Roof ventilation is one of those concepts that a homeowner hears about, but may not fully understand how important it is. Good ventilation is critical for prolonging your roof’s longevity. If you want to know why roof ventilation is important, you need to understand what happens when you do not have decent air movement.
What are the Problems Caused by Inadequate Ventilation
Many homeowners do not understand the problems that inadequate ventilation can cause. They are often expensive and can cause health problems if not addressed. The built-up heat and moisture levels can lead to the following problems and many more. Here is why roof ventilation is important:
Shorten roofing system life – Roofing materials and underlayment can deteriorate with the heat and moisture below.
Sagging or soft decking – Moisture build-up along the underside of the roof can cause the deck to sag or fail.
Mold/mildew growth – Moist, warn conditions are perfect for mold and mildew growth.
Rust spread – When moisture builds up, metal surfaces like nails, truss plates, and hangers can begin to rust and deteriorate.
Stress on air conditioning – The heat of the attic can cause cold air in the vents to warm up. This will keep the A/C running all the time.
Frost and condensation build-up – In cold climates, moisture in the attic can cause frost to settle on the underside of the roof. In the summer, this same moisture can condense and cause water staining on the ceiling.
Tell-Tale Signs of Inadequate Roof Ventilation
There are some signs you may notice that tells you that you need to get a roofer in to handle venting problems.
The air conditioner is running non-stop even on mild summer days. When heat builds up in the attic, it can cause the air in the air conditioning vents to heat up. So, the air conditioning may struggle to cool the house.
Curled roofing shingles appear only a few years after installation. Asphalt shingles should last 10 to 20 years or more. If you start seeing curling shingles, it might be a sign that the heat below is deteriorating the shingles prematurely.
Ceiling leaks seem to have no clear roof leak. You have water stains, but the roof is solid. Built-up moisture in the attic can condense and drip on to the ceilings, causing the stains.
There are signs of mold and mildew. When you have any signs of mold and mildew in the attic, ventilation must become a priority.
How to Correct Roof Ventilation Issues
If you think you have inadequate roof ventilation, you need to do something about it. Failing to address the problems can dramatically shorten the life of the roof, potentially lead to mold and mildew, and make your summer cooling bills out of control.
The best way to correct roof ventilation issues is to bring in a professional. It might seem easy to get air circulating through the attic, but actually it requires some understanding of how a roof works. If you make a mistake in your ventilation attempts, you can cause major damage.
A professional has the equipment and knowledge on how to correct the ventilation issues. Some of the options can include:
Ridge Cap – This foam filter provides air venting at the top ridge of the roof.
Soffit Vents – Along the bottom edge of the roof, vents allow air into the attic.
Baffles – Baffles sit down in attic space edges moving air from the soffit vents into the attic towards the ridge cap.
Mechanical fans – In some cases, ridge caps, vents, and baffles are not enough. A mechanical fan might be needed.
Now you understand why roof ventilation is important. Your roofing contractor can help you find the right solutions for your roof.