In addition to keeping the components of your roof in good condition and ensuring you have sufficient insulation, proper roof ventilation is an important part of commercial roof maintenance.
When your roof is improperly ventilated, hot air and moisture can build up beneath it, leading to a number of issues that can wreak havoc on your roof’s integrity.
Proper ventilation of your commercial roof is important because it allows accumulating heat and moisture to escape before it can cause problems. It also prevents cold air from entering the building in the winter. In general, healthy roof ventilation keeps your roof at a stable temperature, preventing a slew of potential issues.
Proper commercial roof ventilation will:
1.) Prevent Mold Growth
As we all know, warm air rises, and with that warm air comes moisture. Without proper roof ventilation, the moisture that rises to the highest levels of your building builds up beneath your roof. There, it can create ideal conditions for mold and mildew growth.
If left unchecked, mold growth can create hazardous conditions in your commercial building. Mold has been known to cause a variety of health issues, such as asthma, in those who are exposed to it. In a commercial building, this means that employees, clients, and visitors are all being put at risk.
Mold growth can cause structural damage to your building as well.
As mold forms on wood and drywall surfaces, it can eat away at them, causing them to weaken and decay. The moisture-rich environment that causes mold to grow can also lead to rust and corrosion of your building’s support beams.
Proper roof ventilation keeps the air moving in and out of your building, preventing the humid conditions that lead to mold growth.
2.) Prevent Ice Dams in Winter
When heat builds up beneath your roof during the winter months, it can cause accumulated ice and snow on your roof’s surface to melt. Melting snow and ice then refreeze along the edges of your roof where it’s cooler, forming ice dams.
Ice dams block melting ice and snow from properly draining through your building’s gutter system. This causes trapped water to pool, eventually leading to roof leaks and interior water damage.
In addition, the weight of trapped ice and snow can strain your roof, eventually leading to structural damage or even roof collapse.
As we mentioned earlier, good roof ventilation keeps your roof at a stable temperature, which will help prevent the formation of ice dams.
3.) Keep Summer Energy Bills Down
When heat can’t escape through your roof, it seeps back into your building, raising your indoor temperature. In the summer, this causes your air conditioning to run more often to keep your building cool, raising your energy costs. A strained A/C system is also likely to fail prematurely, increasing your costs even further.
Proper commercial roof ventilation gives heat an escape route, lowering your indoor temperature and reducing strain on your A/C system.
4.) Avoid Structural Damage
Heat and moisture trapped beneath your roof’s surface can result in structural damage to your roof, such as warped decking, buckling shingles, and damage to the wood frame. From there, damage can extend to the siding of your building, as well as its interior walls and ceilings.
Repairing damage from improper roof ventilation can be costly. And if repairs are not caught early on, you could end up needing to replace your roof much sooner than you otherwise would have.
5.) Extend the Lifespan of Your Roof
When well cared for, your commercial roof has the potential to last for decades. But a lack of proper ventilation can create problems and cause damage that will seriously shorten its life.
Luckily, premature aging of your roof can be avoided with a well-functioning roof ventilation system.
Roof Tech Can Ensure You Have Sufficient Commercial Roof Ventilation
For proper ventilation, your roof needs continuous airflow, striking a balance between air intake and exhaust.
Both are controlled by vents that allow air to move in and out of the building. Keeping the air moving prevents the buildup of excess heat and moisture and saves your roof from the damage we described above.
If you have noticed signs of roof leaks (water stains on ceilings or walls, mold or mildew growth, or visible roof damage, for instance), or if it’s been a while since you had your roof inspected, now would be a good time to schedule your next roof inspection.