Roof ventilation prolongs shingle life, keeps ice dams at bay and prevents mold growth in the attic. Every roof requires adequate ventilation, but the specific types and placement of vents depends on how the home is situated in relation to area wind and weather patterns. Consulting with a professional roofer on how to best ventilate a roof is the recommended course of action for homeowners installing new roofs or repairing their existing roofs. As an introduction to roof ventilation, this guide will explain the common vents used in roof installations today.
Intake and Exhaust Vents
While roof vents are available in many styles, they fall into two main categories: intake and exhaust. Intake vents conduct air flow into the attic. They cannot be exposed to rain or snow, so they are normally installed under the home’s eaves. Exhaust vents let a steady stream of air flow through the attic and back outside. They must not let moisture into the home either, so they are normally fitted with covers or caps, or built into the roof’s peak, as a ridge vent is. A balanced mixture of intake and exhaust vents is essential to a stable ventilation system.
Ridge ventilation is the most effective exhaust vent. Installed along the roof’s ridge, this type uses a baffle to draw out heated attic air all along the length of the roof. Even ventilation prevents hot spots from occurring – a common problem with all other types of vents. This type is also the most aesthetically appealing, since it is completely unnoticeable from the ground.
Soffit vents are intake vents, and are installed underneath the eaves and constructed of aluminum. They are ideal for roofs that need additional airflow. A combination of soffit and ridge vents helps balance the intake and exhaust in most roofs.
With a box vent, a box made of metal or strong plastic is placed over a hole in the roof, allowing hot air to escape out of the opening around the edges. Most box vents are installed toward the peak of the roof’s ridge in order to capture and release rising hot air.
Roof turbines spin in response to high winds, and the rotating action collects and removes hot air from the attic. They are not powered by electricity, but the moving parts require occasional maintenance. The metal components may begin to squeak if they are not oiled. They only function well in strong winds, so they are not recommended for every roof.
Power Attic Vents
These fans are built into the attic and run on electricity. Some have humidity sensors that trigger the motor to turn on and blow hot air out of the attic. They are designed to run quietly, so homeowners should enter the attic and check their powered vent every few months to make sure it still works properly.
Talk to a roofer with experience in finding the best roof ventilation systems so you can make the correct adjustments for your roof – call the professionals at Knockout Roofing today.