How roof vents work

 Proper ventilation is an essential part of any roofing system. It’s helpful to understand how roof ventilation works to know why it’s essential.

I actually have first-hand knowledge of some of the problems that improper ventilation causes! When we bought our current house, there was no ventilation at all above an indoor pool. Moisture built up on our cedar beams, dripped the wood’s coloring on the floor, and caused all sorts of damage! Needless to say, we quickly corrected the problem.

Let’s look at how roof vents work and the problems that proper ventilation can help alleviate.

How roof vents work

There are actually two parts to proper roof ventilation. Certainly the most visible is the vents themselves. But the intake at the soffits, where the roof meets the outside walls, is just as important.

The primary purpose of roof vents is to facilitate proper airflow through the attic. Because heat rises, this means that air needs to flow in at the lowest points and flow out at the highest points.

So not only do you have to have the right number of roof vents, but they have to be placed properly and not obstructed by anything at any point during the year. The intake has to be set up correctly as well.

If all that is done the right way, air will flow correctly through the attic or space just below the roof, and it will help prevent all sorts of problems.

Problems that roof ventilation can prevent

There are a lot of problems that can result from improper roof ventilation. Let’s take a look at just a few.

Voiding manufacturer warranty

Shingle manufacturers have designed a system that requires proper ventilation. If your roof isn’t properly ventilated, you’re essentially baking the shingles on top of your house. Not surprisingly, the shingle manufacturers won’t honor your warranty if your shingles are subjected to those kinds of temperatures.

Causing moisture damage

If the temperature in your attic is too warm or you put bags over your vents in the winter, that causes condensation to be trapped in the attic and other spaces. That moisture can lead to mold and other issues. And if there’s enough moisture that it’s dripping down, it can cause the same issues in the walls as well.

Damaging the structure of the house

Improper ventilation can actually cause your roof’s wood—the decking—to get crunchy. It will dry out and have the consistency of burnt toast. If you walk on the roof and the decking is in that condition, you can actually hear it crunch. That’s a huge fire hazard and a major structural issue. You don’t want the structure of your house compromised!

Increasing heating and cooling bills

We had a customer one time that had a second story that wasn’t ventilated at all. His attic temperature before we worked on the roof was approximately 145 degrees Fahrenheit. We put ridge vents on when we reroofed the house, and the temperature in the attic dropped down to 120 degrees.

Of course, it can be a challenge to know if your house is properly ventilated. That’s where roofing experts come into play! We would be happy to talk with you and see if we can help. Contact us to have a conversation.

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