Keeping Your Cool: Roof Ventilation and Ridge Vents

When it comes to ventilation and your home, it's easy to see why it's needed in such moisture-rich areas as the bathroom, kitchen and basement. But what about your roof? Roof ventilation helps your room remain cooler through both the summer and winter, giving your roof a longer lifespan and a much lower risk of damage. But how does this process work and what do you need to know to improve your roof's ventilation? Here's some information to help get you started.

Why are roof vents necessary?

heat and air vent

Whether you have an insulated attic floor for an unheated attic space or a finished attic with an insulated roof, ventilation is necessary to help your roof performing properly. In the summer, roof ventilation helps cool your roof decking and waterproofing materials, lowering metal expansion and slowing asphalt shingle aging due to heat. But roof vents really deliver in the winter. By keeping your roof cool, you can prevent snow from melting further up the roof to freeze again as it reaches the cold eaves, creating an ice dam that can back additional water up under the shingles of your home, causing leaks and water damage. Even if you don't have leaks, the additional weight can cause structural damage to your roof, causing it to perform poorly and fail prematurely. The vents achieve this by circulating cooler air from the eaves up through the vent at the peak of the roof.

How are they installed?

There are many types of roof vents you can add to your home. A powered attic fan runs intermittently, allowing you to move the air through the attic quickly. A turbine vent has an exterior portion that spins in the wind, drawing warmer air out of the attic area as the wind blows. Vents in the eaves allow cold air to enter the roof at the bottom of your roof, typically installed with a ridge vent of some type where the air leaves the roof further up the slope. Some types of ridge vent require that there be no ventilation at the eaves.

flat roof vent

Whichever roof vent you select, you'll want to make sure it retains the roof's overall integrity. If you install a turbine or other vent that goes through the roof's surface, you'll want to make sure you include sufficient flashing and sealant to prevent water from flowing into the home and causing moisture problems. A ridge vent will need to be tied into the roofing, whether asphalt, mineral roll or metal, while still needing to provide room for air to circulate from beneath the roof decking. To determine how many vents or what length of vent you'll need, you will want to look at the installation instructions for that particular vent and calculate the necessary quantity based on that information. To get proper performance, it's vial that you go through these calculations to ensure sufficient ventilation.

By providing proper roof ventilation through eave and ridge vents, you can quickly improve your roof's performance. But which ventilation products will work best with your situation? At Wallboard Supply Company, our job is making sure your project rolls forward smoothly, and our experienced associates are always happy to help you find the right solution for your project. Please feel free to contact us today for more information, to place a special order or to schedule a convenient delivery to your job site.