To Vent or Not to Vent?
Roofs are an integral part of any home since they protect the home as well as the occupants from the elements, including but not limited to rain, wind, and snow. A well-built roof also helps to regulate the temperature of the home for the occupant’s comfort. It is, therefore, of paramount importance to keep your roof in good condition. Among the best practices used to maintain roofs is roof ventilation. Roof ventilation helps keep the attic cool and has a huge effect on the lifespan of the roof. It also helps prevent several expensive issues from occurring both inside and out of the building. The two commonly known functions of roof ventilation are:
1. Circulate cool and fresh air into the attic at the soffit areas of the roof.
2. Remove or exhaust moist or hot air through the roof vents. This moist hot air can cause a lot of problems, among them being an accumulation of mold in the attic and dry rotting for wooden attics, and this can compromise the house’s substructure.
In this article, we shall discuss the importance of roof ventilation for various buildings, including homes, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, and factory warehouses.
Importance of roof ventilation
1. Helpful during winter
Contrary to popular thought, roof ventilation is not only useful in summer but also winter. This is because moisture builds up in the attic, and this moisture can have a very damaging effect on the substructure of the building. The moisture can cause rotting in wooden roofs as well as rust in iron roofs. For homes, it is important to get rid of this moisture to prevent any problems that may result as a consequence of this buildup. If the attic is to be used as a living space, it is important to get rid of this moisture to allow for human occupation without the moisture causing mold on the clothes of the person living in the attic. Also, the attic will need a continuous flow of fresh air to aid in a comfortable occupation. Therefore, an attic fan is of great importance if the attic is to support the human occupation. If the attic is to be used as a storage space, the moisture will eventually cause rust on any metal parts of the stored equipment, and this compromises the state of the stored equipment. Any stored items that have wooden parts may also rot due to the built-up moisture, and this will also compromise their quality.
Now that we have discussed the significance of the above point on homes, we shall then discuss the benefits accrued by factory warehouses as a result of the above function. Factory warehouses are often used to store the manufactured goods as well as the equipment used by the factory. While some of these goods may need special environments for safe storage, most need only a cool and dry environment for safe storage. As a result of this, a dry attic contributes significantly to a dry environment since the hot, humid air is exhausted out, and cool air is drawn in therefore creating a cool and dry environment that is needed to store these goods safely. The equipment also need places with low humidity to reduce rusting since rust may compromise the operability of these machines. Roof ventilation will, therefore, ensure that a continuous flow of cool and dry air is drawn in while the hot and humid air is vented out, which creates an environment suited for both storages as well as working in. This improves the working conditions, which in turn influences the worker’s health positively.
In the case of commercial buildings, hot and moist air can be damaging to the paint as well as rotting the substructure of the building. Roof ventilation, therefore, helps maintain the paint job as well as the substructure of the building, reducing subsequent costs in maintenance and, in rare cases, a complete redo of the paint job. Also, roof ventilation will naturally provide a cool and dry environment, therefore, improving the working conditions of the building as well as reducing any airborne threats to the worker’s health. Poorly ventilated commercial buildings violate health laws and labour laws in various countries, and therefore properly ventilating the roof ticks both the legal requirements as well as reducing subsequent costs of maintenance.
2. Improved working conditions for the workers
Industrial buildings produce lots of moisture as a result of using massive amounts of water to cool the machines used to aid production. This moisture is hot due to absorbing the heat generated by the machines and therefore rises to the top near the roof of the building. A mechanism of venting this hot, humid air is needed to allow for entry of cooler and drier air. Roof ventilation does this naturally, therefore, aiding in the cooling of the machines as well as creating a better working environment for the workers. This naturally has a largely positive effect on workers’ health. Also, the continuous flow of air generated aids in cooling the machines by absorbing part of the heat generated. Naturally, the venting of the moisture reduces the problems that can be caused by moisture buildup in the machines, such as rusting of the metal components of the machines, which can reduce the operability of these machines. Other problems associated with moisture buildup, such as rotting and mold, are also curbed. This improves the aesthetics of the place as well as reducing subsequent costs of maintenance. When the working conditions are good for your employees, their performance is also good. This proves roof ventilation as a worthy venture that you ca try.
3. Roof ventilation also helps save in cooling and heating costs.
This then leads to the saving of money by reducing costs associated with the generation of energy.
