As the winter season has truly rolled in, you’ll be ready to huddle up indoors next to the fire and escape from the elements. To be able to do that, your roof needs to be in top condition. If it’s not well ventilated though, it won’t be able to keep your home protected from that cold weather.
Here’s what roof ventilation does, and why it’s so important in the winter.
What is Roof Ventilation?
Roof ventilation is what allows air flow through your roof, all year round. Hot air in your home rises naturally, and ends up in your attic. With that hot air comes moisture. Of course, you don’t want that lingering in the attic, as it causes all kinds of damage to your roof and your home at large. That’s why ventilation is important.
The vents in your roof will allow that warm air to escape, and allow cooler air in to the roof instead. With that constant cycle of air, your roof will be protected and your maintenance bills will be much lower.
Why is Ventilation Important?
As mentioned above, hot air and moisture are trapped in your roof unless it has a way out. When that moisture hangs around, it will damage the roof from the inside. You’ll see issues like mold and mildew, which create health problems for those in the home. It’s especially bad if anyone has allergies.
That moisture will also lead to wood rot. If the rot is allowed to set in long enough, there can be real damage to the roof. You may need to replace a section of the roof, or the roof as a whole if it’s really bad. Of course, this is a pricey job and you want to avoid it.
Another risk is that of ice dams. When hot air can’t leave, it heats up your roof. That’s going to allow snow to melt off and into the gutter, where it refreezes. That allows water and snow to back up, creating even more problems.
As there are so many risks to your roof, it’s important to check right now that your ventilation is up to speed.
Signs You Need Better Roof Ventilation
Not sure if your roof currently has enough ventilation? Take a look now to ensure that it’s ready for the colder months.
Here’s what you should be looking out for:
Condensation in Your Roof:
Get up into the attic and look for any signs of condensation. Is there water currently sitting in there? If there is, then that hot, moist air has nowhere to go. That’s a sign that you’ll need ventilation installed.
No Vents Currently Installed:
Can you see any vents in your roof currently? If not, then you’ll need to install some before winter comes, to allow that warm air to escape.
On a warm day, touch your ceiling. If it’s warm, that’s a sign that your roof is holding onto heat and radiating it back down into your home.
Ice on the Eaves:
On the other end of the weather scale, take a look at your eaves when it’s snowy out. If there are thick ridges of ice on them, that’s showing you that warm air in the attic is warming the roof, allowing snow to melt and refreeze in the eaves. That will lead to ice dams, so you’ll need to address the problem quickly.
Types of Attic Ventilation
There are many different types of attic ventilation you can use on your roof to circulate air. Here are some of the most popular options, and how they’re used.
Note that it’s always better to have an expert come and handle installation for you. They will be able to install the ventilation while still maintaining the integrity of your attic.
These vents are designed to draw air into your attic. There are several types:
- Gable Vents: These sit at the highest point in a roof’s gable, and can be painted to fit in with the rest of your roof. They can also be designed as an exhaust vent, too.
- Under Eave Vents: This is a continuous, perforated vent that sits under the roof’s eaves. If you have attic insulation, it can actually cover the ventilation, rendering it inoperable. Check that you don’t have these kinds of vents being covered up.
- Rafter Vents: These are used alongside under eave vents. They are installed along the rafters, and work to create clear airways to the under eave vent.
These vents, on the other hand, allow air to escape the attic. There are a couple of different options for you here:
- Turbine Vents. You’ll have seen these on many roofs, and not even realized what they are. The turbine vent has a small fan that turns in the wind. When the fan turns, it’ll pull the warm air out of your attic and into the atmosphere. These are usually installed on the roof’s ridge.
- Ridge Vents: As the name implies, these vents sit on the ridge of your roof. These are another option that are very easily disguised, so it can blend in with the rest of the roof.
When getting ventilation, you’ll need a balance of both intake and exhaust fans. This allows you to let the warm air out and allow that cool air in, creating circulation and stopping your roof from becoming overly warm.
It’s best to talk to an expert about how many of each you will need, as they will be able to calculate how many will properly circulate the air.
As you’ve seen, it’s so important that you have proper attic ventilation. In the winter, you’re going to be home more often and keeping the house heated. Unless that hot air has somewhere to go once it reaches your roof, you’ll start seeing problems with your roof.