Why Is Ventilation So Important For Your Roof?

The ventilation on your roof and in your attic is not something that is likely the cross your mind very frequently. Even so, it is actually very important to the longevity of your roof. There is huge reason why you should be concerned about the ventilation system that exists on top of your home: it can save you money.

Having your roof and attic properly vented saves money in two ways:

  1. Increases the energy efficiency in your home, thereby saving you money on your monthly heating and cooling expenditures.
  2. Prolong the lifespan of your roof, meaning you can wait longer before having to replace it. And everybody knows having a new roof put on isn’t cheap.

Roof And Attic Ventilation

Typically the air in the attic is recycled through the use of intake and exhaust vents. Intake vents are usually found down around the lower edges of the roof under the eaves of in the gable of your home, depending on the style of roof. Exhaust vents are normally found up high, like on the ridge of the roof. This is simply because heat rises. As the warm moist air rises and escapes from the exhaust vents, new fresh air is pulled in through the intakes.

How Does Proper Ventilation Protect Your Roof?

The role of attic ventilation is essentially to manage excess heat and moisture that can get trapped in the attic and under the roof deck. The accumulation of heat and moisture can cause different issues in summer and winter environments.

  • In hot climates, the direct sun can quickly cause in increase in the temperature under the roof deck, trapping heat in the attic. Exposure to too much heat can prematurely damage your roof by warping shingles and distorting the roof deck. This excess heat can also travel down into you living space if your attic isn’t properly insulated, causing you to spend more money to keep your house cool.
  • In freezing winter weather, a different problem is common. Warm air from the conditioned living space of you home can escape into the attic. This warm air comes into contact with the underside of the roof deck, causing the snow in contact with the surface of the roof to melt, and run down to the edge of the roof. Once the melted snow reaches the edge of the roof, it then refreezes, forming what it known as an ice dam. An ice dam can cause damage to your roof by causing frozen water to back up under the shingles, dislodging them. Even worse, the excess weight of accumulated ice on the eaves of your roof can lead to structural damage. These issues can easily be prevented by simply ensuring that warm air in your attic has the opportunity to vented outside.
  • Lastly, the biggest enemy of homes, humidity, can easily be controlled by a well vented attic. Moisture accumulation in the attic can ruin insulation and structural components, and attracts mold and mildew.

Spotting The Signs Of Attic Ventilation Issues

Problems with your attic ventilation can manifest itself in a variety of ways. It all depends on the ventilation and insulation systems you may already have in place, and what type of climate you live in.

Here a few signs to look out for:

  • Difficulty controlling the indoor temperature, or increased utility bills
  • Significant accumulation of ice on the edge of your roof during winter time, or lots of icicles
  • Moisture accumulation in the roof deck can cause individual shingles or even the entire roofline to appear rippled or wavy.
  • Water stains in the attic, on the roof deck, or ceiling under the attic.

How To Address Attic Venting Issues

If you believe you have issues with your attic ventilation, it’s best to have your situation inspected to promptly to get ahead of any potential damages that may be developing.

It is important to ensure that you have the right amount of vents. Building codes typically require at least one square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of attic. If this is not enough for your situation, a qualified roofing contractor can help you find a solution that is right for your home.