Can your roof breathe properly? It may sound like a silly question, but the answer is critical to the health and long-term durability of your home. Whether you live in a hot and steamy climate or you prefer the colder weather of the northern latitudes, there are good reasons for making sure that your home has the proper roof ventilation. To help you better understand why these vents are so important and how to determine whether your home can adequately breathe, let's take a look at everything you need to know about roofing vents.
The Importance of Proper Airflow
When it comes to protecting your roof, and the home below it, it's all about controlling temperature and moisture. During hot weather, the sun beats down on your roof and transfers an extraordinary amount of solar energy, causing the air below to become extremely hot. This eventually works its way into your home, significantly increasing the need for cooling and creating a less pleasant living space. It also places a lot of stress on your roofing materials. In cold weather, the opposite problem occurs. Warm, heated air from inside your home transfers to the roof, melting snow and creating a risk of ice dams. This clash of warm air with a cold roof also causes moisture buildup, potentially posing a risk of mold growth and even water damage.
Let Your Roof Vent
The solution to both of these issues is simple: Increase the airflow around your roof deck and attic with proper venting. By creating a steady flow of air, you can ensure that your roof stays cool year-round. This means less stress on your roofing materials, less cooling costs during the warmer months, and less risk of ice dams and moisture buildup. In fact, proper airflow is so important that inadequate venting may even void any warranties offered by your roof's shingle manufacturer. So, how do you know whether your roof is vented correctly?
How Roofing Vents Work
At its most basic, venting a roof requires vents for air intake and exhaust. There are a number of options to choose from in each case, with intake vents including:
- Soffit vents
- Fascia vents
- Dormer vents
There are even more options for exhausting air, such as:
- Ridge vents
- Gable vents
- Turbine vents
- Off-ridge vents
- Powered attic vents
The Right Amount of Ventilation
Unfortunately, ensuring proper airflow from soffit to ridge isn't quite as simple as it sounds. The air needs to circulate smoothly and consistently to achieve the desired effect, and poorly placed vents can disrupt this airflow or even stop it altogether. Finding the right amount of ventilation is also important as both too much and too little airflow can potentially cause problems. Though the typical standard is the 1/150 rule, meaning that one square foot of free vent area is required for every 150 square feet of attic space, it's best to check with your local municipality for specific building codes.
As you can see, outfitting your roof with proper roofing vents is an important but complex task. If done correctly, it can help to lower your cooling costs and extend the life of your roofing materials for years to come. If you suspect that your roof may not have the venting it needs, or if you'd simply like an expert opinion, contact us today to begin the Roofr process. You'll be glad you did!