Home Maintenance

Attic ventilation: Many homeowners overlook some simple ways to save money and extend the life of their roofing! If your climate reaches into the high 80's in the summer you should check up in your attic soon. BE SURE TO DO THIS IN THE EARLY MORNING OR WELL AFTER DARK. The temps in an attic can quickly reach into the 100+ range and be very dangerous if you're not accustomed to it.)

While you're in the attic look over to the sides of the roof line (most homes this is the "soffit" area) and observe where the insulation meets the roof sheathing. There should be a 1 1/2 inch air gap to allow air to enter the attic. Most houses will have foam vent boards installed for this purpose. Now check the roof area for vents to the outside and note gable or turbine type vents.

There are many sources online, but a general rule is 10 square feet of venting per 1000 square feet of attic area. Fifty percent of  the ventilation at the soffit and fifty percent at on the upper roof area. If you're numbers are not reaching this minimum you should consider increasing the venting.

Lacking venting can result in some of these symptoms:

1. excessive heat intrusion into your home raising energy costs

2. excessive heat build up under sheathing causes damage to roofing causing it to have shortened life span

3. build up of moisture can reduce insulation effectiveness raising energy costs

4. build up moisture can also cause dangerous mold growth

5. condensation from this moisture build up can damage, sheathing, framing, interior ceilings and paint

Obviously the average homeowner may not give their attic a thought except to put away the Christmas lights, but a brief inspection of this area can save money on energy, roofing, sheathing, ceiling or mold damage.

Tim Barnett, Acclaim Home Inspections

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