Proper Attic Ventilation

Proper Attic Ventilation

Poor Attic Ventilation Can Ruin Your Insulation, Destroy Your Shingles, And Raise Your Energy Bills!

Proper attic ventilation systems allow a continual flow of outside air through the attic, protecting the efficiency of the insulation and helping to lower temperatures in the living space.

It consists of a balance between air intake (at your eaves or soffits) and air exhaust (at or near your roof ridge).

The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) recommends a minimum of at least 1 square foot of attic ventilation (both intake and exhaust) for every 300 square feet of attic space. For example, if your attic is 900 square feet, you need a total of 3 square feet of ventilation. This amount should be divided equally between intake and exhaust ventilation (i.e., 1 1/2 feet of each) to insure proper airflow through the attic. To calculate the amount of ventilation you need for your home, visit GAF’s Ventilation Calculator.

Why Take Risks?

It is a good idea to inspect your roof regularly, particularly if you live in areas of the country that experience extreme weather. You can inspect your roof yourself, either by climbing on your roof or by using binoculars from the ground. If you choose to go up on the roof yourself, remember to always utilize proper safety equipment to prevent falls or injury. See GAF’s Safety section for more details.

Here are just some of the ways to inspect for damage:

  • Check flashing for damage or for inadequate coverage
  • Look under eaves and overhangs for damage that might mean water leakage
  • Examine shingles for any that are missing, cracked, curled, torn, or warped
  • Look for any open seams or joints that could lead to leaking
  • Look for popped or rusted nails, or stains around nails
  • Check for unevenness, sagging, or unsound areas
  • Inspect your sources of roof ventilation—are they clogged, do you have ventilation, is there enough ventilation?
  • Inspect gutters for sagging, signs of leaks, and accumulation of granules
  • Check for dark patches or growth
  • Check around pipes and roof penetrations to make sure they are sealed and in good shape
  • Look inside the attic for signs of leaks, dark spots, holes, or sagging sheathing

For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of walking around their roof, the safest and most thorough option is to contact a professional roofing contractor to do the inspection.

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