Ventilation for attics is a controversial subject. The decision on how much to ventilate an attic depends to a large extent on the climate in the region where a house is located. Ventilating an attic is often necessary to prevent potentially costly problems.
In the last several decades, building codes have been changed to require more attic insulation than they did in the past. Most building experts agree that having a well-ventilated attic can keep a house comfortable in the summer and prevent moist, heated air from building up in the winter.
Attic ventilation is especially important in colder climates. It allows warm, moist air from the living space below to escape from the house. If the warm air becomes trapped in the attic, it can condense on the underside of the roof sheathing and cause it to rot.
Ventilation also helps prevent ice dams. They form when warm air in the attic causes snow on the roof to melt, and then the water refreezes in the gutters and eaves.
If your house has asphalt shingles, the attic needs to be ventilated. Failing to do so can void the warranty.
Some people are concerned that ventilating their attic will let cold air into the house. This concern is unfounded. The living space is insulated at the attic floor, so the attic and roof are outside that envelope. This means that cold air will not be able to enter the rest of the house.
If your house has only small gable-end vents or a ventilator high in the roof, you can add soffit vents to increase airflow. This will allow outside air to enter at the underside of the eaves, which is the lowest point on the roof.
Ventilating your attic is critical in a cold climate such as Connecticut. Doing so can prevent rot and ice dams and help you maintain your warranty. If your attic is not properly ventilated, contact Connecticut Gutter and Exteriors now so we can address the issue to prevent more expensive problems this winter.