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Welcome to Tip #3 in our Fairfield Home Inspection Blog series how to preventing and removing ice dams from your home. In Tip #2 we discussed identifying and solving heat loss issues for your Fairfield County home.

The next critical element (Part 3 of our Fairfield Home Inspection Blog series) to helping prevent ice dams and maintaining the correct temperature in the attic is ventilation. It is important the temperature of the attic maintain temperatures that are close to the exterior throughout the year.  You don’t want it warm in the winter and certainly don’t want it too hot in the summer.  An attic space should have 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space, assuming vent space is split between soffit and ridge. Manufacturers of soffit vents and ridge vents typically specify the net free vent area of their products on the packaging or on installation instructions available online.


The concept behind current construction methods is to allow for air to flow from the eave out through the ridge of the roof through the use of soffit vents and and a ridge vent.  The air flows in through the soffit, up the rafter bays, and out the ridge vent.  It is important to look at where your attic insulation lays, and that it is not resting on top of the soffit, blocking your ventilation.  A key element in preventing that is something called a baffle- very common for the homes in Fairfield County that we inspect. Baffles create a channel for air to flow between the insulation and roof sheathing, and prevent the insulation from blocking the soffit and short circuiting the air flow.


Some other forms of venting are roof vents, power vents, and gable end vents.  There is a large amount of debate and information available on the use of gable end vents in conjunction with ridge vents, and the use of power vents or turbine vents, so it is best to consult with a qualified professional if there is inadequate ventilation on the best possible solution for your specific needs.


Venting is just as important as insulation, and should be evaluated by a qualified roofing contractor in order to best protect your home from ice damming. If you are looking to hire a Fairfield Home Inspection company to help identify adequate ventilation,  please contact Long River Home Inspection Fairfield here.


Thank you for reading Part #3 of our Fairfield Home Inspection Blog series. Stay tuned for more tips on preventing and removing ice dams from your Fairfield County home.


Jeff Walsh
Long River Home Inspection
Fairfield, CT 06824
Phone: (203) 418-7696
Premier Fairfield Home Inspection Service