Whether you live in a new home or an older one, chances are that you haven’t given much thought to roof ventilation.
Yet, in today’s world, with energy costs rising, choosing the right ventilation options can save your pocket, as well as your health.
How Important Is Choosing The Right Roof Ventilation?
For the past several decades, deliberate design choices have made homes more airtight. In many ways, this makes sense. In winter, you want to keep warm air inside; in summer you want to keep hot air out of your home.
Without adequate ventilation however, sealing up your home becomes dangerous. We breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide (CO2), which is poisonous when it builds to high levels.
So without fresh air, your family’s health is compromised. Researchers know that in the workplace, the insidious effects of higher levels of CO2 harm productivity; they also lead to more days off because of illness.
If you suspect poor air quality in your home, it’s worth checking your roof ventilation system.
Let’s look at some practical tips for choosing the right roof ventilation products for your home today.
1. Consider Your Home: Is It Planned, New, Or Established?
When you’re choosing roof ventilation, start by considering your home.
If your new home is still in the planning phase, you’ve got lots of options. Focus on passive ventilation first. Depending on the climate and environment as well as your roof design, your builder will likely advise a combination of primary and secondary roof ventilation products.
A newly-built home may already have a roof ventilation system installed. Have it checked by a roofing contractor to ensure that it does. Then take advice: you may need a complete system. Perhaps you just need to make some changes, or install additional products to ensure good air flow.
If you live in an older, established home it’s vital to get advice. You need to know whether the air flows through your roof are adequate and what products you need to install.
2. Focus On Passive Ventilation Products First
Passive ventilation products are ideal because they use non-mechanical, natural processes to draw fresh air into your home and remove stale air all year round.
Once installed, they don’t require maintenance, other than an annual check-up. Your contractor may suggest products like ridge vents, over-fascia vents, and vented battens.
3. Choose A Complete Solution: Quick Fixes Rarely Work
A good roof ventilation system has two essential components:
- An outflow system, which removes stale, moist air from the roof spaces (and your home,) avoiding problems like mould growth and rotting roof beams;
- An inflow system, which brings fresh air into your home.
If you know you have problems such as mould growths in your ceiling, it’s tempting to install a quick fix to improve air flow. You might choose to install a couple of turbine vents (whirly gigs) or gable vents, for example.
Unfortunately, these quick fix products rely on the outside environment. Turbine vents operate as long as there’s wind; without wind, they fail.
4. Get Expert Advice If You Choose A DIY Option
Can you install your selected roof ventilation products yourself?
You can. However, consider: not only do you need to think about the type of roof you have and its area, as well the installed sarking and insulation, but many other vital factors as well.
Expert advice from a roofing contractor or other professional on choosing products can mean the difference between success and failure.