We hear this question quite often from Zimmerman Exteriors’ customers. Throughout the roofing industry, there is a widespread lack of agreement over adequate attic ventilation. Much of the debate stems from the tremendous variation in climate across North America. With different climates, come different needs to be met. Our roofing experts at Zimmerman Exteriors have installed many roofs in central PA, and they have the experience necessary to properly ventilate your roof.
For example, attic ventilation is used widely even in cold climates to evacuate the warm, moist air that escapes from the living space below. If that air lingers, it can cause condensation on the underside of the roof sheathing – which can lead to wood rot and mold growth. In warmer climates, proper roof venting helps prevent your attic from becoming a heat trap. Without venting when the sun continuously beats down on your roof, your attic temperature will climb. What most people don’t realize is that heat not only rises, but it also radiates. So if your attic temperatures are high, you’ll feel the effect in your living spaces below. And there’s more! Having hot air trapped in your attic can shorten the life of your roof by causing premature deterioration of the roofing materials.
So now that you know why you need roof ventilation, let’s talk about why ridge vents alone are not sufficient for properly ventilating your roof. We see many older homes with no attic ventilation and some that have recently had ridge vents installed. While this provides an outlet for air flow, it does not provide an inlet to complete the convection cycle needed for proper ventilation. Soffit vents, when paired with ridge vents, provide complete ventilation for your whole roof surface.
To learn more, feel free to contact us – and stay tuned for our next blog post about ventilation options for homes with installed gable vents or powered fans.