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Next Day Gutters(703) 475-2446
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Why would attic ventilation be something you would need to be concerned about? After all, the attic is not a place you normally spend a lot of time. Sure, you might store boxes of old books or the first baby clothes you bought for your kids, but it’s not likely you’re up there much. If the attic feels a little stuffy, it might not bother you to be in it long enough to move a couple boxes around, but that stagnant air is having an effect on much more than you may realize. Regardless if you live in a hot climate or a part of the country where the temperatures dip below freezing in the winter, the condition of the attic influences the longevity of your house. It is part of the roof system that protects your home and acts as a buffer between the external environment and the inside atmosphere. It plays a major role in the amount you pay each month to heat or cool your home.
Hot air rises and takes with it the humidity created by normal living activities, including running hot water in the shower and using appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers. Much of it ends up in the attic. If it cannot escape, you have the issue of excess moisture turning into condensation. It can accumulate in small puddles and leak back down through the ceiling. A warm, humid environment is perfect for mildew and toxic black mold to flourish. Dampness weakens and rots the wood sheathing on the underside of the roof and the trusses. It corrodes the metal materials that were used to fasten the roof in place. Too much moisture in the insulation reduces the R-value.
There has to be a way for the heat to escape from your house in the summer. Otherwise, it radiates back into the rooms below, making them uncomfortably warm. In the winter, too much heat in the attic warms up the roofing materials enough the melt the snow and creates ice dams on the edge of the roof. This is major concern and cause for a leaky roof.
There are some obvious signs that you don’t have enough air circulation in your attic. In warm seasons, if you go up to your attic around mid-afternoon and have your breath taken away by the wall of heat that hits your face, you have a problem. That heat is likely causing your air conditioner to run overtime, which increases your electric bill. In the cold weather, icicles hanging off the edge of your roof make your home look like a scene from a winter wonderland, but it means trouble. Icicles are an indication you have ice dams and potential roof leaks.
There is a delicate balance between have too little air flow and too much. Your attic should stay cool, but not cold enough to make your furnace run nonstop in the winter. We use a formula based on the square footage of your attic to precisely calculate the optimal amount of ventilation you need. A simple adjustment to your roof vents can prevent needing a new roof replacement. Before we recommend additional attic ventilation we do a thorough inspection and infrared scan to determine any other issues or energy leaks in your attic.