Why is Roof Ventilation So Important?

Monday, August 24th, 2020 by Amanda Ciufecu

Installing new ridge vents

Whether reducing cooling and heating bills, extending the life of your roof, or preventing roof rot and ice dams, properly ventilated roofs can save you hundreds of dollars! If your roof is NOT properly ventilated, it could cause a slew of problems for your roof, your attic, and your wallet.

What does a properly ventilated roof do?

A properly ventilated roof keeps your attic dry in the winter and cool during the summer by circulating the air. Proper ventilation provides added comfort, protection against damaged materials, and reduces energy consumption. It also helps prevent the formation of ice dams by keeping the underside of the roof deck closer to the outside temperature. Roofs that are poorly ventilated often have higher levels of humidity in the summer, cause heat loss in the winter, aid in the formation of ice dams, and deteriorate faster.

How does the attic affect roofing ventilation?

Roof ventilation and attic ventilation go hand and hand. The attic is meant to vent super-heated air out before it reaches the roof. If your attic isn't properly ventilated, it results in an improperly ventilated roof as well. Poorly ventilated attics raise your cooling bills, super-heat the shingles, reduce your roof's lifespan, and can invite unwanted critters into your home. 

Improper ventilation and leaks can also cause the attic to make up for the lost air by carrying allergen-filled air in from the outside. These leaks often come from small gaps and openings that allow rodents and other pests to enter your home. At the same time, dust mites thrive in the high humidity of a poorly ventilated attic. Sealing any air leaks not only allows for proper ventilation to be achieved, but it also lowers the humidity in the summer, saving on cooling costs, and helps keep away rodents and pests. 

In the winter, ventilation helps prevent ice dams from forming. These ice dams are caused by excess heat in the attic, radiating onto the roof and warming the snow. The snow then melts and begins to roll down your roof until it reaches the edge, where it refreezes. This process repeats itself until you have a build-up of ice sitting in your valleys and gutters, essentially creating a dam. At this point, there is nowhere left for the water to go except inside your house. Venting the attic will remove the warm air from the attic before it reaches the shingles.

How do I know if I don't have proper ventilation?

A telltale sign of improper ventilation is condensation and staining on the underside of your roof deck. Condensation can create mold, but also cause rusty roofing nails, or nails with ice crystals during the winter! 

How do I get proper Ventilation?

An intake and ridge vent system can be used to bring air from the bottom of the roof and carry it to the top and out of the ridge vent. Both soffit vents and smart vents can be used for the intake, but, unlike soffits, smart vents can be used almost anywhere on the roof and allow air to flow freely under the roof and shingles. Soffit vents are limited to use beneath an overhang.

What can YOU do about it?

Put a Klaus on your house, of course! If you're wary about your roof's condition or the ventilation in your attic, call us for a FREE ESTIMATE. We'd be happy to evaluate your roof for ventilation problems and any other issues you may be having! Call us at 1-845-335-7201.

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Klaus Larsen Roofing of Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley, NY
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