Types of Roof Vents

One of the most important parts of roof maintenance is roof ventilation, which prevents moisture from building up. Moisture can cause major roofing damage, including rotting wood and fungus. Excess moisture within the home can also increase heating and cooling bills. With the proper ventilation system, roofs last longer, too!

There are two major parts of the ventilation system. Intake vents are usually positioned under the eaves (the underside edges of the roof) and bring fresh air into the ventilation system. Exhaust vents are positioned near the top ridge (also called crest) of the roof, and allow air out of the home.

For a ventilation system to properly work, there must be intake and exhaust vents. The flow of air between the two helps to dry any moisture in the home.

Intake vents typically run along the entire eaves on both sides of a house. Most undereave vents are screened with aluminum frames.

For houses with little to no eaves, there are intake vents to place on the edge of roofing that are partly concealed by shingles. These can also be used in addition with undereave vents.

Exhaust vents are usually decorative, but there are low-profile options. If a homeowner wants a low-key vent, the low profile vent is a perfect fit. These vents are usually quite inexpensive and can be made in a variety of materials, including plastic, copper, and steel.

For the ultimate low key vents, take a look at ridge vents (also known as crest vents). These are long vents that lay over the ridge or crest of a roof, and are partially covered by shingles to match your home and prevent water from leaking in. These are also great for very steep roofs, as regular exhaust vents would be difficult to attach.

Another option for steep roofs is the tombstone vent. Named for the tombstone shape on the front, some models resemble an arched window with its shutters closed. These decorative vents are considered high-quality.

Turbine vents, or rotary vents, have spinning tops. These vents add a touch of whimsy to a home, but don’t be fooled. These vents are very effective and considered high quality products.

Power vents are almost mushroom-like in shape and use electricity to ventilate and keep track of the overall temperature. Although they have to be replaced every 5 years, these vents are sometimes necessary for homes, especially those with unique roof designs.

Roof louvers are small square or rectangular vents that sit just below the crest line on a roof. Several of these vents are needed to properly ventilate a home, and should be placed evenly in a line across the roof.


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