Most people tend to overlook the importance of roof ventilation in a home. Whether it’s during the cold or warm climates, proper roof ventilation increases the durability of your roof while preventing other issues that might occur inside or outside the building. As a homeowner, you also need to understand that proper roof ventilation helps to keep your home comfortable. Experts recommend balanced ventilation, with some vents placed under the roof, others near the eaves while the rest should be positioned near the peak or ridge. As you can see, ventilation plays a vital role towards the function and design of your roof.
Purpose of Roof Ventilation
The main purpose of roof ventilation is to keep the attics dry during the cold months and cool during the summer. Attic ventilation encourages natural air circulation thus making your home more comfortable. One of the biggest benefits of attic ventilation is that it increases the life of your roof. Attic ventilation is vital in both cold and warm climates. In cold conditions, roof ventilation helps to prevent severe conditions such as ice dams. An ice dam is a phenomenon that occurs when ice on the roof melts and refreezes on the roof’s edges. The freezing can also take place beneath the shingles. Ice dams can lead to the severe destruction of the eaves and shingles if not addressed on time. Proper attic ventilation helps the heat to escape while causing any snow present on the area to thaw fast.
Roof ventilation also helps to conserve energy. As much as shingles are designed to endure the sun’s rays for many years, the temperatures will increase above normal when the attic overheats. Attics that are not properly ventilated are vulnerable to overheating. In fact, most warranties offered by shingle manufacturers that your attic is properly ventilated. When the attic is properly ventilated, warm air will escape thus reducing the amount of work that your air conditioner has to do. As a result, the energy bills will be lower as compared to a situation where the roof is not adequately ventilated.
Proper attic ventilation also reduces accumulation of moisture, thus protecting the structure of the roof. Moisture that accumulates beneath the roof deck can create numerous problems. For instance, metallic materials such as nails will rust, weaken and even break. Also, accumulation of hot air and moisture will lead to the growth of mold, mildew, and fungi. Furthermore, the roof deck itself can rot and collapse, leading to expensive maintenance procedures. As you can see, if attic ventilation is well designed and properly installed, it will provide exceptional moisture and temperature control, thus protecting your home from avoidable damages while maintaining comfortable internal temperatures throughout the year.
How Roof Ventilation Works
A roof ventilation system is designed to provide continuous air circulation through the attic space while helping to remove moisture and overheated air from the roof system and the attic. The ventilation system also helps to reduce the effect of changing moisture conditions and temperatures both outside and inside your home. This system consists of numerous intake and exhaust vents, which are installed strategically throughout the attic.
Various types of vents can be installed in different locations to ensure optimal air circulation throughout the roofing system. Correct design and installation of the roof’s ventilation system is vital. For instance, the design of the roof should have sufficient air space for airflow and insulation beneath the eaves and the roof. Furthermore, a properly designed ventilation system should provide a precise balance between the intake vents and the exhaust ventilation to ensure the attic is slightly pressurized. Slight attic pressurization helps to prevent intake of conditioned air too fast, as it may lead to increased heating and cooling costs.
Types of Roof Vents
Some of the common types of roof vents include soffit vents, box vents, power vents, gable vents, ridge vents and static vents, among others. Box vents are also known as static vents since they don’t have moving parts. Their operation relies on the forces of natural convection. If you want to use these vents, then you should install them as close as possible to the roof edge ensure maximum release of heat and moisture. Just as their name suggests, power vents come with fans and motors, which drive moisture and hot air out of the attic. Power vents also come with an inbuilt humidistat, which detects humidity levels for automatic functioning. As for soffit vents, they provide remarkable air intake into the ventilation system of the roof. It’s advisable to install them in the eaves and soffits for maximum efficiency. When you install them in those places, you will notice increased airflow. For best results, it’s advisable to combine soffit vents with ridge vents.
Insulation and Attic Ventilation
If your home is sufficiently insulated, it will work together with your properly designed and constructed attic ventilation system to minimize energy costs. Proper placement and installation of a home’s insulation helps to prevent unnecessary venting of cooled and heated air – which keeps your living spaces comfortable. Apart from that, the insulation will also maintain conditioned air in the living spaces, since that’s where it belongs. Any unwanted air and moisture are pushed out through the vents during summer. Avoid storing unnecessary items in the attic, since it might reduce its efficiency while increasing your energy costs.
Roof Ventilation System Maintenance
A roof ventilation system requires regular maintenance. The inspection should happen at least once in two years. The inspection should check for signs of weather damage such as loose vents, broken or missing tiles and cracks. You should also remove anything blocking the vents. It’s also advisable to inspect the attic’s interior for signs of moisture damage. Apart from that, ensure you inspect the attic’s insulation to ensure it’s in good condition as well as properly placed for optimal home insulation.
Proper roof ventilation helps to protect your home against damage and deterioration. It also helps to keep energy costs down. If your home is not properly ventilated, it’s advisable to call roofing professionals, who will guide you through the entire process and advise you on the steps you need to take.