Is Roof Ventilation Necessary for Your Home?


Roof ventilation, often overlooked, is a critical aspect of home maintenance, particularly in climates with extreme weather conditions. Homeowners frequently ponder the necessity of proper roof ventilation and its impact on the longevity and efficiency of their roofing systems.


Roof Ventilation

The complete health of the household can easily be preserved by installing the right roof ventilation. Mostly, people tend to ignore the importance of roof ventilation, which makes their roofs and building’s entire infrastructure even weaker with time.

Ventilation serves a dual purpose: it regulates temperatures in the attic and mitigates moisture accumulation. The best quality roof ventilation systems, are those that enhance the roof’s lifespan and also add protection to the building’s structure.

However, there are many different types of roof vents available in the market, and all of them have the most essential function of removing the bad air from your attics and sucking in fresh air from outside into the building.

Regular Winnipeg roof inspections are pivotal in ensuring that the ventilation is functioning optimally. These inspections can identify potential risks early, preventing costly repairs and extending the life of the roof. Through this article, homeowners will gain insights into the importance of roof ventilation and how it forms an integral part of home care in Winnipeg.

What is Roof Ventilation?

Simply put, roof ventilation allows air to flow through your attic. This flow keeps the attic temperature consistent with the outside temperature. Why does this matter? Because extreme differences in temperature can lead to major problems. Moisture accumulation, ice dams in winter, and excessive heat in summer can all damage your roof. Ventilation solves these issues by regulating the attic environment.

Key Components of a Roof Ventilation System

A well-designed roof ventilation system has several parts. Vents are pivotal, with intake vents (like soffits) positioned at the roof’s lowest point and exhaust vents (such as a ridge or gable vents) at the highest. This placement maximizes the natural flow of air.

Soffits, often found under the eaves, allow cool air into the attic. Ridge vents, running along the roof’s peak, let out warm, moist air. These components, when properly aligned, maintain a balanced attic environment, reducing the risk of problems like roof leaks, mold growth, and structural damage.

In Winnipeg, where temperatures drop significantly, proper roof ventilation can prevent roof leaks. It keeps the structure dry and prevents damage from ice and snow. Affordable roofing Winnipeg options work well with these ventilation systems.

Different Types of Ventilation

Five main styles of ventilation are commonly used in many buildings and houses. Having full knowledge of how these two types of ventilations work and their features is very important. Let’s start:

The Exhaust Ventilation

These systems work by depressurizing your building. You need to install an exhaust in the attic to remove the stale air and odor from the house and will discard the hot, damp, and smelly air out of the house.

To get rid of the hot air, exhaust vents are used because they are generally installed at the top where the hot air rises and it’s easier for the exhaust vent to suck this air out.

Common in residential properties, these systems are simple and relatively inexpensive but can lead to moisture problems in colder climates.

Natural ventilation

This system relies on natural forces like wind and thermal buoyancy to circulate air in and out of a building. It includes operable windows, vents, doors and openings. Natural roof ventilation is cost-effective and energy-efficient, but its effectiveness can vary greatly based on weather conditions and building design.

Mechanized Fan Ventilation

Another type of commonly used ventilation is the installation of mechanized fans. These fans are professionally installed in windows and near the air ducts. In this way, the air can easily enter and leave the place.

Mechanized fans in buildings work differently based on the weather. When it is humid, they pull in more air to reduce stuffiness. In windy conditions, they slow down. This helps keep the inside of the building comfortable, no matter what’s happening outside. The fans adjust to bring in the right amount of air, so it always feels nice inside.

Attic Ventilation

Specific to homes with attics, this type of ventilation ensures the attic space is properly aired. This prevents moisture accumulation and overheating, which can decrease the need for Winnipeg roof inspections. It typically involves a combination of ridge vents, soffit vents, and gable vents to create a continuous airflow through the attic.

Smoke ventilation

In large premises, maintaining clear emergency exit routes is crucial for safety. Automatic Opening Vent (AOV) systems play a vital role in this regard, especially in the context of smoke ventilation. These systems are designed to activate automatically in the event of a fire. They effectively remove smoke from the building. This action is crucial for several reasons.

Firstly, AOV systems help in keeping escape routes smoke-free. During a fire, smoke can be as dangerous as flames. Excessive smoke can often hinder visibility and affect breathing, which can be disorienting and dangerous for occupants trying to evacuate. By efficiently venting out smoke, AOV systems ensure that escape routes remain visible and less obstructed, thereby aiding in the safe evacuation of the building’s occupants.

Secondly, these systems assist firefighters by improving visibility and reducing the density of smoke, making it easier for them to navigate the building and locate the source of the fire. This can significantly enhance their efficiency in controlling and extinguishing the fire.

