Attic ventilation mistakes to avoid

Problems arise after re-siding, reroofing

Q: I just had my house sided and roofed and the contractor closed off the gable vents except for drilling six holes in the inside bottom of the decorative half-round louvers at the tops of my house. He left insulation and Tyvek on the rest of the vent. He also installed a solar fan in the attic.

I am worried that the fan will burn out since there is not enough air to suck out of the attic because of the closing off of the vents. Plus, I thought the vents were needed for a good air flow. My contractor insists that what he did is correct. Please give me your opinion or someone to call for an unbiased opinion of this procedure. –Madeline D.

A: What your contractor did is certainly not correct.

Just as you thought, proper attic ventilation is essential for several reasons. It flushes hot air out of the attic, which prolongs the life of the roofing. It removes any accumulated moisture, which helps prevent the possibility of mold as well as moisture-related structural damage to wood framing members.

And, if you live in a cold climate, the attic ventilation flushes out heat lost from the house during the winter months, which keeps the underside of the roof colder and helps to prevent ice damming. So for a number of reasons, proper ventilation is absolutely essential to your home.