A home’s ventilation system serves an important purpose. During the winter, it keeps the attic dry and in the summer it keeps the attic cool using intake and exhaust. This protects the beams and keeps roofing materials from becoming damaged.
While North Texas doesn’t have an expected freeze each winter, it’s wise to be prepared for winter weather to preserve your roof system. During winter, even in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, humid air from your home makes its way into your attic. This humid air is most likely to get through spaces in walls and ceilings with bypasses for electrical and plumbing systems.
If the roof attic is not properly ventilated, when the warm air reaches the cold air, condensation forms on the rafters, decking, beams, and other materials and can result in harmful structural damage. The moisture will soak into the wood and make them swell, which over time, causes the wood to warp. Other possible effects include rotting of the roof decking, water damage to your ceiling through the insulation, and the development of ice dams.
Ice dams occur in the winter when the heat builds up in attics with inadequate insulation. This heat builds as the sun appears and melts snow on the roof. The melted snow gets into the shingles, collects at the gutters and eaves, then refreezes and causes shingles to warp. The damage is only multiplied as the process of ice refreezing and melting repeats.
In the summer, heat accumulates within the attic, reaching temperatures well over 100 degrees, even if it’s less than 90 degrees outside. If roof ventilation is poor, and moisture mixes with these extreme North Texas summer temperatures, it will negatively affect your roof shingles, decreasing the lifespan of your roof materials. Another negative side effect of poor roof ventilation during the summer is the hot air flow back into your home. This means that your appliances, air conditioner, refrigerator, etc., have to work that much harder and cost you more than necessary in energy bills.
Proper roof ventilation requires a very particular pattern of air movement. Air flow is vital inside the attic to facilitate an exchange process. The ventilation system must be proportionate for the dimensions of the attic to ensure continuous air flow in and out of the attic. A fan or wind-assisted exhaust vents, as well as other mechanical and natural vents are options.
Both residential and commercial properties require proper ventilation systems to control the air flow in and out of the building. In the winter a vent releases hot, moist air to regulate indoor air temperature and humidity. When the proper ventilation is missing, the damage can be extensive and require costly repairs.
Have a professional contractor come inspect your ventilation system in the winter and summer to ensure that your roof system is working properly.