I Need to Vent!


In a previous issue, Ice Dams, we discussed how ice dams form and how take care of them. In this issue, we will discuss long term and permanent repairs concerning your ice dams. So, let’s get started!

There isn’t a black and white answer when it comes to venting your home, but there is a certain understanding that every home owner must come to, it is that your home must breathe. The role of ventilation during the winter months is to move warm moist air that can build up in the roof space out of the attic. This warm moist air has been generated from the rooms below potentially condensating on any cold surfaces in the Attic. This damp and humid environment can lead to mold or rot and damage timbers. It can also stop insulation from working properly, because wet insulation is not insulation at all.

Benefits of Proper Ventilation

If you have inadequate ventilation, ice dams will form along the eaves. What happens is the heat from your attic space is radiating from the top, the hottest point in your roof. This will melt snow from your roof and as the water travels down the roof, it will begin to freeze again at the eaves. This refreezing is what causes the icicles along your eave. The idea of ventilation is to maintain a constant temperature over the entire roof line to prevent this melting and freezing. Likewise in the summer, the hot air is trapped in the roof and is getting hotter as the day continues. This hot air will radiate down into your home causing undue strain on your air conditioning equipment and increase your cooling costs!

Types of Ventilation


As the image above shows, air is to be transferred from the outside using intakes along the eave or ends of the house, and then pass through the attic space and finally exhaust outside through the roof. There are many types of exhaust components and many types of intake components. The style in which you need is heavily determined by the construction of your home and the size of your home. The most common types of exhaust components are turtle type, whirly bird (turbine) and ridge vents. Common intakes are simple vents that are installed along your eave, generally in the soffit panels, or vents that are installed along the ends of the home (gable ends).


Something you should know as a homeowner is that you should never have a mixture of different components. Use all the same types of intakes and all the same types of exhaust. Each component is built for a specific purpose and when you try to use a turtle type and turbine, for example, in the same attic space then you will lose or severely weaken your intake pressure at the eave. That will pretty much ruin your ventilation system.


What now?


Here are a couple signs of poor ventilation that you can visually see:

Do you have wet or moist insulation?

Do you have peeling paint on the ceiling or outside walls?

Do you have crumbling shingles?

Do you have mildew in crawl spaces?

Do you have rotting wood, either in the house or siding?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may have poor ventilation and your system should be evaluated. Don’t worry, this is something that you can do to save you a lot of money! Simply measure your home, length and width, and then multiply together to get your square footage of attic space. Then visit: http://www.lomanco.com/vent-resources/vent-calculator for a great resource on finding the correct number of ventilation components that you should have. If you do not have the correct ventilation, then you can visit any local lumber retailer for options.


If you choose to have it professionally done, we can certainly help you out with that as well. We will perform a full ventilation audit of your home and determine if any changes should be made. We will then provide you with an estimate to perform the necessary changes as well. And as always, our inspection services are FREE! You really have nothing to lose. Call your TRUSTED ROOFING ADVISORS today set up an appointment at 605-951-9780.