What Is Attic Ventilation And Is It Needed?

Attic Design

Recent research suggests that adding a loft conversion to your property could increase its value by a whopping 20% (and up to 25% in large cities). Whether you’re in the planning stages or you already have an attic room, the right roof ventilation is of paramount importance.

Why is loft ventilation important?

Installing roof ventilation helps provide a way for hot air to escape that has risen through the house. Without a way for the hot air to escape, it can become trapped, which over time can heat the roof tiles from below, causing roof damage.

Over a period of time, hot air can also cause moisture to accumulate which can result in mold and mildew. It’s not just in the summer months when proper roof ventilation is required, proper ventilation is also important during the winter too.

Proper loft ventilation helps keep the attic cooler, which reduces the risk of snow melting on the roof and then freezing in the cracks and crevices, and of course the gutters. It’s this constant freezing and thawing that can cause serious exterior and interior water damage.  

How do you tell if an attic is properly vented?

If you’re unsure whether your attic is properly vented, there are a few things you can check:

  1. Check the eaves and the roof. If you don’t see any roof vents, then you need to add some. There are three main types of attic vents that could be installed: flush tile, flat roof, and soffit vents. 
  2. Touch your ceiling. On a hot, sunny day, touch the ceiling of the attic. If it’s hot, it means there’s not enough roof ventilation.
  3. Ridges of ice. In winter if you notice thick ridges of ice from melted snow that’s then frozen further down the roof.
  4. Dampness. If there is a smell of damp or you see visible damp patches or mold, then you need better ventilation.

How do you improve attic ventilation? 

Before you invest thousands in replacing your roof in a bid to make your house more energy-efficient, there are a few simple things you can do to improve attic ventilation.

  1. Assess your needs. Check the current quality of your ventilation. Ventilation should be installed to allow air to enter along the eaves and exit through the peak of the roof.
  2. Insert roof vents. Adding roof vents along the peak ensures warm, moist air can escape.
  3. Add soffit vents. Soffits are located on the underside of the roof overhang. Soffit vents provide an opening for air to enter the attic, from below, helping to keep air circulating.

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