Everything You Need To Know About Roof Vents And Ventilation In The Pacific NW

Oftentimes, when homeowners think about their roofing they think about the different types of roofing materials that help keep their home protected from varying types of weather. There are other aspects of a roof, however, that will improve the roofing system of your home. By ensuring the proper roof and attic ventilation homeowners can lower heating and cooling costs, improve the interior comfort of their home and grant longer life to roof shingles. 

Types Of Vents

Soffit Vents– Soffit vents run parallel to the eaves along the soffit. They help balance the ventilation in your roof by providing airflow to your attic which can aid in extending the life of your roof. When outside air enters into the attic the warmer air is pushed out promoting airflow These vents can be used with both ridge and gable vents to promote optimal ventilation. 

Gable End Vents– If you have a gable roof then you will most likely have gable vents. Gable vents are commonly seen on homes that reside within temperate or cold climates where they are installed at the peak of a gable end allowing hot air to leave the attic or fresh air to enter depending on temperature conditions and outside airflow. 

Ridge Vents– Ridge vents are one of the most important vents for a non-electric roof ventilation system as they allow the hot air that rises to an attic to escape allowing for cooler air outside to be drawn in creating an ideal airflow. Ridge vents are installed at the peak of the roof where it is covered by shingles to protect the vent and provide an aesthetic appeal. Metal ridge vents do not require being covered by roofing shingles. 

Why Roofing Vents Are Important

Heat naturally rises which means the highest point of your home will collect all that warmer air. During warmer months of the year, the sun is beating down on your roofing shingles also increasing the temperatures in your attic space. If the attic does not have adequate and even distribution of airflow that warm air will affect the comfort of your living spaces and require your a/c unit to work harder to keep temperatures comfortable. 

During the winter months when it snows, the warm air that rises into your attic space can affect the underside of the roof deck if there is not proper attic ventilation. If snow accumulates on the rooftop this can cause the snow to melt which can lead to water freezing as it starts to run down the roof creating what is known as ice dams along the eaves. Once this happens the water continues to build up and can lead to leaks in the roof. 

Attic ventilation is also essential where humidity exists. When humidity enters into cooler attic spaces it condenses into a liquid which over time can cause deterioration of the roofing system and interior structural elements as well as attic insulation. When humidity enters into a warmer attic space, the moisture in the air can allow for mold and/or mildew growth and places additional strain on your cooling unit. 

Having proper ventilation in your attic will help limit these issues from becoming a problem which also protects your home from unnecessary repairs. 

How Do I Know If I Don’t Have Efficient Ventilation?

  • Heating or cooling bills all of a sudden go up in cost
  • Frequent HVAC repairs could be a sign that the system is under a heavier workload 
  • Build up of ice along the edge of your roof during the winter months
  • The roofline and shingles have a wavy or rippled appearance 
  • Water stains or frost on the attic side of the roofing sheathing
  • Deterioration and decay of the roof structural supports
  • Rust and/or corrosion on metal materials within the attic
  • Dampness or wetness in attic insulation
  • Sudden allergy type symptoms or respiratory illnesses amongst those living within the home

Now that you have everything you need to know about roof vents and ventilation; if you have a concern about your roof call your local certified roofing company to come and give your roofing system and attic an inspection to ensure that everything is working efficiently.  


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