Proper Roof Ventilation Can Save You From These 3 Problems!

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January 4, 2021

Proper roof ventilation regulates your attic temperature, saving you from mold, ice, and high electricity costs!

Roof ventilation is a process that circulates air through the attic, forcing warm, moist air out and allowing cooler air into the room.

An essential component of every roof installation, proper ventilation, prevents the attic from becoming overheated and limits moisture collection, and therefore condensation, beneath the roof. Homes are at risk of mold problems in the attic without proper roof ventilation.

Roof vents also extend the life of your roof, reduce energy costs, and make your home a healthier place to live. 

What is roof ventilation?

Roof ventilation allows warm air to escape the attic space. With correctly installed roof vents, condensation doesn’t develop, and the attic doesn’t overheat. 

Mold growth follows from moisture accumulation, which can put the health of everyone occupying the home at risk. Dealing with a recurring mold problem because of poorly installed roof ventilation can cost you both time and money in the future.

If your attic overheats, your energy costs will increase as your home’s climate control system has to make up the temperature difference. 

Why do roofs need ventilation?

Roof ventilation is essential because it helps your attic at a consistent temperature during different seasons. There will be a difference between this room and the rest of your home, but proper ventilation can limit drastic fluctuations. 

When your attic stays consistent, climate control systems work less to heat or cool the rooms below the attic.

Additionally, hot air created during the summer carries more moisture than average. Keeping this warm, moist air flowing prevents moisture accumulation and mold growth.

If the area beneath the roof is too hot during the winter, snow and ice can melt when they contact the roof, causing the water to drip down and form ice. Icicles hanging from the gutters is a sign of inadequate roof ventilation.

Types of roof ventilation

There are two facets of roof ventilation: exhaust and intake of air. Proper roof ventilation requires both.

Exhaust vents are placed higher than intake vents since hot air rises, and the goal is to extract the hot, moist air.

The name of the game is efficiency. The most popular options are the ones which use little to no power, taking advantage of the natural property of hot air rising.

solar powered attic vent
Solar powered attic vent.

Exhaust vents

  • Ridge vents. Ridge vents are the most common roof ventilation option. They are covered with shingles and sit at the peak of the roof. Since it sits at the roof’s absolute top, this type doesn’t create cold or hot pockets in the attic. 
  • Off-ridge vents. This type of vent is less efficient than others because it doesn’t sit on the roof’s absolute top. It’s common when there isn’t a continuous ridge running the entire length of the roof or when the roof’s shape is too complicated for a more traditional option. 
  • Powered vents. These vents utilize built-in electric fans to pull hot air from the attic. They are beneficial for larger roofs and require constant electricity input to operate, which might raise concerns about electric costs. Judged solely on their airflow capabilities, they are more effective than static vent options–their efficiency is the only drawback.
soffit vent
Soffit vent installation location.

Intake vents

  • Soffit vents. These vents are installed in the space between the exterior wall of the house and the gutter. Combining them with ridge vents is the most popular roofing ventilation option. They allow cool air in from below, which forces the hot air out from above. Their downward facing orientation protects them from water damage. 
  • Gable intake vents. These are built at the peak of the roof, facing out at the home’s edge. These types of vents are visible, and the screen helps the insects from getting inside. Because of their position at the peak of the roof, these sometimes double as exhaust vents as well
  • Drip-edge vents. This type of vent sits beneath the roof’s edge and the end of the lowest row of shingles. They aren’t as effective as soffit vents, and their complicated installation keeps their use limited to unique circumstances.

Best Roof Ventilation Methods

A vital feature for roof ventilation is a balanced and proper airflow. When this occurs, an equal amount of air enters and exits in the attic area. 

The exhaust vents are installed on the roof’s top, and intake points are installed at the roof’s lowest points because hot air rises.

A ridge vent combined with a soffit vent is the most common, efficient, and cost-effective method. Unless there are particular characteristics of your roof that prevent this system, it’s the best roof ventilation method.

Attic where roof ventilation takes place

Benefits of roof ventilation

There are numerous benefits of roof ventilation. First, utilizing it regulates your attic temperature, which prevents your home’s climate control system from overworking. If your building has an unventilated roof, the air conditioning will consume significant amounts of energy. 

Second, the moist air is prevented from gathering in the upper portions of your attic, limiting the chances for humid conditions and mold growth.

Lastly, the roof ventilation can keep the space beneath your roof from staying too hot during the winter months, limiting the melting of snow, which would in turn to ice.

Does Roof Ventilation work?

The main aim of roof ventilation is to refresh the air in your attic. In summer, the roof vents help to let the cool air in and warm air out, whereas, in winters, it does the opposite.

Efficient roof ventilation systems can help maintain a steady temperature that prevents mold growth and ice formation using the property of rising hot air.

The exhaust/intake system is a cheap, tested way of keeping a consistent climate in the attic–the design has decades of use.

Roofing services in Dayton, Ohio

Correct roof ventilation is essential for every home’s safety–mold and ice could result during summer and winter, respectively.

It also ensures your air conditioning and heating units aren’t overworked, saving you on electricity costs.

If you’re worried that your roof lacks adequate ventilation or you think there might be any other issues, our professional roofing contractors can help! Give us a call or reach out via our contact page, and we’ll coordinate a time for your free roofing estimate.

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