Improper care of your loft coupled with an unsuitable environment can cause a slew of issues that could be detrimental to your home and wallet. One such common issue is condensation, which, if left unchecked, can develop into more severe problems. You can reduce the likelihood of condensation in your loft by ensuring there is adequate loft ventilation to allow for good air circulation in the space.
What is loft ventilation?
Loft ventilation is the method of funnelling clean fresh air into the loft while removing the damp air that is stagnant within it. This creates a gentle movement of air in the loft that circulates to create a comfortable and safe space.
Why is it important to ventilate your loft space
When humid air makes its way through the loft space and hits a cooler surface, it leads to beads of moisture forming on the underside of the roof.
This humid air can be induced by everyday activities such as cooking, showering and washing clothes. If you do not have roof vents or they are blocked, they will not work effectively and contribute to the formation of condensation in the loft. Similarly, if too much insulation restricts the natural air circulation, humid air is more likely to settle as condensation in the loft.
Consequences of a poorly ventilated loft
When these beads of moisture drop, they can eventually lead to damp-related issues forming, such as rot and mould. This can be detrimental to your stored belongings as well as your insulation, reducing its effectiveness. To maximise the efficiency of your insulation, you may wish to protect it with raised loft boarding that does not squash the insulation beneath it so it can work as intended.
Different types of loft ventilation
Several types of loft ventilation are available to provide sufficient airflow to the loft.
A roof window or skylight can be an effective method of loft ventilation. As well as being a great source of natural light, they give the option for fresh airflow to pass into the room. Instaloft’s Keylite window uses innovative Future therm technology to become fully insulated while allowing fresh air even when the window is locked and secure.
Over Fascia Vents
The fascia is the long, straight board that runs along the roof’s lower edge where it meets the house’s outer wall, and you can easily identify it as it typically holds the gutter. This type of loft ventilation works by using a small air gap of 10-25mm fitted to the top of the fascia board to allow air to pass into the loft. These are ideal if you wish to keep the aesthetic of your roof as it is a discreet way to allow airflow into your loft without having unsightly vents on the roof tiles.
The soffit is tucked underneath the fascia and is what you would see if you looked up at the guttering from below. The soffit can help with loft ventilation by installing either individual or continuous vents that allow airflow into the roof area. The soffit vent provides an intake spot for air to enter the loft and draw heat and moisture away from the house.
Tile and Slate Vents
These ventilators are used in place of roof tiles/slates and can come in many colours and styles to match the rest of the roof and blend in. These are a simple and effective solution to extracting air from the loft as they can be easily fit. You don’t need to cover the roof, and just two vents on either side of the home should be sufficient. You must ensure they are placed just above the insulation level to allow air to circulate over the insulation, stopping any moisture from evaporating upwards.
The ridge is the peak of the house, and you can add loft ventilation here to allow for an exit to prevent stagnant air from accumulating in your loft. These are typically added to supplement either fascia or soffit vents to allow the air to move through the space. As air enters through a vent and naturally rises, it will leave out the ridge vent creating consistent air movement. If you use your loft regularly or as a functional space, these are ideal for improving airflow.
Loft ventilation is a massively important aspect of loft care to reduce condensation and prevent personal belonging or structural damage, all the while giving you a more comfortable space. Get in touch with a member of the Instaloft team to see how we can help you look after your loft.