Proper Roofing Ventilation is Essential
Roofing ventilation is an essential part of your roofing system. When properly installed, it can extend the life of your attic and roof structure and save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs.
During warmer months, adequate roofing ventilation helps protect your attic from sweltering heat. It helps prevent hot, moist summer air from warping the roof sheathing. It also stops shingles from deteriorating prematurely. What’s more, fresh air in the attic makes a home much easier to cool, which can result in lower energy costs.
In winter months, proper roofing ventilation helps reduce moisture to keep your attic dry. It helps reduce condensation from forming on the interior of your roof decking, damaging insulation, and rotting the roof structure itself. It also helps prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams are common in our area from snowfall and cold temperatures. These pose a special problem because they prevent the water from the melting snow and ice from running off the roof. They can even cause leaks inside your home, resulting in drywall damage.
Your Roof Needs Equal Intake and Exhaust Ventilation
The best way to ventilate your roof is with a balanced system of intake vents low at the roof’s edge or in the soffit/eaves along with exhaust vents high on the roof at or near the ridge. This allows cool, dry intake air at the roof’s edge to flush out any warm, moist air through the exhaust vents.
At GlennStone, we recommend that your roof has enough intake vents. They are crucial to the roofing ventilation system and are often overlooked. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of various intake vents to balance your system including Air Vent’s Edge™ Vent (an edge-of-roof installed, shingle-over intake vent), continuous soffit vents, rectangular undereave vents or vented drip edge products. Whenever we install vented soffit panels, we examine the amount of airflow they allow to help your roofing system breathe better with more balanced airflow ventilation.
We Avoid Mixing Different Exhaust Vents
One of the most potentially troublesome roofing ventilation mistakes is having two different types of exhaust vents on your roof. You don’t want to mix a ridge vent with a powered attic vent, a box vent, a gable louver or a turbine (also known as a whirlybird). Technically, this mistake is called short-circuiting the attic ventilation system.
The problem with short-circuiting is that air always follows the path of least resistance and is always looking for the nearest opening. So if another roofing contractor mixes two different types of exhaust vents, then the ridge vent at the peak of your roof could pull its source of intake air from the powered fan, or roof louvers which are closer instead of from the intake vents low at the roof ’s edge or in the soffit/eaves. Exhaust vents are not designed to be intake vents. If air enters your roof via an exhaust vent, it can bring rain, snow, dirt and debris right into your attic. Furthermore, the lower portion of your attic would be inadequately ventilated.
That’s why we discuss the pros and cons of different exhaust vents for your roofing system. At GlennStone, we avoid mixing any two types of exhaust vents on your roof if it’s one common attic.
For this same reason, GlennStone Roofing recommends installing your roofing ventilation at the same height within a common attic area to prevent an upper exhaust vent from pulling in air from a lower exhaust vent rather than properly pulling the air from the soffit intake area.