Your roof needs regular care and maintenance, just like all the other parts of your home. To avoid clumping insulation, rotting wood, and molds, you need to inspect your roof periodically and ensure that it is properly ventilated. Moreover, if your roof has asphalt shingles, then you need attic insulation to validate the shingles’ warranty. Venting designs that are passive usually include both soffit and roof vents that promote insulation. The total number you need of venting designs depends on the size of your attic or roof. These vents must also be clean and free from any obstructions, such as those caused by insulation. Are you wondering how to tell if your home needs roof ventilation? Here are three easy and practical ways to find out.
- Calculate your free vent space. Building codes usually specify the need for 1 square foot of venting space for each 150 square feet of attic space. The venting should be equally distributed between outflow and inflow vents and the outflow vents should never exceed the inflow vents. The net free vent (NFA) of each area should be clearly marked. All you have to do is to simply add up all the NFAs of all your vents and divide that number by the area of the attic. This way, you can determine if you’re within the 1:150 ratio. Once you are within this ratio, then you know that your roof is properly ventilated.
- Inspect your attic. If your attic has inadequate ventilation, chances are you won’t have to look very hard to find signs. These signs include ceiling joists and rafters that are rotted with mold and have blackened. They also include rusty metal fasteners and matted insulation. When these are present, then you know it’s time to repair your roof and add more ventilation.
- Monitor the temperature. The circulating air inside vents is important not only for regulating temperature but also for controlling moisture, especially during summer when temperatures tend to soar. If the vents are not properly supplying ventilation, then the temperature could rise to as much as 140°F on sunny days. This temperature can significantly affect the temperature of your entire home. Thus, it would be best to place a thermometer in the attic and monitor it every now and then. In cases when the temperature becomes excessive, power vents may be needed to augment passive vents.
After checking your roof for the signs that you need ventilation, you may need to contact a roofing contractor in order to request further inspection, maintenance, and repair.
CC-licensed image by Mitchell Joyce.