The gray stainless steel exhaust pipes on a shingle roof. Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash.

Most homeowners care a lot about the state of their roof, since they’re not cheap to repair or replace. But what many homeowners don’t realize is the importance of their roof ventilation and roofing vents.

In this article, we’ll explain what roof ventilation is and why it’s so important to the longevity and functionality of your roof. For more information about roof maintenance, commercial roofing, residential roofing, and more, please contact Express Roofing today.

What is Roof Ventilation?

Like the name suggests, roof ventilation is simply the system of openings and conduits that determine how air flows and moisture moves within a home’s structure. On a natural level, a ventilation system may be embodied by the wind and air flow that weaves its way through doors, windows, and cracks. But ventilation systems can also be manually produced and managed, and that’s precisely why they’re so important for roof maintenance and care.

In a standard home’s roof ventilation system, you can expect to find a series of intentionally placed vents (openings), fans, and ducts that influence and control the movement of air in and out of the roof.

Why Does Roof Ventilation Matter?

Roof ventilation is critical for maintaining the structural integrity and functionality of a home’s roof. Based on the season and the temperature of the air, a roof can swell or retract in size. In the summer, heated air expands and spreads, potentially damaging the roof if ventilation is insufficient or malfunctioning. Conversely, the colder months of the winter presents a problem when cool air confronts the steam and warmth of daily household activities like cooking, showering, and running heaters. If warm air accumulates and builds up moisture in the roof, its structure can be damaged from mildew, mold, or even the freezing of ice.

Types of Roof Vents

There are two primary types of roof vents: intake and exhaust vents. When properly installed and placed, these vents work in tandem to produce an environment of cool and dry air that best supports the maintenance of the roofing structure. Excessive dryness or moisture can both be highly destructive to a home’s roof. 

Intake vents are generally placed under the eaves of a roof or in lower areas, whereas exhaust vents are located higher, usually at the topmost part of the roof. 

More specifically, intake vents are important because they reduce the amount of hot air that accumulates in upper areas of the house, such as the attic, and therefore play a major role in temperature regulation of the home and effective management of energy costs. On top of this, they’re necessary for improving the lifespan of your roof.

When it comes to exhaust vents, there are a few different varieties. Roof ridge vents, roof louvers, and hip vents are just a few of their names. The precise function of these individual types doesn’t matter so much as their overall shared function: to provide a path for hot air, bacteria, odors, and moisture to escape (i.e. exhaust itself) out of the internal compartments of the roof.


In this article, we’ve taken a brief look at the importance of roof ventilation and why any educated homeowner should keep their maintenance and functionality at the forefront of their mind — or, at least, they should keep it on their mind when thinking about home improvement! 

For more information on roof vents and ventilation systems, please visit our website or give Express Roofing a call today.