Your home's first line of defence against environmental elements is your roof system. It consists of shingles or tiles, flashing, underlayment, and ventilation. Ventilation is an essential part of your roofing system. Without proper ventilation, moisture can build up inside your attic or roof over time because there's no way for it to escape through the roof assembly. This could eventually lead to mould growth on the ceilings and walls and even warping of the roof deck—and that's never pleasant! In addition to preventing moisture penetration into your home's interior, proper ventilation also helps prevent heat loss during the winter months, which can also help save you money on utility bills! If you're curious to know why proper roof ventilation is so important, read on!
Roof ventilation aims to control excess moisture and heat that can wreak havoc on your home. Heat and moisture buildup inside your roof can cause predictable but different problems in hot and cold climates; areas with hot summers and cold winters can suffer the effects of both. A properly ventilated roof has both intake and exhaust vents. The intake vents are installed at the bottom of your roof, and the exhaust vents are usually installed near the peak. These vents help create a continuous airflow throughout the inside of your roof. Cooler air from outside will be drawn into the intake vents, and the warm, humid air will exit through the exhaust vents. The amount of ventilation your roof requires will depend on the roof pitch and the size of your attic. Contact a local roofing company if you are unsure if your roof is properly ventilated!
You can usually tell if your attic needs ventilation. If there's a puddle of water on your ceiling, you have too much humidity in the air in your home. A lack of ventilation can cause mould and mildew to grow on the shingles and decking, which is unsightly and dangerous to inhale—mould spores can cause respiratory problems and other health conditions. Too much moisture buildup in your attic can also damage the structural supports of your roof, causing leaks in other parts of your house and possibly severe structural problems to the home. Moisture buildup in the attic can also cause wood to rot and shingles to fall off. Mould has the potential to cause structural damage by weakening your rafters and siding. If left unattended, this can lead to a full-blown collapse of your entire roof system—not something you want on your hands!
Mould growth also has other adverse effects on your home. Mould weakens materials like insulation that are supposed to help keep heat inside during winter and cool air outside during summer. Mould can also give off toxic gases that can irritate respiratory systems. Sometimes, if mould spores are breathed in over an extended period, they can cause serious health problems such as pneumonia or asthma attacks, even for those who aren't generally susceptible.
Poor roof ventilation can also lead to ice dams. Ice dams are ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof, causing water to collect under shingles and cause leaks in your roof. Ice dams can also be caused by other factors, including snowfall and wind-driven rain. Ice dams don't just cause leaks; ice dams can be hazardous to you and your family. If ice dams get too big, they can break off and fall on someone close by. Proper attic ventilation will help keep your home free of ice dams and prevent any damage they could cause.
Proper roof ventilation reduces the temperature of your attic and the rest of your home. Less heat in your attic means less heat entering your home. This helps reduce energy bills, air pollution, and carbon emissions from air conditioning to cool down a hot attic. Proper roof ventilation aids in cooling your home and reduces energy bills by as much as 30%. A properly ventilated roof will last longer and protect your home from water damage, excessive heat buildup, and ice dams. Keeping your roof properly ventilated doesn't save you money on utility bills; it can save you money on costly repairs to your roof and home.
Roof ventilation is an often-overlooked factor when it comes to roofing and home maintenance. However, the reality is that this element serves a very important purpose. Not only does it allow excess heat and moisture to escape from a home, but proper roof ventilation can also help protect a home from mould, mildew, pests, and more. If you are concerned about your roof ventilation, consider calling the experts at United Roofing & Exteriors! We'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. Contact us today!