Although most people already know what roof ventilation is, not everyone knows how roof ventilation works and why it is important. In short, roof ventilation is the mechanism that encourages air flow in your home through a system of intakes and exhausts. Ventilation is important to your roof because it can help extend the life of your roof, reduce your overall energy costs, as well as reduce extreme indoor temperature fluctuations. Now, we will take a more in-depth look at how ventilation works and help you answer the questions such as, “What is Roof Ventilation?” and “Does a Roof Need Ventilation?”.

Why Do Roofs Have Vents and How Do They Work?

Roof vents (or roof ventilation) work by allowing air to flow out through the attic, which can help prevent it from becoming overheated and cause unwanted moisture. However, ventilation only works properly when air flow is present. That being said, there are two primary methods to create air flow within an attic and your home:

  1. Mechanical –
    The mechanical solution requires a power source to create airflow. 
  2. Natural –
    When possible, the use of natural roof ventilation is recommended. This is where the stack effect (when hot air rises and creates a higher pressure at high points in the attic) and the wind effect (when the wind blows against the outside of a roof and increases the volume of intake and exhaust) work together to naturally circulate air. The hot air stacking in the attic and escaping due to an inlet for cooler, low-pressure air caused by the wind effect is known as exhaust. 

Needless to say, proper roof ventilation is pretty important, however, there are 3 key benefits of roof ventilation to consider.  

Roof Ventilation Benefits  

  1. It Can Help Extend the Life of Your Roof –
    In cold/snowy climates, proper ventilation helps the warm indoor air escape out of the vents before it has a chance to get trapped in the attic and melt the snow and ice onto your roof – creating melt streaks and icicles that can damage your roof. During the winter months, a well-vented roof can be easily spotted as it still has snow on the roof, but not an icicle in sight.

    Proper roof ventilation also benefits roofs in hot climates. When temperatures outside begin to rise, the temperature of your roof can be nearly doubled. If your home has poor ventilation, the hot air will get trapped and potentially damage your shingles from the inside out. A properly vented roof will allow the hot air to easily escape, keeping your roof and attic cooler. 
  2. They Help Reduces Energy Costs –
    When the temperature begins to increase outside, we all want it to stay cool inside. A properly vented roof allows heat to escape and in return, reduce the need to constantly run your air conditioner. Simply put, an air conditioner that’s running less means a lower electric bill and vice versa.
  3. Reduces Extreme Indoor Temperature Fluctuation –
    Have you ever walked up or down the stairs in your home and felt that there was a distinct change in temperature? These indoor temperature extremes and fluctuations are often caused by poorly vented roofs. While an adequately vented roof allows the hot air to escape and the cool air to enter helping to keep your home comfortable year-round, poorly vented air does not.

How Many Roof Vents Do You Need?

The next big question to tackle is how much ventilation does my roof need? Although we recommend you have a licensed roofing contractor provide you with the exact number of roof vents needed for your particular home/roof, as a general rule of thumb, your home’s roof should have one vent for every 300 square feet if there is a vapor barrier in the attic. If there is not a vapor barrier, it is recommended to have one for every 150 square feet.

Roof Ventilation Services

Still not sure if your roof needs vents or an updated ventilation system? Give our professional and highly experienced roofing experts at RT Roofing a call today! We look forward to working with you!