Getting to know your Tampa Bay home takes time. You poke around the closets, finally master the temperamental thermostat, and wonder about your roof. Is it one big chunk or a bunch of tiny parts? Your roof is an integrated system, and a vital part of the system is roof ventilation. Here’s how it works.
How Ventilation Works in a House
Your Sarasota-area home has ridge vents along its top and soffit vents along its bottom (under the eaves). These two screened, open areas allow air to move into the attic and out the top. Much like a car has intake and exhaust, this air circulation is vital for a healthy roof.
Warm air rises because it is less dense than cold air. Warm air in your attic rises up and out, taking heat with it. Cooler air moves in from the bottom (the soffit vents), like a car’s intake. As the air moves through the attic, it heats up and rises out through the ridge vents (which act as the roof’s exhaust). This air circulation keeps your attic’s temperature roughly equal to the outdoor air temperature.
Inside the living space, you spend a lot of money heating, cooling, and properly humidifying the air you breathe. You want it kept separate from outdoor air for comfort and health. Attic air is outdoor air. It stays apart from indoor air thanks to good attic insulation.
How Ventilation Helps Your Roof
With proper ventilation (constant airflow into and out of your home’s attic space), your roof “breathes” normally. The sheathing can thermally expand and contract, the wood stays dry, and airflow prevents high temperatures.
Without proper attic ventilation, your attic becomes a hotbox of misery. The humidity rises, clings to wood framing members and sheathing, and starts a cycle of rot, mold, and insect damage. The temperature rises, softening roofing materials and preventing proper thermal expansion and contraction.
Without good attic ventilation, your roof dies a long, painful early death.
The saddest part of poor attic ventilation is how easily it can be prevented. Anytime you enlist your local residential roofer — for roof repair, shingle roof replacement, upgrading to metal roofing — have your contractor check your attic space.
If you need better ventilation, discuss your options with your roofer to get the air moving:
- Removing packed insulation at the eaves
- Replacing small ridge vents with larger ones
- Adding gable vents
- Installing powered fans
When a roofer inspects your roof, they should ensure it has the right amount of ventilation. Too much ventilation is like a noisy muffler – it does you no good. Having balanced ventilation keeps your roof running efficiently. Using a ventilation calculation formula and the manufacturer’s specifications helps roofers ensure your ventilation is balanced. If you own a home in the Tampa Bay or Sarasota area, please contact us today at Westfall Roofing. We’ll never sell you more than you need. We look forward to providing you with complete roofing services, from roof repair to total roof replacement.