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Choosing the Right Roofing Ventilation

Updated: May 17, 2023

Which Roofing Ventilation Solution Is Best for Your Home?

When the time comes to get a new roof, you have plenty of decisions to make. Not only do you need to choose a roofing material and Lafayette roofing installation provider, but you will also need to determine if you want to keep or upgrade your current roof vents.

Since most homeowners don’t know all the ins and outs of roofing ventilation, the team at Hibbard Roofing put together a quick guide on choosing the correct roofing ventilation. Here’s what you need to know:

Why Roof Ventilation Matters

Roof ventilation is a system that allows air to circulate through your attic. When properly installed, roof vents help air flow through the attic space to escape through the roof vents. This process helps keep the roof from overheating and prevents the development of condensation. Overheating and condensation can lead to roof damage and potential health risks for the people living inside.

There are three significant benefits to proper roof ventilation:

  1. Ventilation will extend your roof life expectancy

  2. Improper ventilation can void your home warranties

  3. Attic vents can help keep the upstairs of your home cool during the summer months

The Two Types of Roof Vents

Before choosing the right roof ventilation for your property, it’s worth understanding the two main ventilation methods: active and passive. While both kinds of systems get the job done, they work differently.

These two systems share the basic properties: they allow hot air to flow out of your home. Everyone knows that hot air rises, which is why it collects in your attic. Hot air contains moisture, leading to nasty-smelling mildew and mold when left unchecked.

Getting rid of hot air isn’t the only job of your roof ventilation system; it also needs to bring fresh air into your attic. Cool, fresh air comes into your attic via intake vents, and cooler air can come in below the rising hot air and help push it out of the exhaust vents. Active and passive ventilation systems differ in how much help they provide in replacing hot air with fresh air.

Passive Ventilation

Passive ventilation allows natural forces to move air around in the attic. This method is considered passive because it does not rely on the attic vents to ensure trapped air can escape. Instead, passive ventilation relies on convection (cool air pushing warm air out of the attic) or natural wind.

Passive ventilation systems are great because they create no noise, require little maintenance, and contain no moving parts. Lafayette roofing and general contractors can set up your home with a passive ventilation system without significant expense.

Active Ventilation

Active ventilation doesn’t sit back and let natural forces move air around your attic. Instead, it actively pulls fresh air from outside while stale air back out through various exhaust vents.

Active ventilation systems have moving parts, like an attic fan, that can require simple maintenance. Since these vents are active, you don’t need as many to keep air flowing through your attic.

Choosing the Right Vents for Your Home

When considering which roofing ventilation system is best suited for your property, it’s best to check with a local pro. An experienced residential or commercial roofing company can help determine your ventilation needs. Since most homeowners install/update ventilation systems when getting a new roof, it becomes even more critical to work with a reputable Lafayette roofing company.

Every property has different needs, so it would be impossible to go over every vent type's pro, con, and detail; there are many standard options.

Choosing the Right Vents for Your Home

Ridge Vent

Ridge vents are the most common type of exhaust vent. It sits at the peak of your roof and runs across the entire span of the roof line. They are positioned at the roof's highest point to let out the greatest amount of hot air. These vents are so strong that you can often stand/walk on them, and they are built to keep snow, ice, and water from blocking the vent holes.

Ridge vents should not be confused with off-ridge vents. They may have similar names, but off-ridge vents are more like box vents. These vents do not sit at the roof's highest point and offer much less surface area to release hot air. Off-ride vents are helpful when the actual ridge line is small.

Box Vents

Box vents are another popular form of exhaust vents. They are often installed in groups across the roof to allow for adequate ventilation, and they can be installed strategically on smaller roofs that cannot utilize a ridge vent.

Powered Attic Vents

Powered attic vents are electric-propelled fans that actively pull stale air out of our attic. These vents can be powered by an electrical line run to the attic or solar power. The trick is getting the right amount of active airflow; too much or too little can cause problems like excess air circulation instead of exhaust.

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are the most popular intake vents in the roofing world. These vents are easily the most efficient and economical intake options for new roofs. They are installed directly on your eaves (under your roof line). They allow fresh air to enter at the base of the attic and push hot air out of the exhaust vents above.

Which Type Is Best for My Roof?

In most modern construction, new homes will use a combination of ridge and soffit vents as a foundation for roof ventilation. Unfortunately, not all existing homes can use these types of vents. Every home is different, so the best option for you will depend on the shape of your roof and your home’s style.

If you are investigating getting a new roof and want to explore which venting strategy would work best for your home, give the Hibberd Roofing team a call for your complimentary consultation. From inspecting your existing roof to getting a new one in a hurry, we are your roofing and ventilation headquarters. Feel free to contact us for your free consultation!

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