Lastly, AOV systems help in reducing the damage to property caused by smoke, which can be extensive, especially in terms of soot deposition and the associated acidic properties that can corrode metals and damage other materials.

Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRVs) and Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs)

HRVs and ERVs are advanced forms of balanced ventilation systems. They recover energy from the outgoing air and use it to condition the incoming air. This significantly reduces the energy cost of heating or cooling fresh air.

HRVs are ideal for colder climates as they can transfer heat to the incoming cold air, whereas ERVs also transfer moisture, which is beneficial in both cold and hot climates.

Supply ventilation

Supply ventilation is another type of ventilation that is commonly used to allow good air circulation in living rooms and bedrooms. Opposite to exhaust systems, supply ventilation systems pressurize a building. It has a mechanism that sucks the air out with a lot of pressure and this is done by using a high-quality fan.

Balanced ventilation

Balanced ventilation is known for its amazing features, as its functionalities are a mix of both exhaust ventilation and supply ventilation.

This type of ventilation uses many fans and duct systems to put in fresh air inside the building and throw out the stale air. This type of system is particularly effective as it can be equipped with heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) or energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) to improve energy efficiency.

Benefits of Proper Roof Ventilation

The major benefits of installing roof ventilation for Metal Roofing Winnipeg are described below:

Prevents Moisture Control

Improperly ventilated roofs create moisture in the walls. This can cause mold and decay to happen. Thus, in such an environment as Winnipeg with its ever-changing weather conditions, moisture regulation is essential. Ventilation prevents the attic from becoming damp, thus safeguarding the roof structure a lot.

Increases Energy Efficiency

In cold regions, the metal roofing Winnipeg is a source of heat loss. A well-ventilated roof reduces this kind of loss. It facilitates the movement of cold air under the roof deck, which prevents temperature fluctuations in the attic and throughout the rest of the house. The decreased load of heating systems minimizes energy consumption.

Increases Roof’s Lifespan

The life of the roof can be reduced if the roof is not incorporated with the proper ventilation system.

Roofs, with poor ventilation, acquire mold and mildew and make the attic of the building relatively hotter. In this way, not only the roofs are damaged but also the entire structure of the building becomes prone to potential damage. Regular Winnipeg roof inspections can catch any ventilation issues early.

Prevents Ice Damming      

In colder areas where it is always snowing, a proper roof ventilation system is very important. If the building is installed with the right roof ventilation system, the risk of ice dams can easily be eliminated.

Ice dams are usually caused when the hotter air goes all the way down the roof deck and melts the ice on the roof, now this melted ice will enter the building’s attic and freeze.

If proper ventilation is installed, the warm air will be directed from the living room to the roof to prevent the ice dams from forming.

Compatibility with Metal Roofing

Metal roofing in Winnipeg benefits greatly from proper ventilation. It prevents the metal from overheating and warping.

Passive vs. Active Ventilation: Choosing What’s Right for Your Home

There are two main types of roof ventilation: passive and active. Passive systems rely on natural airflow with no mechanical parts involved. Think vents, soffits, and ridges. These components work together to let air move freely. Active systems, on the other hand, use powered solutions. They often involve electric or solar-powered fans. They actively remove hot air and draw in cooler air, providing a more controlled ventilation environment. While more efficient, active systems can be costlier to install and maintain.

Active Attic Ventilation System

The active roof ventilation system is further divided into 4 types, which are described below:

Turbine Vents

Turbine vents are also commonly known as whirly birds. Their functioning is more like the process of convection, where heat rises to the top from the bottom without the presence of wind.

Turbine vents are designed to have slats and are installed in the attic of the buildings, from where the hot air leaves the building without causing any damage to the rest of the place.

Power Vents

Power attic vents, also known as attic fans, are a common type of active ventilation. These electrically powered fans are installed on the roof or gable end of a house. They work by forcibly expelling hot air from the attic.

The activation of these fans is typically controlled by a thermostat, which triggers the fan when the attic reaches a certain temperature. This system is effective in rapidly reducing attic heat and can help in lowering cooling costs.

Ridge Vent with a Baffle

Ridge vents are famous for their unique design. These vents are visible from the ground because they have big chutes to channel the flow of air in and out of the attic.

It is important to make sure that the filters are working properly in ridge vents because broken filters might cause pests, waste, and ice dams in the attic.

Solar-Powered Vents

The solar-powered vents are similar to power vents but the difference is that don’t require motors to run but get their energy from the sun.

These are very energy efficient and available at reasonable prices. Solar vents stop working in the absence of sunlight and might require a battery to keep functioning properly.

