As a homeowner, you need to maintain the integrity of your home structure. One of the most crucial parts to protect your home is maintaining a healthy roof. Having a well-ventilated roof will have a tremendous effect on your roof’s longevity, increase comfort in your home, and save energy and repair costs.
What is Attic Ventilation?
Attic ventilation is restructuring your roofing system to provide increased airflow within your home. Most modern homes have vents that allow for the continuous circulation of air. However, old houses may necessitate remodeling to include the vents.
The intake and exhaust vents in the attic provide a good atmosphere in the home. For adequate ventilation, the intake vents are created along with the soffits, while the exhaust vents are built at the roof ridge. Outdoor air gets in through the intake vents while the warm air escapes through the exhaust vents.
Significant signs of inadequate roof ventilation
If the indoor air is of low quality, it will have health implications for the home occupants. Also, organic compounds such as mold develop in your home, which is a risk factor for people with respiratory diseases. The following are the signs of accumulated indoor moisture and heat:
- • Growth of mildew and mold: The organic compounds grow favorably in a humid environment. You will start to note mildew and mold growing on your walls or the attic.
- • Discoloration of tiles, walls, and grout: Excessive moisture will interfere with the integrity of your home structure, consequently leading to damage and discoloration
- • Ice dams: An ice dam accumulates ice that commonly forms on the edge of the roof and strategically prevents the accumulated ice and water from draining off the attic. The ice dams will damage your gutters and roofing structure.
- • Rusting: The accumulated humidity and moisture will corrode your metal structures, leading to rusting.
- • Damage to the roofing structure: Raised temperatures in your roof can disintegrate your roofing system’s design.
- • Musty smell: If moisture cannot escape from your home, it will lead to the development of a musty smell. Typically, the scent can affect a partial segment of your home most prone to humidity, such as the bathrooms. Also, it can affect the entire house making the living conditions almost intolerable.
- • Sagging decks: The accumulated moisture will accumulate in the roof decks and make them very soggy, eventually leading to sagging.
- • Hot and cold spots: Poor ventilation will lead to room temperature inconsistencies; some rooms will be hot, whereas others are quite cold. The varying temperatures will hurt your electricity bills.
What to do about a poorly ventilated roof?
After noticing some of the warning signs above, consult a professional who will inspect your roof. Some of the factors the roofing contractor might want to investigate are:
- • The architecture of your roof
- • The integrity of your roofing structure
- • Your decking system
- • If the attic is well-insulated and sealed
- • Any damaged structures in your roofing system; which needs repair or replacing?
Typical steps to improve the ventilation of your roof
- • Installation of soffit vents on outer edges of your roof
- • Installation of ridge vents
- • Insulation of the top plates
- • Sealing and insulating the attic floor
- • Creating an air space between the roof sheathing and the attic floor
Why is Roof Ventilation Important?
Protects your roof from damage
Ice damming is very prevalent in homes that are not well ventilated. The water and ice build-up mainly occurs at the edge of the roof, resulting in damage to your entire roofing system.
Also, during hot summers, when the temperature is relatively high, the roof tends to get very hot. If the attic is not ventilated, it will heat the roof more. The accumulation of very high temperatures will damage your shingles.
Minimizes energy bills
A home that has a poorly ventilated home will also have either high or low indoor temperatures. During hot summers, the accumulated heat can be intolerable, while during cold winters, the low temperatures are devastating.
To maintain optimum temperatures in your home, you will have to workload your air conditioner. Thus if your air conditioner is running for long hours, it will lead to increased energy bills. A well-ventilated roofing system eliminates this problem and leads to reduced electric bills.
The purpose of having a well-ventilated home structure is to create a stable and tolerable indoor temperature. The free circulation of air allows the escape of hot, humid air and enables the inflow of fresh air. Air flowing rightly allows maintaining the temperature of your home in a comfortable range.
Prevents infiltration of water
Unventilated attics can gather humidity that soaks through the shingles or other roofing components. The infiltration of water and moisture is very disastrous to your home, and it will favor the growth of mildew and mold, which pose a significant health hazard to the occupants of the house.
The moisture will damage your ceilings and walls, leading to the disintegration of your construction structure. A well-ventilated roof prevents such mishaps and protects the structure of your house.
Balances ice accumulation
During the snowfall period, a well-ventilated roof will prevent heat accumulation in the attic, meltingscent the ice. If your attic is heated, it will heat the snow leading to the formation of ice dams. The ice dams will damage your roofing structure and home. You will note that snow accumulates in an even sheet on well-ventilated attics and poses minor problems to your home structure.
Attic ventilation protects your home and roof during all seasons. It ensures you enjoy a functional yet stable roof despite all the inconsistent weather elements. You can either opt for mechanical or natural ventilation during the building or renovation of your home. Remember, roof ventilation is intrinsic to the excellent health of your roofing structure. Ensure you hire a qualified roofing contractor to achieve the best results for your roof.