Roof Ventilation & Ridge Vents
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Ridge Vents & Roof Ventilation in Texas

Roof VentilationEvery well-built roofing system has vents built into it – even if you can’t see them from the ground. These vents are absolutely essential to protecting your roof and the rest of your home. But if you’re like most people, you don’t put a lot of thought into your roof or how it’s built; you only think about it when there’s a problem, such as spiking energy bills, a leak or visible exterior roof damage.

So how can you tell if your roof vents are working properly, and more importantly, what can you do to protect your home if they’re not? This guide to roof ventilation gives you all the answers you need.

Why Do Roofs Need Ventilation?

Your roof is constantly exposed to the elements – sun, wind, rain, snow and ice. Over time, this exposure can take a toll, causing your roof to deteriorate. In addition, your roof is also home to a lot of heat-generating appliances, such as your furnace, water heater and air conditioner. All of this heat can cause your roof to work overtime. Temperature extremes can cause the materials in your roof to expand and contract, which leads to cracking and premature aging.

To combat these effects, your roof needs a way to release the heat and moisture that gets trapped inside. That’s where ventilation comes in. By circulating air through your attic and roof, ventilation helps regulate the temperature and prevents moisture buildup. This, in turn, extends the life of your roof and protects your home from structural damage.

What Happens When Air Can’t Circulate Properly Beneath Your Roof?

If your roof isn’t ventilated properly, hot air and moisture can get trapped inside. These are the problems that hot air and moisture cause:

Your energy bills increase. When hot air is trapped in your attic, it has to go somewhere. So it seeps into your living space, making your HVAC system work overtime to keep your home comfortable. This can cause your energy bills to spike during the summer and winter months.

Your roof can easily develop ice dams. Ice dams form when heat escapes from your home and melts the snow on your roof. The water then runs down to the edge of your roof, where it refreezes. This process repeats itself, and over time, an ice dam can form. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof, including leaks, rot and structural damage.

Your attic develops mold. Excess moisture in your attic can cause mold to grow, damaging the interior elements to your roof, items you have stored in your attic and even causing allergies to members of your home.

How Can You Tell if Your Roof Vents Are Working?

There are a few ways to tell if your roof vents are working properly:

  1. Look at your roof to find vents
  2. Touch your ceiling
  3. Go into your attic during winter
  4. Watch for ice dams
  5. Check your energy bills.

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Ventilation Services with Dynamic RoofingVent Check #1: Look at Your Roof to Find Vents

The first step is to take a look at your roof and see if you can spot any vents. You should also look beneath your roof line; there are often vents facing out that are easily visible. Vents are also usually located near the peak of your roof, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The most common types of vents are visible from the ground. If you see vents that are blocked or damaged, there’s a good chance that they’re not working properly.

Vent Check #2: Touch Your Ceiling

The next step is to go inside your home and touch your ceiling. If it’s warm to the touch, that’s a sign that hot air is seeping into your living space. This is an indication that your roof isn’t ventilated properly and that your attic isn’t getting the airflow it needs.

Vent Check #3: Go Into Your Attic During Winter

Another way to tell if your roof is properly ventilated is to go into your attic during winter. If it’s cold in your attic, that’s a good sign. But if it’s warm, that means hot air is seeping in from your living space below. This can cause ice dams to form on your roof.

Vent Check #4: Watch for Ice Dams

As we mentioned, one of the signs of improper roof ventilation is ice dams. If you see icicles hanging from your roof, that’s a surefire sign that you have an ice dam. But even if you don’t see any icicles, you should still be on the lookout for ice dams. If you see a line of ice along the edge of your roof, it’s a good indication that an ice dam has formed.

Vent Check #5: Check Your Energy Bills

One of the best ways to tell if your roof is properly ventilated is to check your energy bills. If you see a big spike in your energy usage during the summer and winter months, it’s a good indication that hot air is seeping into your home. This can be caused by improper roof ventilation.

Where Should Your Roof Vents Be Located?

There are a few different places where roofers install vents, but you can usually find them near a roof’s peak. You should also see them in the eaves (though some roof vent types don’t need vents in the eaves). Most commonly, you’ll see several sets of vents on your roof.

