Attic Ventilation Guide

Roof collecting snow

Attic ventilation may be a house renovation technique that you thought of or it simply may have been an oversight for you; regardless, if you have found your way to this article it is something you are thinking about now.

Initially, the process of attic ventilation may seem illogical. Your home is meant to be insulated to reduce air flow and save on those pesky utility bills, however an attic/roof will allow air to flow through the attic. It may seem as though the focus of this is air, however it is something different. It is in fact, sound.

A properly sealed attic will work to keep excessive amounts of heat and moisture, which will damage a roof in the long-run. This extra heat can not only be nuisance in the Summer months but in the Winter as well. All of that excessive heat will melt snow and ice on a home’s roof causing water damage, or permanent deterioration of your roof’s shingles or roof vent. Making certain that your home has the secure and proper attic ventilation can aid in the prevention of these damages.

Roof Ventilation Advantages

steel roof replacement in progress

As previously mentioned, within the Summer months of sun and humidity, heat on your roof can get stuck and linger inside of your attic turning it into a top level furnace. This will end up costing you more in energy with fans on, or your air conditioning system going into overdrive. The use of roof ventilation or installation will help to maintain a proper air flow to avoid this heat being trapped. The energy efficiency is thus increased because the heat temperature of the attic is much lower. Ventilation extends the life of your roof as well, preventing costly damage. It will prevent the dripping of condensation caused by trapped air, and will help to maintain the roof, the shingles, a home’s wood framing and the insulation in your roof.

New red metal roof on white siding house

Simply put, the advantages to attic ventilation include:

  • Damage control
  • Energy efficiency
  • Cost of repairs
  • Heat control
  • Proper air flow

Roof Vent Types 350

metal sheet roof - metal roof installation

When you choose to have a roof vent installed for your attic ventilation you will see a number of roof vent types throw at you. They are divided into what is known as ‘intake vents’ and ‘exhaust vents’.

Intake vents offer the choice of:

  • Soffit vents
  • Gable vents

This depends on the shape of your roof.

Metal roof contractor

Intake vents are commonly known as a ‘soffit vent’. While they are effective at pulling in the Summer’s much needed cooler air, the biggest problem that is imposed by the use of this type of soffit vents is their positioning as they can often become blocked easily. A bad choice in positioning could lead to some serious damage. Within the intake category as well is what is known as a gable vent.

Houses with gable roofs usually have a vent located at the highest peak of the roof. Your gable vent can be round, triangular, or rectangular, and can be painted to match either the siding or the trim work so that they add an aesthetic and functional value to your home. Most of the time, their position near the peak of the roof allows for heat to dissipate out through its cover making them a prime choice for homeowners.

edge vent is a type of attic intake vent that helps to make up half of a balanced attic ventilation system for each roof.

Exhaust vents allow for a different set of options for ventilation types. These options include:

metal roofing toronto
  • ridge vent – Some openings of a roof or vent will run the entire length of your roof along the ridge which are usually only seen by a professional. This is the most popular choice of vent type for attic installation. Installation of this type of attic ventilation requires a professional to leave a small gap in what is known as the ‘sheathing’ along the ridge(hence the name), and covering it with a vent.
  • static vents – will often stick up or protrude from a roof to keep out any and all precipitation from leaking into the attic. There are a variety of shapes and colours to choose from. One option is the turbine vent, which uses natural wind to power its sleek and enclosed fan. It takes as little as a light breeze from the wind to rotate the tough blades and suck the pesky heat out of the attic. However,it must be located as close to the ridge as possible.
  • a powered vent – uses a balanced motor and blade design and helps to quickly exhaust heat or humidity from a home’s attic. Thye use a thermostat, which will automatically turn the fan on when cooling is needed.
dream roof van and newly installed premium european metal roof

Using this guide can help you and fellow homeowners to make the best selection for your attic and roof ventilation options. Contact your local professionals for the best results, estimates and advice.

RELATED ARTICLE: Metal Roof Noise: 5 Ways to Soundproof Your Metal Roof