Even the most expensive, highest-quality roof in the world can be ruined when a roofer or home owner cuts corners on ventilation. It's something that's easy to overlook and ignore, especially when you're not up in your attic or on top of your roof very often – if at all.
The extra dollars you spend on ventilation are paid back by the cost savings on your utility bill and the extended life of your roof.
A problem for all seasons
When a roof isn't properly ventilated, condensation will build up and potentially cause rotting in the roofing materials as well as the roofing deck and support beams. This can happen anytime during the year.
In summer, poor ventilation will also keep hot air trapped in your attic and increase your utility bill. The increased heat will also shorten the life of your roof.
Ventilation is also an issue during winter. Warm air trapped in your attic can melt the snow and ice on your roof everywhere except for the eaves. When this happens, melted water will build up behind the perimeter ice and soak under the shingles and into your house. When these ice dams collapse, they can also rip off shingles and gutters.
Even though some roof vents come with winter covers, it's usually a bad idea to use them.
Staying in balance
Too much venting can be a problem too. A properly ventilated attic will be a negative pressure zone – outside air will be pulled in and hot air continuously expelled. Too little venting and there won't be enough air flow.
But if you have too much venting there won't be any difference in outside or inside air pressure and air won't flow through at all – rendering all your vents useless. Any unnecessary openings in your roof can be a source of leaks and animal access – so it's important to find a middle ground.
There are all sorts of options when it comes to roofing ventilation – powered fans, passive fans, under-eave soffits, ridge vents – but the right combination depends on the unique characteristics of your roof. Your roofer should be able to recommend the right ventilation solutions for your particular situation.
If you'd like advice on ventilation for your roof, we'd be happy to help. Give us a call or e-mail and we can visit with you to determine your ventilation needs.
by: Kirsten Land on July 1st, 2014 about Residential Roofing
Replacing your roof can sometimes be a stressful experience. You might be worried about how long it's going to take and how much it's going to cost. Unfortunately, you might also be worrying about whether or not the roof you're buying is even the right roof at all.
Often roof buyers get in a situation where they're not entirely comfortable with their purchase but feel like they just have to trust that the bill of materials provided to them is what they need instead of what the roofer is trying to clear out of their warehouse or what provides the highest profit.
The best roof for your home
There is no best roof or roofing material that is perfect for every home or every situation. However, there may be a roof that's perfect for your situation.
To get there, it's important to make sure you hire a roofer who asks you the right questions and appreciates the uniqueness of your roofing project.
They'll take things into account like:
- Your budget and priorities – It doesn't matter how awesome a particular brand of shingles is if they are outside of your budget. It also doesn't make sense to buy the cheapest materials possible if you've got a budget that allows for quality materials. If green materials or aesthetics or other factors aren't important to you, there's no point in your roofer selling you on those features.
- Local climate – Most roofers factor in heat and cold when selecting materials, but what about the other weather factors that affect Oklahoma? High winds and frequent hail storms should be factored in when picking roofing materials. If you're roofer hasn't brought it up, it may be worth asking about impact-resistant materials that fit Oklahoma's weather.
- Your home – What direction does your home face? What's the slope of the roof? How much tree cover do you have? There are specific materials choices that need to be made depending on the answers to those questions. You might not care about these specific details, but you need to make sure that your roofer does.
Ask for a conversation, not a quote
We don't know what the right roofing materials are for your home until we visit with you. Sometimes that's a bit frustrating for people calling us looking for an instant quote or bid. Obviously, we could provide a number off the top of our heads, but that would be a complete waste of our customers' time – it wouldn't represent the roof they actually needed.
Having a discussion gives us the opportunity to find out if you should even be considering us as an option. We're not the right roofer for every home and it helps for us both to find out if we're the right roofer for you early on, rather than rushing through the sales process and finding out we're a bad fit later on.