There are many things that need to be done right during the installation of your new roof, from making sure all the seals are water tight, all coverings are properly placed, and all prior damage repaired. But for long term durability and proper performance, roof ventilation may be the one area that is most often done improperly, leading to problems that shouldn’t be part of your new roof, especially when done by a professional roofing company.
In this article we will cover some of the issues of proper ventilation, so that you can feel confident when talking to your potential roofer about what you expect, and also so that you can do the basic checks yourself in order to make sure the ventilation is properly designed and installed.
Why Do You Need Roof Ventilation?
Roof ventilation is designed to allow the transfer of super-heated attic air into the surrounding environment, and to also allow external air into the space beneath your roof to keep temperatures lower.
The first main benefit of having your roof properly ventilated is that it lowers your air conditioning costs. The hotter your attic, the higher your cost of cooling your home to your desired temperature. Great air flow is based on excellent ventilation. Any mistakes your roofer makes in ventilation come right out of your pocket in the form of higher bills.
Secondly, proper ventilation extends the life of your roofing materials. All roof materials are stressed by heat, and some -- especially asphalt shingles -- can be severely damaged by heat that reaches excessive temperatures. If the shingles are being superheated from above, by the sun, and from below, by the overheated air in your attic, the results can be highly damaging.
Third, proper ventilated roofs are less likely to create ice dams during cold winter snaps. Ice dams can cause excessive damage to roofs, and ventilation is the primary protection against them.
Finally, ventilated roofs also help work against roof rot. Rot occurs when moisture is trapped in hot conditions. By lowering the temperature of the attic, ventilation can keep moisture and fungus from building up and causing rot.
How Do You Know You Need More Ventilation?
Whenever you replace your roof, it’s a good idea to double check to make sure you have had enough ventilation, and that poor ventilation didn’t contribute to the failing of your old roof. Here are a few things to check to ensure proper ventilation in your home.
First, touch your ceiling on a day that you feel has raised the temperature significantly. If your ceiling is hot, you need more ventilation.
Second, during cold weather, look for any thick ice ridge that might form on your eaves. This can mean that moisture is trapped, and your ventilation isn’t adequate to prevent it.
Third, check your rafters for any kind of condensation. Without air flow, moisture from inside your home can actually turn to condensation in the heat of a poorly ventilated space, so it’s a good place to check for the outcomes of poor ventilation.
What Should You Ask Your Roofing Professional About Ventilation?
As always, it is very important that you have your questions ready when you contact a roofing company about installing a new roof. Their ability to tell you exactly what you need, and why, is a good test about the quality of work you can expect from them.
With ventilation, there are codes and regulations in place, but they vary from region to region, and certain conditions affect how the codes are interpreted and enforced. At the very least your roofer should be able to tell you the codes in your area, and how they affect the ventilation play for your roof. Be sure to stress that you don’t want just the minimum amount of ventilation, but prefer to really ensure that you have excellent ventilation in your newly installed roof.
Ventilation for Roofs in Austin, TX
We hope we’ve given you some solid information on getting your home properly ventilated. As always, there are many considerations, and variations, in what your specific home might need. Make sure you have a discussion about ventilation with any potential contractor, and let them know that you need specifics about exactly what level of ventilation you are getting, and why it is necessary.
If you have any more questions, or just want to consult with a reliable company about all your options, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are always happy to talk roofs, it’s what we do and what we know, we love to share our knowledge with potential customers and new friends!