In homes, heat buildup in the attic comes at a steep cost. The house’s air conditioning has to work overtime to cool down the house, especially the living space beneath the attic. This generates additional costs, which manifests as electrical bills as well as frequent breakdowns of the cooling system. Proper roof ventilation is, therefore, integral when you want to optimise energy consumption in the house. Poor roof ventilation or lack of ventilation also can lead to the formation of ice dams in the attic, which consume even more energy to get rid of. This considerably increases the electrical bills. Places that experience hot days and cold nights, e.g., Deserts, require massive amounts of energy to ensure a compromise between the two extremes is maintained to support comfortable living conditions. Proper roof ventilation will vent the heat during the hot days, therefore, reducing energy consumed in doing the same. This naturally reduces the work done by the home’s heating and cooling system and therefore saving on energy costs. Other costs, such as maintenance costs, also are reduced because the roof ventilation system reduces wear and tear on the roof, which in turn protects the rest of the house from the elements.
In factory buildings, energy-saving is of utmost importance to reduce costs; therefore, maximizing profits. Therefore, any measure that can reduce energy costs is welcome. Roof ventilation has proven to be one of the cheaper ways of reducing the energy consumed. Roof ventilation starts a continuous flow of air by expelling the hot and humid air from the roof and therefore creating a vacuum. The cooler air rushes to fill this void. This happens continuously and therefore starting a cycle. This movement of air cools the surrounding air, which in turn cools the surrounding equipment and therefore reducing the cooling costs. Factories also tend to have dedicated vast cooling systems if they generate an enormous amount of heat. These cooling systems consume vast amounts of energy and water. A properly working roof ventilation system takes the load off these systems by expelling the air heated by the cooling systems and therefore reducing the volumes of water needed to cool the machinery. This saves on energy a lot.
Industrial buildings, unlike factory buildings, usually house both equipment and human beings for extended amounts of time. Therefore, working conditions have to be considered since labour laws require that suitable working conditions be provided. This usually means that in addition to the cooling systems required to cool the machines in operation, a heating and cooling system also needs to be installed to cool the environment to temperatures suitable for human occupation or thereabouts. The energy needed to run such systems as therefore large and any measures that can reduce the energy consumed are welcome. A roof ventilation system takes care of cooling the space just underneath the roof, this takes off a considerable load off the cooling system and therefore reduces the energy consumed especially if the ventilation system is mechanical or runs off renewable sources of energy such as solar or wind as demonstrated by solar vents and whirlybirds respectfully. The money saved off reduced energy costs can be channeled to other worthwhile measures such as improving working conditions, therefore, improving worker health by reducing problems resulting off poor working conditions. It is important to note that roof vents by themselves improve the working conditions by providing a continuous supply of cool and fresh air, therefore, reducing respiratory problems that may occur as a result of inhaling fumes and other harmful compounds generated during normal operation of the machinery.
Last but not least is the effect of the above factor in commercial buildings. Commercial buildings, on average, see a larger amount of human traffic compared to the factories and homes. Large amounts of capital are therefore invested in systems that cool the buildings to allow for comfortable occupation. A proper ventilation system is needed to ensure that fresh air is constantly drawn in while the exhaled humid air is vented out. This helps reduce risks of transmission of airborne diseases as well as providing fresh oxygen-rich air for inhalation. Stricter regulations are also enforced on such buildings due to health concerns. This means that while no particularly large cooling system is used, the cooling and ventilation expenses do not pale much when compared to the costs incurred by factories for the same purpose. Roof vents naturally provide the above services by continuously drawing in the cool air as well as expelling the hot air. This means that the complex and possibly complex building ventilation system runs fewer times a day, therefore, saving on energy and therefore saving on expenses.
4. Extend the life of your roof
Roofs are, without a doubt, important for any building, whether commercial or for living in. One cannot overstate the importance of a roof; after all, there is no complete building without a roof. As such, it is of paramount importance to increase or lengthen the lifespan of your roof in any way possible. Ice damming is in layman’s terms when icicles buildup on the edge of your roof and gutters. Ice damming occurs when heat from within your attic combines from heat without, e.g., the sun to melt snow and ice on your roof. This, in itself, is not damaging. The damage occurs afterward when the water resulting from the melting runs off to the edge of your roof and begins to refreeze. As a result, ice builds up at the edges of the roof, it may backup beneath the roof and, therefore, may cause damage to the entire roof as well as the walls of the house, sometimes even the attic. Proper ventilation provides a safe way of expelling this warm air before it can melt the snow on the roof.
