At Badger Roofing, we strive to inform and educate our clients about all of the facts related to their roofing project. Attic ventilation is one of the most vital components of any roof system and is all too often overlooked or forgotten. Proper attic ventilation extends the life of your roof, protects the manufacturer’s warranty, and fights the enemies of heat and moisture that can ruin your insulation, warp or rot your wood framing, and increase your energy bills.
It is estimated that 9 out of 10 homes in North America do not have proper attic ventilation. Why? Because most people are unaware that attic ventilation can impact the longevity of their entire home!
What is Ventilation?
Ventilation is simply the process of providing a continuous supply of air through the attic space. “Proper ventilation” consists of 50% intake, under or near the eaves, and 50% exhaust at or near the ridge or roof peak.
Heat trapped in unventilated or improperly ventilated attics may cause temperatures to exceed 150 degrees Fahrenheit, causing damage to the entire roof system, including the wood framing, and possibly radiating into the living area creating higher energy costs.
A properly ventilated attic can help reduce the load on your air conditioner by moving the superheated air out of your attic before it builds up and causes damage.
The other enemy in your attic is moisture that causes rot, mildew, mold, paint blisters, and may ultimately render insulation to be ineffective. Insulation can trap moisture, which will reduce the R-value (heat resistance value) of the insulation and create an environment that promotes the growth of unsavory and unwanted visitors in the attic.
Houses are built much “tighter” today than they were 20 or 30 years ago. Windows are more efficient, house wraps are now commonly used, and the R-value of insulation has increased. Overall, our homes are more weather tight and moisture is more readily trapped in the home.
Indoor moisture is generated from several common household activities including bathing, laundry, dish washing, mopping floors, cooking – virtually any activity that uses water adds moisture to the air. Experts say that the daily living activities of a family of four can add more than 18 gallons of water a week into the air of a home! Moisture that is suspended in the atmosphere of a structure will naturally flow toward drier air to equalize itself. This equalization process actually forces the indoor moisture through the ceiling and insulation into the attic area.
In attics which are not properly vented, moisture is also created by simple condensation.
The air inside an improperly vented attic will be warmer than the air outside and when this moisture comes in contact with the colder roof sheathing, condensation will occur. In effect, it can actually “rain” in your attic. The ideal ventilation system maintains a temperature within the attic that is within 10 degrees of the outside air.
There are a wide variety of components and systems available to ensure that you have adequate and effective attic ventilation. Because every home is unique, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced professional to help you through the process of determining which system will best fit your specific needs and that you use a licensed contractor to install that system.
Badger Roofing is able to provide you with all of the resources required to make an informed decision regarding your ventilation needs. We will provide and install a system that will add value and peace of mind for the life of your home.
Most major manufacturers of roofing products will not honor their material warranties if proper attic ventilation is not provided. When a material warranty is in question, proper attic ventilation is often the first consideration when determining if a warranty will be honored.