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Getting the Facts About Attic Venting

Posted March 31, 2016
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In conjunction with the right attic insulation near Seattle and Tacoma, WA, attic venting can play a key role in your home’s overall energy efficiency, as well as keeping your attic’s moisture levels in check. However, there are limits to what attic venting can do.

What Most People Believe Attic Venting Is

In a nutshell, most contractors and homeowners believe that attic vents allow air to properly circulate through your attic space. This circulating air supposedly prevents moisture from building up in an attic, as well as discourages condensation from forming on the underside of a roof’s sheathing. Attic vents are also thought to make your home cooler during the warm summer months, and prevent ice dams from forming during winter freezes.

How Venting Reduces Moisture in an Attic

Though attic vents do help to take care of excessive moisture levels in an attic, they should not be solely relied upon. If your attic is unusually damp, you may want to check the condition of your basement or crawlspace. Basements and crawlspaces that are overly moist are contributors to damp attics. Enlist the help of a professional to address your moisture issues. Also, be sure that your ceiling is sealed properly and is not allowing air to leak through it. Keep this in mind regarding attic ventilation: In areas where humidity levels are high, attic venting does little to reduce moisture in attics.

How Venting Keeps Your Attic Cool During the Summer

Contrary to popular belief, venting doesn’t really play a significant role if your home’s attic is well insulated. Attic venting can reduce the ambient temperature in attic spaces that are open, but the best way to keep your home cool during the warm summer months is to have attic insulation with an appropriate R-value.

How Venting Prevents Ice Dams

There’s no clear evidence that attic venting prevents ice dams. The most effective ways to prevent ice dams in your attic is to have the right home insulation installed and a properly sealed ceiling.