One thing that many people may not think about regarding their roof is ventilation. It is important for any roof – residential, commercial, or industrial – to be properly ventilated. While ventilation requirements and systems vary, the main purposes for venting the roof are the same.
Proper roof ventilation can extend a roof’s life by reducing heat buildup (helping HVAC systems operate more efficiently), improving airflow throughout the building and, perhaps most importantly, keeping condensation moisture from accumulating under the roof.
Dampness in a building is not caused just by roof leaks. It can also be due to a lack of proper roof ventilation, when warm moist air rises, accumulates at the top of a building and condenses against the underside of a cooler roof surface.
In the summer, this condensation can lead to rotted woodwork, mold growth, damaged wallpaper or paint, plaster deterioration, and even insulation degradation and/or decay in a building’s structural components.
During the winter, stationary warm air under the roof can facilitate rooftop water accumulation, ice buildup and dams, leaks and even roof collapses, if there are cycles of freezing and thawing that keep water from draining properly.
Insulation is the most important component when it comes to creating a thermal barrier that can inhibit moisture accumulation. However, good interior ventilation also plays a part in moisture control and elimination.
Ventilation requirements are different for every building and roofing system. If moisture from condensation is a problem, or you’re considering a new roof for your facility, make sure you understand the roofing-ventilation options that are available to you and that your roofing contractor does as well.