The Killer in Your Attic

Well, the so called killer may not be quite what you were expecting, however, it’s a pretty big deal none-the-less. Let’s discuss attic venting.

Completed roof

A very real issue, improper attic venting can cause big problems for your roof, your home’s structural integrity, and your family’s health. When a home’s attic is not properly vented, condensation occurs. Condensation in your attic mostly occurs during the winter months when you are heating your home and the attic is feeling the heat from below and the cold from above. However, in the summer an improperly vented attic can reach extremely high temperatures which is equally unhealthy. The closer the attic is to the outside temperature, the better. So, what’s wrong with condensation? A lot of things, like:

  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Rotten roof sheathing (soft spots or bubbling)
  • Gutter destruction (from ice dam formation)
  • Destruction and inefficiency of insulation (in winter and summer)

There are some contributing factors that you can control, such as:

  • Using proper dryer/stove/bathroom venting (to the outdoors only)
  • Reducing humidifier use
  • Storing green firewood outside
  • Using only vented gas fireplaces and heaters
  • Keeping your crawlspace vented and as dry as possible
  • Quickly resolving plumbing leaks

So, what’s the real answer? You don’t need to panic. The recommended number of vents depends on roof slope and whether or not your attic floor has a vapor barrier. The ratio usually lies somewhere between 1:150 and 1:300 (square feet of venting to square feet of attic space).

Also, the square footage of intake vents must be equal to or greater than the square footage of exhaust vents.

Pretty simple really. If it’s all a bit too much for you, don’t worry, a quick inspection from your preferred roofer will ease your mind. Or at the least give you a sense of direction.

The bottom line here: Don’t let the monster in the attic kill your mojo. And, of course, remember that IBEX Roof has your back.