Understanding Roof Vents, Leaks and Water Damage

Adequate attic circulation is vital to the health of your house. A properly designed and maintained roof protects your Columbus home from rain, hail and other water damage. However, when the attic space is sealed, moisture builds up and can cause water damage and mold problems. Many methods are used to increase airflow without allowing water to flood into the ceiling. We at Mammoth Restoration would like to introduce a few of the mechanisms:

How Whole House Fans Work

According to Energy.gov, a whole house fan provides excellent ventilation to achieve lower indoor temperatures, especially in larger homes. The whole house fan pulls air in from open windows and vents/exhausts it through the attic and roof. It provides good attic ventilation in addition to whole house cooling.

Homever, whole-house attic fans can be a major source of water intrusion into attics. Whole house fans are designed to be run in the summer but air and water can get in twelve months a year. If you think your unit is allowing water in, have Mammoth inspect and repair as needed.

Roof Vents- Placement and Maintenance

Depending on the shape of your roof, the orientation of your home and your climate, many options allow outside air to enter and exit attics and ventilation spaces. All types of vents (intake, exhaust, gable end) might allow wind-driven rain to enter the space. All must also be installed to prevent precipitation, animals and insects from entering the ventilation space. After a hard rain, go into the attic and look for puddles or wet insulation.

What is a Turbine?

A turbine is installed directly on the top of a roof and uses wind power to suck hot and humid air out of the attic. A turbine has a series of vanes or blades. These spin as wind passes through them, drawing air from the ventilated space.

What is A Ridge Vent

A ridge vent is a long vent installed at the peak of a sloped roof which allows warm, humid air to escape a building’s attic. Airflow is maintained two ways. First, hot air naturally rises and exits out the ridge vent, pulling in cool air from below. Second, positive airflow across the ridge of the house creates a “venturi effect”, or a negative pressure, which pulls air out of the ridge vent and brings in cool air from the soffits below. In calm or windy weather, the entire attic is vented by a constant flow of cooler, dryer outside air.

What could go wrong? 1) For optimal performance, ridge vents require soffit venting to bring air up and out the top of the roof. 2) Often, bad ridge vents can contribute to the problem and can lead to moisture issues.

Why Do These Vents Leak?

With proper installation and care, ridge vents and attic fans should not leak. However, improper installation and age can lead to rain intrusion. For example, sometimes installers will use the wrong nails or shorter nails to secure the vents to the structure. When a shoddy or inexperienced contractor fails to overlap the pieces or doesn’t extend the sections enough, rain will eventually make its way into the attic.

Mammoth Repairs Water Damage in Columbus

Proper ventilation is complicated. For example, excess air volume being exhausted by powered ventilation can result in excess air intake. This could mean possible moisture infiltration through ridge vents or static vents. If you think you have moisture in your attic, have Mammoth Restoration and Cleaning come take a look.

When it comes to property damage restoration from a leaking roof, or any water damage, you need a team that understands what you’re going through. Mammoth brings a unique combination of first hand experience (they’ve been through this hundreds of times) and a “service heart” to help you in this stressful time.

Mammoth is Ohio’s and West Virginia’s leading expert in the restoration of water, fire and smoke damage. Contact us for a quick response.

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