Did you know that proper attic ventilation can save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs? It might seem inconsequential, but a roof that is properly ventilated can save you lots of money over the long term. When the weather warms up, proper ventilation helps keep roof cavities and attics cool. Typical damage from overheated roofs results in warped sheathing and premature shingle deterioration. It is important for all Omaha Home Owners to know roofs that are properly ventilated help reduce energy costs.

When the weather cools off, proper ventilation helps keep roof cavities and attics dry. You don’t want water backing up under the shingles which damages your insulation, and ultimately, the roof structure itself. Ice dams are a serious problem in the winter also because they block melting water which sometimes results in leaks, causing drywall damage.

What is intake and exhaust ventilation?

Ventilation simply relates to the exchange of air from one location in your attic to another location – it’s the action of moving air to exhaust stale air, replacing it with fresh air. Of course, proper roof ventilation entails a system of air exchange that provides a constant, high flow of air. Out with the bad and in with the good.

What are some of the variables to consider when evaluating the best system for your house?

A visual inspection is the first step in evaluating ventilation systems. Look for signs of moisture that presents itself as mold, rotted wood or mildew. Then determine what’s already in place in terms of vents, soffit and roof louvers. Finally, measure the square footage of your attic, if you don’t already know it. You’ll also need to consider the pitch of your roof – the steeper it is, the more you’ll need to add in your calculations.

Compliance with Building Codes!

A rule of thumb is to allow 1 sq. ft. of vent area for each 100 sq. ft. of attic floor space. If your ventilation system is balanced, about 50% will be exhaust (upper) versus 50% intake.
What are some of the more common mistakes when installing ventilation systems?
Mismatching exhaust vents, underestimating your actual needs, not having sufficient intake, and not having a balance of intake and exhaust are some of the more common mistakes just for starters.

What are ice dams and how to eliminate them with ventilation systems?

In cold and wet climates that typically produce snow, ice dams form when snow melts on the warmer areas of the roof, then runs off and refreezes at the lower, cooler overhangs. The resulting freeze (a dam) causes a backup of water that is forced up under the shingles. When this happens, water penetrates the sheathing, insulation and underlying plaster causing major damage. The solution to preventing ice dams is to have a cold roof system where the temperature of the underside of the roof closely matches the temperature of the outside. This can be accomplished by pulling cold air through the intakes, sweeping that air along the ridge rafters and then forcing it out at the vents near the ridge. An added measure of protection is the use of waterproofing single undergarment; a product called “ice and water shield” which is also a building code requirement in our Omaha Roofing area. You can read more about Ice Dams in an article we previously published.

Read our recent blogs for additional information and to understand why proper roof ventilation is important. Call Husker Siding Windows & Roofing (An Omaha Roofing Company) for a free Omaha Roof System Assessment which includes an assessment of your roofs ventilation: (402) 894-9525.