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4 Top Attic & Roof Ventilation Tips for Homeowners

Roof vents are a vital part of any home, and your roof and attic can’t go without them. That’s because an adequate roof ventilation system will not only extend your roof’s lifespan and promote higher energy efficiency and healthier air quality throughout your home.

Need help choosing the right roof vents for your home? No worries. In this helpful guide for property owners, we’ll cover a broad range of topics relating to attic and roof ventilation, including:

  • What roof ventilation actually is
  • Why roof vents are so essential
  • Different types of roof vents
  • Signs of poor ventilation
  • Tips to improve your roof ventilation
  • How to upgrade your roof vents

Are you ready to protect your home with the proper ventilation system? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about residential roofing and attic ventilation, and give your house the boost it deserves.

What Is Roof & Attic Ventilation?

Let’s first cover the basics of attic and roof ventilation systems so that you know what you’re looking at when it’s time to replace your current vents.

Essentially, there are two primary types of ventilation:

  1. Natural ventilation systems that utilize the natural airflow in your home to work
  2. Mechanical ventilation, which requires a power source to run

And two primary types of roof vents:

  1. Exhaust vents, which remove stale air from your attic
  2. Intake vents to bring fresh air flow into your home

roof ventilation attic

The Federal Housing Administration recommends having one square foot of attic exhaust installed for every 150 feet of attic space, so different-sized roofing systems will require a different size exhaust system. Some roofing manufacturers even require homeowners to install a certain number of intake and exhaust vents to meet warranty requirements — and the same can be said for FHA loan approval.

Exhaust Vents

As you might have heard many times in your earlier school years, hot air rises in enclosed spaces. That’s why your attic might fill with warm air and turn into what feels like a sauna during the summer months. Exhaust vents work to remove that hot air (which is often sticky and wet, creating water damage or mold and mildew when not removed) to help improve your home air quality, extend your roof’s lifespan, and ensure that your house stays cool and comfortable all year.

As you might expect, this type of roof vent is typically installed at the top of a house, near the peaks or ridges of a roof. Thus, ridge vents are some of the most commonly found kinds of roof vents, as well as:

  • Off-ridge vents
  • Box vents
  • Static vents
  • Wind turbine vents (whirlybird vents)
  • Cupola vents
  • Hard-wired power vents
  • Solar power vents

Intake Vents

Like we mentioned, the main way intake vents work is by taking fresh air from outside and moving it into your home’s interior to improve airflow. The four primary types of intake ventilation options you have are:

  • Edge vents (drip-edge vents)
  • Over fascia vents
  • Soffit vents
  • Gable vents

Unlike exhaust vents, your intake vents won’t necessarily be easily seen on the surface of your roof. They’re typically installed near your soffit (the underside of your roof’s overhang), gables (the top-most, triangle point of a roof’s peak, facing forward on your siding), or along the area where your gutter systems are installed. These vents work to bring fresh air into your home and keep temperatures comfortable and regulated through any time of year.

Why Is Proper Attic Ventilation So Vital?

There are many significant reasons to install proper attic and roof ventilation systems on a home or commercial property. From prolonging your roof’s longevity to reducing health risks and high energy bills, the benefits of proper ventilation are plain to see. Sometimes, you’re even required to install vents in order to activate your roof warranty and get your money’s worth from a recent roof replacement.

roof ventilation vent

Signs of Poor Ventilation

Even with an existing ventilation system in place, there is still potential for you to run into problems if your roofing materials or the vents themselves start to break down and fail. Fortunately, there are quite a few signs of poor ventilation you can keep an eye out for to avoid issues in the future, such as:

Cold Drafts or Hot Areas in Your Home 🥶

If you can feel a noticeable difference in air temperatures when moving from room to room in your home, you likely don’t have proper roof ventilation in place. Your roof vents work to regulate internal temperatures, so a quality system should keep every room comfortable and consistent.

Constant Air Conditioner Breakdowns 💔

You might not think about it much in relation to your roof ventilation, but continuous air conditioner breakdowns or malfunctions could mean that your roof and attic ventilation systems are inadequate. Essentially, your AC is likely working overtime, at all times, to remove hot air from your home and keep the house comfortable, which is why it keeps breaking down.

Mold or Mildew Growth 🦠

Roof vents work to keep your home comfortable, dry, and safe as well, so you don’t want to ignore any roof leaks when they arise, especially if you lack the proper roof ventilation system. Lingering moisture buildup can be an extreme health hazard because it helps mold and mildew start to grow and thrive. Prolonged toxic mold exposure can lead to lifelong ailments, including:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Memory loss
  • Asthma
  • Confusion and concentration issues
  • Paresthesia (numbness of the body)
  • Weight gain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Hair loss

Icicles & Ice Dams 🧊

Another sign that you don’t have the proper roof ventilation installed is the presence of ice dams and icicles. Ice dams form when the snow melts from the top of your roof and re-freezes before it can drain properly. This creates a dangerous overhang of heavy ice, called ice dams, which can damage your roof or even the residents of your home if they break off and fall.

Higher Monthly Energy Costs 📈

As we’ve mentioned multiple times now, inadequate roof and attic ventilation can lead to poor temperature regulation throughout your house and a lot of hard work on your HVAC system’s part. If you’re noticing higher usage levels (and higher costs) on your monthly energy bill, you should consider installing better roof vents.

4 Tips to Improve Roof Ventilation

Now that you know what to look for if your roof vents start failing, you can take action to improve your roof and attic ventilation. Here are some helpful tips for homeowners:

  1. Assess Your Existing System – It’s always wise to take a closer look at your current vents to see if there are any areas to improve. If you don’t have any kind of roof vent system in place, it’s important to change that quickly.
  2. Select the Right Roof Vents – There are many different types of roof vents, like ridge vents and soffit vents, that serve unique purposes to protect your home. Speak with a professional roofing contractor to determine which vent types will best suit your roofing system.
  3. Schedule a Professional Installation – Once you’ve talked with a trusted local roofer about which vents are right for your home, you can schedule services to ensure they’re installed correctly.
  4. Perform Regular Roof Maintenance – Of course, keeping up with regular roof maintenance is crucial to ensure your vents work correctly in every season. Check out our summer roof maintenance guide here to better understand what you should do to take care of your roofing system.

Upgrade Your Roof Ventilation System Today

Roof ventilation systems are vital to home energy efficiency, healthy air quality, and overall roof longevity. If you’re noticing poorly regulated temperatures in your home or higher energy costs each month, it might be time to reassess your roof vents and make an upgrade.

Get the help you need to install proper roof ventilation from the professionals at DuraShield Contracting. Our friendly and dependable team can ensure that all of your new roof vents are installed properly so that you can reap the benefits of a much better system.

Contact us now to get started!

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