As a homeowner, you want to try to cut costs where you can while continuously making your home better and safer, right? Adding roofing ventilation to your home will help with possible moisture damage, and it will also extend the life of your roof. Be sure to ask your Dallas roofing contractor about what options you have.
Roof Ventilation Fundamentals
Roof ventilation helps to keep the attic dry and cool, but it’s also important to maintaining a healthy environment. Normal household activities such as doing laundry, running the dishwasher and taking showers generate warm, moist air, which rises from the living space and into the attic. When the warm, moist air meets the cooler attic air, it condenses, wetting the surrounding framing members and insulation. Continuous wetting without drying can cause mold growth on the roof rafters and insulation, which can lead to respiratory problems for homeowners and eventual structural problems with the roof.
A properly ventilated attic can prevent these heat and moisture problems. Air within a properly ventilated attic should never be more than 15 degrees warmer than the outside air. Furthermore, snow on a roof that has a properly ventilated attic will melt evenly, without any icicles at the eaves.
The recommended amount of ventilation is about 1 square foot per 300 square feet of attic area. A system of vents that includes soffit vents, baffles, and ridge vents is the best way to meet this recommendation. These vents work together to facilitate continuous airflow—in through the soffits, up the rafters and out through the ridges — introducing fresh air into the attic and exhausting warm, moist air to the exterior. Even with no wind, the natural convection action of rising warm air maintains a continuous airflow along the underside of the roof. This vent system works in all climates and seasons and doesn’t require any moving parts or energy consumption. Following are some additional features about each type of vent:
- Soffit vents. These are soffits that are perforated but are installed in the same way as solid soffits. They’re either continuous or fitted between rafter tails. Soffit vents provide better airflow in the summer and protection against moisture and ice buildup in the winter.
- Baffles. These are fitted between the rafters. They allow fresh air to flow into the attic from the soffit vents without interference from the surrounding insulation.
- Ridge vents. Ridge vents are installed along the roof ridge (or ridges) to provide uniform ventilation throughout the attic, unlike turbines, louvers and or gable vents. Available in various widths and lengths, they can be fit to a range of roof pitches to work with all configurations.
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