Many of our customers have had a variety of problems with the highest part of their house and also the most infrequently visited-their attic.
The bottom line is that inadequate roof ventilation can lead to many concerns including premature shingle failure, attic mold, and higher utility costs.
One of the first things to do is figure out the size of your attic space. Generally speaking you need 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space.
Once you know the amount of ventilation needed you can achieve this by a combination of different types of installations including vent-a-ridge (at the peak), soffit venting, baffles, and roof vents including power vents.
Common mistakes that people make include installing the vents in the wrong locations, covering up soffit vents with insulation, and over ventilating. Another common mistake (a huge contributor to mold problems) is ventilating bathroom fans into the attic-they must go through the roof.
If you buy a power roof vent they typically come with a thermostat that will turn on/off based on temperature setting. Recommended temperature settings range from 90-110 degrees. What most people don’t realize is that these units should also have a humidistat (helpful if you live in an area with higher humidity levels) for moisture control. Humidistats are sold by the manufacturer for an additional cost and should be set around 75-80%.
Remember, properly ventilated attics will lead to cooler attic temperatures in the summer extending the life of your air conditioner since it will work less to cool your home. This will add extended life to your air conditioner and roof shingles.
Article by Brian Reuss, Director breuss@MassaroRestoration.com