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Do roof vents prevent condensation?

Condensation issues will often go unnoticed for months or even seasons. Eventually, the only solution to prevent condensation is vented.

Condensation issues occur when excess moisture from inside the home collects inside the attic air space, where it eventually cools and condensates.

Weather is never predictable. Rain or snow can lead to water leak issues that are not always easy to identify. Surprisingly, especially during the winter months—is that the majority of leaks often come from inside, and not the roof as most people assume.

Some items and activities within the home that add excess moisture include:

Fireplaces & firewood
Space heaters
Cooking
Showering & bathing
Saunas, hot tubs and Jacuzzis
Washers & dryers
Humidifiers (either furnace mounted or free-standing)

Often, homes with condensation issues also have problems with ice damming during the winter. Ice damming occurs when hot air from the home is trapped inside the attic.

The underside of the roof decking ends up getting heated, causing the snow on the roof to melt.
The water then runs down the roof until it reaches the cool edges of the roof, where it freezes again.

This process is repeated, over and over again, which results in a snowdrift or long icicles forming at the edge of the roof. Ice damming can cause damage to the shingles, underlayment, roof decking, and eavestrough.

Prevent Loft Condensation – Solutions

One can ventilate the loft so moisture is allowed to escape whilst insulating the walls and ceiling to prevent any cold “areas” within the habitable part of the home.

Good quality insulation on the ceiling followed by some roof vents should help, however, if you are still pumping out moisture (kettle shower bath etc) in your home then you will need to make some lifestyle changes, these can really reduce the amount of mold/black spots/damp your property will suffer from in winter months.

Remember, smaller homes like flats and bedsits, etc are more likely to suffer from lifestyle-type condensation.

Roof Vents For Condensation

A roof vent will allow airflow through the loft and will help to reduce condensation.

When ventilating a roof every homeowner needs to be aware that installing vents on properties with little or no ceiling insulation may result in issues arising:

1) Drop-in overall house temperature

2) Increase in heating costs.

This is the result of the warm air generated by the central heating being allowed to escape through the roof.

There are several ways to vent a roof, however ensuring that the ceiling has insulation is ESSENTIAL.

Tile Vents

A tile vent can be installed on either new or existing roofs.

It is not always a good idea to vent the roof at the highest point – two-thirds of the way up the roof is fine. Usually, 2-3 vents per side of a roof are required.

Vents should not be placed parallel to each other but should be stepped so true air circulation in the loft can be achieved.

The vents can be installed by following these instructions:

Remove tiles and timber batten to area with a pencil and using the vent as a template draw an outline – avoid timber rafters!
Using a sharp knife cut the hole into the felt The vent pipe is then pushed through the hole and secured via the fixing holes Roof tiles are then re-laid and cut around the vent pipe – easy.

Ridge Vents

As an alternative to roof tile vents, a pre-vented ridge tile can be fitted which works equally well.

The vent is in most cases cemented to the existing roof, just as a standard non vented ridge tile would be.

Because the vent is placed at the highest level of the home it will allow warm air to escape with ease.

Eaves Vents

There are various eaves vents that can be installed to help reduce condensation in the eaves section of the roof.

Soffit vents and fascia strips can both be installed on both new and existing roof-line boards. These can be used in conjunction with other types of ventilation or as a stand-alone product.

If you are unsure of what type of roof ventilation would work best on your home, get in touch with the experts who will happily help you find the right match.