At MJT Roofing, when we think of ventilation, things that might come to mind are fresh air or a cool breeze. Just thinking about a gentle breeze swaying through the treetops conjures up pleasant memories. But what about your roof? Bet you didn’t see that one coming! The fact is, just like most things, the roof of any house needs ventilation too. But why? What makes it so important that we’re devoting time and resources toward, of all things, the roof of your house?
Let’s start by looking at the functions that your roof performs. Along with the foundation, your roof is one of the most important parts of your house. Keeping your belongings dry is just the beginning. Besides defending you from the elements, your roof also plays a vital role in keeping your house comfortable through ventilation. From an economic standpoint, an adequately ventilated roof can save you money on your utility bills year after year. An example of this would be a super heated attic. This occurs when a lack of proper ventilation causes trapped hot air to get even hotter. The heat then transfers through the attic floor into the other areas of your house. In turn, this leads to higher utility bills as your thermostat controlled AC units have to work even harder to combat the excessive heat.
At MJT Roofing, we have noticed that most attics and roofs are under ventilated. The reason for this is that most people have no idea how much roof ventilation they need or what kind to purchase. MJT Roofing follows the FHA recommendation of one square foot of attic exhaust (both intake and exhaust) per 300 square feet of attic space. As eluded to earlier, a lack of ventilation can cause a whole host of problems, depending on the climate you live in.
The way attic ventilation works is air is taken in through areas such as your soffits and eaves. This air is continuously rising and eventually is exhausted through the roof at your ridge cap or roof vent. All air has a certain amount of moisture in it. This is where the problems begin for poorly ventilated attics. By keeping the air flowing up through the soffit vent to the ridge vent, that moisture is not allowed to collect and cause damage to the integrity of your roof and your house.
Another issue with having a super heated attic is the lifespan of your roof. As we said earlier, heat from a super heated attic transfers down through the attic floor, into your house, causing thermostat controlled AC units to work even harder. But super heated air also flows up. Without proper ventilation at the ridge vent, that trapped super heated air will also transfer through the roof and heat up the materials under the shingles as well as the shingles themselves. The roofing materials and shingles are essentially frying thereby decreasing their lifespan.
The heat transfer from a super heated attic can damage a lot more than your roof and your energy bills. It can also warp the wood framing in your attic, which in turn can warp walls and door frames, as well as transfer heat down the walls to blister your paint and wallpaper.
One thing we have yet to discuss is what happens in the cold weather months. Although heat takes its toll on roofs on almost a daily basis, the colder months present some of their own challenges making roof ventilation a year round issue. During the winter, steam from your shower, condensation from your clothes dryer as well as moisture from cooking all have to go somewhere. If this moisture is not dealt with, it can drip back down onto your insulation, making it less effective. It can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew in your attic, which can lead to health issues, if not addressed.
Condensation can also form on your eaves and soffits, driving moisture back up under your roof and forming ice dams that can lead to a whole host of problems. Proper ventilation keeps the air moving all year long, which moves the moisture out of the attic before it can condense.
Having your attic and roof properly ventilated is paramount in maintaining a comfortable home. Call MJT Roofing today at 860-465-6841 or look us up online at www.mjtroofingpro.com.