The Importance Of Proper Ventilation For Residential Metal And Steel Roofing
A properly ventilated roof is essential for both energy efficiency and the lifespan of your metal roofing system.
Why Is Proper Ventilation Important?
An effective ventilation system prevents the accumulation of excess heat and moisture that can cause costly energy costs, as well as damage your insulation. For metal buildings in the colder climates, proper ventilation can also reduce the potential for winter ice dam formation. Ice dams are formed when melted snow runs down the roof and refreezes over cold areas of the home, such as at the eaves or in the attic space. During the summer, a properly ventilated roof will also help regulate interior temperatures to keep occupants comfortable. Temperature regulation can also minimize the risk of premature panel expansion and contraction which may weaken fasteners.
Types Of Vents
The most important type of ventilation for a metal roof is ridge vents, which are installed on the ridgeline and run continuously along the entire length of the roof. They provide the highest ventilation per square foot, and can be used in almost any slope. Soffit vents, which are installed in the soffit area under the eave of the roof, are also a great way to create airflow. Soffit vents are typically made from aluminum or vinyl and have narrow slits for air to flow through. Some common styles include the low-profile or standard soffit vent, which has an exposed ridge that allows air to escape, and the drip edge vent, which is a two-in-one installation that promotes water shedding at the eaves and rakes of a roof while also allowing air to enter the attic. Drip edge vents are a great option for homes that don’t have soffits, or in certain roof styles where soffit vents would be too complicated or unattractive. They are made of a corrosive-resistant material that sticks out about three inches back from the roof edge and bends downward over them. Another important type of roof vent is the gravity vent, which uses wind flow against the outside to create airflow. Gravity vents are typically located at the high and low pressure ends of a building, which moves air through these vents to the lower levels.
Creating The Perfect Ventilation System
When installing a new metal roof, it is important to consult with your metal roofing contractor to ensure that the ventilation system will meet your needs and expectations. The most efficient ventilation systems will include a balanced ratio of intake and exhaust ventilation. Generally, a 1:300 ventilation ratio means that for every 300 square feet of attic space, there should be one square foot of net free area (NFA). NFA can be calculated differently depending on the roof’s slope, so it is important to know exactly what you need in order to get a balanced and efficient ventilation system.
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