Roof Ventilation: Everything You Need to Know
Protecting your home from the harsh Florida weather starts from the top down. A well-constructed roof with quality roofing materials can prevent water leaks, repel harsh UV rays and stand up to high intensity winds. However, protecting the inside of your roof is as important as reinforcing the outside.
Proper roof ventilation forms a solid barrier that keeps moisture and drafts from invading the core areas of your house. Without proper ventilation, your home is likely to suffer from condensation, high humidity and mold development. Let’s take a closer look below at how ventilation works and why it is integral to protecting your roof and home.
What is Roof Ventilation?
For many homeowners, it seems counter-intuitive to allow air to flow through the inner roof or attic area. However, in addition to roofing materials and structural stability, roof ventilation is a key factor in the sustainability of your roof. Having the right amount of ventilation provides the right climate, regardless of where you live.
Simply put, ventilation is controlled airflow through your attic. The air flows into one side of the attic and out the other. In more complex roofs, there may be multiple points of entry and exit. Roofing contractors can adjust the airflow by installing different types of vents at different points along the top or side of the roof.
Types of Roof Ventilation
The type of roof ventilation you need for your roof depends on the type of roof you install and the overall design of your roofing system. There are several types of roof ventilation, including:
1. Box Vents
Box vents go by several different names: turtle vents, flat vents, louvers and low profile vents. Box vents have no moving parts, but rather they simply allow the air to flow through a vented opening in the box. Box vents are often installed at the top of the roof to allow hot air and moisture to rise and exit the attic.
2. Wind Turbines
Wind turbines rotate as the air flows through them, generating greater airflow through the attic. Since wind turbines have moving parts, it is important to purchase quality vents that can withstand high winds and constant motion. They also require ongoing maintenance, as the ball bearings can wear down over time.
3. Power Vents
If you want more control from your roof vents, then you may want to choose electric-powered vents which turn large fans to drive hot moisture and air out of the attic. Power vents contain features such as adjustable thermostats and humidistats that can monitor the heat and humidity levels in your attic.
4. Ridge Vents
Ridge vents are similar to box vents in that they have no moving parts. The difference is that the vent spans the length of the roof ridge. A ridge vent allows large amounts of air and moisture to escape, while also providing a finished look at the top of your roof. One of the benefits of ridge vents is that they provide even distribution of temperature across the entire attic.
5. Soffit Vents
A soffit is an exterior or interior part of the roof that is on the underside along the edge. The soffit often incorporates a wide range of architectural features such as vents. The purpose of the soffit vent is to intake air into the roof’s ventilation system. They make airflow much easier throughout the attic.
What are the Benefits of Proper Roof Ventilation?
Almost every type of residential or commercial roof has ventilation. Roof contractors in Florida are required to add ventilation to keep the roof and attic area in good condition. There are several benefits of proper roof ventilation, such as:
- Vents reduce moisture that can damage the roof structure.
- Proper ventilation reduces energy costs – specifically, cooling costs.
- Adequate ventilation can preserve all roofing materials, including asphalt shingles.
- When combined with good insulation, ventilation can prevent condensation buildup.
- Less moisture buildup prevents the growth of mold in the attic.
On those rare occasions when it does freeze in Florida, a properly vented roof can keep ice from building in the attic area. The less moisture that develops in the attic, the lower the chances that leaks will occur.
How to Tell if Your Roof has Poor Ventilation
Poor roof ventilation can increase your energy costs and cause significant damage to your home interior and exterior. This is especially true during the summer months in Florida when the hot air builds in your attic and slowly finds its way into your living area. Signs that your roof is suffering from poor ventilation may include:
- Excessive hot and cold temperatures throughout your home
- A buildup of moisture and mold, rotting wood and rust along the duct straps
- An attic that feels damp and appears to have leaks
- Blistering or peeling paint along the tops or corners of the walls
- Insulation in bad condition due to condensation or humidity
The best way to tell if your roof has any ventilation problems is to schedule a roof inspection with a roofing contractor in Florida. A contractor can conduct a thorough assessment to determine if proper airflow is occurring in the attic. If not, they can repair your current vents or add vents to your roofing system as needed.
Proper ventilation is an essential roofing element. Without proper ventilation, you could void your warranty. In addition, your home insurance rates could go up after an inspection, if an adjuster finds that the ventilation is not properly working. So, don’t delay in making sure you have proper ventilation in your home.
Get a Roof Inspection from a Roofing Contractor on the Coast
Have you noticed that your attic is leaking, damaged or suffering from high humidity? If so, then now is the time to get a roof inspection. Quality Roofing Solutions offers comprehensive roofing services, including installation, repairs, inspections and roof replacement. Call 850-777-0961 to get a free estimate from a roofing contractor in Florida.