Draughty houses are mainly a thing of the past. The problem is that all that moisture-laden air that used to escape with the draughts now only has only one way to go — up into the roof space.
Condensation and the Roof Space
Condensation happens because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air. This means that, when warm air containing a lot of moisture meets a cold surface (such as your roof in winter), it cools down and deposits drops of water everywhere.
This is a problem not only because it makes your loft a less pleasant place to visit, but also because of the long-term effects of damp. You’re likely to find mould spreading over both the underside of the roof and anything you have stored in the loft. Even more seriously, it could create rot in the timbers, and you’ll end up with major structural repairs.
Ventilating Your Loft Space
One approach to ventilating your loft is to install roof windows. These have many benefits, but unfortunately, they may have a limited effect on condensation because the problem’s worst in cold weather, when you won’t want the windows open.
A better solution is to install roof vents. If you live in a modern house, they should have been built in. If you don’t already have them, though, you can combine their installation with repairs to your roof or roofline. The main types are:
- Soffit vents are fitted to the soffits, on the underside of the roofline. They can either be continuous strips along the soffit or a series of circular vents. If the vents were included when the house was built, they’re likely to be soffit vents.
- Over fascia vents fit at the top of the roofline, instead of underneath. Though not as good at catching updraughts, they don’t attract as much dirt as soffit vents.
- Roof tile/slate vents can be fitted in place of a tile or slate, and it’s even possible to combine them with a bathroom extractor for added effect.
- Ridge tile vent is a vent fitted to the roof ridge instead of a tile, perfect for allowing the damp air to be pushed up and out by the draughts.
- Lap vents are fitted from inside the loft to the roof’s undersarking. Unlike the other options, which require professionals, lap vents can be fitted by an expert DIYer.
If you want to know more about ventilating your loft space, or are unsure of what you need, feel free to get in touch for a chat.