How to Choose the Right Roof Ventilation

When building new homes or renovating, people usually put a lot of effort into insulation. Everybody wants a comfortable home, so keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter is usually a priority for many. But what often gets forgotten in the rush to fill your walls and ceilings with insulation is another crucial part of the process. Roof ventilation.

The reason it gets forgotten so easily is because it’s usually seen as just a way to keep the roof cavity at a certain temperature, not the rest of the house. While there is an element of truth to this, roof ventilation does a lot more than just controlling the temperature of your roof cavity.

What is roof ventilation?

Roof ventilation comes in many different forms, from powered air vents to whirlybirds through to intake vents that actually draw fresh air in. Air flow is important throughout the home, and the roof cavity is no exception. Without proper air flow, you can cause damage to your home and it will also impact your wallet when the power bill arrives.

In short, roof ventilation allows air to exit your roof cavity, promoting a healthy flow of air through the area.

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Why is roof ventilation important?

There are a number of reasons why roof ventilation is important, including:

  • Keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter
  • Eliminating moisture build-up in your roof cavity

These key elements have natural flow-on effect to the rest of your home. The roof cavity tends to heat up quickly, because it cops most of the sun. Ultimately, that hot air needs to go somewhere, so without a proper way for it escape, the only place it can go is into your home. Or, alternatively, form condensation that causes dampness in your roof.

Moisture causes all sorts of structural damage and mould, so you need proper ventilation to encourage good air flow. Additionally, if you have a larger roof cavity, such as an attic, roof ventilation helps protect any items you might store up there.

Different Types of Roof ventilation services

There are plenty of options out there when it comes to air ventilation, and they all serve a different purpose. So, how do you know which one is right for you? It can be difficult to determine which is best, and that’s why it’s always worth consulting with an expert in Roof ventilation services

However, here are some of the most popular types of roof ventilation on the market today.

Power air vents

Powered air vents use electricity to push hot air out of your roof cavity. Because they’re powered by electricity, you can run them whenever you need to, and they’re extremely effective. Of course, the fact that they use additional power often outweighs the energy savings you generate by having good ventilation.

If energy use is a concern, you don’t need to get hardwired air vents. You can now find solar powered varieties, so as long as the sun is shining, you can keep air moving through your roof cavity effectively.

Why are these questions important?

If this sounds like a lot of work on your end before the roofing work even starts, you’d be right. But think about the financial impact on your family if you hire a shonky roofing contractor. So many things can go wrong, such as ‘extra’ costs popping up along the way. The workmanship may not be up to standard, and if you’ve got no warranty, you’ll have to pay a more reputable company to come and fix the work.

Your home is one of your most important investments, and the roof is an integral part of that. It not only adds to the curb appeal of your property, but it also keeps you protected from the elements. Needless to say, the last thing you want is a leaking or poorly insulated roof. You can end up with flooding problems if gutters aren’t installed properly.

The list of potential issues is almost endless, so before you hire a roofing contractor, make sure you’re completely happy with what they offer. Protect your investment and only hire the best.

Whirlybirds and turbines

If you take a look around your neighbourhood, you’re sure to see at least one home with a whirlybird on their roof. Also called wind turbines, these devices don’t use any power, so they’re an economical solution for roof ventilation. The wind itself powers it, and helps to draw fresh air into the roof cavity while pushing stale air out.

If you’re considering whirlybirds, they’ll work best in windy areas. While they don’t need extremely strong winds to function, if you’re in an incredibly still area, they may not work as effectively.

Box vents

Box vents are also a popular form of roof ventilation, because they work well but they’re also low-profile, meaning they don’t stand out on your roof. However, box vents are usually best used in conjunction with a form if intake vent which we’ll touch on later. You also may need several box vents depending how big your roof cavity is.

Essentially, when combined with an intake vent, wind enters your roof while the box vent draws the hot air and moisture out.

Ridge vents

Ridge vents are becoming pretty popular because they’re cost effective and extremely inconspicuous. In fact, you’d hardly even know they’re there. Essentially, a ridge vent requires a gap to be left between the metal roofing sheets that meet at the peak of the roof. (Only suitable for sloped roofs). Capping is placed over the peak, or ridge, to ensure no rain can get in, but the gaps are big enough to allow air to flow in and out.

Another advantage is the distribution of air is more even, because the ridge stretches across the length of the roof.

Intake vents

Intake vents, as we mentioned before, work in conjunction with other forms of ventilation. You’ll often see them on the underside of the section of roof that hangs over (the soffit). These vents effectively pull air into the roofing cavity, which is important for refreshing the space. Other forms of roof ventilation then pull the hot, moist air out, allowing for a continuous flow of fresh air in the area.

How much ventilation do you need?

Believe it or not, there’s quite a science between determining how much ventilation your home needs. There’s actually a formula that applies to your whole house, not just the roof cavity.

Ventilation requirements work on the concept of air changes. An air change is how many times air enters and exits a space per hour. Naturally, the higher the number of air changes, the better ventilation you have. But there’s actually some guidelines on how many air changes you should per hour, and this helps to inform the type of ventilation you install.

The general consensus for roof cavities in Australia is that 10 air changes per hour are required to maintain great ventilation. When purchasing ventilation products, they’ll be rated according to how many air changes they support, so this should guide you to getting the very best ventilation for your home.

If you need further advice, as always we recommend speaking to roofing experts who can determine exactly the right products for you.

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