Wilmington Roofing: Article About Vented Soffits
It is common for homeowners to focus on improving the energy efficiency of their home by ensuring that all gaps around their doors and windows are sealed and that HVAC ducts are free of leaks. However, an attic actually requires air from the outside to flow through it. Proper attic ventilation can help to regulate the temperature inside a home as well as prevent shingles from being damaged by heat and reduce the likelihood of ice dams forming.
The reason that airflow in Wilmington roofing is important in the summer is that hot, stagnant air is usually full of moisture. Without a place for attic air to escape, this moisture can start damaging wood and insulation, reducing the strength of wooden support structures and lowering the R value of insulation.
Additionally, air that is trapped in the attic will continue to get hotter and hotter. In some cases, the air in an unventilated attic can be 60 degrees higher than the temperature outside. These extreme temperatures can cause asphalt shingles to warp, making them more likely to tear off in high winds and reducing their ability to repel water.
The roofing experts at The Roof Maker of Wilmington NC can assist you with any questions regarding asphalt shingle roofing or roof maintenance.
Incredibly high attic temperatures can also raise the temperature inside a home, requiring an HVAC system to run longer to maintain a comfortable temperature.
During the winter, attic ventilation is an important part of preventing ice dams. Ice dams are formed when snow melts but then refreezes again at the edge of a roof. When ice dams develop, melted snow pools behind them, which can cause leaks to form in a roof. Moving air creates natural convection, often providing enough heat to prevent ice dams from being able to form.
Soffits are panels that go between a home's outside walls and where the roof overhangs them. They protect an attic from rain and keep insects and pests out. Vented soffits are designed to keep everything out but outside air, and vented gables are normally paired with them to give attic air a place to escape.
It is important that vented soffits are installed in the right locations. If soffits are blocked, they will not provide needed airflow. Additionally, vented soffits should have baffles around them. Baffles are normally made of cardboard or plywood, and they are boards that can be installed to create channels for air to flow. This is important because without baffles, air would be able to blow insulation around, which lowers its R value.