When doing work on the upper portion of your home, namely the roof, ventilation is always something to consider. Heat and moisture problems are common in households, and ventilation can protect against it. But there’s a lot to learn about roof ventilation, and it’s not always easy to install yourself.
Here’s what you need to know about roof ventilation.
Why is ventilation important?
Ventilation is important because it helps avoid many common heat and moisture problems in the home. Firstly, let’s talk purely about heat. Most people install ceiling insulation to stop heat getting into their home through the roof. While this is a great idea, it can be ineffective without proper ventilation. That’s because heat comes in through your roof, into the roof cavity. If that heat can’t escape, it will try harder to get through into your home.
If it can’t get in through the ceiling, the heat will simply build up in your roof cavity. This brings us to the other main problem – moisture. In very simple terms, this heat turns to moisture inside your roof, making your insulation, timber and other materials damp. This leads to rotting timber, corrosion, mould and other extremely costly problems.
As an extra note, when installing roof insulation, it’s a great opportunity to also check the ventilation in your roof cavity.
Different types of roof ventilation
There are plenty of different types of roof ventilation, and each serve a different purpose. You’ll probably want to speak to a roofing expert before rushing out to the store, but here’s a brief rundown of the different kinds.
Powered air vents use electricity to push the hot air out of your roof cavity. While very effective, they naturally have a cost associated with energy use. However, the beauty is, they can be used at all times of night and day, whenever you need them. You’re in control, even if it costs a little to run them.
Alternatively, you can buy solar powered air vents. This way you still get the effectiveness of electricity-powered ventilation, without the energy cost. As long as the sun is out, you can keep your home well ventilated.
The other option is to consider non-powered ventilation, and these usually form part of the roof. Again, this is where you’ll really want a roofing expert’s help, because they know what works. They also know what suits your roof the best.
One example is the whirlybird or turbine. As long as there’s a breeze outside, fresh air spins into the roof cavity while hot air has a way to escape.
Ridge vents are also popular, and there’s basically no moving parts. However, these are best installed when re-roofing your home. Basically, a gap is left on the ridge of your roof, and covered over in such a way that air can flow freely, but rain can’t get in.
The other option are box vents, but these usually require an intake vent in combination. Box vents are low-profile and look great, but there’s no particular movement that allows air to be pushed out or drawn in. An intake vent is usually on the underside of your eaves, and this draws fresh air in which pushes the hot air out the box vents on your roof.