To households, this reduces leaks as a result of damaged roofs. It also reduces repair costs by reducing the frequency of said repairs. In factory warehouses, this is even more important because a leak can prove expensive if the goods protected within the warehouse are damaged as a result of exposure to the elements. Proper ventilation is, therefore, of importance to factories if only to prevent ice dams in winter. A well-ventilated roof is particularly noticeable in winter, where snow can be seen on the roof, but there is no icicle inside.
Commercial buildings also benefit from this since costs associated with repairing sprung leaks are reduced, and damage to the roof is limited to only wear and tear. A poorly ventilated roof causes a buildup of hot air in the space below the roof, and this can have a largely damaging effect on the shingles, therefore, causing costs associated with replacing said shingles. There is also no more uncomfortable feeling than working under a roof that rains when it rains. Therefore, proper roof ventilation is needed if only for reducing leaks and therefore reducing distractions in the working environment as well as protecting the electronic equipment within from the elements, especially water.
5. Reduce indoor temperature extremes during summer:
During hot summers, the upstairs may be noticeably warmer than the downstairs. Ranch-style houses may also have very cold floors while the room itself if almost uncomfortably warm. These indoor temperature extremes are often a consequence of poorly ventilated roofs. A properly vented roof should allow the hot air to escape and allow entry of cool air, and this keeps the house comfortable all year round. This particular effect is of significance in occupied houses where a comfortable balance should be maintained throughout the house. This also reduces the load on the house’s heating and cooling system, therefore, saving on energy.
In factory warehouses, these changes in temperatures may limit the floor space in which goods can be safely stored. This can cause huge losses due to damages done to the goods due to these extremes.
Commercial buildings, on the other hand, will incur additional costs in cooling to create a uniform, comfortable temperature in the building.
Why your roof vents should be installed by a professional
For your roof ventilation to have the above importance, they should be installed by a professional who has the skills and all the necessary tools. Doing roof ventilation on DIY methods can be an overwhelming activity that would take much of your time and end up with poorly installed vents. Several roofing companies in Australia can install your roof vents at a pocket-friendly price. All you need is to do good research before settling for any company, as not all of them will have promising results. So what are the main reasons to hire a professional company for your roof vents installation?
To save time – Professionals will have experience in vents installation, and they will take less time compared to someone with no experience and skills. Imagine wasting several hours doing something you have no skills on and end up with poor results? Again with your tight schedule, you have no time to waste doing something that you don’t know how it’s done, and this is why hiring professionals will be a good idea. Roofing experts will install your vents within a short time and give you a chance to do what is more important.
To avoid damages – Roof ventilation is a sensitive activity that will involve your roof, and it will need someone who has all that Is required. A roof is one of the expensive parts of your home, and it takes a big percentage of the total cost of your home. If your roof is damaged during vents installation, it can cost you more, and you might even end up in a financial crisis as a roof is an expensive affair. Roofing experts will know how to handle your roof during vents installation, and you can have peace of mind knowing nothing will go wrong. These experts will understand the value of your roof, and they will make sure no damages will occur.
God forbid, if damage occurs to your roof during vents installation, you can be assured of compensation as many roofing companies will have an insurance cover. This is a good reason why you should ensure a company is ensured before hiring them to handle your roof.
Durability – Roof vents are very durable, and they will last enough to give value for your money. A roof vent is not something that you will need to install every day or after a few weeks. However, for vents to last as expected, they should be installed well. Many vendors will also give you a warranty, but it will be applicable only when the vents have been installed by someone qualified and certified. Although professionals will charge you some dollars, it will save your pocket in the long run.
Consultancy – There are different types of roof vents in the market, and not all of them will suit your attic. Before you decide on the ones to install, you will need to understand your attic well. This will save you from unnecessary costs of installing different vents that won’t be helpful. However, knowing the right vents for your home can be challenging, especially if you are doing it for the first time. In case you find it difficult to choose the right vents for your home roofing experts will advise you on the best vents for your roof.
Many companies in Australia will access your roof for free and give you directions on the best vents that will fit into your attic. Give your preferred company a call and check if they will offer you any consultancy before starting the process. This will save you from mistakes that would make the activity much expensive.
Roof ventilation is very important to homes, factory warehouses, and commercial buildings. Although this activity will cost you money, it will have much importance that cannot be undermined. Your roof will last longer, reduce heating and cooling costs, and also create a conducive environment for the workers. To enjoy all these benefits, you will need to install the right vents and have them installed by a professional company. Choose your roofing company well and go for the licensed and insured company. This will give you peace of mind as you will know you are safe. Choose your roofing company well and go for the licensed and insured company. This will give you peace of mind as you will know you are safe.