All summer long, the sun beats down on your roof. If your attic is well ventilated, most heat will escape through the vents. On the other hand, if the attic is not well ventilated, it will quickly grow hotter and more humid, leading to a myriad of problems for your roof and throughout the rest of your home. Attic ventilation deserves to be a "hot topic" this summer since so many attics are not as well ventilated as they could be. So here's a closer look.

How Can You Tell Whether Your Attic Is Poorly Ventilated?

In the summer, attic vents give the heat that travels through the roof an escape route. They also serve to exhaust warm air that has risen into the attic from the rest of the home. If heat is getting trapped in your attic, you may notice any of the following issues.

Premature Roof Damage

Your roof shingles are made to withstand only a certain amount of heat. Even the best-quality shingles will break down faster when sitting atop a hot, humid attic. After all, when the heat can't escape through the vents, it rises back up through the shingles. You may notice shingle damage especially along the peak of the roof, since this is where heat tends to escape first.

Moldy Insulation

The warmer air gets, the more moisture it can hold. So, when the temperature in your attic rises, the area also tends to grow more humid. This creates the perfect conditions for mold growth. First, your attic insulation may grow moldy, which impedes its ability to block heat transfer, and then your building materials may begin molding too.

Increased Cooling Bills

As your attic grows increasingly warm, some of that heat will transfer through the ceiling and into the top story of your home. Your air conditioner will then have to work harder to keep your home cooler, raising your cooling bills. This additional work also puts excessive strain on you’re A/C unit, and the extra wear and tear may shorten the unit’s lifespan and lead to a more frequent need for repairs.

How Is Attic Ventilation Improved?

If your roof is showing signs of shingle damage, or if you have mold in your attic or increasing A/C bills, it's time to talk to your roofing contractor about improving your attic ventilation. There are a few different solutions your contractor may recommend depending on your roof's layout and the level of ventilation needed.

Ridge Vents

Ridge vents are, in most cases, the most effective means of ventilating an attic. To create a ridge vent, your contractor can remove an inch of roof decking from either side of the ridge line of the roof. A vent typically runs the entire length of the roof's ridge, allowing for plenty of air exchange. If your home's roof does not have a ridge vent, your roofing contractor will likely recommend you add one.

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are small vents that are fitted under the eaves of the roof. They are usually used in conjunction with a ridge vent. If your home has a ridge vent but is still lacking in ventilation, your roofing contractor may recommend adding a few soffits, as they're rather easy to install.

Box Vents

Also known as louvered vents or low-profile vents, this style of vent is shaped like a box and is raised above the surface of the roof. Box vents are often used when the shape of the roof does not allow for the use of a ridge vent. If you already have a few ridge vents but are in need of additional ventilation, your roofing contractor may install a few more box vents.

With warmer temperatures beginning to roll in, it's more important than ever that your attic is properly ventilated. If you notice signs of poor ventilation, schedule a consultation with The Recommended Roofers ASAP.