If your upstairs rooms are hot during the summer months, you’re probably thinking it’s because of the temperature outside. So you go about your day with your AC working overtime trying to cool it down. 

What you don’t know is that the high temperatures in your home could actually be caused by your attic’s ventilation. While your upstairs being hot isn’t fun, there’s even more you have to worry about when your attic is poorly ventilated. 

Poor attic ventilation also causes costly roof problems that you won’t know about until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important for you to know how your ventilation system affects both your roof and home. 

The truth is, most homeowners don’t know that this is a problem until a roofing contractor points it out. Because we want you to be as informed as possible about such a crucial topic, we’re going to break it down.  

Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided high-quality roofing services in the Nashville area. We always help homeowners understand how important their attic’s ventilation system is to their roof investment. That’s why one of the first things we do during an assessment is to check to see if your attic is properly ventilated. 

By the end of this article, you’ll know what attic ventilation is and the 3 reasons why it’s important to both your roof and your home. 

What is attic ventilation? 

Your attic’s ventilation is a system that allows your house to breathe. It works by pulling fresh air through your attic and allowing the heat to escape through your vents properly. 

There are 2 types of attic ventilation systems: active and passive. Active ventilation pulls the air in from the outside and pushes it out from the inside. Passive ventilation means the air in the attic is moved around by natural sources, such as wind.

Both ventilation systems do their job, and one isn’t better than the other. But if your attic isn’t properly ventilated, it’s going to lead to problems. 

3 reasons why proper attic ventilation is important to your roof and home

Now that you know what attic ventilation is, you’re ready to learn why it’s important to your roof and home. If the air in your attic isn’t given a way to move around and escape then it’ll shorten your roof’s lifespan, void the manufacturer’s material warranty, and cost you more money during the summer months.

1. Attic ventilation affects your roof’s lifespan 

Your roof’s lifespan is how many years the roofing materials will last. It can be anywhere from 25 years to 50 years depending on the roofing materials you choose

There are a lot of different factors that impact the life of your roof. One of the most important factors is your attic’s ventilation. 

If your attic doesn’t have proper ventilation, the trapped hot and cold air will shorten your roof’s lifespan. The trapped air can cause extensive damage to your roof and leads to a full replacement well before you should need one. 

For example, poor ventilation in the summer can cause heat to build up in your attic, which in turn burns your roof up. This causes the adhesives in the decking to deteriorate and your roof’s shingles to crack or curl.

In the winter, heat and moisture from the home’s interior travel into the cold attic, causing condensation. Trapped condensation causes your roof’s decking to swell and become wavy. 

The decking will also lose its ability to hold the nails, lose its load bearing capacity, and can cause mold/mildew which can contribute to serious health issues. No matter if it’s cold or hot air, you’re going to have problems if it has no way to escape your attic properly. 

2. Improper attic ventilation voids your material warranties 

Roof warranties are in place to protect your investment. When you get a new roof you’ll have 2 different kinds of warranties: one from the manufacturer on your roofing materials and one on your contractor’s workmanship

The warranty from the manufacturer protects your roofing materials for their specified lifespan. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, the warranty you have on your roofing materials will be voided. 

For example, if you have a problem caused by your roofing materials failing prematurely, you’ll have to rely on the manufacturer’s warranty to get it taken care of. But if they find your attic doesn’t have proper ventilation, they won’t cover it and you’ll have to spend your own money to fix the problem. 

The last thing you want is to spend even more money after investing in a new roof. That’s why you need to know as much as possible about what protects your roof if there’s ever a problem. 

To learn more about your warranty options when you get a roof replacement, check out this article on what roof warranties cover.  

3. Proper attic ventilation can keep your upstairs cool during the summer

During the warmer months, your vents should pull in fresh air and allow the hot air in your attic to escape. If your attic doesn’t have proper ventilation, the hot air gets trapped and causes the temperature in the rooms below your attic to be uncomfortably hot.

It may even get to the point where it’s too hot to be upstairs at all during the day. When this happens, your AC will have to work harder to try to keep your home cool causing your energy bills to rise. 

For example, if the temperature outside is 90°F, the temperature in your attic can get as high as 170˚F. This can cause your attic floor to be as high as 140˚F from the trapped heat. Any room below a poorly ventilated attic at these temperatures won’t be cool enough to be in until the sun goes down. 

Not only does this mean a room in your home isn’t being used, but you’re also spending more money on a problem that extra AC won’t fix. To learn more about how proper attic ventilation affects the temperature in your home, check out this article on how proper ventilation can cool the upstairs of your home

How to avoid problems from poor attic ventilation

Now you know the 3 reasons why proper attic ventilation is important to your roof and your home. After reading this, you’ve probably realized that your attic’s ventilation plays a huge role in maximizing your roof’ life. 

The last thing you want to do is invest in a new roof just to have it ruined because your attic wasn’t checked for proper ventilation. But how do you avoid this happening to you? 

That comes down to hiring a great roofing contractor that does things the right way, like giving your attic a proper assessment. The problem is knowing how to spot a local roofing company that does things the right way. 

Luckily, there’s a way you can do this for yourself. That comes down to asking the right questions and getting the right answers back. Because finding a great roofing contractor is crucial to your investment, we’re going to give you these questions and answers. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped the residents of Nashville deal with attic ventilation issues since 1990. We always perform an assessment to ensure your roof’s lifespan won’t be shortened by trapped hot or cold air in your attic. If you’re local to Nashville, don’t hesitate to contact us if you think you have a ventilation problem. 

To help you spot a great roofing contractor in your area, check out this article on Top 8 Questions To Ask A Roofing Contractor.

checklist of questions to ask a roofing contractor