The Blog

How Improper Ventilation Will Damage Your Attic

By Chuck Henrichsen on July 14, 2016

When it comes to maintaining a healthy home, a clean attic makes all the difference in the world. Your home’s air quality, energy efficiency, and structural integrity are all affected by the condition of your attic, and cleaning it regularly will prevent future issues.

However, some homeowners may notice that despite regular cleaning, their attic continues to be the source of mold, mildew, and wood rot. They might even hire a professional attic cleaning team or replace the damaged attic materials altogether, only to discover that mold has returned to the attic and indoor air quality is still poor. If this is the case in your home, the problem may be caused by improper attic ventilation.

attic ventilation

How Does Attic Ventilation Affect The Home?

In short, attic ventilation allows your home to breathe. Cold air, heat, and moisture are easily trapped in the attic, and without proper ventilation, they will damage your attic and leak into your home. Moisture will breed mildew and rot, allowing the stack effect to pull mold spores into your living space and decreasing air quality. In similar fashion, your HVAC system will be forced to work overtime as your attic cannot effectively manage the hot or cold air entering from outside.

The most obvious signs of improper attic ventilation will appear in the attic itself. The mold and mildew mentioned above will be quite visible, and there will be a noticeable difference in temperature between your living space and the attic. In other words, the attic will be freezing in the winter and boiling in the summer.

Unfortunately for the homeowner, the low air quality (caused by mold) and extreme temperatures are not confined to the attic. The unwanted air will inevitably be filtered into the rest of the home, affecting your health and increasing energy costs.

What Does Proper Attic Ventilation Look Like?

There are two primary methods of attic ventilation: vented and unvented. Both need to be designed specifically for the climate in which you live, but both can be effective in letting your attic breathe properly.

ventilation atticWhile you may notice small ventilation holes under the eaves of your roof, these are usually not enough to filter moisture and balance temperature. Some homes in the Northwest simply don’t have the necessary vents that an attic needs in order to breathe. These homes were either not designed correctly or damaged in a way that prevents the vents from working effectively.

Gable and ridge vents are made for the purpose of proper ventilation, and installing them in your home can make a big difference. Other vent options include soffit vents and rafter vents.

When it comes to unvented attic ventilation methods, the key element is insulation. Installing insulation under the roof deck will help balance the moisture levels and temperature in your attic. This method is used frequently when the attic contains ductwork and air handlers that require a conditioned space.

Contact The Professionals

If your attic has been damaged by improper ventilation, it is vital that you invest in professional attic cleaning services before taking the necessary measures to fix the problem. All the mold and rot needs to be cleaned out, and any damaged insulation should be replaced. By the time you repair your attic ventilation situation, the space should be as clean as possible.

At Clean Crawls, we provide Seattle area homeowners with premium attic cleaning services. Our experienced team will remove any unhealthy buildup, debris, or pests that may be cluttering your attic. This will leave the attic clean and healthy, ready for any ventilation improvements to keep it that way. For more information or to schedule an attic inspection, contact us today!

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Chuck Henrichsen
President and CEO of Clean Crawls, Treasurer of E3 World Wide, proud husband and father.

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