With hot summer days right around the corner, it’s time to think about how improper attic ventilation will affect the roof of your NJ home. One of the most common problems found during home inspections One of the most common problems found during home inspections with regards to roof materials isn’t the shingles, siding, or gutters. So many roofs defects found by NJ Home Inspectors are caused by improper attic ventilation. Incorrect attic ventilation affects indoor comfort through heat, humidity, and moisture build-up. Without enough attic ventilation, humidity from everyday activities such as showering, laundry, and doing dishes rises to the attic and slowly collects there. This can lead to significant and costly problems.
Poor attic ventilation can lead to the following issues with the home:
- Short roof life. Excess heat under the shingles and moisture can cause roof sheathing to rot and lessen the life span of shingles and underlayment.
- Cracked, split shingles or premature granule loss can be indications of improper roof ventilation. Many products are available to increase attic ventilation.
- Increased cooling costs: A/C working overtime to cool the home. An A/C system with limited attic ventilation must work extra hard to cool the inside air, particularly in the upper humid levels. The added heat and stress can reduce the unit’s life and drive up energy costs.
- Sagging or soft roof sheathing. When excess humidity/ liquid makes its way into roof sheathing, it may begin to deteriorate the glue which binds them together and cause the wood to warp or sag.
- Mold and fungus. A damp environment is an ideal place for mold or fungus to grow. Mold can damage attic framing or attic storage and cause respiratory illness for occupants. We often find mold in attics during NJ Home Inspections and most often the root cause is poor attic ventilation.
- Ice damming. This is often observed as a slab of ice that forms near the roof’s eaves and prevents melting snow from running off the roof. The snow is melted by warm air in the attic that rises to the roof surface. Once an ice dam solidifies, it pushes water up behind the shingles which can cause leaks or mold in the walls of the home.
- Corroded fasteners. Humidity causes corrosion to form on nails and fasteners that hold the structure together. Over long periods, this can cause the heads of nails or plumbing straps to fall apart.
A properly ventilated attic should act as a chimney to allow hot air and moisture to escape through roof vents. It’s important to make sure that your attic has sufficient thickness of attic insulation to prevent heat loss into the newly ventilated attic during colder months. Our home inspector has many years of experience detecting improper attic ventilation.
Attic ventilation is just one of the many subject areas that our NJ Home inspector John Buckley is ready to discuss with you. If you should ever need a quality home inspection in Monmouth of Ocean county NJ please call 732-743-5665