Ensuring Proper Ventilation

It is very important to ensure proper ventilation in your attic so that your home is comfortable during all seasons. The free flow of fresh air through the roof is essential for the maintenance of the right temperature in your home. Proper roof ventilation ensures that your home is warm in the cold seasons, saving you many expenses. If you want to make sure your attic is well ventilated through the roof read this article to learn why and how to do it properly.

A roof that is well ventilated will last longer than improperly or non-ventilated roof and attic. The lack of ventilation or the improper one can lead to mildew and mould, which are created by the humidity and warm air. Moisture can   weaken your roof decking, making your roof more fragile. When moisture and heat get stuck under your roof this may lead to cracked slates and progressively worsening of the roof condition. The lack of ventilation or the improper one can create forming of ice dams as well. This happens when warm air gathered in your attic melts away the snow on your roof. When the weather becomes colder, the melted snow freezes again. This process of melting and freezing again is repeated over and over, thus creating ice dams. They keep the water stuck at the eaves which leads to a lot of roof damage.

There are a few types of roof ventilation you can provide – from installation of basic static vents to more modern power vents. The most effective exhaust ventilation is provided by ridge vents. Their name comes form the place where they are installed – along the ridges of the roof. To provide intake ventilation you can install soffit vents. These vents can be installed along the underside of the overhang of your roof or along the eaves. You can choose gable vents which are installed at the gables and work together with a fan for better results. You have the option of installing roof vents instead of gable or ridge vents. Their location is higher on the surface of your roof.

Installation of vents is a good decision you can make for your home which will save you a lot of roof damage and expenses. It has to be done properly by professionals. Here are some recommendations for the proper vent installation. If the half of your vent openings are located along the soffits, while the other half of them are situated along the ridges, 1 foot of exhaust and intake ventilation is enough for every 300 sq ft. If you have installed soffit vents, 1 foot of ventilation is enough for every 150 square feet of your attic floor area. It is advisable that you leave minimum an inch space between the the roof sheathing, the soffit vents and the insulation.

You should definitely consult with a licensed roofing company such as 5 points roofing to ensure that your roof and attic ventilation is in line with the local regulations. Depending on your climate zone there are different codes and requirements for the ventilation in your roof and attic. During the summer the high temperature in the atmosphere outside heats up your home. Proper roof vents release some of the hot air to regulate the temperature in your home. They also provide a conduit for the cool air to get in your house. During the winter, daily activities create moisture in your home. Cool outdoor air and the heated air in your attic create ice dam formation. Proper vents provide cooler air to get in your attic through the conduit. The hot and moist air is released through the vent so that the temperature in your home is regulated. This is how proper ventilation works and maintains the comfortable temperature in your home.

Ice Dams

Do you know what an Ice Dam is? After this most recent ice storm it can cause serious damage to the interior of your home too. You can help prevent serious damage to both the roof and inside of your home by minimizing the likelihood that an ice dam will develop, and by removing one as soon as you spot it. Ice dams can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. Without proper removal, an ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. This water can then back up underneath roof shingles and make its way into your home.

How does an ice dam form?

How to Help Prevent an Ice Dam from Forming:

  • Remove snow from your roof after every storm. To begin with, use a roof rake to clear snow or ice upwards of three to four feet immediately after each storm. In addition to helping prevent an ice dam from forming, this will lessen the stress on your home’s roof. The amount of snow and ice your roof can support will depend on a number of factors, including the roof type and the age and condition of the structure. But a good rule to keep in mind is if more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and ice has accumulated on your roof, you should have it removed.
  • Clear downspouts. An easy way to help snow and ice drain off your roof is to make sure the area around your downspouts is clear. This can help prevent standing water from collecting near the gutter downspout.

How Do You Know if You Have an Ice Dam?

  • Look carefully at the icicles around the exterior of your house. If they are confined to the gutters and there is no water trapped behind them, then an ice dam has likely not formed. Nonetheless, icicles can pose a danger to people when they fall off, so try to safely knock them down while standing on the ground, making sure not to stand directly beneath them. If you cannot safely reach them from the ground, consider calling a roofing contractor such as 5 points roofing to help.
  • Check for water stains or moisture in the attic or around the tops of exterior walls on the top floor of your house. Stains and moisture may indicate that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.

How to Remove an Ice Dam:

  • Melt the ice dam. Fill a nylon stocking with calcium chloride ice melt, and place it vertically across the ice dam so that it melts a channel through the dam. If you try this, make sure you can safely position the ice melt on your roof, and make sure to use calcium chloride, not rock salt. Rock salt will damage your roof. Also, be aware that shrubbery and plants near the gutters or downspouts may be damaged.
  • Get professional help. If you cannot safely reach the roof, avoid using a ladder in snowy and icy conditions. Consider calling us to help remove the ice dam.

Long-term Tips for Preventing Ice Dams:

  • Insulate your attic. Make sure your attic is well insulated to help prevent the melting-and-freezing cycle that causes ice dams to form. Check and seal places where warm air could leak from your house to the attic, including vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches and light fixtures.
  • Install a water-repellent membrane. When replacing a roof, make sure to install a water repellent membrane underneath the shingles. This acts as an extra barrier that helps prevent water from seeping inside the building.

If you need any assistance. Call 5 points roofing @ (615) 645-2055