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Roof Ventilation | Choosing The Best Ventilation For Your Home

While roof vents all perform similarly, their effectiveness may vary depending on the roof. First, it’s important to make sure your home has adequate attic insulation. Ventilation and insulation work together as a team.

Ventilation provides fresh air to your home and helps take the old, bad air out. It allows your home to “breathe.” Good attic ventilation protects your home from damage by eliminating excess moisture. However, homes come in all different shapes and sizes, so it’s important to know which ventilation system will be adequate. Keep the roof’s pitch in mind when deciding as well.

Here are some roof ventilation options and advice on how to choose the best type for your home.

Soffit vents

Soffit vents cover your home’s eaves, protecting the rafters from the elements. They provide air circulation to the attic. Each home may require a different version of this type of roof ventilation. There are aluminum, vinyl and continuous soffit vents, as well as drip edge ventilation for those who have no soffits available.

Solar fans and 'box' roof vents

Box vents are more common, as they’re cheaper and allow air to exit, while solar fans work as a fan to draw out air but are more costly. Both are common choices for lower pitched roofs.

Roof ridge vents

Ridge vents work well on steeper pitched roofs. Manufacturers vary on net free area per square feet. There are many choices on the market today that will uniquely match your need for correct roof ventilation. When installing ridge vents, it’s important to close off any gable vents, as not to confuse the airflow from your soffits to your ridge.

Bathroom exhaust fans

Many don’t think of bathroom exhaust fans as a type of ventilation, but they are! When improperly installed, they dump moisture from your bathroom into your attic, which usually results in condensation on the underside of the roof deck. This causes mildew, which is often misdiagnosed as mold.

To prevent excess moisture in your attic, always vent your bathroom exhaust through the roofline or sidewall with an exhaust hose.

Choosing the right attic ventilation

It’s very important to educate yourself about your home’s ventilation. Lack of proper roof ventilation can cause many roofing problems for homeowners, such as decreasing the life of your roof and its decking, increasing the risk of condensation that causes mold and mildew and much more.

A well-ventilated home will save you in the long run — so is your home breathing properly?

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