Roof ventilation is critical to a properly sealed building envelope. Proper venting provides an exit for moisture buildup and reduces the risk of condensation buildup on the roof assembly. It also prevents moisture-laden air from entering the attic space, leading to significant damage in time.
We highlight how roof ventilation works and why it is essential.
How a Roof Ventilation Works
A roof ventilation system increases the airflow into and out of a building through a process that adds more fresh and cool air. The fresh air brings more oxygen and minimizes the effects of excess heat, humidity, and other outdoor elements. This process provides better temperature control, a cleaner indoor environment, and reduces airborne particulate matter.
Airflow is controlled by how you choose the number of square feet of openings in the ceiling. You can ventilate your house with or without an external fan or with a vented fan-assisted natural attic ventilation system that takes advantage of roof airflow design.
How far the air travels depends on the size of the openings in your new roof. Mechanical vents near the top of the building pull air into your home or building. Intake vents should be approximately 10 feet from each other to allow for adequate cooling throughout your home.
Extended intake vents should be at least 20 feet apart on a pitched roof. As temperature increases for attic ventilation, the roof vent openings need spacing farther apart.
You can install exhaust vents on the top of your building to expel excess heat and moisture buildup from your home or business. Install the vents at the highest point of your roof. A typical exhaust venting system usually consists of galvanized steel pipe, aluminum flashing, galvanized steel mounting flanges, an insulation board, an interior gasket, and a screen cover.
To maintain efficiency, you must have sealant between the roofing material and the exhaust vent to prevent leakage.
The Benefits of Proper Roof Ventilation
Investing in roof ventilation for your home or business is essential to maintaining a healthy living space. Proper ventilation can help combat indoor air problems, improve air quality, and make your home or business more energy efficient.
1. Increased Energy Efficiency
Attic ventilation is a crucial component of your home’s energy efficiency. With poor ventilation, the temperature inside your home can quickly rise.
The high temperature increases the workload done by your air conditioner or furnace, leading to increased energy costs from the air-conditioning equipment. Lessen the load on your HVAC system and reduce your energy bills by installing roof vents.
Installing vents in the attic space helps distribute cooler air within your home, thus reducing energy consumed by your appliances. The attic ventilation reduces your HVAC system workload leading to decreased maintenance costs.
2. Increased Roof and Appliance Lifespan
Without proper roof ventilation, hot air collects in the ceiling areas of the home and gets trapped in the attic. The trapped hot air creates a humid condition, leading to condensation on roof sheathing and structure and deteriorating wood roofs.
One way to avoid roof leaks is by venting it properly, especially for wood-based tops made with cedar shakes or shingles. Having proper ventilation also means that you can reduce unwanted drafts from air conditioning units and heating vents, making them more durable.
3. Reduced Interior Air Temperature
Proper roof ventilation cools a room during hot weather and helps keep rooms comfortable with fresh summer air. Roof vents will keep cool air circulating through your home while reducing humidity in the living and sleeping areas.
You improve the air quality inside your home by installing roof vents. Proper attic ventilation works with your HVAC system to remove hot air and vapors, especially from your house’s bath and cooking areas.
4. Reduced Roof Maintenance Costs
Maintaining a roof that doesn’t vent properly can be costly. It means patching, replacing, and repainting the shingles. If you don’t keep it free of condensation, your new roof can develop leaks, leading to more problems and replacing shingles.
Cracked or deteriorated shingles are more prone to further damage from rain or ice and will need replacement sooner than traditional ones. Proper roof ventilation reduces costly repairs and minimizes maintenance expenses.
Additionally, insurance companies often look to see if specific exhaust ventilation measures exist in the home before reimbursing the cost of installing exhaust vents on the existing building. Meeting the circumstances leads to significant savings on new construction costs for homeowners planning to add a roof vent installation to their homes.
5. Your Roof Gets a Longer Lifespan
The lifespan of a roof dramatically increases with proper attic ventilation. A ventilated roof can prevent water damage on wood rooftops by leading to rot, mold growth, and substantial damage. When your roof gets older, it’s more prone to roof leaks and needs replacement sooner than a ventilated roof.
Proper roof ventilation in your roof extends the roof’s lifespan and prevents further degradation by reducing humidity levels.
6. Minimized Risk of Ice Damming
Ice damming leads to ice water collecting in your attic and reaching your roof. If the water is not correctly vented and allowed to escape, it causes damage. The ice dam causes the shingles to crack and the wood underneath to rot.
Also, if the ice damming occurs during a heavy rainstorm, this can lead to leaky gutters that can damage your home or even cause it to collapse.
Installing roof vents can help prevent ice damming for those in icy areas such as Minnesota. Roof vents allow hot air from the home’s interior to rise and escape under the snow. The escaping warm air carries any humidity and heat, preventing snow from melting faster than surrounding snow levels and reducing the risk of ice dams.
Roof vents will prevent ice dams from forming and protect your roof from cracks and roof leaks caused by ice dams or condensation.
Roof vents play an essential role in keeping your home comfortable and energy efficient by reducing energy costs from air conditioning units, heating vents, and overall humidity levels inside your home.
Vents also help cool the rooms during warm weather and keep rooms comfortable, using air-conditioning during hot summer days. Adequate exhaust ventilation also prevents ice dams during the winter months.