Types of Roof Vents


Sometimes referred to as attic fans, PAVs come in several forms. Some are designed to be mounted on the roof, while others mount in the attic floor or the gable end. All PAVs contain an electrically powered fan (usually controlled by a thermostat) that exhausts hot air from the attic on hot summer days.

A PAV should not be necessary if a roof has properly sized and installed ridge and soffit vents. While a PAV will definitely exhaust hot air from the attic during hot weather, it consumes electricity, and can actually suck cooled air from the living space through leaks in the attic floor.

For this reason, many home energy experts recommend passive roof ventilation over active ventilation with a PAV.

Not always easy to see, the openings for a ridge vent are the continuous space on either side of the ridge cap

Installed along the roof peak, ridge vents are probably the most important vents in any “passive” (non-electric) roof ventilation system. Hot air that accumulates inside the attic rises by convection and escapes outside through ridge vents.

As hot air escapes, fresh outside air is drawn into the attic through soffit vents (see below).

On an asphalt shingle roof, ridge vents are usually covered by a layer of shingles. The warmest air in the attic rises naturally to the roof peak and escapes outside through the ridge vents.

Soffit vents may run continuously under eaves. Rectangular or circular vents may be installed in soffits where a continuous strip-type vent was omitted.

Soffit vents run parallel to the eaves along the soffit. These vents work with ridge and gable vents to promote good roof ventilation.

Installed along the eaves of the roof, these vents are usually in the form of grilles that run the length of each soffit.

By admitting outside air into the attic as warmer air leaves the attic through higher vents, soffit vents play a major role in effective roof ventilation.

Soffit vents are installed on the underside of the eaves. They’re usually made of metal or plastic, and they have a series of small holes that allow air to flow through.

If attic airflow is insufficient, your roofer may recommend a gable end vent such as the one shown.

Installed near the peak of a gable end, this screened vent can allow hot air to leave the attic or fresh air to enter, depending on prevailing breezes and temperature conditions.

Box vents are the most common type of roof vent. They’re installed on the roof, and they have a boxy shape. They’re typically made of metal or plastic, and they have a hole in the center that allows air to flow through.

Off-ridge vents are installed near the top of the roof, but they’re not at the very peak. They’re typically made of metal or plastic, and they have a hole in the center that allows air to flow through.

Cupola vents are installed on the roof, and they have a cup-shaped top. They’re typically made of metal or wood, and they have a hole in the center that allows air to flow through.

Power vents are electric vents that are installed on the roof. They’re typically made of metal or plastic, and they have a hole in the center that allows air to flow through.

Wind turbines are vents that are powered by the wind. They’re usually made of metal or plastic, and they have a blades that turn when the wind blows.

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It’s understandable that roof ventilation is often overlooked, as most people are simply worried about their roof keeping their home dry. However, a well-ventilated roof can make life easier and better for those living beneath it. Proper roof and attic ventilation can lower heating and cooling costs, improve interior comfort, and grant longer life to roof shingles.

In the summertime, a properly ventilated roof allows hot air in the attic to escape, reducing the demand on your air conditioning system. In the winter, ventilation combines with good attic insulation to keep the roof surface cold, so that snow won’t melt on the roof surface and then freeze to form ice dams along the eaves.

Dynamic Roofing General Contractor LLC installs and repairs ridge vents and other types of roof vents. We are Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex’s expert roofing contractors for roofing solutions that include roof repair, roof replacement and more. Contact us for a free appointment for ridge vent installation in Plano, Garland, Richardson and throughout Texas.

Add roof vents to ensure a long-lasting roof over your head

If your roof is not well-ventilated, ask a roofing contractor about improving roof ventilation with ridge, soffit or gable-end vents. All of these roof vents can be installed in an existing roof, or when your roofing is being replaced.

The specialists at Dynamic Roofing General Contractor LLC can help you choose the right type of roof vents for your home. We can repair or install roof vents and improve your attic ventilation.

What to Do if Your Vents Aren’t Working Properly

If you suspect that your roof vents aren’t working properly, Dynamic Roofing can help. Call us today to schedule a free roof and vent inspection; we’ll send a skilled professional to your home as soon as possible. Our expert will give you their recommendations so you can protect your roof – and the rest of your home – with proper roof ventilation.


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