Sometimes everyone needs to let off a little steam, but did you know your roof needs to vent? Thankfully, roof venting is done with things like metal and plastic and does not involve emotions. However, the importance of proper venting in your roof cannot be underestimated. A poorly vented roof can cause heat and moisture buildup that may reduce the life of your roof and damage structural components of your home.
A roof vent may not be a very attractive addition to your home's appearance, but it plays several vital roles:
With all the emphasis on a well-sealed roof, is a vent counterproductive? Where does attic moisture come from? Both of these questions are key to understanding roof venting. First of all, roof vents are designed in such a way to prevent moisture from going in. Both the design of the vent and attached shielding help to keep rain, snow, sleet, and other moisture from entering these roof openings. Essentially, the only type of moisture that should be able to enter a roof vent from the outside is humidity in the air.
So where does that attic moisture come from? In a normal home, the air condition is naturally moist due to the activities that take place. It is also subject to the warmth of appliances and bodies. The result is warm, moist air that then rises up through the ceiling and into the attic space. If it is cold outside, the roof, including the sheathing is colder than the air that comes up to meet it, and the result is moisture. This moisture can lead to mold and rot building up and destroying surfaces. Another common result of moisture and temperature extremes is buckling, warping, and shifting.
Every attic space needs two types of vents: intake vents and exhaust vents, to maintain adequate airflow. The intake vents are usually located on the eaves of the house, while the exhaust vents are usually along the highest point, or ridge of the roof.
There is a large selection of vents available on the market today. Static vents, power vents, soffit vents, turbine vents, and cupola vents are just a few. Determining the types of vents you need will depend on a number of factors including your attic size, the configuration of your roof, the common weather patterns to which the roof will be exposed, and the type of material your roof has. Some people install only a few eave intakes and some turbine exhaust vents, while others use continuous soffit vents along with ridge venting. One of the best ways to determine your venting needs is to consult with a qualified roofing specialist. He will have the knowledge needed to help you make the right choice for your home.