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One of the most important aspects of your new roofing system is having proper ventilation. You should not ignore this most important roofing design. Improper roofing ventilation, whether commercial roofing or residential roofing, allows for the formation of condensation, moisture accumulations, and damage to the roof deck and sub-structure. Improper roof ventilation can also affect the roofing warranty and most important of all, your families health.
The roofing industry standard for roof ventilation is one square foot of intake ventilation along with the same amount of exhaust ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space, provided the area is insulated and has a vapor barrier. If the area is insulated but without a vapor barrier, the vent requirement doubles.Remember, these are recommendations: Every house is constructed differently, along with various building site influences, and of course interior factors like the number of kids and dogs and the setting of the thermostat, or the use of a bathroom shower fan. A professional roofing contractor will explain how the proper ventilation of the roof attic achieves several important functions:
It makes the attic space cooler.
It makes the home more energy efficient.
It prevents condensation and accumulation of moisture.
It can help in prevent ice dams.
It can make the roofing shingles last longer.
It may even prevent your roofing warranty from being voided.
Several types of roof vents are available to properly ventilate the roof of your home. Most roofer’s will recommend the standard roof vents you see lined up along the peak of the roof, generally on one side. Roof Ridge Vents are another vent system and run along the peak of the roof in once continuous run. Ridge Vents generally provide you with more exhaust flow than standard vents. Soffit vents are placed close to the overhangs of the roof at the lower extremes of the roof. These vents provide the intake ventilation for the roof and it is important for your roofer to make sure they are not covered up with insulation.
Olders homes were not built with the tightness built into new homes. There were plenty of cracks and openings around windows and doors to allow the house to breathe. Newer homes don’t naturally breathe, they must be designed with a system to remove accumulated moisture and heat. Without adequate ventilation, moisture rises with the warm air and forms condenation on the inside of the roofing deck. This moisture is created from bathing, cooking, plants, animals, humans, and many other producers. When condensation forms on the roof deck it can begin to rot the wood and create an environment for the formation of mold. The result, if the problem is not corrected can be the destruction of your roof deck and the creation of unhealthy air that may affect those living below.
Ask any roofing contractor, the importance of proper ventilation in our increasingly airtight homes cannot not be over-emphasized. It is important to take the time with your roofer and discuss the ventilation needs of your home in your region and how to best meet those requirements. Roofing contractors and homeowners get ready to breathe some air into that attic.