How to Ventilate Your Loft

Well ventilated and well lit loft space with a telescope

Good loft ventilation is important. It’s that simple.

If you know how to ventilate your loft properly, you can lower your cooling costs in summer, whereas in the winter you can keep the loft dry and minimise the build-up of ice dams.

There are potential health hazards to think about, too. Poor ventilation can pave the way for mould to form, which is a result of condensation and general moisture in the loft.

Do you feel like saving yourself some money and a few tears?

Then this advice is for you.

Check your loft’s ventilation

Normally, construction companies will incorporate ventilation into the loft and roof when they build a home.

The first thing you should do is check if your roof and eaves have any kind of vent. If they don’t, the chances are the ventilation in your loft won’t be too fantastic.

Perhaps they do, but as time has gone on you may find you need extra ventilation.

If it’s a nice hot, sunny day, press your finger against the ceiling. If the ceiling is warm, it’s a sign that your loft is really trapping that lovely warm air and it’s time to act.

If it’s winter, check for moisture and for ice dams on the eaves. If you spot either, your ventilation needs some work.

Lady pointing her finger towards the ceiling and testing the ventilation

Fit a vapour barrier

When people fit new insulation, often they forget to add a vapour barrier.

Reinforce your insulation with this sheet of plastic or aluminium to minimise the amount of water that enters the loft.

By doing this, you can help to prevent condensation because much less water will be touching colder areas.

Move back existing insulation

If you’ve fitted any extra insulation, check that it’s not covering any vents in the loft.

It’s possible whoever laid the insulation, did so right across the vents. It should be easy to move back.

Consider any ventilation requirements if you’re thinking of improving the ventilation of your home, especially of the loft. You’re likely to need extra ventilation and if you incorporate this into the insulation project, you can spare yourself some inconvenience and potential health hazards further down the line.

Add roof and soffit vents

To achieve the best results, place soffit vents in the eaves and roof vents close to the peak of the roof.

The air comes in through the soffit vents and flows out of the roof vents. Rectangular vents are the most straightforward to install, but you can also fit circular vents or might even opt for tile vents on your roof. Cut the holes with a jigsaw or, if you don’t have one, a reciprocating saw.

Make sure your vents are spaced apart evenly. Remember that the more entry points for the air, the easier it is for the air to circulate and ventilate the space.

Man on the roof fitting the ventilation

Choose a cool day for installation work

You might not fancy heading up into the loft when temperatures are lower, and much less going out onto the roof, but it’s better to do the work on a cool day.

That’s because if you have a shingled roof, the heat can damage the shingles themselves.

There’s also your own personal safety to consider. The heat can become really stifling up there in the loft and you should set aside an entire day to complete the job.

Ventilate your loft with these tips to put more money back in your pocket and ward off potential health concerns. If you’re thinking of doing some more work on your loft, or even on other areas of your home, come and chat to us for advice. We’re conversion specialists and would be happy to take part in your project.