Metal roofs are durable and work great—but only when they’re done right. Having yours installed correctly will help avoid costly fixes in the future and safeguard the viability of your metal roof.
Roof ventilation is one of the most important parts of your roof but is often overlooked or undervalued. Here’s why a ridge vent for your metal roof is important and why it should never be forgotten.
What Is a Metal Roof Ridge Vent?
A roof ridge vent helps deal with condensation that can collect on a metal roof
Condensation on a metal roof is just like the condensation you deal with when you have a cold drink on a warm day. As soon as you walk outside, your cup starts to get a thin layer of dew. On the hottest and most humid days, instead of beading with a few drops of water, your cup becomes covered in water and can even start dripping.
In the same way, when your roof comes into contact with warm moist air, there’s a risk for that air to condense and start to collect on your roof. Any amount of unwanted water can lead to your roof aging faster due to water damage, mildew, and mold. A metal roof ridge vent removes the warm, moist air from your roof before it has the chance to condense and form into dew.
Ridge ventilation is the best way to solve the condensation problem for your metal roof. Vents are installed on the ridge cap (the peaks of your roof where two roofing panels meet) and run along the entire span of the roof.
The most common form of ridge ventilation utilizes breathable foam. This compressible material allows the humid air to move out from your roof safely—without providing large gaps or holes for weather, water, or pests to get in.
Other Types of Vents
While ridge vents are the best option for metal roofing, it’s common for homes to utilize more than one vent type. These vents act as intake vents and are designed for fresh air to flow into the attic, while the ridge vent is the outtake vent where air can escape. Here are a few of the other options for vents and some basic information about them.
Turbine vents are clunky, obvious spinning metal balls powered by the wind. They’re built as circular fans. When a breeze comes by, turbine vents can help siphon out warm attic air. Because of its simple, rounded design, it is rarely disturbed and requires almost no upkeep to function for years.
When exposed to frequent storms and moisture, turbines can be susceptible to rust and other problems. Old, rusted turbines can start to squeak when they rotate.
Box vents got their name because they look like a small box placed on a roof. They can come in various colors and finishes, but roofs will need multiple box vents to be effective in most cases. Otherwise, they might disrupt the aesthetic flow of your roof.
A gable vent is a small vent placed at the top of a gable end that accesses the attic and helps facilitate airflow. A stereotypical gable roof has one long ridge or spine running down the center of the building, with roofing panels sloping down to the right and left of that center spine. At the top and bottom of that spine, there are large triangular surfaces called gable ends.
The soffit is the space on the underside of an eave or the bit of overhang between your roof and wall. A soffit vent is installed in the soffit and helps airflow come through the floor of the attic.
Soffit vents can be both continuous or individual. Their names imply that an individual vent will be a singular vent, while a continuous vent will run the entire soffit length.
Drip Edge Vent
A drip edge vent is installed at the bottom of a roof and works best with roofs with little or no overhang. Drip edge vents are hidden between the roof and the gutter and provide a significantly less obvious and more hidden vent solution.
What Are the Benefits of Ridge Vents for a Metal Roof?
Proper roofing ventilation helps protect your home and save you money. A vented metal roof will:
- Help make your home more comfortable. Hot attic air can seep through the ceiling and heat your rooms. A vented attic keeps fresh air moving and helps keep your home’s temperature regulated.
- Reduce strain on your heating and cooling system, making them last longer. Because a vented roof helps regulate the temperature, your HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard.
- Help preserve your home’s insulation. Insulation works best when it is kept dry. A metal roof ridge vent keeps your attic, and insulation dry, which keeps your home insulated and protected.
- Extend the life of your metal roof. Even a metal roof doesn’t do well with excessive heat or humidity. A ridge vent gives your roof the conditions it needs to go longer without maintenance and have a long life.
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