Good roof and attic ventilation is an essential need for every home, but not for the reasons that most people might assume. Attic and roof ventilation is about keeping the roof and its structure in good condition, and not about energy efficiency, as many may think. Improved efficiency is just an added bonus. Experienced residential roofing maintenance companies know that protecting roofs from serious damage caused by poor ventilation is essential. Therefore, homeowners interested in improving their attic ventilation should work with expert residential roofing services who understand how these ventilation systems work, and know why ventilation is so important.
The Importance of Good Attic and Roof Ventilation
Proper ventilation keeps air circulating through a home’s attic space. Although this is somewhat beneficial in keeping homes cooler in warmer weather, roofing services pros insist that it is not the most significant purpose of good roof ventilation, which is moisture prevention. Moisture can shorten the lifespan of roofing material, and invites mold and mildew growth. This can damage the entire roofing structure over time. Therefore, keeping attics cool and dry year round is the main priority, and doing so depends on having the proper roof ventilation.
How Correct Natural Ventilation Works
Ideally, the perfectly ventilated attic will have intake vents lower in the attic space to suck in cool air, and exhaust vents higher up in the roof eaves, soffit, and ridges to allow heated air to escape. Continual air movement, along with good insulation throughout the attic space, plays an essential part in keeping a roof in its best condition by preventing condensation, and the serious consequences caused by it. For these reasons, it is essential to hire skilled residential roofing maintenance techs to perform any roof work, so that ventilation is always taken into consideration, helping to avoid future roofing concerns.
Saving Money with Correct Roof and Attic Ventilation
Even though moisture prevention is the real reason why residential roofing services state that roof ventilation is so important, in a well-insulated home, it also provides some degree of energy efficiency. When an attic becomes stifling hot in the summer (often well over one hundred degrees), some of that heat can even be transferred through the attic insulation and into the living spaces of the home. This is why multi-level homes are often warmer on the top floor and cooler on the bottom. Removing all of this hot air from the attic prevents its passage into the living space, and reduces the need for air conditioning.
While proper roof ventilation does provide some savings in utility costs, the more significant money savings is realized over time, with longer periods between re-roofings since damage to the roof is being prevented. Because attics are naturally hot spaces when not well-ventilated, the constant fluctuation in temperature that occurs both day and night (and in hot and cold weather), is the true culprit. Even in the dead of winter, an attic can be much warmer inside than the temperature outside. This condition is what causes condensation.
In time, condensation damages the roofing material and shingles from the inside of the home, outward. It causes roof trusses and support structures to become damp, eventually warping, splitting, and even rotting. In high-humidity situations, where condensation is not prevented, homeowners end up having to replace their roofs, and make extensive repairs to their entire roofing structure, much more frequently.
Good roof ventilation, and a cool attic year round, is much more cost effective than making the repairs associated with moisture damage. To ensure there is proper ventilation, or to improve existing roof ventilation, homeowners should discuss the issue with experienced residential roofing maintenance companies who can troubleshoot homes for proper roof ventilation. Reputable roofing services will inspect roof and rafter conditions, determine the best option for achieving proper air movement, and make necessary repairs to keep attics cool and roofs dry, resulting in a longer-lasting roof!