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Roofing Terminology

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Proper attic ventilation can be a key component in keeping your roof system in good shape. As an added benefit, good attic air circulation can lower your summer cooling costs. There are several methods for achieving adequate attic ventilation, so consult a roofing contractor for advice on which systems might work best for your home.

Ventilation and your Roof System

Ventilation in your attic can reduce the chances of condensation buildup on the underside of your roof sheathing. Circulating air can also prevent heat buildup during the winter. During the summer, good ventilation can move hot air out of your attic and reduce the cooling load on your home's HVAC system, which may result in lower energy costs.

Most attic air circulation systems work best when fresh air is allowed to enter and stagnant interior air has a point to exit, creating cross ventilation. The type of systems that work best for your home can depend on the roof design, but a few of the methods are:

  • Soffit vents. This can be perforated vinyl or aluminum soffit or vents cut into plywood soffit panels.
  • Ridge vents. These vents are installed by roofers along the peaks or ridges of your roof.
  • Gable vents. Siding contractors install these vents up in the peaks of your home's gables.
  • Roof vents. Roofing contractors usually place these round or rectangular vents on the rear portions of a roof system.
  • Attic fans. Attic fans require electricity, but can create excellent air circulation. Some have thermostats for automatic operation.

A roofing contractor can install many of these ventilation systems and can also inspect your roof on a regular basis to ensure that your attic air circulation design is working properly.

Roofing Terms