ridge ventA roof has one job.  To keep your home protected and dry.  When it fails at this task, it creates problems for the entire home.
Warm air in the home rises and needs somewhere to escape.  If the roof is not ventilated properly, that warm air gets trapped in the attic.  Moisture in the air from a washing machine, dishwasher, humidifiers and other household activities builds up in the attic.  When it meets cooler air it condenses and causes liquid to to occur in the attic.  Liquid in the attic causes water, damage and more dangerous mold.  Mold can cause serious health problems including allergy symptoms, mild to severe, asthma attacks and lung damage.

Symptoms of a poorly ventilated roof:

  1. Mold in the attic
  2. Snow melting unevenly on the roof
  3. Hot second floor
  4. Air conditioning runs continuously
  5. Abnormally high energy use
  6. Interior pealing paint
  7. Rotting wood or rafters in the attic
  8. Ice dams
  9. Rusty nails
  10. Cracked or curling shingles

When a roof is properly ventilated lower heating bills, improved interior comfort, and a longer roof life will result.

There are several types of roof ventilation systems.  The most popular are ridge vents.  They are installed along the ridge or peak of the roof and allow hot air to escape and draw cool air in the soffit vents.  Soffit vents are vent grills that run along the soffit installed under the roof that extends beyond the walls.  Ridge vents are aesthetically pleasing because they are barely visible.  They are less expensive that other types or vents.  Ridge vents are more environmentally friendly as they don’t use any energy to operate.  With no working parts, ridge vents are also quiet.

Other types of vents include:

Gable Vents are installed on the side of the house near the peak.  They are an screened opening that allows air to pass through.
Roof Vents are openings in the roof surface capped with a cover or grill that allows warm air to escape.
Turbine Vents are installed on the roof top and promote effective air movement
Powered Attic Fans come in several varieties.  They exhaust hot air out of the attic.  Because they are powered they are more expensive, noisy, and less environmentally friendly.

When planning a roof replacement project, roof ventilation should be considered an important factor.

Craig Gouker Roofing has been installing quality residential roofing in South East Pittsburgh since 1991 and is the expert in shingle roof replacement.