Your roof is one of the most often taken for granted, yet extremely important elements of your home. Because it is typically out of our reach, and requires infrequent maintenance, many homeowners ignore or are just unaware of important factors such as roof ventilation. In fact, making sure that your roof is properly ventilated is one of the most important things that you can do to prolong the life of both your roof and the structure that it protects. An estimated 9 out of 10 homes don’t have a properly balanced attic ventilation system in place. As a result, the average roof lasts only 10 to 12 years, even though most roofing shingles are made to last 25 years or more. In fact, the number-one reason for premature roof failure is inadequate ventilation.
What most homeowners don’t realize is that without proper roof ventilation, most manufacturers’ shingle warranties are void. That means those same nine out of 10 homes may never have even had valid warranty protection on their roofs.
Proper roof ventilation helps regulate the temperature inside your attic by pulling fresh air into the attic and pushing out heat and moisture. This in turn reduces the temperature difference between the air outside and in the attic, preventing damaging heat and moisture build-up.
Here are a few reasons why your roof needs appropriate ventilation:
- Regulate Heat Build-Up – One of the main reasons that your roof needs proper ventilation is to make sure that the heat inside your attic is properly regulated. During the hot summer months, the temperature is going to be very hot regardless of the amount of ventilation that you have. If you lack the proper ventilation, however, the temperature could reach upwards of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat is detrimental in a variety of ways. It can cause the wood and asphalt in your attic and roof to age prematurely as a result of heat damage. Extreme heat in your attic can also make your air conditioning system work harder by heating the air ducts running through the area. If you have leaky ducts, the hot air can also leak directly back into your home.
- Reduce Moisture Build-Up – When the temperature in your attic is poorly regulated, one of the main side effects is an increase in moisture. This moisture is much more dangerous than the heat itself. Whenever excess moisture accumulates in your attic, it can lead to rot and water damage to your roof and inside your attic. If enough moisture builds, it can even seep into your walls and ceiling. As a result, your home can be home to extensive hidden water damage, mold growth and a very unpleasant musty odor.
- Avoiding Excessive Ventilation – Although it may be tempting to install as many fans and vents as you possibly can in your attic, there are also some dangers to over ventilating. Electrically powered attic fans can pull so much air out of your attic, that it causes combustion gases from your water heater or furnace to be forced back into your home. Because of this, this type of ventilation is no longer recommended. Your best bet is to work together with a professional to make sure that your roof has the perfect amount of ventilation.
As you can see, proper ventilation is a big factor in maintaining the longevity of your roof. Proper ventilation reduces chances of ice damming, lowers heating and cooling costs and keeps mold and mildew from forming.
Because of the important role your roof plays in the overall safety and life of your home, it is important to be educated about its care and maintenance. If you have a relatively new roof that has been installed by a credible roofing company, then you most likely have proper ventilation. If your roof is older, or you are unsure who did the installation, it may be worth your while to have it looked at by a professional. One great way to test whether or not you have enough ventilation is to take the temperature in your attic on a hot day. If there is more than a 15-20 degree temperature difference over the outside temperature, then talk with a professional roofer about improving your roof’s ventilation. Contact All Weather Tite for a free roof inspection and estimate.