Why Roof Ventilation Matters

There are numerous aspects about the structure of a roof which work together in order to be as efficient as possible. These range from shingle material and colour, to the shape (pitch) of the roof, as well as internal defences (like the radiant barrier). Ventilation is yet another tool that can be used in addition to the previous ones listed in order to increase the energy efficiency of a home. More information regarding these aspects of roofing can be found here

To break it down, energy efficiency can be described as the ability for a home to maintain a form of ‘homeostasis’, or neutrality. Ventilation is linked to this idea of ‘homeostasis’ since it can prevent the roof from trapping in too much hot air (too insulated) and can reduce moisture build up. In other words, ventilation allows for the moderation of the roof/home climate deepened on the climate it is exposed to. Like flowing water, ventilation keeps a home from becoming stagnant and rotten. 

Climate Specific Benefits

-In cold climates, ventilation allows for warm, moist air trapped by insulation and heat to escape. The alternative is that moisture can form and build up in the interior of the attic, which can cause mold/ warping damage that inevitably damages the roof. 

-Hot climates benefit from ventilation since it allows for excess heat to escape. Logically, built-up heat is no better than being outside. 

Types of Ventilation- 

Ventilation in roofs require knowledge of the anatomy of the structure. Specifically, terms like soffit, and eaves, both of which help to divert water. These structures require their own specific reading, which can be found here

Soffit vent-

Soffit vents are the characteristic square flaps you may find on the side of houses. Like their name suggests, these vents are usually located under the ‘soffit’ or edge of the roof. The shelter location allows for air to flow into the attic, and circulate to the top of the roof through additional vents. These are the most common styled vents for homes. 

Ridge Vents-

Ridge vents play a more intimate role with the actual layout of the roof, since it is intertwined with the peak. A ridge vent is a large opening that sits atop the ‘ridge’ of the roof covered by a metallic structure. This allows for great amounts of air to escape the attic space, while providing protection from the elements. These vents can also be shingled so as to not stand-out, especially since it represents the crowning piece of the roof. 

Static vent-

Following the ridge vent is the static vent, which appears similar to the former style. The difference in this vent is its unique box-like shape which only covers a small portion of the roof, instead of encompassing a lengthy amount. There is not much science behind the object, as like its name suggests, the static vent is just a protected opening in the roof to let our air. If the proper amount are used, these vents can maintain efficiency in the attic/roof. 

Turbine vent-

These bizarre, bulbous looking devices are most commonly recognized by their appearance. They are large, rotund pieces of metal with spinning blades that both protect the roof interior, and aid in the ventilation process. Like wind turbines, the vent is powered by the natural amount of wind available in nature. Once the wind blows the vent-blades, the spinning motion forces out the trapped air from the attic, meaning that it operates completely free. 

















A Turbine Vent

This has been a general overview of the different ventilation systems available for roofs. The specific kind of vent, and how many vents may be needed, all depend on the size of the space being regulated. Each situation is different, with varying roof structures and other designs which may limit or extend possibilities. Overall, ventilation as a concept is just another consideration for each roof and its efficiency.