Today’s blog post takes us back to Dobbs Ferry, New York, in Westchester County.
Most homeowners think about the interior of their home, but maybe not so much about the exterior, unless they notice an obvious issue with, say, the look of their shingles. Something that not many homeowners think about is roof ventilation. Roof ventilation is an essential part of your roof, a service if you will. It is a system of intake and exhaust vents that keep air circulating.
We all know that warm air rises. If your roof is not ventilating properly, that hot air can get trapped and cause a couple of problems. What kind of problems, you may ask?
Well, for starters: moisture damage. No matter how well your home is constructed, nothing is ever going to be perfect, and that includes ceiling seals. And your ceiling is only as good as its seals when it comes to moisture.
Air is going to leak into the attic space and form condensation (moisture/water). That condensation is going to start to attack the sheathing and the roof framing, potentially causing structural damage. Sheathing is another name for the decking, the foundation of your roof.
In the winter, poor ventilation allows for potential ice dams to form. As you heat up your house, the air escapes to the attic and melts the snow on the roof. At this point, the eaves still remain cold, so when the water reaches them, it freezes again and forms a dam. If the water keeps going and forms a pool in the back of the dam, the water can start to penetrate and damage the shingles.
So how do we ensure proper roof ventilation? And why are we even talking about this?
Well, our Dobbs Ferry client in today’s blog post contacted us for a shingle replacement. As professional contractors, we always inspect the property to see what issues there are and what needs to be done before we even think about getting the project started, especially hidden damage.
Before any installation work is done, we have a thorough conversation with the homeowner about our assessment. That way we are all on the same page, and everyone is comfortable with the project details.
When we did our evaluation of the Dobbs Ferry home, we noticed that the roof did not have proper ventilation. This could have played a factor in the roof’s lifespan diminishing. Our clients had no idea that their roof was lacking in the ventilation department. It’s not something most people would be aware of, and since this blog is to discuss our work and educate our clients here, we are having an in-depth conversation about roof ventilation. So, let’s continue, shall we?
When it comes to intake air, there are different options, but in this case (and with most residential homes), soffit vents are the way to go. Now when you have soffit vents, you want to make sure you check them periodically to ensure they are free of debris or damage.
When your roof is vented properly, the fresh air of the outdoors is drawn into the attic, naturally moving out the hotter air and lowering the overall heat in the space. As we said, this also keeps condensation/moisture from building up and affecting your roof system (from the framing to decking and underlayment to shingles) from below. Your roof will naturally face uncontrollable forces from the exterior (rain, snow, loose debris, summer sun, etc.) over its lifetime, but taking measures to seal and protect the roof from underneath is something within your control.
If you are wondering how you can spot ventilation issues, here’s a hack during the cold season.
Next time it snows, if your roof is bare and your neighbor’s roof is covered in snow, it’s a pretty good sign something is up with your roof’s ventilation system. That would be the time to have a roofing professional come out and do an evaluation.
As for our client in Dobbs Ferry, we did an installation of soffit vents around the entire home. This is going to greatly improve the comfort of their home, lower their electricity bill, and help reduce shingle maintenance and wear down the road.
When we were replacing the roof shingles, we noticed there was a water leak that had gone unnoticed, and some areas were deeply impacted by wood rot. We were able to repair the areas affected by rot, as well as repair the leak itself.
One of the things that our clients really love and appreciate about us is that our service is efficient; we’ve been contractors a long time and have this down. We get the work done when we say we are going to get it done. We understand that home renovations (especially removing old shingles from a roof and installing new shingles) can be disruptive, and we want to keep those issues to an absolute minimum.
For this project in Dobbs Ferry, we were in and out in three days. The clients decided on a lovely GAF asphalt roof in Pewter Gray that really matched the aesthetics of their home and residential property.
There are many types of shingles and brands, but for the budget-friendly cost and value, it’s hard to beat GAF. We stand by GAF as the industry standard, so much so that we’re a GAF-certified contractor. GAF offers durability and a great warranty, and the color options are vast.
All told, the clients were happy to know that their ventilation problem was a thing of the past and their new roof looked excellent. And we were so happy to be able to assist the client with their new roof, and to be able to find a problem they didn’t even know they had. They can rest assured the framing, sheathing, and asphalt shingles on their roof are good to go for years to come.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the residential exterior of your home, feel free to give us a call. We are contractors at your service and always happy to help with home renovations in any way that we can, from shingle assessment and installation to siding and windows.
City: Dobbs Ferry
Materials used (manufacturer): GAF
Materials used (type): Asphalt
Materials used (color): Pewter Gray
Project Cost: $10,000
Time to Complete: Three days