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You want your family to remain healthy and do everything possible to make sure that happens. One thing you may be overlooking, however, is the need for proper ventilation in your attic. This helps to circulate air better throughout your home that’s healthier for everyone to breathe. You can also save a lot of money when your attic has an adequate about of ventilation. It affects how efficiently your heating and air conditioning systems work, prevents water from leaking into your basement, and affects your roof’s lifespan. However, these are far from the only benefits of ensuring that your attic has adequate ventilation.

How Your Roof Benefits from Good Ventilation

Homeowners in Maryland and Delaware often don’t realize that many home repair issues originate from improper ventilation in the attic. Here are some things that can happen when the flow of air through your attic becomes stagnant:

  • The growth of mildew on the roof can turn into rot and create small holes in the roofing material.
  • Heat bearing down on your roof shingles during the summer can cause sheathing of your roof shingles and premature aging of the roof. An improperly ventilated attic can also get extremely hot in the summer, pushing the heat downwards and causing your HVAC system to work overtime.
  • Ice dams can form on the roof in climates where the temperature drops below 32º Fahrenheit in the winter. This happens when warm air enters the attic from heat generated by an HVAC system. As the heat rises, it attaches to the underside of a roof’s deck. If snow is present, it will cause water to trickle from the roof as it melts. The water from melting snow then refreezes and turns into ice once it reaches the roof’s furthest edges that remain cold. If this happens repeatedly, it will eventually form an ice dam and prevent water from draining from the roof as it should. That means the water backs up underneath the shingles. You may want to consider installing an adhesive underlayment on the roof to prevent water from draining into the attic or exterior walls. Should that happen, the water can damage attic insulation as well as the floor and drywall.
  • Moisture build-up and mold growth inside of the attic.
  • Summer energy bills are typically lower in homes with proper attic ventilation.

While these problems can be frustrating and costly, they’re also easy to prevent by working with Spicer Bros. Construction to create a decent flow of air through your attic.

Typical Causes of Poor Attic Insulation

Improper installation is the leading cause of poor attic insulation. Some common reasons for this problem include:

  • Bath or kitchen fans vent through the attic rather than through the roof.
  • Eaves constructed from vinyl or aluminum placed over plywood soffits without creating any holes for ventilation purposes.
  • Gaps present around ductwork, electrical boxes, or pipes.
  • Only installing vents on one side of the roof.
  • Placement of insulation between rafters in the attic prevents proper airflow.

How to Recognize When Your Attic Ventilation Needs Improving 

Besides determining the cause of poor attic ventilation, it’s also useful to recognize these signs of ventilation problems:

  • Corrosion or rust present on metal items such as nails, electrical boxes, light fixtures, or components of the HVAC system.
  • Heating or cooling bills run higher than normal several months in a row with no other explanation for it.
  • Ice dams on the roof during the winter months.
  • Increased respiratory or allergy symptoms among people living in the home.
  • Need for more frequent repairs of your heating system or air conditioner due to the increased demand placed on them from poor attic insulation. HVAC systems are less efficient and require replacement sooner when air doesn’t flow through the attic.
  • Shingles and rooflines have a rippled or wavy appearance due to moisture infiltrating the decking underneath the tiles. This causes warping due to moisture damage.
  • Water stains, frost, or general dampness on the sheathing of your roof or its structural supports.

If you recognize even one of these conditions, please don’t hesitate to contact Spicer Bros. Construction to discuss improving your attic insulation. We have offices in Salisbury, Maryland and Lewes, Delaware, for your convenience.

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