GAF Air Flow Example

Does your roof vent enough?

Lately we have noticed more and more roofing companies trying to woo customers with the latest uber-vent.  Is this a new fad?  Does every house need a roof vent?

The simple fact is that while each of us need to vent every now and then, roofs need to vent all the time.

Why do roofs need to vent?

The simplest answer is to let the air out of your attic.  Whether it’s warm or cold air, attic vents (and ventilation in general) help the roof last longer and can prevent many serious and expensive issues from popping up later as the moisture and stagnant air will begin eating away at the roof system.

As Spring is here and Summer is near, let’s focus on hot air.

Ventilation helps to exhaust hot, moist air as it rises within the attic.  It can escape naturally, via the ridges on top of the roof (ridge vents), OR it can be forced out via powered exhaust vents; also known as roof vents (or attic vents).

Hot air, especially if it is moist, will soon cause a whole host of issues if it is not properly vented.  But just adding a roof vent will not solve this problem.   For the hot air to escape, fresh air must be able to flow INTO the attic.

TIP: Do not buy roof vents without knowing if your roof has adequate inflow capabilities.   Below is an illustration of how air moves (or does not) based upon ventilation.

attic roof airflow

What happens to a roof without roof vents or proper ventilation?

First, excessive heating or cooling bills are a certainty.  Additionally, poor ventilation creates excess moisture which will eventually cause metallic materials, including nails, to rust and break.

Further, the roof decking itself will begin to deteriorate from rot and various types of fungi.

Finally, mold will develop and wreck havoc everywhere it grows.

How do you ensure the attic and roof system has proper ventilation?

The best way to is to make sure there is adequate air ventilation and movement at each ventilation point.  Roof vents alone are not the answer.

Proper attic ventilation will be balanced between inflows and outflows.  This requires using ridge vents as well as exhaust vents (roof vents) along with intake vents at the eave, soffit, or fascia area of the roof.

Most experts agree, you need 1 square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of attic space; 50% should be intake and 50% exhaust.

Still have questions, the experienced roofers within the RoofBidders’ network understand what it takes to properly install  adequate ventilation for your home.



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