The Importance of Proper Attic Ventilation

American author Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”

Those of us who call the ‘Badger State’ home, know firsthand that this holds just as true for the weather in Wisconsin. With Summer officially upon us, Wisconsinites are well aware of how changing temperatures outside force them to adjust temperatures inside. But most of us don’t realize how much our attic can determines how often we crank up our air conditioner. Fact is, most of us never think about what’s going on in our attic. After all, our attics are just an out of sight, out of mind space in our home to store all of our extra stuff. But the attic is actually the most susceptible area in your home to changes in temperature and weather. If your attic doesn’t have proper ventilation, toxic mold will grow and your monthly heating and cooling bills will be 20 percent higher on average. Approximately 90 percent of attics in Wisconsin homes don’t have proper ventilation. This causes warm air from outside to get trapped in your attic and heat up the rest of your home. Without proper ventilation, your attic will be a hot box, and as those of us in the industry say, a “sick attic”. But how do you know if your attic is sick? Start by checking its temperature. Except in extremely hot weather, your attic air space should only be 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the outside air temperature. If you’re attic is sick, it’s going to be a hot box. Attics without proper ventilation can reach temperatures of 150 degrees fahrenheit during the summer. During the winter, moisture from the air condenses on the electrical boxes and wiring, insulation, and rafters in your attic and on the rooftop above to create the perfect environment for toxic mold colonization. Besides being more difficult to keep your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter, other symptoms of a sick attic include:
  • Black mold
  • Black scorch marks on the shingles near rooftop vents.
  • Curled shingles
  • Flaking or peeling paint
  • Ice crystals
  • Rotten wood
The symptoms of a sick attic are so common and severe, that most insulation, paint, roofing, and window manufacturers won’t guarantee their products or offer extended warranties unless your attic has proper ventilation. Whether your home is brand new or years old, it’s important for every homeowner to understand how improper attic ventilation causes long term problems. Proper attic ventilation increases your home’s energy-efficiency and keeps toxic mold from growing inside your home, saves you the money you’d have to spend on costly energy bills and home repairs, and ensures a healthy environment inside your home. Contact us today to schedule an inspection of your home’s attic ventilation system, or give us a call at (414) 376-5568.
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