Rafter venting protects intake vents around your attic from getting clogged or covered by insulation and debris. Rafter venting ensures that soffit vents are open and that there is a clear pathway for outside air to move into an attic at the soffits and out through the roof. Rafter vents are also referred to as insulation baffles. 

In this article we will answer the most common questions about rafter venting so you can make an educated decision as to whether or not you’d like to install them in your home. 

How do I know I need rafter vents?

Not every home needs rafter vents, just those with intake vents at the soffit. You can tell if your soffit vents are working by lighting some incense near the soffit vents in your attic and seeing if the smoke gets drawn out. If the smoke lingers, you may want to think about rafter venting. 

Without rafter vents, air is not able to fully circulate throughout your attic and traps heat and moist air in the space which can create mildew or rot wood. Additionally, you can prevent damaging ice dams from developing because of the balance in temperature that rafter venting helps with. This is especially important for the harsh Wisconsin winters. The general rule of thumb is one soffit intake and rafter air channel for every 150 square feet under the roof.

What happens if an attic is not vented? 

When an attic is not ventilated or poorly ventilated, heat gets built up near your roof and can possibly damage shingles from the inside out. If you install rafter vents in your attic, the heat will be evenly dispersed and you won’t have to worry about shingle damage. 

How are rafter vents installed?

Rafter vents are installed by stapling them directly to the roof decking. They come in 4-foot lengths and 14.5-22.5 inch widths for different spacings. Rafter vents should be placed in your attic ceiling between the rafters at the point where your attic ceiling meets your attic floor. 

How much does rafter venting cost?

Installing rafter vents typically cost between $300-$550 but can range from $150-$2,000 depending on the size of your attic and number of vents you decide to install. 

What else do I need to know about rafter venting?

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this article is that you know how to determine whether or not you need rafter vents in your attic in order to protect you from potential damages that could occur if you don’t have the vents installed. Above we talked about roofs with ‘intake vents at the soffit.’ Remember that a soffit is the underside of any construction element, whether exterior or interior. So in this case, if your home has vents under the soffit near the attic, it is probably a good idea to have rafter vents installed. We have another article about the importance of attic insulation, if you’d like to learn more about the subject. If you want rafter vents installed in your attic, we offer free estimates, so feel free to fill out a form or give us a call in order to schedule an appointment.