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attic ventilation

Why Attic Ventilation Is Critical for Homes in Salt Lake City

The average cost of replacing an asphalt shingle roof is about $7,114. Depending on the condition of your roof and your location, the price can be as low as a few thousand dollars to $10,000.

That’s why roof replacement is one of the most dreaded expenses a homeowner can face. But, it’s part of the deal. If you ignore the warning signs, you could wind up with even more maintenance to pay for. 

Luckily, proper attic ventilation can make a huge difference. Read on to learn what goes into an effective ventilation system and why it’s so important for your home. 

How Does Attic Ventilation Work?

You might think that an airtight roof would be the best, but continuous air flow is actually key to any roofing system. 

A well ventilated attic will have intake vents to let air into the attic and exhaust vents to let air out. These vents create a cycle of air movement, where cool air comes in from the lowest point of the roof and warm air gets released at the peak.

The intake vents are typically in the soffits, or your roof’s overhang. The exhaust vents sit near the peak of the roof. Your home might have ridge vents, gable vents, static vents, or a combination of several different types. 

Makes Your Roof Last Longer

The cold and snowy winters and very hot summers in Salt Lake City can do a number on your roof. The rapid temperature changes can make your roof wear out sooner than it might in a more temperate climate. 

But proper ventilation can extend the life of your roof. The constant air flow will cool or warm the underside of your roof, taking some of the stress of your shingles. It will also prevent warping in your roof decking as well as tears in the felt.

Asphalt shingles have a lifespan between 15 and 30 years. With an effective ventilation system and proper maintenance, you can expect your roof to last towards the higher end of that range.

Prevents Ice Dams

An ice dam is a thick strip of ice that forms along the bottom edge of a roof, above the gutters. It happens when melted snow near a roof’s peak flows down to the eaves and refreezes. Instead of the water draining into the gutters, it refreezes at the edge of the roof.

If your home has an ice dam, the water can seep through the shingles and reach the roof decking. In serious cases, the water can even leak through the attic floor and into your interior insulation and drywall.

While the icicles might look pretty, they’re often signs of improper ventilation. A functioning ventilation system will keep the attic from getting too warm, too quickly. If your attic stays cool, the snow will melt gradually and run into the gutters.

The snowy climate in Salt Lake City means your home is at a higher risk for ice dams. If you’ve noticed masses of ice on your roof in past seasons, have your ventilation system checked by an expert. 

Lowers Risk for Mold and Mildew

The humidity from showers, cooking, and the outside weather makes its way inside your home. It eventually moves into the attic. If there’s airflow in the attic, the humidity will evaporate.

If the air is still, the natural coolness of the attic air will condense the humidity into liquid. This moisture can damage attic insulation and rot the structural wood.

In a hot summer, this moisture buildup creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew. These are both difficult and expensive to get rid of, so prevention is key. 

Good attic ventilation will help the humidity evaporate rather than condense into water. Your attic will stay dry and mold-free. Plus, you won’t have to worry about musty attic smells or increased indoor allergies from the mold and mildew.

Saves Money on Energy Costs

A hot attic in the summer will make your HVAC system work even harder to keep your house cool. This can lead to high energy costs and put unnecessary stress on your AC unit. The same thing will happen if you have a cold attic in the winter.

You may find yourself calling your HVAC technician each time there’s a heat wave or a cold snap. Eventually, those minor fixes won’t be enough and you may need to replace your entire HVAC unit.  

With roof ventilation, your attic will automatically stay warm or cool depending on the season. That will put less pressure on your HVAC unit which will save you money on your energy bill and on maintenance fees.

Keeps Your Home Comfortable

Home is supposed to be the place you feel the most comfortable. But, if you’re constantly messing with the thermostat because you’re hot or cold, that’s not a recipe for comfort.

If your home has adequate wall insulation and energy efficient windows and you’re still uncomfortable, look to your HVAC system. If that’s in working order, you might have an attic ventilation issue.

Very cold attic air in the winter will make your furnace work harder to keep up. You’ll be left to layer on sweaters or just accept that your house feels cold. Luckily, a roofing contractor can evaluate your attic ventilation and provide a solution. 

Are You Having Attic Ventilation Issues?

Attic ventilation can extend the life of your roof, save you money on energy costs, and prevent ice dams, mold, and mildew. But if you’ve noticed water damage in your attic, a boost in your energy bills, and more ice dams, you might have a ventilation issue.

Whether you’re in need of an attic inspection to check your ventilation or a total roof replacement, Fortress Roofing can help. We’re a Salt Lake City roofing company that provides repairs and new construction roofing services to Utah’s Wasatch Front. 

Contact us online or by phone to set up a free inspection or estimate appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!