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  • Writer's pictureKatie

Dude, does your Roof even Breathe? Mastering Roof & Attic Ventilation

Updated: 4 days ago

Is inadequate attic ventilation heating up more than just your Temper?

Fret not, Katie with EZ Roofing in Evans, GA is here to save the day!! Stay with me as we navigate the signs of poor roof ventilation, and learn how improving the ventilation in your roof and attic can EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR ROOF!

Poor Ventilation Consequences: 

With summer knocking on our door (and let's be honest... summer-like spring conditions down here in the south) the effects of poor roof & attic ventilation WILL be felt, not only to the natural senses, but also in your pocketbook!

Unfortunately, insufficient attic ventilation can impact your interior spaces by causing moisture accumulation, fostering an atmosphere for rotted wood, pests, and the growth of mold & bacteria, creating a potential for illness, and other burdensome issues.

In addition, poor attic ventilation causes extreme attic heat, affecting the lifespan of your shingles by essentially baking them from within. Your HVAC system also struggles to properly heat and cool your interior space, leading to higher utility costs! And it isn't just limited to the heat... northern climates struggle with ice dams resulting from subpar roof & attic ventilation.

It's important to note that MORE doesn't always equal BETTER when it comes to ventilation. Too many exhaust vents can cause a disruption in the air flow, because the different types of exhaust vents essentially work in competition of each other.

Now that you know proper roof & attic ventilation is crucial to a healthy roof (and wallet) let's discuss the various types of attic ventilation options and how they can help your roof.

Passive Ventilation vs. Active Ventilation: 

Your roof's ventilation system facilitates the movement of fresh air through the attic, essentially allowing the home to "breathe."

PASSIVE VENTILATION works by harnessing natural forces like wind or convection to move air within the attic - They are a great choice for ventilating your attic, because they are motionless, noiseless, and very low maintenance. Passive vents tend to work all year long, although they may not be quite as effective as active vents at actually reducing attic temperature.

Examples of Passive Ventilation include:

  • Ridge Vents - One of the most popular ventilation options, ridge vents provide a consistent opening along the length of the ridge, releasing heat, moisture, and stagnant air. Ridge vents blend seamlessly with your roof, and are an ideal option for various attic configurations, including open and cathedral spaces.

  • Box Vents (aka: Turtle Vents or Louvers) - Installed near the ridges, spaced at even intervals, box vents are easy to install, and are one of the cheapest roof ventilation options available. While a common method of ventilation, they are prone to deterioration and leaks.

  • Gable Vents - Relying solely on wind driven fresh air, gable vents push hot air and humidity out of the attic. Aesthetically pleasing, gable vents are located on the outside gable walls of your home, and can be combined with other passive ventilation systems.

  • Soffit Vents - A passive intake vent, soffit vents are typically located beneath the eaves along the home's perimeter. They function by drawing air upward through the eaves directing it to the top of the roof, where exhaust vents expel warm, stagnant air. This helps prevent moisture accumulation and ensures efficient roof ventilation.

ACTIVE VENTILATION works by using a pulling fresh air into the attic from outside via intake vents, while expelling warm, stale air through exhaust vents - It is a very consistent and effective method of ventilation.

Examples of Active Ventilation include:

  • Roof Turbines (aka: Whirlybirds) - While turbines can be very effective in pulling warm air out of the attic, they are considered by many to be an eyesore. With age, they also tend to stop spinning and can also be affected by the wind.

  • Electric Powered Roof Vents - While this type of exhaust vent can efficiently circulate a significant volume of air through the attic, particularly on hot days, they can actually be counteractive by stealing air from the interior of the home. As it uses electricity and has mechanical parts, they will eventually need to be replaced.

  • Solar-Powered Roof Vents - Running on solar energy, these vents use a solar panel to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. Although solar-powered roof vents cost more upfront, they reduce your home's carbon footprint, usually qualifying for the 30% Federal Tax Credit, and in some states a State Tax Credit as well!

Read a little more about my favorite Solar-Powered Vent brand (Attic Breeze) and check out our ventilation page by clicking on the link below!

While I swear by Solar-Powered Roof Vents for the right roofs, personal preference may determine which method of ventilation will be best for your home. Both passive and active ventilation systems effectively ventilate the attic, with neither being inherently better than the other.

Whether you opt for passive or active ventilation, the goal is to ensure adequate ventilation for a healthy attic and home.

In conclusion, ensuring proper roof ventilation isn't just about letting off some steam - it's about keeping your home cool, dry, and well-ventilated.

Stay ventilated, comfortable and BREATHE EASY folks!!!

43 views2 comments


Mar 19

I love the way you explained the difference of ventilation .

It helps me to understand my roof needs better .

Thank you Katie for your insight!

Sue Weeks

Mar 20
Replying to

I'm glad you found value in my insight on roof ventilation! Thanks for following!

Katie 😀

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