Have you noticed that your home is uncomfortably hot or cold, your attic is damp and moldy, and your roof is slowly deteriorating?
If so, the root cause of these problems may be a lack of ventilation in your attic. Maintaining proper ventilation is incredibly important for your house’s well-being. Steady airflow will keep your home comfortable and healthy, and it can also extend the life of your roofing system, air conditioning unit, and heater.
Let’s look at all the problems caused by poor ventilation—and the easy steps you can take today to solve these problems for good!
Dependable Solutions to Improve Your Roof Ventilation
If you suspect poor ventilation is causing the issues you’re currently experiencing with your attic and roof, follow these tips to remedy the problem.
Get a Roof Inspection
First, hire a reliable roofer to perform a roof inspection to evaluate the state of your roof. They can help you assess whether you need a roof repair or replacement and can also identify your home’s ventilation issues—and the necessary steps to fix them.
Add Roofing Exhaust Vents
Your home should have one roof vent for every 150-300 square feet of attic space. On average, attics are between 1,600-1,800 square feet, meaning the average attic would require anywhere from 6-12 roof vents.
Roof vents, also known as ridge vents, are set at the roof’s peak, where air naturally rises. These types of vents are a form of exhaust vents, allowing hot air to escape from your home. Your roofer can help you determine if you have an adequate number of vents for the side of your attic. If you need additional exhaust venting, you can also install gable vents placed at the ends of your roof to help drive extra air out of the attic.
Install Attic Intake Vents
To keep airflow moving into, up, and out of your attic, you’ll need to install intake vents that allow outside air to enter your attic from below. Typically, soffit vents, installed on the underside of your roof along the drip edge, provide adequate intake airflow.
Evaluate Your Roof‘s Insulation
Insulation and ventilation work hand-in-hand to keep your home comfortable year-round. While ventilation manages airflow in your attic to get your home to a comfortable temperature, insulation helps maintain the perfect environment in your home. It also minimizes the output of your heater and air conditioning unit, extending their lifespan.
Just make sure your contractor doesn’t cover your vents with insulation—otherwise, neither product will work correctly!
Evident Signs of Poor Roof Ventilation
The most apparent sign of faulty ventilation during the winter is the accumulation of icicles and ice dams on your roof.
Ice dams occur when the center of your roof is warm enough to melt the snow piled on top. Then, the melted snow runs down toward your gutters and re-freezes and cools at the edges. After this process occurs a few times, the edge of your roof becomes an ice dam—trapping the remaining water from escaping. Until the ice dam is removed, the standing water remains on top of your home and can cause severe moisture damage.
Uncomfortable Indoor Temperatures
If your attic isn’t adequately ventilated during the hot summer or chilly winter months, you may notice the repercussions in your home’s indoor environment.
Poor ventilation traps hot or cold air inside your attic, and since it has no escape route, the drafts may travel down from your attic and into your home. Aside from uncomfortable indoor temperatures, you may notice high energy bills since your air conditioning unit or heater is working overtime to compensate for your lack of ventilation.
When your roof ventilation doesn’t work correctly, you may notice moisture damage under your roof since the warm rising air creates condensation buildup on your rafters. Excess moisture in your attic can also cause plumbing, heating, and other metal elements to rust and break. You may also notice your attic feels dank and smells musty.
Due to the unnecessary moisture buildup mentioned above, you may notice your indoor paint, especially in your attic, beginning to peel, flake, or blister.
Moisture from poor ventilation also creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew to grow. Of course, mold and mildew are unsightly, but prolonged mold exposure can also trigger concerning health issues, like allergic reactions, skin irritation, and asthma attacks.
Poor roof ventilation can cause roof damage that is often frustrating and expensive to fix. Excess moisture on your roof can lead to damaged roofing shingles, rotted decking, as well as algae, mold, or fungus buildup. Standing water can even cause your nails to rust and break, making your shingle vulnerable to blowing away. If these problems progress, your home may require a complete roof replacement.
Satisfy Your Ventilation and Roofing Needs with JD Hostetter
If you’re looking for an Indianapolis roofing contractor who can perform an evaluation, repair your damaged shingles, or install proper ventilation on your home, our experienced, local team can help.
Learn more about the professional roofing services we provide to discover why hundreds of Indianapolis homeowners have trusted us to complete their family’s roofing projects!