Many people don’t realize that proper attic ventilation is just as important in the winter as in the summer. Aside from preventing temperature extremes, adequate ventilation allows cool, dry air from outside to come into the attic while allowing warm, moist air inside the attic to escape. This is essential in avoiding a build-up of condensation, which can lead to significant damage and costly repairs.
How To Recognize Poor Attic Ventilation
In addition to extreme temperature fluctuations with the changing seasons, you may notice additional signs of poor ventilation:
● Ice dams: heated air from your home can rise into the attic. When it snows, an overly warm attic will melt the snow too quickly. This snowmelt runs down the roof to the gutters where it can freeze and form ice dams. Check your gutters regularly to make sure there is no ice.
● Mold/mildew: moisture and heat are ideal conditions for mold to grow. You may smell it before you see it!
● Cracked shingles or early granule loss: a build-up of heat and moisture causes dry rot in the roof decking, resulting in cracking.
● Sagging or spongy decking: excess moisture can dissolve the adhesives holding the decking together, causing them to sag.
Issues That Arise from Poor Attic Ventilation
Poor roof and attic ventilation can become a serious issue, especially if it isn’t repaired for a significant length of time. If not repaired in a timely manner, you may find yourself facing a number of expensive issues:
● Short roof life: probably the most important issue is having to repair or replace your roof prematurely. When the roof deck becomes compromised due to excess heat and moisture, the shingles and underlayment may need to be replaced more often than usual due to cracking.
● Poor air quality: with no way for fresh air to make its way through, impeded ventilation can affect your home’s air quality
● Condensation buildup: a buildup of excess moisture can have many damaging consequences:
○ Rust: moisture can cause metal structures, such as nail heads, to rust off, compromising the building’s integrity
○ Pests: warm, damp areas are a breeding ground for rodents, insects, and other pests that nest in attic spaces.
○ Ice dams: as mentioned above, excess moisture and heat can cause ice dams to form. Ice dams can result in water leaking back into the home if not addressed promptly.
○ Mold/mildew: mold is not just an inconvenience, it is a serious health hazard!
What to Do If You Suspect Poor Ventilation
Fortunately, there are several ways to correct poor ventilation before it gets out of control. If you notice any of the warning signs of a poorly ventilated roof, contact your local roofer for the most appropriate solution.
J&K Roofing offers free roof inspections in the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins areas. Contact us to see how we can help you! For information on how we are keeping our clients safe during COVID, click here.