Passive Attic Roof Ventilation System

Passive attic ventilation systems rely on natural airflow, without the use of mechanical devices, to regulate the temperature and moisture levels in an attic. These systems are designed to create a continuous airflow through the attic space, utilizing the natural movement of hot air and the principles of convection. There are several types of passive attic ventilation systems, each serving a unique role in maintaining the health and efficiency of a home’s roofing system.

Passive attic ventilation systems work best in windy areas because their functioning relies upon the wind and convection of air. This ventilation system is further divided into different types in terms of configuration which are described below:

Static Vents

Static vents are also known as box vents because of their box-like shape. These vents let the hot air escape the building through the convection method, where the hot air rises from the bottom up to the attic and leaves through installed box vents.

Gable End Vents

Gable end vents are famous for their aesthetic wooden structure. Gable vents are installed in the walls of the attic, usually near the roof peak, on opposite ends of the house. This type of ventilation requires wind energy to operate perfectly and discard stale air from the building.

Winnipeg attic ventilation

Signs of Poor Roof Ventilation

Poor ventilation can easily be spotted by observing the below-described signs:

The Rooms Upstairs become Hotter

One of the most apparent signs of poor ventilation is that the rooms which are present upstairs will become hotter during the summer season.

Poor ventilation will cause the hot air inside the building to get trapped in the rooms near the attic. The air conditioning of the building will also have to run for a longer time to maintain the temperature.

Ice-Damming Occurs during the Winter Months

Poor ventilation will cause ice dams in the attic. These ice dams will melt eventually and start dripping inside the building, which is why the presence of ice dams in the attics is a sign of poor ventilation in the building.

Roof Sinking and Discoloration

When the roof starts sinking and the color of the ceilings starts fading, it means that the ventilation system of the building is getting weaker.

Roofs, which are made up of wood, due to poor ventilation, absorb moisture and become damp which will make the roof decks of the building saggy and fade.

Mold forming and metal rusting in the attic

Another sign of poor roof ventilation in the building is the formation of mold and mildew in the attic and rooms nearby.

Due to poor ventilation, rooms will become more humid which is the ideal environment for mold growth. Molds can easily be detected by their strange odor, while the AC is running.

Molds also give birth to corrosion of metal components like nails and staples which hold the roof together.

Termite or Other Animal infestation

Just like mold, a poor ventilation system gives birth to termites in the building. Termite infestation in the attic and rooms is caused by humidity and lack of air circulation in the place. Termites and other insects start growing in humid areas especially if they are cracked or broken.

Cracked Asphalt Shingles

Cracked or broken shingles in the roof and attic are another clear sign of poor ventilation in the place. The broken asphalt shingles make the whole structure of the roof even weaker, while the lack of air circulation in the place causes the adhesives that hold the roof together to fall apart. In this case, the poor ventilation makes the building unsafe and vulnerable to potential damage.

Factors to Consider

There are many key factors to consider while installing a roof ventilation system in the building which are described below:

Roof Size:

Roof size is the most important factor which impacts the roof ventilation system installed in the building. Before placing the ventilation system, it is necessary to measure the size of the roof. To keep the look of the building, the vents must complement the roof size.

Ridge vents, static vents, and Turbine vents go well with the roofs of houses in Winnipeg. The pitch and size of the roof impact the working of vents as well, so it’s essential to choose appropriate vents by keeping the roof’s size in mind.

Local Climate:

Another factor that has a huge impact on the ventilation system is the local climate. Climates that are hot and humid require vents which are powered by heavy fans, while in colder climates roofventilation systems like soffit vents must be installed because they prevent the formation of ice dams.

Home Design:

Home design also impacts the installed ventilation system. The presence of windows, the layout of roofs, and the location of the attic change the roof ventilation requirements of the buildings. For attics specific roof ventilation systems are important to avoid pests, mold, and mildew.


Determining the need for roof ventilation is crucial. It ensures the longevity and effectiveness of your home’s roofing system. In this article, we explored various aspects to help you decide if your home requires better roof ventilation.

At Kenava Roofing, we understand the unique demands of Winnipeg‘s climate. Our team specializes in providing solutions that cater to these specific needs. Our focus is on ensuring that your home remains safe, comfortable, and well-protected against the elements.

To ensure your home is well-equipped to handle the varying weather conditions of Winnipeg, reach out to us. Let Kenava Roofing be your partner in maintaining a healthy, ventilated, and durable roof and roof ventilation. Contact us today to discuss your roofing needs or to schedule an inspection. Your home deserves the best protection, and we are here to provide it.

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