The Importance of Attic Ventilation during the Winter
Properly functioning attic ventilation does more than keep you comfortable, it also protects your roof structure from damaging moisture. You can keep your home in better condition by maintaining good attic ventilation, which in turn will give you better indoor air quality.
Proper attic ventilation and airflow protects your home from a number of problems, including moisture, mould, frost, wood rot, shingle damage, ice dams and warping. During winter, the heat in your home rises into the attic. With heat comes moisture. If your attic is not properly ventilated, the moisture will collect and effect the structure of your roof.
Proper ventilation allows cool, dry air from outside to move through the attic - distributing moisture out the vents. Good ventilation helps keep temperatures even - preventing hot and cold spots to the roof which are famous for causing ice dams. Ice dams commonly cause water backup during a change in seasons.
Functioning attic vents also prevents mould and mildew growth - keeping your home air quality free from contaminants. It also prevents an environment that pests, rodents and insects love - warm, damp and dark.
Professionals recommend 1 square foot of roof ventilation for every 300 cubic feet of attic space. This ratio will ensure proper airflow throughout the attic and allow for natural ventilation.
3 common types of intake vents are gable vents that are installed at the highest point of the gable; soffit vents that are located at the underside of the eaves; and rafter vents found where the ceiling and attic floor meet. 3 common types of exhaust vents are ridge vents found along the roof's peak and often blend into the shingles; and turbine vents that use wind to help pull moist air form the attic.
A more aggressive approach for larger, more complicated roof systems may require attic ventilation fans - using fans to pull in cool air and distribute it through the attic area.
There are steps you can take to ensure your home is getting the best possible attic airflow. Fix or replace any vents that have been damaged by weather. Do not cover vents in the winter - doing so will trap moisture in your attic and potentially lead to many problems. And make sure there is space between the top of the attic insulation and the roof deck's underside and is clear at the eaves. These will all aid in better performing attic airflow.
Attic airflow is an important tactic in your home's indoor air quality. It is a key factor in preventing structural damage, keeping energy bills as low as possible and keeping pests away. For more questions on how to better your home's indoor air quality, reach out to us.