What are roof vents and how do they protect my roof?

Roof vents are openings in your house’s roof to help regulate temperature and humidity levels. vents can be one of two kinds, an intake vent or an exhaust vent. These vents help keep your roof and attic spaces in a better condition for longer and can help avoid issues that poorly insulated roofs can contribute to. 

Roof vents regulate the air in your home. Think of your house like a bubble, and your heating or A/C unit can push air around the bubble. Warm air rises, cool air sinks. During the winter this can cause snow to melt at the top of your bubble (house) and water will run down to the lower part of the roof and get cold and freeze, creating ice dams. Expanding ice can create all sorts of gaps for damage.

But if you carefully place holes in the bubble, you can make the air at the top move around purposefully. This will stop the warm air from gathering at the top because air pressure from underneath will push other air upwards. Since the warm air is now gone, the snow won’t melt unevenly.

Even in the summer (or in hotter climates) the moisture in your home will rise into your attic space. With roof vents it allows air to come in from underneath the roof, usually the eaves,  through an intake vent into the attic and go out the exhaust vent near the top or ridge of the roof. This gets the moisture from your home out, from places like bathrooms and kitchens. And stops the mold or moisture buildup.

Intake and Exhaust Vents

The difference between intake and exhaust vents is the same as your lungs with inhaling and exhaling. Intake will inhale air into your attic. And the exhaust will exhale moisture and warm or hotter air from your attic. These two types of vents are made in a variety of different ways and are placed in specific spots to make sure air flows how it is intended to.

Intake Vents

These vents are found on the eaves or soffit of the house or the lower part of the roof.

  • Continuous Soffit Vent
  • Individual Soffit Vent
  • Drip Edge Vents

Exhaust

These vents are found on the top or ridge of the home or can be found on the roof face as well.

  • Ridge Vent – Lines the ridge of your home
  • Static Vent – On the plane of the roof, variety of sizes and shapes
  • Gable Vent – On the gable, looks slotted and usually decorative.

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