Attic Ventilation


I am in the process of getting bids from roofing contractors on reroofing an old house.

The house has a full open walk up attic.

Some roofers recommended ridge and soffit venting.

Ridge and Soffit venting image
courtesy of  Air Vent, Inc.

Other roofing contractors say you not use this type of venting with this open walk up attic because venting allows access of cold air in the winter, and because cold air settles into the lowest point, it will be drawn into the rest of the house.

Can you give guidance on this?

Thank you

Dick E.

Hi Dick,

Proper attic ventilation is a must!

Proper attic ventilation extends the life span of your roof shingles and roof framing by decreasing moisture year-round and heat buildup in the warmer months.

Ridge and soffit venting provides the best way to vent your attic.

As for your worry about cold air, a good quality attic door plus well insulated attic stairway walls, and most importantly, excellent ceiling (attic floor) insulation would in effect, make the attic floor (and stairwell) the "lowest point".

If you mean by "open walk up attic" that there isn't a door, well then get one and insulate the stairwell and check the R value of the insulation in all the ceilings below the attic.

The only way you can have an "open door" to an attic is if it is a fully finished area with heat and A/C. Then you have to make sure the roof rafters are vented.

Take heed! I learned things the hard way.

Carl Heldmann