Home Ventilation Specialists in Dallas, McKinney & Fort Worth
Ventilation is crucial to the life and effectiveness of every roofing system. Vapors and condensation can cripple R-values and encourage hidden decay in the building structure. Our Dallas roofing experts will create a system that performs where you see it, in addition to where you can’t.
It is estimated that nine out of 10 homes in North America do not have proper attic ventilation, the reason being that most homeowners are unaware that attic ventilation can impact the longevity of their entire home. Take the summer months, for example. An improperly ventilated attic during this time can cause heat to rise in excess of 160 degrees. This superheated air can eventually penetrate the ceiling insulation into your living area.
Types of damage that can result include:
- Premature aging of your roofing system (fried shingles)
- Warping, cracking, or breaking down of wood framing
- Damage to siding, exterior or interior paint, and wallpaper
- Higher energy costs
Ventilation During Warm Weather
Ever wonder why on a hot day, the upper rooms of a home are always warmer? Part of the answer, of course, is simple physics – hot (lighter) air rises, while cooler (denser) air falls. A vast majority of homes, however, are without adequate attic ventilation, and a far more important factor can come into play – the downward migration of heat.
On a typical summer day, radiant heat from the sun hits the roof. The roof temperature increases, and heat travels into the attic. As heat builds up in the attic, it radiates to the attic floor, then into adjacent living areas, which raises temperatures there. This accumulation of heat eventually begins to have more practical – and costly – consequences.
The most obvious are the actions taken by homeowners to cool themselves. To reduce the effect of heat – the daytime heat and the the excess heat stored in the attic – they turn on fans or air conditioning units. As the hot weather continues, these appliances run longer and longer, and homeowners pay for the added energy consumption in higher utility bills.
Ventilation During Cold Weather
Improper ventilation can cause ice dam formation, which is the result of continuous freezing and thawing of snow because of escaping heat from the house or from gutters being backed up with frozen slush. Ice dams occur either when warm air accumulates near the peak of the attic, when lower areas of the room remain cold and/or when a heavy snow accumulates on the roof. When any of these occur, water may be driven under the roof, which may cause ceiling, wall, insulation and gutter damage.
Ice dams can be prevented from forming by:
- Installing a vapor barrier above the home’s warm space
- Insulating the attic floor
- Ventilating the attic
Damage from ice dams, if they do form, can be reduced by:
- Removing debris from gutters so that it does not build up over time
- Making sure that the outer edges of the gutters are lower than the slope line, allowing snow and ice to slide clear
- Installing eave flashing
Proper attic ventilation systems allow a continuous flow of outside air through the attic, protecting the efficiency of the insulation and helping to lower temperatures in the living space. It consists of a balance between air intake (at your eaves or soffits) and air exhaust (at or near your roof ridge). The Federal Housing Administration recommends a minimum of at least one square foot of attic ventilation (both intake and exhaust) for every 300 square feet of attic space. This amount is generally divided equally between intake and exhaust ventilation to insure proper air flow through the attic.
Attic Ventilation Types
A properly ventilated attic is one of the most important ways to keep your roof healthy. Air needs to be able to flow in and out, and there are a few different types of ventilation to choose from. These include gable vents, turbine vents, eyebrow vents, ridge vents, and others. While there are many types that can be installed, the most important step is making sure that there are both intake and exhaust vents so that air can flow properly.
Some common errors that people make include installing exhaust ventilation without any intake, or installing many different types of exhaust vents. A lot of people don’t know that it’s much more efficient to have the same type of exhaust vent rather than a combination of multiple types. Your roofing company can help you decide what fits your house and your budget, in addition to what type of attic ventilation will help your home heat and cool most efficiently.
Attic Ventilation Installation
While some homeowners may be able to install their own ventilation, unless you have prior experience, it’s best to let a professional help you. This is because a professional will be able to prevent future problems and costs that might arise from using incorrect or insufficient ventilation.
In addition, installation requires extra care to prevent damage of the shingles, and to make sure the area surrounding the vent is weather tight.
Installation requires the worker to be on the roof, so make sure if you do it yourself you use all the safety precautions necessary to prevent a fall. For these reasons, it would be most beneficial to get a professional roofer to do the installation for you, because this person would be knowledgeable about roofing safety and generally more experienced.