Make sure your attic is properly ventilated

Submitted by Urbach Roofing, Inc.

It's estimated that nine 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.

For example, in the summer, an improperly ventilated attic can cause heat to build in excess of 160 degrees. This superheated air eventually penetrates the ceiling insulation into the living area below.

Types of damage that can result include:

  • Premature aging of your roofing system (“fried” shingles)
  • Warping, cracking or breaking down of wood framing
  • Damage to siding, exterior or interior paint and wallpaper
  • Higher energy costs

A properly ventilated attic can help reduce the load on your air conditioner by moving superheated air out of your attic before it builds up and causes damage.

In the winter, various household appliances, bathtubs, showers and cooking vapors can contribute to excess moisture build-up. Improperly ventilated attics will allow this moisture to collect and cling to the underside of the roof. There, it will condense and fall, soaking the attic insulation and reducing its efficiency.

Additional structural damage can include roof deck warping and rotting of the wood frame, mildew growth and buckling of shingles and felt.

Proper attic ventilation systems allow a continuous flow of outside air through the attic, which protects the efficiency of the insulation and helps lower temperatures in the living space.

It consists of a balance between air intake at your eaves or soffits and air exhaust at or near your roof ridge.

The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) recommends a minimum of at least 1 square foot of attic ventilation (both intake and exhaust) for every 300 square feet of attic space. For example, if your attic is 900 square feet, you need a total of 3 square feet of ventilation. This amount is generally divided equally between intake and exhaust ventilation to ensure proper air flow through the attic.

Urbach Roofing, Inc. has been the San Diego area’s most trusted and respected roofing contractor for a variety of residential, commercial, and HOA projects since 1979.

As of Aug. 12, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.


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