out the exhaust vents.

Ventilation problems don’t fix themselves

Ventilation issues are not something to take lightly. If ignored, improper ventilation will compromise your home. An attic not venting properly could result from a design issue, an improperly installed new roof, or home modifications. Whatever the cause, it is important to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

What can you do to ensure proper attic ventilation?

It's no doubt that attic ventilation is vital to the upkeep of your home and roof.
Why not let the professionals handle your roof and attic maintenance? We can help you to identify the signs of poor ventilation and decide which system is best for your home. Members of our Overhead Care Club receive annual attic and roof inspections to make sure your roof will last as long as possible.