Many people often ask us what they can do in order to keep their roof healthy and in good condition for a long period of time. We think this is a very good thing: with a roof replacement being such a huge investment, wanting to maintain your roof and extend its lifespan is something every homeowner should concern themselves with. For this reason, we usually answer with one thing that many homeowners either don’t expect or simply ignore: make sure your attic is properly ventilated.
Attic ventilation is a factor that’s critically important for your roof, and yet we find that far too many people don’t pay nearly enough attention to it. Without proper ventilation, your roof’s health can suffer, your energy bills can climb, and you could feel the heat—quite literally! Here are a few reasons why you need to make sure your attic is properly ventilated and a few things that can happen if you don’t.
Your roof is your home’s primary line of defense against the elements, so why not do everything in your power to help it do its job? Attic ventilation is extremely important to the condition of your roof notably for its ability to allow your attic to remain dry. During humid or rainy days or if your roof has a leak, air in your attic will become damp. With proper ventilation, this moisture can dry out easily, but moisture that lingers and can’t escape will cause problems like mold and mildew growth or even wood rot, which can destroy the structure in your roof. If left unattended, mold and mildew can also cause health problems in your home by releasing potentially toxic spores into the air.
Have you noticed that certain rooms in your home are significantly hotter than the rest for reasons you can’t quite explain? Well, attic ventilation issues may be the culprit causing your troubles. On hot summer days, the air in your attic can reach temperatures as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit or more, and without a way for this air to escape, it will continue to linger over your home as an extremely hot blanked that saps away the cool air your air conditioner produces. Without away for this hot air to escape and be replaced by cooler, lower-pressure air, your home will struggle to stay cool and your energy bills will continue to climb rapidly, particularly on the hottest days of summer.
How to Improve Ventilation
Attic ventilation comes in two different forms: natural and mechanical. Generally, we try to encourage using natural ventilation as much as possible, and reserve mechanical solutions only for where natural ventilation isn’t really possible. Natural ventilation is quite simple: warm air rises, and is released out into the atmosphere through an exhaust vent located at the top of your roof, where it is then replaced by cooler, ambient air allowed into your attic through smaller vents located at the base of your roof, just inside the eaves. This is known as the “stack effect.”
Mechanical ventilation solutions essentially function on the same principle, but require a power source in order to move air out of these trouble spots that receive minimal airflow so that it can escape and be replaced by cooler air. Because these systems require power, they can add a small amount to your energy bills, plus they’re more expensive to install. For this reason, we do our best to avoid them as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing warm temperatures in your home or your attic is unreasonably hot, talk to a Phoenix roofing expert from Lyons Roofing to find out if poor ventilation may be the cause! Contact us online to schedule your service today.