Roof ventilation might seem like a strange concept to some homeowners in Texas. We spend so much time worrying about keeping the cool air inside, that adding ventilation to your roof can feel counterproductive. Why are we letting the air out? The reality is that proper roof and attic ventilation reduces heat build up, and helps maximize shingle lifespan while lowering cooling costs. Sealed attics can build up heat, but more importantly moisture – which can lead to other problems. 

The Science behind Roof Ventilation

The main reason roof ventilation is important is because in any season, the warm air from your home’s living spaces gradually moves upwards into your attic space. In the summer, the excessive heat build up of an under ventilated attic space can make your AC system have to work harder to keep things cool. This air usually contains a good amount of moisture, and if left sealed in will condense on structural surfaces like rafters. In the winter, the warm air in your attic can actually melt the ice on the roof if not properly ventilated and increase the chance of roof damaging ice dams. The goal is to keep the air dry and your roofing system happy.

How Ventilation Systems Work

Roof ventilation systems usually are made up of two types of vents:

Exhaust Vents: these types of vents are used to allow the hot, moist air to escape.  From ridge vents to solar fans, they can actually help increase your home’s energy efficiency and maximize the lifespan of your roof!

Intake Vents: These vents bring in the fresh cooler air to help circulate out the moisture and heat. Here are a few types of intake vents.

  • Eaves – This bottom edge of your roofline that normally overhangs is actually a part of your ventilation system. It also helps prevent water damage to the sides of your home as it pushes water away. 
  • Fascia – this is a long board that runs along the lower side of your roofline and is usually where gutter systems are attached. It helps protect your roof from the elements while still providing ventilation.
  • Soffits – Working with the fascia, this part of your roof is full of small holes that help cool air circulate while keeping small animals out!
Roof Ventilation - Diagram of Intake vent Examples

Your home and roof design need a custom solution that provides the best ventilation and energy efficiency in every season. Call RJ Construction today to get started!