Although it’s typically overlooked by many homeowners, the ventilation system of your new roof is extremely important. For starters, an ideal ventilation system can help you avoid severe roof damage and make your roof last up to twice as long. To maintain the warranty on your roof, all shingle manufacturers require you to have a proper ventilation system.
In this article, Howard Roofing & Home Improvements, a leading provider of commercial roofing services, will explain why your roof needs a good ventilation system.
Why Should You Prioritize Ventilation?
Your house is not a sealed box. Airflow is a significant part of your home, especially through the attic and roof. During summer, if you don’t get the excess heat out, it can overheat the roof decking and the ceilings in your home. Not only will it cause your shingle materials to buckle and curl over time, but they can also age more quickly due to prolonged heat. Your HVAC system will also have to suffer, too. As heat in the attic transfers to your interiors, your air conditioning system will have to work twice hard to keep up with indoor temperature.
A proper ventilation system also helps to control humidity in the winter season. When excess moisture gets stuck in the attic, it can cause wetness on roof decks. This can eventually lead to wood rot and deterioration — not to mention mold and mildew growth on attic insulation. Additionally, without proper roofing ventilation products, warm air causes snow on the roof to melt and refreeze at the eaves, creating ice dams in the process.
What Are Your Options for a Proper Ventilation System?
If you think your roof needs additional ventilation, you should hire a professional roofer first. They will conduct a thorough roof inspection to check what roof ventilation system fits best to the design of your roof. The following are some of the types of vents your roofer may suggest:
- Ridge vent. Installed at the very top of a roof, a ridge vent can cover the space where the two sides of a roof meet and provide a way for stale air to circulate out of the attic. It also prevents precipitation and small animals from entering your home.
- Box vent. Your roofer will likely suggest that you install multiple box vents since an individual box does not provide much venting space. Box vents are available in many colors, and you can also choose between metal or plastic options.
- Off-ridge vent. An off-ridge vent has the same function as a box vent, but it typically comes in a rectangular shape. Like a box vent, it is also installed in multiples to provide sufficient ventilation.
- Soffit vent. While a soffit vent can be installed alone to increase the flow of fresh air into your attic, it is more effective when used with ridge or box vents. It is also installed right under the eaves at the bottom edge.
- Gable vent. A gable vent is cut into the siding on the gable ends of a house. You may see them in combinations of two to let air flow from side to side in an attic. Typically, a gable vent is installed while a house is built and serves both a functional and aesthetic purpose.
- Cupola vent. Usually part of the home’s original architecture, a cupola vent is similar to a gable vent. It also provides a space for hot air to exit the attic, but since there is usually only one cupola per roof, it works best when used with another vent type.
- Turbine vent. In windy climates, a turbine vent provides more ventilation than other types. During windy days, the vent’s turbine mechanism spins, which moves hot attic air up and out. However, it doesn’t provide much power on calm days. As it ages, the moving parts break down and stop working.
- Power vent. A power vent needs electricity to work, which means this type of vent is wired directly into the home’s electrical system. For maximum efficiency, it should be controlled by both a thermometer and a humidistat to make sure that the vent does not run when it’s not necessary.
Now that you know the importance of a proper ventilation system, be sure to consult your residential roofing contractor for your home installation. For more inquiries regarding roof ventilation, turn to Howard Roofing & Home Improvements. Call us today at (636) 296-1057 or fill out our contact form to set an appointment. We offer services in St. Louis and the surrounding MO areas.