Attic ventilation is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, parts of a roofing system. A well-ventilated attic helps make sure air is properly circulated around your home. This reduces moisture and keeps indoor air fresh. Poor attic ventilation has previously been linked to health issues and home damage. Unfortunately, not many homeowners understand how attic ventilation works, so we are debunking some common myths below!
MYTH 1: ROOF VENTS OFFER ENOUGH VENTILATION
Not all roof vents are ideal for all homes. For example, ridge vents may be the most cost-effective type available. Still, without baffles that keep air out, they'll provide little to no ventilation. Gable vents circulate air effectively, but only in their immediate area. Static, roof-line vents are adequate in terms of ventilation, but generally have issues with leaks. Lastly, soffit vents may leave air trapped at the top of your attic. This might all sound very technical, but bottom line…
There are various kinds of vents that work differently from one another.
Installation can also affect the amount of air circulation.
Roof vents' efficiency varies in different roofs.
Effective ventilation systems make use of a "ride-and-soffit" continuous system. This design varies from roof to roof, so to get the best ventilation system for your home, turn to our professional team. We can inspect your current system and any inherent weaknesses that may be at work.
MYTH 2: VENTS ARE ONLY NEEDED IN HOT CLIMATES
Vents are needed in all climates for proper attic ventilation, energy efficiency, and preventing the build-up of moisture and condensation in the attic. While homes in hot climates, like Florida, see substantial benefits from properly ventilated attics, homes in all climates benefit from attic vents.
The truth: in colder seasons, homes need an unvented roofing system and insulation. These will prevent condensation and the moisture damage that follows. Proper ventilation is critical in the winter, especially with too much heat in the attic and cold snow on the roof. Preventing moisture damage is a much more significant benefit from attic ventilation.
MYTH 3: THE MORE VENTILATION YOU HAVE, THE BETTER
While insufficient attic ventilation can lead to moisture problems and decreased energy efficiency, too much ventilation can be just as bad. Attic vents add roof penetrations - essentially more places where leaks can occur. Needlessly increasing the number of these penetrations will increase your risk of leaks and potentially cause blowouts during a hurricane.
Ideally, your attic ventilation balance would equal the size of your home. Meaning your attic insulation has just the right amount of exhaust space to match the air intake. This will depend on the size and slope of your attic. Our roofing experts can help you determine the perfect amount of ventilation that your home system demands.
MYTH 4: ATTIC VENTS REMOVE WARM AIR DURING THE WINTER
Common misconception! Heat does, in fact, rise into your attic then escapes through the vents. However, this happens when a roofing system has insufficient or degraded insulation that allows warm, moist air from your home to creep into your attic. This isn't because the vents are removing the warm air; it's because the insulation isn't doing its job. At the end of the day, attic vents will not create a drag on your heating system, but you should make sure your attic insulation is doing its job!
Myth 5: YOU CAN RELY ON RESEARCH
Countless studies confirm the effectiveness of an optimized roof ventilation system. However, no lab setting can replicate real-world wind and weather behaviors. Regional differences only widen the gap—conditions in Texas can vary significantly from conditions here in Wisconsin!
Finding a trusted and experienced contractor who has experience in your region is a better decision for your home and roof than any research study or online "expert."
If you want to learn more about attic ventilation or would like to schedule a free quote, please contact us today. Mad City is a leading roofing contractor in the state of Wisconsin and has been for 2+ decades. We are ready to become your go-to contractor for all your roofing needs.