Proper roof ventilation is essential to protecting the roof from damage caused by heat and humidity. With the summer months approaching, it’s important to make sure that your roof is well-ventilated. In today’s post, local roofing company Winfield Builders takes a look at how the right roof vents are selected.
Why Do Roofs Need Ventilation?
Heat naturally rises, which means the warm and humid air that comes from indoor spaces tends to collect at the highest point of the building, which is usually in the attic. Lacking sufficient ventilation, heat and humidity can get trapped inside and cause damage to the roof framing — warping and mold growth, for example. During the winter season, trapped heat can contribute to ice dam formation, which can lead to moisture infiltration at the roof edges.
Choosing the Right Roof Vents
Roof vents are not a one-size-fits-all solution because every single roofing system is unique. Factors such as the roof slope and area, as well as the local climate and humidity levels, are considered by a roofer when designing a new roof or when choosing new ones for an existing roof. Regardless of type, ventilation systems need exhaust vents near the highest points of the roof and intake vents at the lowest points, typically at the soffits.
There are two types of roof ventilation systems: mechanical and passive. Mechanical ventilation, or powered vents, are specially-designed exhaust fans that forcibly evacuate air from the attic. These fans are typically connected to the power mains, but solar-powered options are available.
You’re probably more familiar with passive roof ventilation, or vents that create airflow without mechanical means. There are three types of passive roof vents:
Ridge vents. This is the most common type of roof ventilation, and are essentially openings at the peaks or ridges of a roof. Since warm air tends to rise, it creates negative air pressure in the attic as warm air is released, pulling fresh air from the vents at the soffits. They’re ideal for average-sized roofs and are typically concealed by specially-designed shingles called ridge caps.
Roof turbine vents. Also known as metal pot vents, roof turbines can vent greater amounts of air, ideal for bigger-than-average roofs. It uses an onion-shaped structure that may affect the house’s curb appeal.
Louvered vents. Also known as low-profile vents, louvered vents feature raised steel or aluminum enclosures that allow installation on parts of the roof other than the ridges, allowing more flexibility with placement.
Our siding and roofing contractors at Winfield Builders can help you choose the right vents for your roof. Give us a call at (301) 370-7925, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve communities in Annapolis and Columbia, MD.