Choosing the right roofing company, with qualified roofers that install excellent products for a full roofing system, is essential for any homeowner. However, few people realize that proper ventilation is one of the most important things you can address with regard to your new roof. Ventilation can impact a variety of things, including the roofing system, your energy bill, and even your family’s health!
Improper ventilation is costly to fix and can lead to roof deck rot, severe condensation (which can damage insulation and ceilings and grow harmful mold and mildew), and ice dams in the winter. If hot air is trapped in the attic space, a roof can “cook” from below and shingles will begin to crack and age prematurely. Ultimately, in the case of roof failure, shingle manufacturers may determine that improper ventilation was the cause, which will result in a partially or totally voided manufacturer’s warranty.
The most common way to achieve balanced, proper ventilation is through soffit and ridge vent, which uses thermal flow (warm air rising) and natural flow (wind). Ridge vent is installed across the top ridge of the home after the roofers cut a small gap between the two roof faces, and is designed in such a way as to follow Bernoulli’s principle: that a fluid (such as water or air) creates lower pressure the more quickly it passes over a surface, which in turn creates a lift effect. According to major shingle manufacturer CertainTeed, ridge vent “deflects wind and weather over the vent and creates negative pressure to ‘pull’ air from the attic, resulting in increased airflow.”
It’s helpful to think of your own respiratory systems when considering attic ventilation. Just as your lungs need to regularly exchange old air for new, attic ventilation requires a good balance between air intake and air exhaust, as air continually moves in and through your attic. Your A-Plus-Roofing representative will be able to calculate just how much ventilation your home needs, and will recommend the best path forward for achieving a balanced system.