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Proper ventilation in your roof is extremely important and whether you have an attic or standalone style roof.

It is important to have a well ventilated area under your shingles, and in this article we will explore the many different conditions that need to be met to be considered “Good Ventilation”. By exploring these benefits we can see just how important a focus on ventilation is for any roofing system.

Pro Tip: Got a Leak? Learn how to find it! 

  • Ventilation affects the lifespan of your roof! In Edmonton, we have very wild weather. One minute it is 30 degrees, the next it is raining! This week has been a perfect example. In addition with Alberta Winters we experience a lot of freezing and thawing. Look what it does to our paved roads! When snow rests on your roof, but the radiant heat from the home, heats up the shingles. The snow melts. The pressure of the snow above it, presses the water up and under the shingles. As the weather cools off, the water FREEZES, then causing it to expand. Pushing your shingles up, causing the nails to become loose, or allowing water around them. This process repeats and repeats day after day causing more and more damage to the roof and wear to your shingles.
  • So with that being said, proper ventilating protects the structural integrity of your roof deck, and thus your home!
  • Limited Ventilation can make your home more difficult to keep cool in the summer. Shingles are typically dark, and as the sun beats down on them, that heat radiates into your attic, and then into your home. Increasing your air conditioning costs!
  • Limited ventilation can also make it more difficult to heat your home in the winter, as the resulting moisture from ice dams, results in humid damaged insulation, which decreases the R value of the insulation, and thus puts more load on your furnace as well.
  • Showers, sunlights, and kitchen areas not allowed to properly dissipate heat also cause a reduction in your homes heating, cooling, and insulating effectiveness.

Long Story made short, proper roofing ventilation makes your home run more efficiently, and allows each piece of your homes mechanical system to do its job better. A chain is after all, only as strong as its weakest link!

Most of the homes we inspect, and visit for estimates, have ventilation to minimal code. This means it is “Good enough” to not cause your house to rot like a hut in a 3rd world country, but it certainly doesn’t have that “Built to Last” mindset behind the construction. For less than $1000 a home owner can have us come in, adequately ventilate the home, and see their roof last twice as long.

Considering a roof costs $5000+ I would say that is a good investment! This is not even considering the heating and A/C savings as well as the preventing of costly leaks and water damage.

Bonus! Do Whirlybirds actually Work?

Yes, and No. No better than a typical 6050T or other typical vent. The difference is once the Whirlybirds stop “Whirling” they work even worse than a typical vent, and open your home up to all kinds of leak potential in the process. Its kind of like Installing a big ugly “Fast and Furious” spoiler on a Toyota Camry. It doesn’t turn the car into a race car, it would probably be worse in the long run, and drilling holes in your trunk with your dads power drill is probably going to cause rust down the road.

For these reasons and more, it’s important to do regular inspections and to perform repairs and maintenance to ensure that your roof has proper ventilation.