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14.07.2015 admin
We're dedicated to providing our commercial roofing expertise to the Ohio areas of Akron, Cleveland, Canton, and Columbus for businesses, governments, retail space, rental properties and more. If you want to avoid breaking your back every few months in structural repairs and replacement every few months, we have the solution for you! Sure, proper attic ventilation is a must for preserving stored goods during months of extreme temperature swings, but did you know that ventilation plays an essential part in preserving your attic’s structural integrity? This is because water damage is the primary reason for the rotting of wood in attic structures. A properly ventilated system allows for excess heat to flow outside through natural processes, reducing the buildup of moisture and increasing the life of the structural components. Due to the balanced ventilation system, cool air is allowed to enter in the warm months while warm air is allowed to enter during the colder months, reducing the need for air conditioning or heaters. So you may have gotten your dream house in the suburbs with a family of three and a Labrador retriever, but what’s the point of investing so much when the base of your house is at uncomfortably extreme temperatures? Get in touch with our dedicated team today to help you decide the best attic ventilation system for your needs! You can choose from a variety of ventilation plans, from fully powered to natural ventilation. At Commercial Roofing Contractors of Ohio, you are sure to get the best residential roofing service in the whole state!
Founder’s Note: Everything We Thought We Knew Is Wrong - Dispelling the myth that more attic ventilation is the cure all.
On the surface attic ventilation may not appear to be a “top of mind” concern for contractors working on the roof and inside the attic. Attic ventilation provides year-round benefits to help fight heat buildup in the summer, moisture buildup in the winter, and ice dams in climates with snow and ice. The summertime benefits of attic ventilation are often more obvious to the contractor than the wintertime benefits. The starting point for any attic ventilation project is always, “What is the size of the attic space to be vented?” The International Residential Building Code (IRC) defines attic size in terms of its square footage – length x width, floor of the attic.
The code minimum for attic ventilation in the 2012 IRC, Section R806 – Roof Ventilation[1] is as follows: 1 sq. However, if the attic has more exhaust than intake it is potentially problematic because the exhaust vents could become intake to compensate for the lack of balanced intake. In general there are five types or categories of exhaust vents: ridge vents, power fans (traditional electric and solar powered), wind turbines, gable louvers, and roof louvers. When it comes to intake vents, by the way, it’s OK to mix multiple types on the same roof (for example, rectangular undereaves and roof-top installed edge of roof vents) because they will be in the same wind pressure zone working together. The rule of thumb for ridge heights states that all ridges can be vented whether they run parallel or at angles to each other. This entry was posted in Building Science and tagged Air Vent, Attic vent, Paul Scelsi, RAVC, Roof Assembly Ventilation Coalition, Roof Vent, ventilation on May 19, 2014 by AIBD_admin. This web site has tips, interactive log and historical report and graphing to help you keep track of your attic temperature. Please click the the Buy Now button below to purchase our eBook via the secure PayPal system. From BUR to EPDM, TPO, Metal, Asphalt, Green and Solar Roofs we can help you improve and protect your property. The water damage is a cause of accumulated snow during the winter months, which condenses due to the uneven temperatures thanks to improper ventilation, shortening the life of your attic’s roof structure.
The natural airflow cools the base structure of the roof, thereby helping you save up a substantial amount in electricity bills. A ventilated attic allows for temperature sensitive goods to be stored properly while providing comfort to the people inside the room. Commercial Roofing Contractors of Ohio will make sure your attic has a balanced ventilation system, providing cool air during the warm months while allowing warm air to enter the attic during winter.

