Roofing Ventilation

Ventilation moves air through your home helping to reduce moisture levels and the build up of condensation and damp. If your roof is poorly ventilated, excess moisture will soon start to build up and start to cause problems such as rot and mould.  This can affect not only the structure of your roof, but also insulation material and personal items stored in your loft.

So if you start to notice any of the following signs of ventilation problems, now is the time to start taking some remedial action.

  • Wet or damp rafters
  • Musty smell
  • Mould build up
  • Swollen rafters
  • Rust to metal roofing components

To help set you along the right path of adequately ventilating your roof, here are just a few of the myths (and facts) you may face when tackling this task.

1. Ventilation Removes Warm Air During Winter

For some, the idea of ventilating the roof space can ring alarm bells as they believe they’ll lose  precious warm air which should be warming their home during winter. However, this should not be a worry if your roof is properly insulated.

If your roof is under-insulated and under-ventilated, excess moisture can build up in your attic without being able to easily escape. The result is a roof that is steadily reducing in efficiency.

2. The More Ventilation, The Better

Ventilation vents are an essential part of every roof, but like most things, you need to have the right amount for your home. Having too many vents in your roof can increase the chances of water leaking into your loft space and causing damage. Not enough and moisture won’t be able to escape, leading to problems associated with condensation build up. The amount of ventilation required is dependent on your roof size, shape and material. To help make an informed decision on what’s right for you, speak to one of our experts here at Keay Roofing on 01753 358267.

3. Roof Vents are Only Suitable for Warmer Climates

This myth stems from the same idea as the one that says ventilation allows warm air to escape during winter. Whilst ventilation is important to help keep a house cool in the summer, other factors such as tiles, insulation, colour and sun exposure are equally important.

But it’s actually colder climates that benefit the most from an effective roofing ventilation system. As we heat our homes, more hot air is trapped under the roof space thanks to improved loft insulation.  This means our roof spaces (above the insulating layer) are cooler than the rest of our homes, creating an environment that’s perfect for moisture and condensation to build up.   Adequate ventilation will move this moisture laden air away from your roof.

4. Vents Are the Same as Ventilation

Despite being called vent-ilation, simply having vents does not mean you are ventilated! Ventilation is a carefully designed system that allows air and moisture to move away from your roof. If the system is simply a combination of vents with no thought or design, you could actually do more harm than good.

The most common form of roof ventilation in the UK are eaves vents and running vents.

Running vents – these run the full length of the soffit boards and are typically installed at the time the house was built.

Circular soffit vents – are little plastic vents cut into the soft boards. These are usually retrofitted to properties as part of remedial work such as installing additional loft insulation or fitting PVC eaves cladding.

Ventilation tiles/slates – are another means of providing extra ventilation to a property which had restricted ventilation at the time of construction.

Whatever type of ventilation your loft has, or type of vent you intend to add, it’s important to ensure your roof has adequate cross ventilation to ensure the wind draught has a separate entrance and exit point.  This is usually achieved by fitting vents to opposite sides of your roof space.

For help with getting to grips with your ventilation system why not contact a member of our team? Please feel free to contact us on 01753 358267 or send us an enquiry.