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Roof Ventilation – Does it Really Work?

Roof ventilation is, in theory, supposed to increase the flow of air throughout your attic. This system will reduce humidity in your attic; thereby, preventing a buildup of mold within your walls and improving the quality of air throughout your home. While it’s a great idea, there’s a lot of debate as to whether or not it actually works. But lucky for you, we have the truth.

Below, you can read all about whether or not roof ventilation actually works.

Does it work?

In short, roof ventilation can work, but people often do it wrongly. Not only this, but roof ventilation is actually the same for every home and the roof rarely has anything to do with it. Most often, the reason why roof ventilation doesn’t work is because the ceiling isn’t airtight.

Before you go through this, though, your attic should be completely cleared of anything except your insulation. If you have stuff in your attic, your insulation can be moved around easily and can reduce the efficiency of your roof ventilation.

How can it go wrong?

The reason why roof ventilation is often done wrongly is because there are people who simply don’t follow the instructions. They simply drill holes into the ceiling, which they fill with recessed lights and install a series of mechanical systems.

The problem with doing this is that when they stuff the drilled holes with recessed lights, air is able to leak through. In colder temperatures, these leakages can lead to a buildup of humidity in the attic that’s worse than if you hadn’t installed the ventilation in the first place.

Of course, because it’s cold during this time, your home will be colder and you’ll be wasting energy and heat by trying to make up for the cold air coming in.

Another problem is that if you get a professional to do it, he or she might not know to air-seal all of the areas that need to be sealed. If you aren’t a professional in the area, then you also won’t know if they’ve done it.

Some people try to fix the leaks with duct tape, and it seems to work for a short while, but duct tape isn’t always effective. You can cut down on how much air is coming in, but you can’t remove the leakages altogether.

How to make it work

If you want to make it work, you need to make sure that your attic and roof is as minimalist as possible. This is especially true if you’re trying to ventilate your roof deck. It’s practically impossible to do if you have any skylights, valleys, hips, or dormers because these will interrupt the rafter bays. You need to have at least one inch of space between the top of your insulation and the back of your roof sheathing. You should be aware, though, that if you live in a colder climate, it’s easy for snow to enter the ridge vents and cause rot in your attic and roof. Over time, this rot will increase throughout your home and can cause cave-ins, as well as other problems that will cost you more money in the long-run.


Are you thinking about ventilating your roof? Have you heard horror stories about roof ventilation that goes horribly wrong? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Plenty of people ventilate their roof wrongly and it doesn’t work at all, which is why some decide not to do it at all.

In the above guide, we teach you about how to make your roof ventilation work and why it goes wrong so often.

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