What You Need to Know About Your Attic Ventilation

Sep 20, 2021 | Roofing

Attic vents provide ventilation that prevents the buildup of excessive heat and moisture in the attic. This heat and humidity can lead to mold and rot that will damage your roof, so preserving your attic vents is an essential part of roof maintenance.

Why Your Home Needs Attic Ventilation

Attic ventilation is absolutely essential. That seems strange to some people, as most of their concerns about their home are about trying to keep the elements out, not provide a flow of air. It’s really quite simple, though. Having a completely sealed space presents a serious risk of trapping in too much heat and moisture, leading to damage that could end up requiring a roof replacement over time.

Most attics are sealed off from the rest of the home to some degree. Can you access your attic for storage, or is it totally blocked in with insulation? In either case, airflow between your home and your attic is minimal.

Moisture will eventually find its way into your attic through minor faults in even the most effective seals. That can be through small leaks in the roof that are otherwise not a major cause for concern or through ambient exposure to humid air. Once inside, the moisture will have difficulty finding a way out if there isn’t any attic ventilation.

The Components of Your Attic Ventilation

Proper attic ventilation involves two main components. These are the intake vents, which are generally underneath your roof’s soffit and allow for a ready source of cool and dry air to flow through. The other part is the exhaust vent, which is at its peak. The two vents allow for a controlled airflow through the attic to remove excess moisture and heat during the summer.

These vents need to be appropriately sized to allow for natural ventilation to take place. The only driving force here is the rising of hot air relative to cold. There aren’t any fans required. The area of the vents plays a major role in determining airflow rate, and it has to be sufficient for the volume of your attic.

Intake vents are typically underneath the soffit, the panel that covers the overhang beneath your eaves. This strategic location is not only the attic’s lowest point, but it’s also where vents can keep safe from the elements. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for inexperienced attic insulators to cover these vents while installing insulation.

When this happens, your attic can’t take in any fresh air. Now, moisture will accumulate and lead to serious issues like mold or potential structural damage. Attic insulation is a job for professionals, and making this mistake on your own could be very costly.

You’ve likely noticed the familiar metal caps you see on exhaust vents on roofs here in Alto. These are turbine exhaust vents, which are one of the most popular vents. They rely on the wind to spin about and provide a little extra pull for ventilation. They’re very effective and are great at keeping the elements out of your attic.

Ridge vents are another type of exhaust vent that is simply an extended opening that runs along the roof. It covers the whole length of the roof but is very thin, so it isn’t easy to notice. The vent is underneath special shingles that allow air to escape but blend into the roof’s normal appearance.

Other Attic Ventilation Options

Many older houses don’t have the same vent arrangement that houses built today do. Instead of an intake vent underneath the soffit and exhaust vent on the roof, they will have two vents on either side of the attic. These are positioned on the wall and are typically identifiable by their distinct slats. You’ve surely seen some of the older homes here in Cornelia.

Some attics aren’t just storage space; they’re often used as recreational rooms or bedrooms. Finished attics are connected to the rest of the home and can’t allow for completely free airflow because they are also heated and cooled. In this case, vents are installed in the rafters to still provide airflow through the narrow space between the ceiling of the attic and the roof.

Attic Venting and Your Roof

Instead of googling “roofers near me in Gainesville,” you can count on Division Kangaroof for any of your replacement, repair, and inspection needs. We can quickly identify any issues you might have with your attic vent and ensure that they aren’t damaging your roof or your house’s structural integrity as a whole.