Protect your home with proper roof ventilation

October 17, 2014

Is roof ventilation really necessary? How much do I need? Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions about caring for your roof.
Have you ever noticed that musty smell in your attic? Does your home have problems with ice dams? You might not have enough roof ventilation. Here's how to fix the problem.

Protect your home with proper roof ventilation

Why you need proper roof ventilation

Did you know that attic ventilation can impact the longevity of your home? Improper ventilation can cause a range of problems during both the heating and cooling seasons. Many types of damage can occur, including:

  • Growth of mildew
  • Warping of your roof deck
  • Rotting of your wood frame
  • Buckling, blistering and distortion of shingles

Other problems involve the formation of ice dams and the soaking of attic insulation due to excessive moisture.

What are ice dams?

Ice dams form when ice or snow on a roof melts and then refreezes along the cooler eaves. Improper ventilation means more warm air is trapped under your roof, leading to more of the initial melting. Removing the warm, moist air will also help keep your sheathing from rotting.

What damage can ice dams cause?

Ice dams can be a serious problem for your roof. They can damage your eaves-troughs with excessive weight. They can also force water under your shingles, which leads to those dreaded leaks. You might be faced with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damage.

Give your AC unit a break

Proper ventilation will keep the hot air moving out of your attic instead of adding more heat to your house. Your house will actually be more comfortable and your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard.

How much ventilation do you need?

As a general rule, it’s good to have one square foot of ventilation space for every 150 squared feet of attic floor space. Keep in mind your ventilation space should be divided equally between your inlet and outlet vents.

Types of venting

There are a range of venting options available, including:

  • Ridge vents – running along the apex of your home
  • Gable vents – attached to the gables and installed through the siding
  • Box or dome vents that go through your roof
  • Soffit vents – common type of inlet vent that will need insulation baffles to prevent air flow restriction
  • Attic fans – can be used to draw air out of your house. Solar powered options are available

If you are concerned about your home’s roof ventilation, now is a good time to get it inspected by a reputable roofing contractor in your area. Take the first step to preventing costly damage in the future.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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