Often the attic attracts the old odds and ends that are unwanted in house. They could be heirlooms, seasonal equipment, old clothes, or the iconic treadmill. Attics are great places to store things we don’t want think about. Accordingly, attics aren’t something you should have to think about. However, attics are an important part of the house, with significant effects on the health of your roof and energy conservation. Attic ventilation is important. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, you may find it causing too many problems to ignore.
The Dangers of No Attic Ventilation
In the hot months, attics that don’t have the proper ventilation will often register temperatures well over 100 degrees. These extreme temperatures are stressful on building materials for many reasons. During the winter months, lack of ventilation is also a problem and can cause damage to your home. Here are several issues which can be caused by poor attic ventilation.
- Rafters begin to deteriorate
- Roof decking also deteriorates
- Shingle deterioration
- Ice dams are more likely to form
- Mold and mildew growth
Why a No Attic Ventilation Causes Problems
Many of these problems are easily avoided with proper air flow. During the winter, a ventilated attic helps prevent moisture from lingering on the insulation and other areas of the attic. If the moisture remains for too long, mold and mildew will begin to grow in the attic. During the hot summer months, a lack of air flow will again cause moisture and high temperatures will damage shingles.
It is legal to build an attic with and without ventilation in any hydro-thermal zone. However, that does not mean it is wise. In addition to moisture and shingle damage, the high temperatures in an attic with no ventilation causes an added strain on your air conditioning. The attic, acting as a heat box, forces air down into the rooms below. The air conditioning system will have to work twice as hard to cool the rooms beneath the attic.
Every roof should have a basic ventilation system. Air enters through the soffit vent (located next to the gutter, it then passes up the air flow space provided and exits through the gable or ridge vent. This ventilation space is normally about 1 ½ inches. It seems counterproductive to add insulation to keep the house warm, then build a vent to allow cool air to flow, but this system will ensure the roof stays healthy and will keep the house insulated. Do not block these vents with things you store in your attic. We find that home owners make this mistake all too often.
If you are experiencing problems like deteriorated rafters or shingles, it’s possible it could be related to a lack of ventilation. Let the professionals at All Weather Tite, Marlborough, MA help you determine what the right solution is for your roof. Our team specializes in proven roofing solutions which will withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions. You can contact us for a free estimate, or with any questions about our products or service.