Choosing the Right Roof Ventilation For Your Home

December 21, 2022

Roof Ventilation is not the first thing that many homeowners tend to think about when they hire a roofing contractor.

However, there is a lot of value to getting the small details right. Proper roof ventilation can make the difference between excellent performance that will continue to last for years to come, or a much worse outcome.

 You should also be aware of how the climate you live in effects your house as well. When it comes to residential roofing, you have a big responsibility to get things right as the homeowner, so be sure to keep reading as we give you the best information you can find on roofing ventilation.

How Much Ventilation Does Your Roof Need?

One of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself is how much ventilation your home needs.

Typically, you’ll want to have one square foot of ventilation per 300 square feet of attic space. We can also do a more in-depth examination to help you determine if this ‘general’ rule will be effective for your roof, specifically.

On top of that, you’ll want to know which kind of vent type will work best for your home.

A ridge vent is a popular style that is an exhaust vent that runs along the entire length of your roof. This differs from a static vent which juts out from your roofline and is covered so that it is protected from rain or snow. You could also have a typical intake vent that gets put in at the eaves and helps to push moist air out of the attic.

Most of these ventilation systems are somewhat “passive”, meaning they work on their own without any generated power.

There are now many options available on the marketplace that can be powered either by solar or electric energy. Obviously, these may be a bit more complicated and intense so you should definitely get a consultation to see if your roof would be eligible for this type of ventilation system.

Ventilation Systems and Types of Residential Roofing

Your house style may answer some questions for you when you are thinking about getting a specific style of roof ventilation. Of course, not every ventilation system will work well with every kind of house structure.

If you have a gable style roof, you probably have the most options available to you. You should be able to use ridge vents or traditional roof vents. This decision will come down to your personal preference as well as what kind of recommendation you may get from your roofing professional.

One factor that comes into play that many homeowners do not think about is the actual free area in their attic as well. Even though the ventilation system has to fit into the outer structure of the home, you still need to think about how it will work with the attic area that you have, so be sure not to skip anything in your decision making process.

If you have a limited or a pyramid hip roof type home, you’ve got less space to use for a ventilation system. Typically, that means it would be a smart move to use a taller vent so you won’t take up that limited space that you have available.

Again, you’ll want to get a consultation with a residential roofing professional because you do not want to have the ventilation units right across from each other, as they will not work effectively.

If you have a roof with a winged gable design, a hip & valley roof, or an intersecting hip roof, you will almost certainly have a lot of options available. You will want to make sure that you have vents available for each portion of the upper level of your house.

Other Things To Keep In Mind When Planning Your Roofing Ventilation

Of course, you should have some other assorted things in mind when you are planning out a new home or if you are replacing the roof on the house you’ve owned for years.

It may seem obvious, but you should think about how your ventilation system will look on your roof. There are plenty of colors available including black, brown, grey, and wood color offerings available. This may not be the highest priority, but it is definitely something to get right so that your roof still looks great!

You also need to come to an end decision about how many total vents you need on your roof. While it may seem overwhelming, you do not want to ‘mix and match’ different kinds of ventilation system to try to get the best of both worlds – it simply does not work that way.

You will also want to keep in mind what kind of weather your house will face throughout the year. Climate is a huge issue when it comes to residential roofing as a whole, and your ventilation is no exception.

Most of the states that we deal with do not see a huge snowfall, so there won’t be much concern there.

Typically, your biggest threat will be heavy rainfall which can be dealt with by installing vents that offer proper drainage openings that direct rain down a path off of your rooftop as you successfully keep it away from the interior of your home!

What’s The Difference Between Intake and Exhaust Vents?

As you might expect, these two types of vents have the exact opposite action on your roofing system and your house.

Intake ventilators function by taking cool air into your house and pushing the old hot air out of your home.

The reason that you want to get this hot air out of your roofing system is because it is heavier and more condensed. At a minimum, this will help keep your house much cooler during the warm summer months.

You will probably find three main types of intake vents available. These three types are soffit vents, gable vents, and over-fascia vents.

Exhaust vents, of course, do exactly what you would expect an intake vent to do.

While intake vents pull in cold air to help everything function properly, exhaust vents simply allow a path for hot air to leave the home.

Again, you will find three main vent types that function as exhaust vents. These are ridge vents, off-ridge vents, and box vents.

Ridge vents are by far the most common ventilation system found in homes today, while off-ridge vents are usually found in much smaller homes.

Getting The Proper Ventilation In Your Home

At the end of the day, you will probably need to meet with a residential roofing contractor to determine what kind of ventilation systems will work best for your specific home.

You want to keep in mind the climate that you live in, the style of home you own, any known issues that have been happening, and any other factors to keep your roof ventilated properly.

Together, you can come up with a plan that has the appropriate venting ‘strength’ as well as long-term effectiveness.

Doing this homework upfront will help you get a roofing ventilation system that works for you and save you from the headache of installing an inefficient system!

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