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Proper attic ventilation for Northern Delaware homes by Best Choice Roofing.

Benefits of Proper Attic Ventilation in Delaware Homes

If your roof is sound, you probably don’t give much thought to your home’s attic ventilation. The roof isn’t leaking, so everything is okay, right? Unfortunately, this is incorrect. Attic ventilation plays a significant role in managing the temperatures and moisture levels in your attic. 

In the summer, heat in your attic can reach as high as 140°F even though the temperature outside only reads 90°F, causing condensation and moisture issues. Likewise, in the winter, the heat in your home rises, and condensation develops when it hits the frigid air in the attic. Moisture can damage your rafters, attic floor and other smaller materials like nails. 

Here, we look at why your Delaware home needs proper attic ventilation to avoid common issues that interfere with your roofing structure.

The Dangers of Condensation

Condensation in your attic occurs as temperatures fluctuate indoors and out. If your attic is not properly ventilated, you experience issues in both the winter and summer as follows:

Summer

When your attic overheats in the summer, without proper ventilation, it creates moisture that can damage your decking and shingles, leading to premature deterioration and leaving your home vulnerable to the elements. You also experience energy efficiency issues as heat absorbed in your attic leaks into your living space, putting more pressure on your AC, and appliances like fans and your fridge/freezer.

Winter

In the winter, as the heating in your home rises, it reaches the attic, creating moist air that leads to condensation. This moisture sits on your rafters and other materials, such as nails and your attic deck. Again, this moisture interferes with the deck and shingles and can also lead to wood rot, so your roof can’t manage heavy loads such as snow. Condensation also damages attic insulation, which contributes to not just wood rot but dangerous mold and mildew growth that can make you sick. 

On the outside of your home, a lack of proper attic ventilation can allow ice dams to form. As warm air escapes through the roof, it melts snow and ice. As the water trickles towards the eaves, the surface is colder, causing ice to form. These ice dams lift shingles and create pools of water that can leak under the shingles as well as behind other parts of your roofing system. Roof leaks can damage your attic and enter the living space below, damaging walls, paint, ceilings, etc.

How Proper Attic Ventilation Helps

Proper attic ventilation creates specific air movement that helps manage and produce air changes as the temperature in your attic changes. With the right flow of air, you maintain the right volume of air movement. However, you need the right combination of vents suited to the size and design of your attic to provide consistent and constant airflow that enters and exits your attic.

For example, when rising warm air creates pressure that increases and decreases in various parts of the attic, it results in what is called the stack effect. Air enters and exits at the higher and lower areas of the attic. 

As a result, you need a ventilation system that uses carefully placed exhaust vents near the ridge and intake vents at the soffit or the roof’s edge to manage pressure in the upper parts of the attic as it increases and lower parts as it decreases. Also, when dealing with exterior air circulation, wind force creates high and low air pressure that forces air in and out of the attic.

How Properly Designed Attic Ventilation Works

A professionally designed ventilation system balances the intake and exhaust vents to improve airflow capacity. As mentioned above, intake and exhaust vents must be positioned properly to ensure they create a high-low balance, with half of the vent area placed high in the attic for exhaust and the other half placed low for air intake. When balance is achieved, vents provide the desired continuous flow of air. 

As a result, the air moves in the desired direction. When intake and exhaust vents are positioned properly, they also ensure the underside of the roof sheathing has continuous airflow. Another crucial factor for proper ventilation is ensuring intake vents don’t allow for rain or snow infiltration. Finally, ongoing cleaning of intake vents also ensures there aren’t blockages that interfere with operation.

With proper attic ventilation with Best Choice Roofing, you help preserve the life of your roof, improve energy efficiency, and extend material performance to manage changing Delaware weather conditions.

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