Proper Roof Ventilation Is a Must!

One of the most critical decisions to be made in a roofing project is choosing the proper ventilation system. Its importance simply cannot be stressed enough due to its impact on both the building and its occupants. Accordingly, many things may occur if the roof does not have a good means of air circulation.

Condensation, which is a naturally occurring phenomenon, could form that leads to moisture accumulation and cause damage to roofing components which could subsequently result in premature roof failure. An inadequate circulation system will also affect the overall health of the residents. Therefore, it is necessary to know and understand how these systems work, their importance, and the benefits provided in maintaining a safe and comfortable home.

Function

Ventilation is a technical term used to describe the movement of air inside a closed space. It is believed that the efficient exchange and circulation of attic air requires specific movement to deliver its full potential. There needs to be a constant flow of air to remove stagnant moisture or trapped air that has been sitting in an attic. These systems promote circulation and create a balance in airflow from inside the home to the outside, avoiding the build-up of condensation. In addition, when the attic has a good flow of moist air, the home can breathe and avoid damage caused by mildew and mold.

Importance

Many people would agree that the importance of attic ventilation is to improve energy efficiency during every season; however, there are other ways to improve energy efficiency other than this, such as insulation and roofing material that are designed to maximize energy performance. The application of an attic vent to thwart moisture build-up provides the greatest advantage to houses located in colder climates.

Where there is intense cold weather, it will be more beneficial to have these circulation systems to avert the formation of condensation on sheathing material and avoid dampness on other major components. It will help put a stop to any serious problems from developing in both the summer and winter. An inadequate system can result in increased moisture and cause damage to the roof decking. Proper ventilation promotes energy efficiency and hinders the development of condensation and moisture accumulation while extending the life of the roof.

Benefits

It is important to understand that ventilation is crucial in preventing moisture development in the attic during the cold season and reducing the effect of heat radiation during the summer. An excessive amount of moisture could lead to roof damage caused by dampness and mold or mildew formation. It could also: affect the health of family members; increase utility costs; and cause the need for unwanted repairs.

The benefits of a proper ventilation system could prevent all of these problems. Proper air circulation provides a comfortable living environment, decreases energy costs, ensures the welfare of household members, and could even decrease or eliminate the need for expensive repairs and maintenance.

The importance, function, and benefits of a good ventilation system should not be overlooked since they are engineered to eradicate moisture build-up by managing attic air circulation. While a good air circulation system is essential to help reduce utility bills and ensure that a home stays in good condition, it also helps to keep a home safe by avoiding structural damage or premature failure of the roofing structure. Therefore, to maintain efficiency in an overall building structure, adequate roofing ventilation is a must!

The Benifits of Home Ventilation

The purpose of a home ventilation system is to maintain a healthy living environment by supplying fresh air to your home while at the same time removing stale and polluted air. Home ventilation also helps to maintain proper humidity levels of 30 to 50 percent.

The air in your home is used many times over, often with fresh air entering only when we open doors or windows. As we strive to build homes more and more energy efficient, we create an environment prone to indoor air quality problems, thereby, reducing the homes ability to breathe and natural air changes do not occur.

The reason for the buildup of indoor pollution in today’s homes is a direct result of our efforts to conserve energy. With insufficient home ventilation, pollutants can build up and become very concentrated. These pollutants come from many sources and some, such as mold, are more problematic when combined with high humidity levels, which is another problem associated with inadequate home ventilation.

When humidity is too high, mold, mildew and rot can become serious problems. A mold outbreak can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home and in some cases can make a home uninhabitable.

Another problem with high humidity is dust mites. Every home has dust mites and they thrive in humid conditions. This is a concern for people who suffer from dust mite allergies.

Low humidity, on the other hand, can cause nose and throat irritation, dry skin, wood can shrink and crack and hardwood flooring can shrink and become noisy when walked on. Static electricity is a symptom of low humidity.

Home ventilation is one of the most important things you can manage, in order to maintain a healthy environment for you and your loved ones.

Heat Recovery Ventilators, Air Exchangers, Kitchen and Bathroom Exhaust Fans, Attic Ventilation Fans, Dryer Vents and attic and crawl space vents are all important components of proper home ventilation.

Pet Dander, Pollen, Lead, Dust Mites, Mold Spores, Tobacco Smoke, Household Chemicals, Pesticides, Cleaning Supplies, Paints and Solvents are only some of the common pollutants that can build up without adequate home ventilation.

Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide and Soot from fuel burning appliances and heating systems can also become a problem without proper home ventilation.

Proper home ventilation can help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms and help ease other respiratory ailments that burden millions of people.

Why Getting Ventilation And Insulation Right Is Essential In A Loft Conversion

While planning a loft conversion can be an exciting time, it’s vital to consider the importance of proper ventilation and insulation in the converted space. Originally, lofts were designed as a cold ventilation space for the house, and insulation was laid on the floor in order to seal this space off from the rest of the building. With a loft conversion though, the very purpose of the space changes and completely different ventilation and insulation arrangements are required.

But why are loft ventilation and insulation so important? Because the roof space shields the house from rain and condensation, it’s susceptible to damp. Without effective ventilation in place to expel the damp from the roof, the timbers can start to rot, possibly leading to significant structural damage. At the same time, roof insulation is essential for preventing heat from escaping from the house, meaning that good quality insulation helps to keep heating bills down and improve household energy efficiency.

In a loft conversion, the location of the insulation will shift from the ceiling joists of the loft to in between the rafters. This consequently restricts the air flow in the loft space, meaning that is not effectively ventilated. What can you do to improve the ventilation in the loft while ensuring that it is also properly insulated? First, you must create a ‘ventilation path’ of around 50mm between the underfelt of the roof tiles and the layer of insulation, as this allows air to be naturally expelled from the roof space. Second, you must implement both ‘rapid’ and ‘background’ ventilation. Rapid ventilation requires a window that is at least 1/20th the size of the floor space and can be opened to allow air to escape quickly. Background ventilation takes the form of an air brick or a ‘trickle vent’ fitted at the top of the window, which creates a draught-free airflow. If you plan to put a bathroom in your loft, you’ll also need to install mechanical ventilation such as an extractor fan in order to prevent the rapid build-up of mould.

As mentioned, insulation should be laid underneath the roof tiles and then overlaid with plasterboard, but how thick should the insulation be? This will depend on the type of material used, so guidance should be sought from the manufacturer.

In considering these issues of ventilation and insulation, though, it’s important to remember that any changes will need to be compliant with building regulations and may also need planning permission. If you’re unsure at all about taking on the challenge of reconfiguring your roof’s ventilation and insulation, consider seeking professional help. Getting these important considerations wrong could have a major negative impact on the success of your loft conversion and could quickly make the new space feel uninhabitable.