This helps to prolong the life of the building materials – including the shingles, helps to improve the comfort level inside the home, and helps to lower the utility bills by reducing the load on the air conditioner and other appliances such as fans and refrigerators. Once a contractor knows the attic square footage, the amount of necessary attic ventilation can be calculated.
Additionally, any excess intake will become exhaust on the leeward side of the house because the intake vents on the windward side of the house will have “pressurized” the attic.
For example, a ridge vent could pull air from its back side if it can’t obtain air from intake vents.
If it’s more of the same type of exhaust vent, it is OK (as long as it does not exceed the amount of intake as explained earlier.). The RAVC recommends never mixing two types of exhaust vents on the same roof above a common attic because it could short-circuit the attic ventilation system. If, however, the ridges are more than 3 feet apart in height, only ventilate the higher one or separate the attics.
Scelsi is Chairman of the Roof Assembly Ventilation Coalition, whose mission is to be the leading authority and technical resource on ventilated roof assembly design and performance. Due to moisture accumulation, the structure of the roof is compromised, leading to a substantial amount of repairs. However, based on the volume of questions the member companies of the Roof Assembly Ventilation Coalition (RAVC) receive about attic ventilation, it is clear contractors are thinking about it.
It’s not too difficult to realize the attic can get very hot in the summer, and if that hot air is not properly removed through ventilation it can become problematic.
This allows cool, dry air to enter the attic at the lowest point helping to remove any warm, moist air from inside the attic through the exhaust vents – along the entire underside of the roof deck. As a result, the intake vents on the leeward side of the house will work “with” the exhaust vents to release air. Or, a wind turbine could pull air from a nearby wind turbine on the same roof because there is not enough intake low on the roof to pull from. As wind passes over an externally baffled ridge vent, it creates low pressure zone, drawing air from the attic. In either scenario, the exhaust vent is potentially ingesting air and weather which it’s not designed to do. 2) At least 40% and not more than 50% of the required ventilating area is provided by ventilators located in the upper portion of the attic rafter space…with the balance of the required ventilation provided by eave or cornice vents. If your air handler and ductwork are located in your attic, you should be specially mindful of your attic temperature.
That’s because the average family of four generates an estimated 2 to 4 gallons of water vapor each day through activities such as cleaning, showering, breathing, etc. That path is supposed to be from low in the attic (intake vents) to the highest possible exit point in the attic (exhaust vents). Typically, wind moves faster at higher elevations, therefore, the higher ridge will be exposed to high wind speeds.
It seems there is a general consensus that more than say, 30 degrees warmer than the outside is too much. This means, for every 150 square feet of attic floor space there should be 1 square foot of Net Free Area. If two different types of exhaust vents are combined (for example, a ridge vent and a gable louver) the primary path of air becomes the distance between the two types of exhaust vents. If the wind speed difference is adequate, the pressure at the higher ridge may be enough to pull air into the lower ridge vent.
When you provide ventilation to your attic, there must be proper sources of fresh outside air such as sofit vents and proper vents near the top of your roof to exhaust the super-heated air. That short-circuits the proper flow of air and could cause one of the exhaust vents to ingest weather because it is suddenly functioning as an intake vent. Thus, it’s best to separate the attics with plywood or poly sheeting to create two distinct attics.

This takes advantage of the natural process of convection where warmer air rises and exits your attic at the vents at the top of your attic as is replaced by cooler air from the sofit vents. As a result, it can condense as frost or water droplets, drip onto the insulation, and, in time, contribute to mold, mildew, wood rot and poor indoor air quality. Usually attic ventilation is little more than attempt to treat symptoms of problems that are often easier to fix than treat!
This tiny slice of your home's performance gets blown out of proportion to have far more importance than it actually does. Check out the Science and Problems We Can Help With pages, to learn more about how your home actually functions. Heating Season: Two Primary Purposes of Attic Ventilation - Removing Moisture and Ice Dam Prevention. Sometimes the problem of adding moisture is apparent - it takes the form of condensation on our windows. In the winter, your home acts like a giant smoke stack: cold air comes in through the basement and rises through the house into the attic. Here is what that looks like: If there are holes between the house and attic, stack pressure will drive moisture laden air through those holes into the attic. Having attic ventilation doesn’t ensure the moisture gets ventilated away before it condenses on your expensive roof and wall surfaces.
In some cases it simply allows MORE warm moist air from the house to deliver it’s moisture to those cold surfaces as that air leaves the house.
The question that may be occurring to some of you now is “If this moisture is coming from the house, why spend money ventilating the attic? Soffit vents – intake vents Soffits are the bottom of the part of the roof that sticks out past the house, also called eaves.
This is the best method since they are at the very top of the attic and allow the most heat to be released. They are slightly less effective than ridge vents because they are not quite at the very top of the attic and don't let as much heat out. Gable vents These are the rectangular or square vents on the sides of houses near the peak of the roof. They are not particularly effective because the wind has to blow nearly directly on one side of the house or the other for them to flow well.
They will pull their air from the path of least resistance, which is often through air leaks in the ceiling of the house and not soffit vents. Check out Allison Bailes of Energy Vanguard's article on power vents, "Don't let your attic suck." If there is no good way to achieve exhaust ventilation, sometimes there are few choices but power vents.
Vent fans need to be 24” or more away from a ridge vent or they will compete with each other and reduce the effectiveness.
Attics need to be well air sealed, meaning all holes in the ceiling such as light fixtures, bath fans, and the like, are sealed off so no indoor air can get into the attic through them. Otherwise the cool air from inside the house can get sucked into the attic and out the fan because it is the path of least resistance.
The curse of solar fans is that many designs run all the time, and often only need daylight, not full sunlight.
This means they can be pulling in outside air on rainy days, opening the possibility up of potential mold problems. If there are only gable vents for ventilation in an attic section, it is unlikely that the airflow will be consistent. I disagree with the Building Science community on this one, I would like to see the air in a knee wall attic moved through the knee wall attic to remove moisture and excess heat.

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