Did you know your that your home inhales and exhales just like you do? It’s true. The problem with many homes however, is that it’s not always healthy breathing. That’s where roof ventilation comes in. Roof ventilation is a system that allows air to circulate through the attic extending the life of your roof, regulating indoor temperatures, reducing energy costs, and protecting your home from damage caused by rot.
Think of it in terms of a plastic water bottle – when it’s empty and you blow into it, what happens? It expands, right? Or if you slurp air out of it, what happens? It contracts or crinkles up, doesn’t it? Your home operates on the same principle. When there’s not enough airflow coming in or out the decking on your roof will actually start to contract or expand?! Often times you’ll see shingles start to separate, boards begin to buckle, areas where the 4×8’ decking outline is visible, or even nails starting to push out.
Because of the vital nature of your home’s ability to breathe properly, there are 3 no-compromise rules to having a properly healthy ventilation system:
RULE #1 – your home needs a Balanced ventilation system. In other words, it requires an equal amount of intake and outflow of air. Industry standard is 1 square foot of ventilation for every 300 square foot of attic floor space, but unfortunately most homes have about half the breathing ability that they need~ How would you fair if you only had half of your breathing ability?
RULE #2 – your home should not Mix ventilation systems. If have ‘whirlybirds’ on your roof, then all vents needs to be that way. If you have power vents, the same is true. Otherwise, the airflow will be greater or lesser depending on the type of pipe, fan, or vent which can lead to serious structural problems. What would happen if you could only breathe a certain way in a certain part of your house?
RULE #3 – your home should not Stack ventilation systems. You don’t want to place them all in one area on top of one another on your roof. What results is the top row causing the bottom row to have improper intake, which throwing off the balance of your ventilation system and causes what is known as ‘attic turbulence’ (leads to mold growth~) How do you feel when you look in your fridge or pantry and see mold?
As a result, Blackhill Roofing Systems take seriously the issue of Home Ventilation and will counsel you about yours. Here are some basic ventilation terms to know:
- Soffit vent – an intake vent on the underside of the eaves or roof overhang
- Ridge vent – an exhaust vent installed along the entire roof’s horizontal ridge
- Turbine vent – a round non-electric vents that uses the natural force of wind and air-pressure to spin and vent out stale attic air (often called a ‘whirlybird’)
- Hood or Box vent – square or rectangular covering installed close to the roof ridge so that the hottest air can leave via convection
- Power vent – a motorized fan that works via thermostat by pushing out the hot air and moisture through the attic, starting only when required