When you become a homeowner, you quickly discover the need for proper ventilation. The battle against mildew will be an endless one if your bathroom lacks enough ventilation. Because of a lack of or inadequate ventilation in the kitchen, the odours of cooking will linger for days. You’ll have a lot of issues with the interior and exterior of your home if the roof isn’t ventilated.
Fortunately, a skilled contractor can easily fix any ventilation issues in the home.
Your roof may not be properly ventilated if the inside of your house is warmer in the summer and colder in the winter than you would like or if you have ever gone into the attic in the middle of July and been met by a wall of unbearably hot air (or at all).
What are the Benefits of Having a Roof Vent?
Despite recommendations to plug air leaks and add insulation to improve your home’s energy efficiency, a house is not intended to be an airtight container. Houses need adequate ventilation, particularly in the attic and roof.
Because heat rises, if your attic isn’t well-ventilated or insulated, it may cause problems for your house all year.
As summer approaches:
- Your home’s roof decking and ceilings can easily become overheated due to the attic’s excessive heat.
- Rapid deterioration of shingles and other roofing components when exposed to sunlight and high temperatures is a common problem.
- Having to work harder, the air conditioner must cool the home once the heat rises from the attic and into the living space below.
For the colder months:
- Household moisture and heat rise to the attic level.
- Because of the condensation that forms in the attic and on the inner structural parts of the roof, wood rot and degradation and mould and mildew development on the insulation might occur.
- Rooftop snow melts due to warmer air and then refreezes at the eaves, forming ice dams.
The HVAC system and the roof are two of the most costly parts of a home, so it makes sense to take care of them with proper ventilation. Also, constantly exhausting stale, humid air outside aids in keeping the home’s internal air quality to a high standard.
Roof ventilation should be high on every homeowner’s list of home improvement projects to make the house healthier and more cost-effective.
Signs of Inadequate Roof Ventilation?
Keep in mind the following telltale indicators if you’re not sure you’d be able to spot a poorly ventilated roof or attic:
Winter ice dams as a whole
Ice dams form when the snow melts on a roof, slides down the roof’s pitch and refreezes at the eaves. Because of the expansion of water when it freezes, ice dams may damage roofing materials and lead to leaks. This melt-freeze cycle is perpetuated by a roof and attic that are too hot up above and too cold down below.
Insulation that is either too compressed or too wet
If insulation is to perform its function, it must maintain its loft and resist moisture absorption. Wet insulation loses part of its insulating value due to compression. Condensation in the attic, caused by a lack of ventilation, is typically accompanied by wet insulation.
Mould, mildew, or water stains on the wooden deck, ceiling, or beams
Your attic should always have water (or just a lot of dampness). Water stains on the underside of the roof or the structure of your attic are clear indications that you need to upgrade your home’s ventilation system.
Frozen condensation on exposed timber beams and rafters.
Frost on the underside of your roof or attic indicates that warm, damp air is retained.
If your attic is easily accessible, you should inspect it regularly. If you see anything that seems out of the usual, contact a professional roofing contractor for additional inspection.
Is There an Optimal Way to Ventilate a Roof?
There is no universally “better” or “worse” way of ventilation for roofs. What may be suitable for your relatives’ home in the Northeast may be a better choice for your home in the deep South because of the vast differences in regional weather and house architectural types throughout the United States.
However, consistent and sufficient airflow is the most crucial aspect of a roof ventilation system across all roofing types. Just what does it entail? Briefly, a well-balanced ventilation system permits the same quantity of air to enter and leave the attic space at all times. Depending on the size of your attic in both square footage and cubic feet, a certain number of intake and exhaust vents may need to be installed on your roof.
The function of a roof vent is to remove hot, humid air from the attic and introduce fresh, cooler air. Hot air rises, which is why you want your exhaust vents to be placed as close to the roof’s peak as possible. Soffits are ideal locations for intake vents, the lowest parts of a roof.
Intake vents and exhaust vents are essential components of any effective roof ventilation system, so always ask your contractor for advice on which vent designs they prefer.
The attic and roof may become a dangerous trap in the absence of proper ventilation (or inadequate ventilation). Mildew development, structural damage, and degradation of crucial roofing materials are just some of the long-term effects of an attic that is constantly overheated and poorly ventilated.
To prevent minor issues from becoming major disasters, you should have a professional evaluate your roof every few years and look into any symptoms of moisture penetration in the attic right once. The advantages to your house and its primary systems from installing or updating your roof ventilation system are apparent, even if it isn’t the most visually appealing home improvement you can do.