A Simple Guide to Attic Ventilation

Spending time pondering your roof ventilation system is likely something that you haven’t done. Most homeowners probably haven’t thought about their roof ventilation at all. But when the time comes that you start thinking about it, you’ll want to ensure that it’s properly taken care of and working well. Your roof’s ventilation is essential for the health of your home.

What a Roof Ventilation System Does
The general purpose of a ventilation system is to ensure good airflow throughout the attic. Additionally, it can help to keep the attic of your home cool during the summer and dry during all of the colder months when condensation can build up and work its way into your home. No matter the climate you live in, roof ventilation is essential for your home.
Even if your home doesn’t have a usable attic, it still has space where insulation is stored and helps keep your home warm. Without an attic, there would be little space between the outside elements and the rest of your home. Attics provide that cushion needed to make your home more efficient. The vents on your roof help with attic ventilation and keep stagnant air from building up, thus reducing the likelihood of mold, mildew, or any other problems in your attic.
How a Roof Ventilation System Works
The ventilation system works by, as we mentioned, providing continual airflow throughout the attic space. This continuous flow of air removes hot air and moisture by keeping fresh air moving in and out of the space. The simple system that’s put in place to help keep this continuous flow consists of intake and exhaust units throughout the roof system. The soffit vents, ridge vents, and gable vents are all placed in strategic places, and all work together to keep warm moist air out of your attic and ensure that your roof is “breathing” properly.
Depending on the year your roof was constructed, the technology used to design it may vary. For older roofs, you might find that the ventilation system isn’t quite as effective as it is with newer roofs. In these cases, the roof can be redone to ensure that proper insulation is used and that there is adequate room for air to flow within the attic.

What Types of Roof Vents are There?
Several roof vents can be used throughout different parts of your roof, or that can complement different kinds of roofs. A few common types regularly used on roofs include static vents, ridge vents, and gable vents. Other types of vents that are commonly used include soffit vents and eve vents. The more common three (3) are as follows:
• Static Vents: These vents are made up of horizontal openings that are essentially vent-covered holes in the roof that allow for airflow in and out of the roof.
• Ridge Vents: This type of vent runs along the ridge of your roof. These vents provide an external baffle or tube that can promote more airflow while also protecting your home from rain and snow.
• Gable Vents: A gable vent is inserted into the gable of your roof or the end of your roof and will often be used in conjunction with other types of vents to maximize potential attic ventilation.

Insulation vs. Attic Ventilation
Some may think that they need more insulation to effectively lower their energy bills and keep all the warm air inside their house and cool air out. But that’s not actually the ideal way to boost your home’s energy efficiency. The best way to ensure that your home runs at peak performance is to keep your insulation and attic ventilation system working together.
While insulation helps to hold air inside and outside your home, the intake and exhaust vents throughout your roof system will help keep a consistent air temperature in your attic space. Too much insulation in your attic and your home may seem warmer but poor ventilation will lead to water leaks and future problems.

How to Maintain Your Roof Ventilation System
As a homeowner, it can be daunting thinking about all the different parts of the home that need to be regularly inspected and checked on. There’s just too much going on in your life and around your home for you to be able to keep up with it all. Thankfully it won’t take a professional contractor or inspector long to see if your roof is vented properly. If you’re waiting for a routine inspection of your roof’s condition, there are a few things that you can do in the meantime. First, check for any debris or other items blocking the vents and prohibiting peak airflow. Next, inspect the inside of your attic or roof deck for water damage or moisture. Finally, check your attic insulation and make that it looks like it’s in good condition. Sometimes insulation can wear down and start to decompose. It’s not uncommon to have some of it replaced.

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