Loveland Roofing: Article About Proper Attic Ventilation
Homeowners in colder climates are especially vulnerable to attic ventilation concerns. While it is important to keep the interior of the home warm, the heat that rises into the attic space must be cooled or allowed to escape. In the summer months, hot air in the attic must be recirculated, restricting it from entering into the interior living space, which would result in higher cooling bills and inefficient airflow.
The United States Federal Housing Administration proposes a minimum of 1 square foot of attic ventilation for every 300 square feet of space within the attic. This calculation can be a difficult test for a homeowner to make on his own. A qualified Loveland roofing contractor can measure airflow in the attic to ensure the home meets the FHA minimum standards.
Improper circulation of the air in the attic space can shorten the lifespan of the shingles on the roof. Substandard attic airflow can also result in damage to the roof support system, mold and mildew growth spreading from the attic space, and inefficiency of the heating and air conditioning systems. A common issue in colder geographic areas is ice damming, which occurs when frozen precipitation melts on the roof and refreezes as it travels through the guttering system.
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Ice damming can cause water to back up into the home, resulting in leaks and interior damage. Proper attic ventilation reduces ice damming. An adequately ventilated attic also decreases energy bills, avoids costly repairs and results in better internal air quality.
When inspecting the attic space, the roofing contractor will look for obvious obstructions of efficient ventilation. Insulation in the attic area should never cover or obstruct soffit vents. Air conditioning and heating duct work should not be used to heat or cool unoccupied attic space. It is critical to resolve issues such as these found during an attic inspection for the lasting health of the home.
Exhaust vents added to the roof ridge remove excess heat, prevent roof rot, extend the life of exterior paint, reduce the growth of toxic mold, guard against ice damming and increase the energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems. In addition, exhaust vents are snow and rain tight, keep insects out of the attic and are durable. The contractor will consider the benefits of adding an attic fan to promote further airflow. Finally, the contractor will discuss existing insulation and the need for any modifications or improvements.
Proper attic ventilation is a topic that is often not considered by homeowners until a problem strikes. By being proactive and scheduling an attic inspection, homeowners can avoid wasted energy costs, possible structural damage and improve the health of their home for years to come.