So you are getting a new roof. Your roofing contractor is installing new felt, all new metal and quality shingles. What about the vents? What is the purpose of attic ventilation? Attic venting protects your home and roof year round.
In the summer months proper venting helps cool your attic space. As the sun radiates heat this increases the temperatures of the roof. This conducts heat into the attic and radiates to the living space below. Most intake vents are under your soffit they bring cooler air into the attic space. Exhaust vents should be on the upper part of the roof or ridge to expel the warmer hot air from attic space. Constant air flow is needed. When your attic is kept cooler it reduces the interior temperatures making your home more energy efficient. Venting help keep your living space cooler. This means lower electric bills for you, less usage of fans and air conditioners. Proper venting helps you save money.
Excessive heat build up will cause damage to your roof. Premature damage to shingles, blistering, and cracking will shorten the life of your shingles. The high temperatures, on your roof, will also warp and buckle the decking as the hot air tries to escape. New sheeting can cost thousands in repairs or total roof replacement. If left unnoticed you will experience a leaky roof, leaks will require even more expensive repairs. Summers hot air is trapped inside your attic space. The heat needs to be removed with proper a venting system.
In the winter months most people believe their attic space will be better if kept warm and closed in. Why would we want to vent the heat from our attic when it is cold outside? A better question would be, "Why would you want to heat your attic space when it is cold outside?"
Our biggest enemies are heat and moisture. Many activities such as bathing, cooking, washing clothes and dishes will trap moisture in our home. Since the 70's we have been building better airtight, insulated homes. The idea was to keep in heat and reduce our energy bills. Unfortunately this also traps the moisture inside of homes.
Furnaces, stoves and fireplaces, provide heat to keep us warm. The heat must be well insulated from the attic to stay in living spaces. Even canister light and attic furnaces are placed in attic space. The heat source must be insulated or boxed off or this will heat up your attic space. Your attic space needs to stay cold.
Ice dams can also form from heat in your attic space. The snow on your roof needs to stay snow! If it melts on a cold day it runs down to the roofs gutter edge, the edge is cold so the water freezes. When water freezes it expands and backs up under the shingles breaking the tar strip on the shingle. The water and ice have found a way into your home. The result is a leak in your ceiling or wall. If the decking on your roof gets wet it will warp and rot. Ask a roofing contractor, new decking is expensive. Ice dams will damage your gutters too. Proper venting will bring cold air into your soffit and expel warmer air out of the attic. Cold moving air will help to stop or reduce ice dam formation.
All exhaust fans should be vented outside of the roof not in your attic space. If the heat and moisture are trapped in our attic this can lead very expensive problems and even health issues. Over time it can cause wood rot, mildew and mold, also drywall damage paint blistering and ineffective insulation.
The problem starts when hot moist air hits the cold rafter trusses and roof decking. The moisture condenses as water droplets and frost. This is much like the wet fog on your mirror when you take a shower. In fact one of the main causes of condensation is piping steamy hot air into your attic space. Next it drips like a small rain shower in your attic, compressing the insulation as it acts like a sponge. Eventually it drips down to the drywall below.
It is a good idea to install bathroom and kitchen venting kits. Proper roofing hoods installed on the roof will vent the hot moist heat out of your home.
There are so many great venting solutions on the market today. Let us help you with a free inspection. As a qualified roofing contractor, we can recommend the best venting system for your home and roof.