Proper Roofing Ventilation: A Roofing Contractor Explains Its Importance

When it comes to home improvements, many homeowners feel that “more is better,” particularly when they are considering roof ventilation. In fact, that’s not always the case; you can have too much venting, the wrong kind or even two different kinds that don’t work well together. If your home is improperly vented, it can lead to excessive heat in your attic, which will force your cooling system to work overtime in the warm months. Excess humidity can also be a problem that leads to more serious complications such as rotting of the roof deck and mold growth, which can be dangerous to your house and damaging to your home’s walls.

To make sure your home’s roof is properly ventilated, talk to a seasoned roofing contractor who can explain the different types and determine which kind and how much you need for your house. A local roofing company can also discuss the costs and benefits of a new or upgraded venting system in your home.

Passive Ventilation

Most homes with asphalt shingles use passive attic ventilation to keep the area cool. Natural convection — the upward movement of air when it is heated — is the primary way passive venting cools things down. For larger areas or homes that are difficult to cool, a roofing contractor might add fans that use wind to increase pressure differences in the air and improve cooling. The air current that cools the attic can be improved by installing intake vents at the bottom to allow cooler air in, while the hotter air will rise and be released through ridge vents.

Powered Ventilation

Sometimes your roofing company will suggest a powered vent system. This is generally a good idea when your roof’s passive system isn’t sufficient or if your attic area is particularly hot during the day. Small motors mounted near the outtake vents pull hot air up and out of the space. It’s very important to understand the mechanics of this system in order to ensure that your home has sufficient intake vents under the eaves; otherwise, the forced flow of air could pass the intake vents entirely, defeating their purpose.

Combining Passive And Powered Ventilation Is A Mistake

If you’re concerned about your attic being too hot, consult a roofing company in your area. You may talk to a contractor who suggests that you add one or more electrical fans to the roof in order to improve the airflow. If you already have a passive system in place, however, adding a powered system is not the answer unless you are going to remove your current roof and start from scratch. It’s never a good idea to combine two very different types of ventilation, as they will most likely end up working against each other rather than solving any problems. In many situations, using two different types can void the warranty on your shingles, so be sure to discuss this possibility with any roofing contractor who has agreed to install new or additional vents on your home’s roof.

To ensure that you have the best ventilation system for your house installed, be sure to ask questions before signing a contract. It’s also a good idea to get at least one other quote just in case.