Gasping for Breath: Why Your Roof is to Blame for Poor Ventilation


Imagine sitting close to a burning furnace, with heat radiating across the surface of your skin.

The image can be soothing or suffocating, depending on three major variables: weather, physical proximity to the heat, and ventilation.

It’s the amalgamation of these that makes the idea of a hot furnace comforting or excruciating—whereby the heat emanating from the flames can either be a source of relief, or reminiscent of a boiler room.

Today, we’re going to talk about roof venting—its relationship with a well-insulated air-sealed attic, and how a poorly constructed roof assembly can cause all kinds of roofing complications, such as blistered shingles, mold, ice dams, rot and energy loss.

We will also delve into the role played by climate, the types of roof vents available in the market, and the extent of their effectiveness in containing roof-related problems.

So, without further ado, let’s start venting!

Hot Headed Attics

Hot Headed AtticsMost commercial buildings with enclosed attic spaces—including schools, churches and multifamily housing—rely on wood-framed designs for asphalt shingled roofs, constructed with a steep slope.

Unvented attics, however, inevitably create a breeding ground for moisture, which can only be avoided with professional ventilation under the roof assembly.

The best way to ensure excellent roof ventilation is to understand how a properly-insulated attic controls the temperature inside your home.

The purpose of well-ventilated attics is to combat the accumulation of excess heat in warm temperatures, and the buildup of moisture in cool temperatures—which can subsequently give birth to ice dams.

According to Roofing Magazine, it is imperative that the amount of intake ventilation in your attic matches the amount of exhaust. If the 50 to 50 ratio cannot be met, it is relatively better to have more intake than exhaust, since the opposite can lead to serious weather ingestion.

In summer, when the day is as hot as 90°F, an unvented attic may easily heat up your attic to temperatures as high as 140°F, triggering roof decking and premature shingle deterioration.

Let’s Talk Roofs

In order to make the most of your ventilation system, you must understand how air regulation produces specific changes in volume, direction and pressure.

Natural air movement is produced by staff and wind effect, while mechanical ventilation works on a power source.

In addition, there exists a wide variety of vents that serve various purposes—three major ones being:

  • Mixed exhaust winds—where high vents are responsible for exhaust, and low vents for intake, all made possible through the process of convection.
  • Crooked turbine vents—to be used only in the case of air-sealed attics, whereby crooked turbine vents, if installed evenly, literally pull air out of the attic.
  • Power vents—which tend to pull conditioned air out of the attic, and generally get a bad rap for incorrect installation. In some cases, a power vent can be incredibly helpful, such as complicated roofs with multiple ridges. In others, however, the energy expenses of installing and maintaining a power vent may prove too costly in the long run.

The success of roof ventilation relies on technical expertise. We are a premium commercial roofingBurleson TX company—providing inspection, installation and repair services for commercial and residential roofing Burleson TX.

Call us now and make sure you’re breathing easy!

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