Turtle vents added to a roof systems to increase air flow.

Attic spaces tend to turn into forgotten storage spaces that many homeowners do not pay close attention to. What the attic is, is a place where cool air enters and humid, warm air exits through the exhaust vents.   

Why is Attic Ventilation Important? 

Attic ventilation is a necessity to prevent stifling air buildup in attic spaces. The peril of having too much hot and humid air trapped is the trapped air has excessive moisture.  

Four Signs That Your Attic is Poorly Ventilated 

There are signs that your attic is having ventilation issues. Some of these problems may not be immediately prevalent but over time some of these may rear their head.  

It is important to know what to look for if you feel that your attic is poorly ventilated. You can also rely on a trusted roofing company to provide an accurate assessment of the ventilation of your attic. It may be worth checking your soffit vents to ensure that they are letting fresh outside air into your home.  

Rusty Roofing Materials 

Finding rusty nails, flashing, or duct straps without a roof leak is a troublesome sign that your attic lacks ventilation.  

Hot and Humid Air Buildup 

Hot air is prevalent in the summer months, but it should not be hot in the winter. There are a couple of things that could be in play.  

First, make sure that all appliances and bathroom venting goes to the proper place. One caveat is that local jurisdictions may have different expectations of where and how these should vent. However, in most cases, the bathroom, dryer, and kitchen vents should not vent into the walls or attic of your home. All the air that these expel is scorching and humid and pumping the air into an enclosed space will lead to mold and mildew.  

Second, are all entry points into the attic properly sealed? Fireplaces, pipes, cables, and more can go into the attic. Are there gaps around those entry points? Those points will allow hot air to permeate into the upper levels of your home and increase your heating and cooling bills. Seal off these areas to ensure you prevent the attic from getting too warm.  

Ice Dams in the Winter 

Poor roof ventilation is often the root cause of ice dam formation. A properly ventilated roof allows cool air to enter the attic and sends hot air out. Improper ventilation will trap warm air in the attic. 

An ice dam forms when your attic space is too warm. The snow and ice melt and travel down the roof toward the gutters. The eaves of your home are colder and will cause the melted snow and ice to freeze into an ice mass.  

As it turns to ice, it expands and runs the chances of reaching under the shingles of your home. When the ice lifts your shingles, it creates a place for water to penetrate. It may look like a roof leak, or it may send water down the exterior walls of your home.  

Mold and Mildew Formation 

Heat and humidity are prime conditions to grow mold and mildew. Leaving a mold and mildew problem unchecked in the attic will cause rot to set in eventually.  

How to Improve Ventilation in the Attic 

Improving ventilation can improve the health of your roof and home. Your home may require additional insulation to prevent the attic from getting too warm. Soffit blockage may be the culprit preventing the entry of cool air into the attic space.  

Roof vents are a fix to increase the ventilation in your attic. Adding vents can be the exact fix to expunge more warm air and add temperature relief to your attic.  

Types of Attic Ventilation Systems 

Depending on the needs of your attic, and what is already in place, you may find two different recommendations; an active system or a passive system. Each is different but they have one end goal; to keep warm air out of the attic. 


An active attic ventilation system uses either electric-powered or solar-powered vents to remove air. The benefit of a solar vent is that it does not require any hardwiring of a fan to remove air. It has a small solar panel that powers the fan. Additionally, it contains a sensor that reads the humidity of your attic, and the fan will kick on when it reads elevated humidity levels. 


A passive system allows cool air to flow in and stifling air out naturally. Soffit vents pull in the cool air while a ridge vent, turtle vent, or gable vent pushed the warm air out. Turtle vents or turbine vents are easy additions to a ventilation system that may need a little extra help to clear the heat out of your attic. 

Kearns Brothers have Been Providing Roofing Services for Metro Detroit 

Kearns Brothers is the leading roofing company providing metro Detroit homeowners with trustworthy roofing options for nearly 40 years. Our team has won countless industry accolades and maintains an A+ on the BBB. If you are looking for a trusted local roofer, call Kearns Brothers to discuss the options for your home.