For many of us, proper roof ventilation is not something we give much thought to. Our attics exist to give us a place to store luggage between trips, seasonal decorations, clothing, and the myriad of things we think we should hold on to because we “may need them again someday.” However, an important part of a healthy home, and a healthy and complete roofing system, is proper roof ventilation. In the last several years, more significant attention has been given, appropriately so, to proper roof ventilation as a method for improving several factors contributing to general “home health.”
How Roof Ventilation Works
The basic premise of ventilation is the flow of air through a system of intake and exhaust vents. Hot, moist air is pushed out through the exhaust vents as cool, dry, low-pressure air is brought in through the intake vents. In roofing systems, there are two distinct types of ventilation systems, natural and mechanical. A mechanical system relies air movement created by a power source, such as an attic fan which creates a low pressure environment in the attic to force the air in the home up into the attic and out through the exhaust vents. A natural system relies on the stack effect and the wind effect working together to naturally circulate the air in your attic. When hot air rises and creates a higher pressure at the high points of your attic, the stack effect occurs. However, even when exhaust vents are present, this hot air cannot escape through the exhaust vents unless there is cooler, low-pressure air allowed in through intake vents. As wind blows across the roof, the flow of air increases, forcing cooler air in through the intake vents and hotter air out through the exhaust vents.
The Benefits of Proper Roof Ventilation
During the cold, winter months, proper roof ventilation serves to maintain a cold roof temperature, helping you avoid ice dams created by melting snow, and vent moisture from the living space up and out through the roof. As warm, moist air escapes the living space, it can condense on the cooler surface on the underside of your roof. If this moisture and warmth lingers, it can create the ideal environment for mold growth as well as contribute to melting the snow on your roof, which will trickle down to freeze on and above you gutters, thus creating ice dams. Ice dams, not only reduce the life of your roof but also contribute to other significant problems around your home.
Warm Months and Roof Ventilation
During the warmer months, proper roof ventilation gets rid of humid, solar-heated air, which acts as a furnace sitting atop your home. Ventilation will clear out this moist, hot air and significantly reduce the load on your air conditioning unit, making it easier and more cost efficient to keep your home cool during the summer months. As moisture builds up in your attic, without proper roof ventilation, your home is susceptible to mold growth and all the negative health effects that come with it.
If your roof properly ventilated? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.