While the Northeast of the United States might not be quite as heated as the Southern localities, there are still plenty of hot days. This can make things unbearable if you don’t have proper ventilation in your home, but did you consider that you might need to make sure that your roof is properly ventilated as well?
Roof ventilation is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your home stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The key is knowing how much ventilation you need, what kind of roof vents are best for your situation, and how to install them properly.
If you’re wondering whether or not this is something you should be concerned about, then read on to find out more.
What Is Roof Ventilation?
The purpose of roof ventilation is to pull fresh air into your home, prevent moisture from building up on the inside of your roof and keep it from leaking. This will help ensure you get a quality installation that lasts many years.
But, this isn’t quite the entire picture. In order to understand roof ventilation, it’s important that you know a little bit about the science behind it.
To begin, when air is introduced into your attic space through a vent, it flows downward because of gravity. This creates an area of low pressure above the opening that draws in more air from outside your home. This process continues until all of the hot air has been removed from inside and replaced with cool, fresh air—an ideal situation for keeping your home comfortable all summer long.
But, if you place a vent on the lowest part of your roof or in an area where there is no downslope, this can create a vacuum effect that pulls hot air back into your attic. Instead of cooling off during the day and releasing it at night when everyone is asleep, your home will continue to be heated by the sun—even while you’re asleep!
So, how do you avoid uncomfortable, sweaty sleeping situations?
Issues That Can Arise From Poor Ventilation In The Winter
Vents can be a problem in the winter, too. If you have an attic vent that is not properly insulated or has been damaged by rodents, insects or other pests, cold air will leak into your home. This can cause your furnace to work harder, which will increase your heating bills. In addition, if you live in an older home that has a fireplace, make sure it is properly maintained and ventilated so that you don’t have any problems with carbon monoxide poisoning!
But, that’s not the only headache that poor ventilation can cause. Considering the cold winters that the Northeast suffers from, snow can melt onto a warm roof and then re-freeze at the eaves, leading to ice dams—pushing away from the shingles and causing them to curl back up into a ridge around each vent. This can lead to leaks in your roof—and even structural damage.
But, how about summers?
Issues That Can Arise From Poor Ventilation In The Summer
Likewise, in the summers, If the temperature inside your attic is hot and humid, you may experience a variety of problems. The most common issue is moisture buildup; if there’s not enough airflow to remove the moisture from your home, it will begin to condense on the walls or drip down into your living room floorboards. The result? Mold growth and rotting wood—which can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs!
This is why it’s so important to ensure that your attic ventilation system is working properly. It can save you from a lot of headaches down the road.
Beneath we’ll go over the standards of roof ventilation to prevent these issues from ever arising in the first place.
Standards for Roof Ventilation
The most important thing you can do is to make sure that your attic has good ventilation year-round. If the temperature in your attic is consistently above 70 degrees, then you need more ventilation. This isn’t just a comfort standard- If your attic is too hot, then this can be dangerous. You should make sure that the temperature in your attic doesn’t exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is because, if it does, then this can cause the wood in your attic to warp and rot. It also increases the risk of fire. If you want to prevent these problems from happening, then you should make sure that your attic has good ventilation year-round.
Here are some important things to consider for roofing ventilation:
The Size of Your Attic – The larger the space, the more likely it is that you’ll need a fan or another type of ventilation system.
The Type of Roofing Material – For example, if you have asphalt shingle or slate on your home’s exterior, then it’s likely that there will be more heat retention in your attic than if you had a metal roof.
The Amount of Attic Insulation – If you have a lot of insulation, then this will help to keep your attic cooler and prevent heat from building up.
These three are just a few of the factors that can affect the need for roofing ventilation, so it’s always best to consult with an experienced professional before deciding on what type of system is right for your home. The best way to make sure that your attic is well ventilated is to have an inspection done by a qualified contractor experienced in working with homes in your local area.
They will be able to tell you if there are any issues with the current state of ventilation in your home, and they can provide you with some options for improving it.
The Essential Parts of Roof Ventilation
There are a few different types of roof ventilation systems, but most fall into one of two categories: active and passive. Active systems require some sort of mechanical equipment to operate and can be installed in new homes or added to older ones. Passive ventilation systems don’t require any additional technology beyond what is already present in your home.
While they have more technical differences, most systems of proper ventilation share some aspects. These aspects, often required by many building codes, include six main components:
Ice Barrier Membrane: The self-adhesive underside of this layer prevents snow from accumulating on the roof.
Underlayment: A water-resistant barrier, it provides additional protection from the elements.
Roof Panels: Steel panels provide ample aesthetic appeal and excellent protection from the weather.
Soffit Vents: These vents, placed at the edges of roofs and extending into the attic space, allow fresh air to enter a building while keeping out rain.
Ridge Vents: This is where hot air escapes, which reduces the chance of snow melting and ice dams in winter. As an added benefit, it will also help in the summer months with cooling costs!
Ridge Caps: Installed over the ridge vent itself, this decorative touch adds an attractive finishing touch to your roofline.
All of the above are essential for a well-working roof ventilation system. If your roof ventilation is older and needs some TLC, it’s important to have a professional come out and inspect your attic space. They will be able to tell you if any problems need immediate attention.