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Typical static passive vent installation on a residential roof

Why Is Proper Roof Ventilation Important for Your Home?

02/09/2022

In our experience, when the upstairs of a home is particularly hot during summer and unusually cold in winter, most homeowners pin it to the temperature outside. But what they’re unaware of is that the extreme temperatures in their homes are often caused by none other than poor roof ventilation.

We understand that ventilation is not something you think about often, but it plays a significant role in many aspects of your household’s day-to-day life. Ventilation ensures optimal comfort levels in your home, decreases your heating and cooling bills, and it can have a positive effect on your roof’s lifespan.

Since we want you to be informed about such an important topic, we’ve decided to share all the ways in which ventilation helps keep your home and roof in top functioning condition.

Prevents Condensation, Mold, and Rot

One of the most important functions of proper roof ventilation is that it prevents condensation, which is often followed by mold and rot formation. 

Many homeowners aren’t aware of how much moisture their homes actually produce. Be it doing a load of laundry, taking a shower or bath, cooking, and even breathing – all of these activities produce damp air in enclosed spaces inside your home. 

This damp air travels all the way to the ceiling, and unless there’s a vapor barrier in place, it usually ends up in the attic. And when it reaches a cool surface, such as the underside of your roof, there’s no doubt that it will condense.

This “trapping” of air can lead to a very unsafe home environment, which also happens to be ideal for mold and mildew growth. Properly ventilating your attic and roof will ensure they remain dry, thus preventing all the condensation-caused issues.

Increases Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Another huge benefit of proper ventilation is an energy-efficient home with lower cooling and heating costs. 

As the outside temperature rises or drops, depending on the season, so does the temperature inside your home. And unless you’ve invested in proper ventilation, the air will have nowhere to escape and will get trapped inside the attic. 

This can put an additional strain on your HVAC system, causing an increase in your energy bills. However, if you have an adequate ventilation system in place, it will keep the temperature of your attic controlled, which can contribute to significant energy cost savings.

Increases Your Roof’s Lifespan

Your roof can only do its job well if your attic is properly ventilated, as an inadequate or non-existent ventilation system can have a negative effect on your roof’s life cycle. 

We’ve mentioned previously that poor (or no) ventilation can result in rot and mold, but it could also lead to a sweltering hot attic. In this case, the heat will slowly build up, and over time, it will cause damage to the wood framing, rafters, underlayment and roof shingles. 

If you make sure your roof is adequately ventilated, the hot air will have somewhere to escape in the summer and the cold moist air will also be able to escape in the winter, which will help ensure your roof lives out its expected lifespan.

Prevents Ice Dam Formation

Proper attic ventilation is particularly important for homeowners who live in cold, snowy climates, as it will significantly minimize the risk of ice dam formation on their roofs. 

Ice dams form when warm air from the inside of your home reaches the roof deck, causing the snow on your roof to melt, run down towards the roof edges, and refreeze in the area just above the soffit.

So, how exactly does proper ventilation help prevent this process? 

Ventilation directs the warm air to the peak of your roof and then outside, thus ensuring that the temperature in the attic is similar to the temperature outside. This prevents the roof from overheating and the snow from melting and causing ice dams.

What Happens When There’s a Lack of Ventilation?

As you’ve probably realized by now, a lack of ventilation is likely to cause a whole host of problems for your home. Depending on where you live, it can negatively impact your energy bills, decrease the lifespan of your roof, and much more. 

Here’s what you can expect if your roof and attic aren’t adequately ventilated:

Shorter Roof Shingle Lifespan

A direct result of poor or no ventilation is your attic overheating, which leads to a shorter lifespan of your roof shingles. The heat from your attic transfers to the roof itself, overheats your shingles, and thus decreases their intended life cycle.

Warped Wood and Walls

A direct result of poor or no ventilation is your attic overheating, which leads to a shorter lifespan of your roof shingles. The heat from your attic transfers to the roof itself, overheats your shingles, and thus decreases their intended life cycle.

Moisture Build-Up

Summertime is not the only time to worry about your attic ventilation – or lack thereof. During wintertime, you’re just as likely to deal with issues as the steam from your pots, shower, or dryer can easily get trapped in the attic and then condense.

Get Proper Attic and Roof Ventilation

If you want to keep your home nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer, consider looking at your attic first. Having adequate roof ventilation, combined with proper insulation, will help you feel comfortable in your home, preserve the life of your roof and keep your utility bills much lower.

Fortified Roofing is your trusted partner when it comes to your residential roof, and with our experienced and reliable team, you’ll be sure to receive nothing but outstanding overall service. Call your #1 Cherry Hill roofing contractor today, and we’ll make sure you reap all the benefits of proper roof ventilation.