How Does Roof Ventilation Work?

Aug 21, 2019

Most homeowners know that their attic contains vents – and that the vents are there to help promote good airflow up there. But what most homeowners don’t know is how the roof ventilation system works, or what to do if it’s not working properly.

Here’s the scoop.

How Does a Roof Ventilation System Work?

Your roof should be equipped with a ventilation system that helps it maintain a constant temperature and vent out moisture. Without a good system in place, your roof will deteriorate faster, your energy costs will go up, and you’ll feel temperature extremes inside your home.

There are two main ways to vent an attic or roof deck: through mechanical means, where a power source moves the air, or through natural means, where air circulates naturally between vents. Hot air rises, which creates higher pressure at higher points in the attic; the hot air can escape an exhaust, but only if there’s an inlet located lower than the escape point that lets in cooler (and lower-pressure) air from outside. Wind can help push in cooler air, too. Respectively, these are known as the stack effect and wind effect.

Components of a Roof Ventilation System

The two main components of a roof ventilation system are intake and exhaust vents.

Intake vents are typically located on the edges of the roof, and roofers can install them:

  • At the eaves under the soffit
  • At the drip edge
  • Under shingles near the edge of the roof

Exhaust vents can be tough to spot on the roof. They’re most commonly located on ridges (those are called ridge vents), but some homes feature wind turbines and power attic ventilators – and you can usually see them.

Related: 5 common roofing problems in Frisco

How Can You Tell if Your Roof Ventilation Works? How does roof ventilation work SQ

When your roof vents are working properly, it’s business as usual. You’ll have a sturdy, long-lasting roof that’s not falling apart in your yard (or worse, into your home).

But you can tell if your vents aren’t working properly – and some of the biggest red flags include:

  • Moisture build-up in your attic
  • Mold or mildew in your attic
  • Temperatures inside the attic that don’t match the temperatures outside your home
  • Rising energy bills when you haven’t messed with the thermostat
  • Hot ceilings beneath your attic
  • Ridges of ice forming on your eaves during winter
  • Frost in your attic during winter

Related: Can a leaky roof cause mold growth in your attic?

What to Do About Failing Roof Vents

If you suspect your roof vents are failing, the best thing you can do is schedule a free roof inspection. You need an experienced roofer to examine your vents and determine whether they’re working properly – because if they’re not, your roof isn’t protecting your home the way it should. Poor or non-working ventilation can cause your roof to age faster than it normally would, and it paves the way for damage that can result in extensive roof repair or complete roof replacement.

Do You Need a Free Roof Inspection?

Experts recommend having your roof inspected at least once a year (and more often if your home has been in the middle of a major storm).

We’ll be happy to send a roofing expert to your home at a time that works for you. An inspection can help you head off issues before they become major problems – and we’ll look closely to determine whether your roof ventilation is working properly. Schedule your free roof inspection today.