You are likely well aware of the fact that the majority of attics and roofs are vented. You may also be well aware of the fact that the ridge vent is what is at your roof’s peak. However, one thing that you may not be well aware of is the fact hat some homes may no have sufficient ventilation or any ventilation period. One question you may have is whether roof ventilation is even needed.
Roof ventilation is important because is aids in keeping your home warmer during the winter and cooler during the summer, thereby increasing your roof’s lifespan and reducing the risk of roof damages. A well-design system of roof ventilation can help in the elimination of moisture in the attic as well as crawlspaces by allowing for cool and dry air to enter while also exhausting warm and moist air from the space.
Your local roofing company is aware that in order to remain healthy that your home needs to be able to breathe—in the same way that you do as a human. Making sure that your home can breathe well can help in the prevention of damp environments and deter dangerous mildew and mold growth in the attic and crawlspaces.
Why Is It That Roof Vents Are Necessary?
If your home is equipped with an attic, an upper floor that is attached to the roof, or an unheated basement, then ventilation is needed to help in the correction of air conditioning in the space. During the summertime, the ventilation of the roof will help int eh cooling of the roof and any underlying moisture barrier materials, which will reduce the overall expansion of the metal and reduce the aging of the asphalt shingles.
By ensuring your roof remains cool, you can also help prevent snow from melting and re-freezing in the rain gutters where ice dams could form and result in leaks and serious water damage. Even in the event that leaks don’t occur, that additional weight can result in significant structural damage to the roof. The roof vents can help prevent this by ensuring the coldest air is circulated from the eaves and through the vent in the peak of your roof.
Proper Roof Ventilation Can Extend Your Roof’s Lifespan
Have you ever noticed icicles building up along the edge of your roof and gutters? This is called ice damming. You are able to see the actual icicles, but what you are unable to see is the damage that they’re causing to the roof’s edge. Ice damming occurs when heat from the attic combines with the sun’s heat to melt the ice and snow on your warm roof. That moisture then goes to roof’s edges and starts to refreeze. The water and ice build up there where it can back up underneath your roofing materials, resulting in damage to your entire roofing system, the attic, and the interior of your home.
Adequate ventilation can allow warm air to escape prior to there being a chance for the ice and snow to melt on the roof. It is easy to tell which homes have a well-ventilated roof and which ones do not during the wintertime, as the well-ventilated roofs will still have snow on it and no icicles hanging on the edges.
Now, ventilation is not only beneficial during the winter, as it serves a good purpose during the summer as well. As temperatures rise during the summer, your roof’s temperature can reach temperatures almost double. When you have a poorly ventilated attic, a hot roof will result in a scorching hot attic.
The reason for this is due to the insufficiently vented attic not having anywhere for the built-up heat to escape to. Unfortunately, this buildup of heat can result in significant damage to your shingles from underneath. If your roof is properly ventilated, the hot air will be able to escape, allowing for a cooler attic and roof.
Proper Ventilation Can Reduce Energy Costs
As the temperatures start to increase outside, you will likely want to stay inside as much as you can where you can keep cool. With a properly vented roof, the heat will be able to escape and ensure that your air conditioner doesn’t work overtime. When your air conditioner is not running as much, your electric bill won’t be as high.
Proper Ventilation Minimizes Extreme Interior Temperatures
Have you walked upstairs and thought that it was several degrees warmer than it was downstairs in the living room? Indoor temperature extremes like this are often due to inadequately vented roofs. As soon as your roof is sufficiently vented so that hot air can escape and cool air can reach the attic space, your home will be much more comfortable all year.
Attic Vents Are Able to Control Temperature and Moisture
When the air starts to simply stagnate within the attic, moisture often condenses out and settles on the insulation and framing. Unfortunately, this creates the ideal environment for mildew, mold, and rot. Mold thrives in damp attic insulation. When insulation gets damp, it will clump up, minimizing how effective it is. Rot will have a negative impact on the framing and the roof deck. In the end, you could have a sagging roof, which will likely leak and exacerbate the moisture issue that you have in the attic, leading to interior home problems.
The Ideal Attic Ventilation
Soffit vents, which are those grids that fit over the holes in the soffits, are available in various sizes. On some vinyl or aluminum soffits, the vents are actually integrated into the panels. Due to the fact that the soffit and roof line form a corner inside of the attic, you generally need to fit baffles over the vents that run along the roof sheathing under the insulation. These are either plastic or cardboard passageways for air that can be fastened to the underside of the decking to prevent insulation from blocking the soffit vents and ensuring that air continues to flow freely.
