Submittal Builder

Submittal Builder

The Importance of Proper Roof Ventilation in Winter

With winter approaching, saving on energy costs and preventing winter damage to roofs are high priorities for building owners. Proper roof ventilation may help reduce many of the costs and dangers attributed to winter weather. When working on a new building project, it is important to include the necessary intake and exhaust vents for proper airflow. Also, if roof consultants are inspecting an older building, it is important for them to note tell-tale signs of improper ventilation and the recommended steps to fix this concern. Examples of improper ventilation include:

· Mold or mildew in attic/insulationIce Dams
· Damp insulation
· Ice Dams
· High heating costs in winter, High cooling costs in summer

Proper ventilation can help with all of these problems that many buildings are often afflicted with.

1. Prevents Ice Dams

Ice dams begin along the roof edge and build up continuously throughout winter. Moist, warm air rises from the lower portion of the building to the attic space. Once this air is in the attic, it condenses on the cold surfaces of the rafters, metal, roof deck, ect. This condensation causes several problems in addition to ice dams:

Ice Dams· Swelling of the roof deck leading to mold, mildew
· Condensation can infiltrate the insulation making it ineffective
· Stain ceilings
· Interior rot, mildew, and poor air quality

Since the attic is significantly warmer than the roof due to improper insulation or ventilation, the warm air causes the snow on the roof to melt and run to the roof edge or gutter which is much colder. The water freezes on the roof edge/gutter creating the beginnings of an ice dam. This will occur countless times during the winter and can cause significant damage as more and more heavy ice builds up on the roof edge.

There are a few ways to avoid the negative causes of ice dams such as proper ventilation, air sealing, and insulation. A balanced ventilation system will keep the flow of air under the roof deck at or below 32 degrees, which means the snow won’t melt and ice dams won’t form. Check out the
animation below, which shows Metal-Era’s intake and exhaust vents working together to create a balanced system. Scroll to the end of our blog for examples of Metal-Era’s ventilation products.

2. Decreases Heating (and Cooling) Costs

A balanced ventilated system creates effective intake and exhaust airflow without the use of fans and other mechanical ventilation products. Reducing the use of mechanical products can greatly reduce energy costs for your building for all seasons, in all climates. Eave and ridge vents work together to provide maximum ventilation for your building, but having too little or Net Free Area Calculatortoo much airflow can cause issues too. Roof ventilation works most effectively when the correct Net Free Area is calculated for your building. Contact a roof consultant to evaluate your roof’s Net Free Area, or view our easy, free Net Free Area calculator.

Water is the most common cause of rot and corrosion within buildings. Moisture inside a building can also contribute to the formation of mold. Additionally, moisture will buildup on and cling to the underside of the roof and the condensation will eventually drip and soak the attic insulation, reducing its efficiency and adding to the problem of increased heating costs. Ventilation can help create optimal airflow to prevent the accumulation of moisture in a building, which will help eliminate problems with mold, mildew and compromised indoor air quality.

Not all ventilation solutions will work for your building. Commercial buildings have very different requirements than residential buildings. One of the biggest mistakes is installing a residential product on a commercial building, which severely undercuts the New Free Area and will not lower energy costs. Check out some of our commercial options below.

3. Prevents Condensation & Mold/Mildew

Snow infiltration is an issue often associated with the installation of roof ventilation products. However, ventilation products that are the correct size and are properly installed should not be the cause of any damage. If you are noticing water or snow infiltration, it might be because your ventilation gaps are too large which allows water to enter the attic space.

Check out our Alta Ski Resort project profile which proves the benefits of ventilation products. The resort has seen over 2,500 inches of snow since Metal-Era installed Hi-Perf Vented Fascia and they have not had any issues with snow infiltration to date.

Metal-Era Airflow Solutions

You do not have to sacrifice proper ventilation in order to avoid snow collecting in your building. Metal-Era’s engineered line of commercial grade ventilation products have been proven to prevent snow and water infiltration. Our ridge vents have passed extensive testing including the Water Infiltration Test TAS 100(A).

1. Hi-Perf Ridge VentRidge Vent
· 50% faster installation compared to other multi-component units
· 20 Year, 120 mph Wind and Ventilation Warranty
· Passed Water Infiltration Test TAS 100(A)
· Snow load tested up to 490 psf

2. Hi-Perf Custom Ridge Vents
· Variety of versions available to fit any project
· 20 Year, 120 mph Wind and Ventilation Warranty
· Restricts heat build-up and moisture accumulation

3. Hi-Perf Vented Fascia
· 20 Year, 120 mph Wind and Ventilation Warranty
· Creates airflow at the eave
· Restricts heat build-up and moisture accumulation

4. Hi-Perf Intake Vent
· 20 Year, 120 mph Wind and Ventilation Warranty
· Creates airflow for roofs without an eave
· Extends the life of the roof

View our
Hi-Perf product page for more information on Metal-Era’s airflow products. We also offer a contractor-friendly line of ventilation products called Eco-Perf. The Eco-Perf product line has recently been updated with a Ridge Vent and Vented Screen. If you have questions on our ventilation products, please contact us at