With spring roofing projects underway, now is as good a time as ever to discuss roof vents – a key to successfully roofing the Minnesota home. Roof vents (and ventilation in general) are essential for circulating air, keeping your home fresh and helping to reduce moisture. In fact, the American Institute of Architects estimates that 90% of US homes have unacceptably high moisture levels – a statistic that could be drastically changed with an increase in the use of roof vents.
In addition, a lack of ventilation can shorten the lifespan of your roof. Consider that an average home produces four to five pounds of water vapor per day. If your home’s roof is not properly ventilated, that water has nowhere to go. Instead condensation forms on your roof and can result in the roof buckling, twisting, and contorting.
A good quality roof vent will consist of both an exhaust and intake. These dual features ensure that the temperatures inside and outside of the home are brought to a consistent level. Also keep in mind that the amount of ventilation your roof needs will be a key determination. Insufficient ventilation can result in moisture problems in the winter and decreased energy efficiency in the summer. Alternately, too much ventilation can create additional areas of vulnerability for your home – while some venting is essential, too much can leave your home unnecessarily prone to leaks or penetrations.
The Federal Housing Administration recommends a minimum of one square foot of roof ventilation for every 300 square feet of roof space. This amount should be divided equally between intake and exhaust ventilation to insure proper air flow through the attic. When installing your roof vents, work with a qualified contractor to determine the right amount of ventilation for your home.