Say you’ve recently bought a new house and during the inspection, they tell you that the ventilation in the roof needs to be replaced. You might be wondering what roofing ventilation is and if you even need it. In this article, you will find the answers to any questions you might have about roofing ventilation.
What is Roof Ventilation?
Roof ventilation is a system put in your roofing that makes it easier for air to circulate through your attic space. Ventilation is essential and should be installed in every home. A properly ventilated roof will prevent your roof and attic from getting too hot.
Ventilation also protects from condensation and moisture, preventing them from developing. This will ultimately prevent moisture buildup, eliminating the chance of damage to your roof or possible health risks to you and your family.
If you don’t have your roof vents appropriately installed, it can lead to issues. Some issues include mold, higher energy charges, and ice dams, to name a few. You want to be sure that your roof is properly ventilated to avoid these risks.
How Roof Ventilation Works
Roof ventilation works to provide continuous airflow in your attic space to release the hot air and moisture. It also works to reduce any damage that could be caused by temperature changes and moisture conditions inside and outside your house.
The system allowing the ventilation consists of exhaust and intake vents installed at specific places in the attic. These vents are all placed strategically for the best ventilation possible. There may be different types of vents in different attic parts, depending on the space’s needs.
The construction and design of the ventilation system must be done correctly. The design should leave plenty of space for insulation and airflow. A design that is done correctly will equally balance intake and exhaust to pressurize the attic slightly. This will prevent cooled air from being sucked out of the exhaust vents.
Hot air rises in your home to the attic and causes high pressure in the high points of your roof. Exhaust happens when this hot air leaves the attic, which can only happen if it has a way out. Intake happens when cool air enters the attic. The exhaust vents let the hot air leave through the attic, and the intake lets cool air come in.
Types of Roof Ventilation
Static vents usually have little to no moving parts and stay put on your roof. If you don’t want to use electricity to vent your home, these types of vents are an excellent option for you. They work by letting hot air and moisture escape through your attic with natural wind and convection.
Static vents can be placed anywhere on your roof, and they are available in different colors, sizes, and styles. Some styles of static vents include box vents, cupola vents, and ridge vents.
Moving vents have moving parts that will operate with power from the wind. They tend to make noises such as squeaks and rattles while they are moving. Moving vents remove hot air and moisture from the attic as long as there is wind to move it. The most common type of moving vent is the turbine.
Electrical vents require electricity to be able to vent hot air from your attic to the outside. While it might be slightly inconvenient to run electricity to your attic, this type of vent can always run and vent hot air. If you live in a hot area, you will benefit from an electrical vent.
If you want a powered air vent but you don’t want to run your electricity bill up, you should consider placing a solar panel vent. These vents will be equipped with a solar panel on top that will power the vent, so you have to make sure your roof gets plenty of sunlight to work correctly.
Do I Need Roof Ventilation?
While it is highly recommended and considered essential for most homes, there might be some situations where roof ventilation might not benefit your home. It takes a careful examination of both your home and insulation to determine if it is right for you.
Since heat rises, your attic and roof can reach temperatures that are even higher than they are outside. The intense heat can make you extremely uncomfortable and can cause damage to your roof. Attics that are properly ventilated can bring down the temperature and protect your home.
It is also important to understand the risks of improper ventilation. You could suffer from a higher electric bill if the ventilation is not installed how it should be. You might install too much insulation if you do the job yourself, resulting in too little airflow for the vent to work properly.
Best Roof Ventilation Method
The best roof ventilation method is to start in your attic. You will want to mark out the places you want to put your vents with nails long enough to make it through the roof and stick out of the shingles. Once you have determined where your vents will go, head to the roof to finish up. This method will be described in further detail below.
What Happens if a Roof is Not Vented?
If your roof is not ventilated or is not done properly, your attic can reach 150 degrees or higher during the summer months. This can lead to shingle damage, condensation buildup, and the growth of mildew and mold.
Roof Ventilation Requirements
According to the U.S. Federal Housing authority, you should have a minimum of 1 square foot of roof ventilation for every 300 feet of floor space in your attic. A minimum of 40% and a maximum of 50% of required ventilation needs to be near the top of the attic.
The International Building Code has a requirement that any enclosed attic and rafter space needs to have cross-ventilation for separate spaces. It is also required that the ventilation be balanced.
How Much does it Cost to Ventilate a Roof?
If you choose to install static vents, it will cost you between $55 and $550, depending on the type of static vent you want to purchase. If you want to install a moving vent, it will cost between $65 and $250. An electric-powered vent will cost between $235 and $700. Finally, a solar-powered vent will cost between $335 and $800.
Roof Ventilation Options
Exhaust ventilation is one option you have available. This ventilation will be installed at the highest point of your roof to let as much hot air and moisture escape as possible.
Intake ventilation is another option available for roof ventilation. This ventilation will be installed at the lowest point of the roof to draw in cooler and drier air to push the hot, moist air out of the exhaust.
How to Ventilate your Roof
If you are venting your roof by yourself, you want to be sure you are doing it properly. The first thing you will want to do is mark the roof parts that you want to put vents in from the attic with nails.
This will make it so you can see where the rafters are and choose the best place. The nails will make it to see your place from the outside when you head to the roof. You will want to place all of the vents on the same side of the roof.
Next, you will need to get on the roof. You will need to take the vent opening with you to measure and cut the roof shingles to fit the vent. You should cut the space about half an inch bigger than the opening of the vent. Make sure the nail is in the middle when you place the vent opening to trace it.
After you have the shingles removed, you will cut your hole through the sheathing of your roof with a saw. Next, you will have to separate the adhesive of the shingles from the roof sheathing. You will also need to get rid of any nails that might get in the way of putting the vent in place.
Next, you will need to place the vent and nail the vent’s bottom edge with roofing nails. Finally, you will have to apply roof cement where the shingles and the vent meet. Add just a dab of cement to secure the shingles to the base of the vent cover.
It is crucial to make sure that your roof is properly vented. If your roof does not have proper ventilation, your roof could experience damage due to the extreme temperatures that your attic can reach in the summer. There are a few different ways to vent your attic properly, and they are easy to achieve.