Does Your Attic Need Ventilation?

DOES YOUR ATTIC NEED VENTILATION?

A home is more than just a place. It’s where memories are made and little moments are created. Those experiences are priceless – Paying for preventable home repairs is not. As a homeowner, you know there is a list of regular upkeep for your home. This involves siding, roofing, and windows, but what about your attic? Whether you use it for storage or it’s just that forgotten part of your home, your attic might need some fresh air to keep your home running efficiently.

Okay we know how that sounds! It might seem backwards to consider allowing air to come and go through your attic all-year round, while also being told to keep the rest of your home sealed and properly insulated. Don’t worry, this free flowing air going through your attic prevents excessive heat and moisture from building up. This preventable heat and moisture causes significant damage to your home, while costing you an arm and leg to fix. Allowing your attic a proper breath of fresh air can end up saving you on home repairs and give you more time to make new memories.

 

Types of Ventilation:

There are two types of attic ventilation, passive and active. Talk with your local contractor to see what your options are and which route is best for your home.

  1. Active– Brings indoor air circulation through mechanical fans. This ventilation is ideal for places prone to moisture and heat such as attics or garages. It keeps your home free of gasses and harmful contaminants. One thing to consider is that this type of ventilation needs more maintenance, costs money to run, and uses electric energy.
  2. Passive– This air circulation doesn’t use forced movements, rather with natural forces, like the wind. Passive ventilation is the most recommended system to have but every home is different.

 

Do You Have Proper Ventilation:

Your roof keeps you and your family protected from the outside elements. Living in Colorado, means we get to enjoy all different types of weather patterns. From high-winds, beautiful sunny days, to chilly winter mornings. For a poorly insulated attic, these weather patterns can take a toll. Soaring temperatures in the summer cause your cooling system to work harder and can destroy your roofing materials from the inside, while chilly winters can create ice dams and affect your heating. Here is what to look for during the summer and winter to see if your attic is properly insulated.

In the Summer:

  • On a warm sunny day, put your hand on your ceiling to see if it feels hot. A sealed attic can reach temperatures of 140 degrees or more on a sunny day. Cooking your shingles, while raising your electric bills. Consider putting a thermometer in your attic to regularly monitor the temperature during the summer.

In the Winter:

  • Are you noticing your neighbors house still has snow on their roof but your roof doesn’t have as much? Or maybe you’re noticing snow melting from your attic but freezing around your gutters? Heat trapped in your attic melts the snow during the day but refreezes at night creating ice dams. Ice buildup along your roof’s edge can lead to moisture getting into your home creating mold or mildew growth.

 

Other Signs of Insufficient Ventilation:

Not only can you spot a sealed attic during the winter and summer. There are some other signs to lookout for and keep you ahead of potential problems.

  • Excessive condensation– This can cause structural damage and create mold and mildew growth.
    • See for yourself- Excessive moisture causes rust and corrosion on metal materials in the attic, such as nail heads, electrical boxes, etc.
      • Make a note of dampness, water stains, or frost in your attic.
  • Increase in heating and cooling bills– The extreme temperature fluctuations make your heating and cooling system work harder. That means more money is coming out of your wallet to keep your home up to temperature.
    • Needing frequent HVAC repairs can be another sign.
  • Wavy/ Rippled Shingles– Noticing wavy or rippled shingles on your home’s roofline- Caused by moisture infiltrating your roof decking
  • Respiratory Illness– A more serious problem from poor ventilation can be an increase in allergy symptoms or respiratory illnesses among your family members, which may be related to the spread of fungi spores through your indoor air supply from mold growth in your attic.

 

Why Is It Important?

Leaving an attic without fresh air creates serious problems for your home. Adding regular attic maintenance to your home upkeep can help ensure your home is running efficiently and fix problems before they get bigger. Some other benefits you’ll enjoy from proper ventilation are:

  • Lower energy bills- Your heating and cooling system won’t be working overtime to compensate for temperature fluctuations.
  • Prevent damage Proper ventilation prevents your shingles from cracking and losing their durability before their time and it won’t be a surprise expense for you to repair.
  • Prevents condensation, rot, and mold– Excessive moisture in your attic can create the perfect space for mold and mildew to grow. This can become seriously hazardous to your family.
  • EPA Recommended– Don’t just take our word for it! The EPA highly recommends attic ventilation to ensure you and your family are getting clean air in your home.

 

The Next Steps With Endeavor Exteriors

We know you’re probably thinking, how can I tell if I have proper ventilation in my attic? Of course, you can always check on your own and determine for yourself, but why not call in an expert? At Endeavor Exteriors, we want to make sure you feel comfortable and enjoy your home with quality maintenance and work. Just like you, we love the little moments we experience in our homes and we know how stressful it can be to have something go wrong. We’re here to make exterior home remodeling easier for you and get you back to those little moments as soon as possible. If you’re concerned about your attic or have other questions, call us today.

 

 

 

 

By: Makenna Maikish