Ridge vents are by far the more economical type of vent. It is a continuous vent that will run along a sloped roof’s peak. Generally, it will be covered with shingles so that it matches the remainder of the roof. It is also possible to choose an assortment of styles of vents that open directly onto the deck. It is important to take care that the vent openings are not covered in the winter by snow, since this can hinder their overall functionality. If your home is able to accommodate them, you may want to consider having gable vents installed.
You will need to take care in designing a proper ventilation system that will guarantee uniform circulation in the attic, especially behind obstacles and in the corners.
The Flat Root Ventilation System
Regardless of the ventilation system that you choose, it is important that you ensure you are preserving the roof’s integrity. If you choose to install any kind of ventilation duct or turbine on the surface of the roof, you will need to make sure that it includes plenty of sealant and solenoid to prevent moisture from seeping into the home and resulting in moisture issues. A ridge vent needs to be fixed onto the roof, the metal, the asphalt fabric, or the minimal roll so that there is circulating air beneath the roof covering.
How Exactly Does Roof Ventilation Work?
A roofing ventilation system is designed to work by offering a constant flow of air throughout the attic, aiding in the removal of overheated air and moisture and reducing the effect of changing moisture conditions and temperature from both the interior and exterior of the home. The system that will allow the air ventilation to occur will consist of both the installation of exhaust vents and intake vents at strategic locations in the roof area and attic.
There are several different kinds of vents that can be utilized in various locations to offer ventilation in these areas. Several can be used in various locations so that air in the attic can circulate evenly throughout the entire roofing system.
A qualified roofing company will know that the proper design and construction of the ventilation system is crucial. The design of the roof should offer sufficient open air for insulation as well as air flow beneath the eaves and roof. If the system has been designed correctly, it will balance the exhaust and intake ventilation beneath the roof to where the attic space is only slightly pressurized, which will keep conditioned air from getting sucked out too fast through the vents and increase cooling and heating expenses.
What Will Occur if the Attic Isn’t Vented?
Any professional contractor will quickly inform you that adequate ventilation of the attic is necessary to ensure that air flow is constant in the attic instead of allowing that air to just sit there. Ultimately, attic ventilation allows outside air to pass through and out of the space, taking excess moisture and heat from the air and space with it. Air is brought in through soffits and waves and it is then exhausted through the roof by a roof vent or ridge cap. This will assist in creating the proper air balance in the space, playing an important role in ensuring your home remains comfortable and healthy to live in.
How Much Ventilation Is Needed?
Due to the fact that the majority of roofs are not properly ventilation, most people do not have any idea how much roof ventilation is needed or what type needs to be purchased. The FHA recommends that one square foot of attic exhaust is needed for each 300 square foot of attic square.
When there is not sufficient ventilation, it can result in a number of issues. Depending on your local climate, it can result in premature wear on your roof and have an impact on your utility bills.
Without sufficient ventilation, your attic will be overheated. Without sufficient air moving through the attic, the trapped air will heat up with the temperatures outside. This buildup of heat will then transfer through the attic floor and start to warm up the interior of your home. In turn, your energy bills will skyrocket as your AC and fans work overtime to cool your home.
Another issue that you face with an overheated attic is that your roof shingles will suffer premature wear. The buildup of heat in the attic will also transfer upward, resulting in the shingles becoming overheating and ultimately frying them, reducing their overall lifespan.
When you have an overheated attic, the damage can go far beyond increased utility bills and a damaged roof. It can also result in warped attic framing, walls, and door frames, in addition to blistered wallpaper and paint in the home.
A Buildup of Moisture
You may assume that insufficient attic ventilation is only an issue during the summer, but it can be a problem during the winter as well. Steam from your clothes dryer, shower, and even pots and pans can find its way into the attic, get trapped, and condense. This condensation can then start to drip down into the insulation where it will become less effective. In addition, it can result in the growth of mildew and mold, potentially causing health issues for the entire household.
Condensation and excess moisture can form in the eaves and soffits as well, causing moisture to be driven back underneath the roof where ice dams can form and result in leaks. Adequate roof ventilation will ensure air continues moving year-round, which will keep the moisture out of the attic before there is ever a chance for it to condense.
Sufficient roof ventilation is necessary for the well-being of not only your home but the ones who live in it. If you are worried that your roof does not have the right ventilation or you have noticed some of the aforementioned issues, don’t hesitate in contacting us at C and K Roofing. We are happy to help you in addressing any concerns that you could have and take a look and inform you of what your options may be.