Close up of a roofing contractor installing a new roof.

There are a lot of different factors to consider when it comes to the quality and longevity of a roof system. For example, proper installation and the use of high-quality shingles will help protect against damage and prevent the need for repairs. One aspect that is often overlooked, however, is ventilation. A roof needs to have proper ventilation or else it will become vulnerable to all sorts of issues, resulting in a lifespan that is shorter than expected.

How Does Roof Ventilation Work

If you don’t have proper roof ventilation, the airflow in your attic will be restricted or even non-existent. This is because hot air will become trapped inside of your attic with nowhere to go, which can result in the buildup of excessive moisture. There are two main ways that you can create airflow through your attic. You can install mechanical ventilation, which requires a power source, or you can install natural ventilation, which makes use of the stack effect and wind effect to circulate the air naturally.

The stack effect is the process by which hot air rises and creates high pressure in the attic. For that hot air to escape out of the house through exhaust vents, cool, lower pressure air must replace it, which is done through the wind effect. The wind effect occurs when wind blows against the outside of the roof. With proper intake ventilation, cool air will enter into the attic, while hot air from the stack effect will exit, creating a natural airflow that results in a properly ventilated attic.

The Importance of Roof Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation is a must in order to ensure proper airflow through your attic. Without proper ventilation, your home will likely experience the following issues:

  • Roof damage – Severe roof damage can occur due to ice damming. Ice damming occurs when the first layer of snow on your roof melts but is trapped by the layer of unmelted snow above it. Because it’s trapped in place, it will begin leaking through your roof, causing significant water damage.
  • Higher energy costs – A lack of proper ventilation causes heat to be trapped inside. As a result, your air conditioning system will be working more often and harder than it should to cool your home, resulting in higher cooling costs. With proper ventilation, hot air won’t become trapped in your attic, making it easier to keep your house cool.
  • Uncomfortable home – Without proper ventilation, your HVAC system will have a difficult time keeping your home a consistent temperature. You’ll find that your upstairs area is much warmer than your downstairs area, resulting in a less comfortable home environment.

Signs Your Roof Needs Better Ventilation

The following are a few signs that indicate your roof could use better ventilation:

  • A lack of attic vents – If you don’t have any attic vents located on the eaves or on the roof, then it means you need to install more attic vents. You should be able to spot the vents in your roof simply by walking around your property.
  • A hot ceiling – In the middle of a summer day, touch your ceiling. Be careful doing so as you don’t want to fall and hurt yourself. If your ceiling is warm to the touch, it means that your attic isn’t properly ventilated and is collecting heat, meaning that it’s essentially acting like an oven.
  • Ice-covered eaves – A lack of ventilation during the winter will cause warm air to escape up into the attic where it will get trapped. That warm air will then melt the first layer of snow on your roof. That melted snow will refreeze on the cold eaves, resulting in ice dams.
  • Attic dampness or frost – Since warm air carries moisture, it will condense on your rafters or roof sheathing in the attic. Simply go up to your attic during the winter and look for signs of dampness or frost.

Schedule an Appointment in Toledo, OH, Today

Good ventilation is necessary to keep your roof in good condition. The better the ventilation is, the more likely your roof is to last for a long time. If you’re in need of a new roof altogether, be sure to contact us at Armorvue Home Exteriors in Toledo, OH, to request an estimate for a new roof installation today.