There is no question your attic needs ventilation for a variety of reasons both practical and economical. If you have an older home that needs a roof replacement before you do anything you will want to contact a reputable, professional roofing company. Almost anyone can replace shingles, but you will want someone who is also an expert in ventilation as well. At Colorado Premier Roofing we have been replacing and upgrading roofs for almost two decades in the Lakewood area. Venting is important in roof longevity and you may find out that whirlybird vents may be the way to go.
Although for the past fifteen years roof ventilation has been a continuous ridge and soffit system, there are other more affordable ways to ventilate your home such as with box vents, turbine vents and even power vents. A step up from the static box vent is the turbine or “whirlybird” vent you often see on roofs. No matter which venting system you install the purpose of it is to create airflow to minimize a buildup of heat and moisture that can create havoc in your attic and on your roof. The other object of any good ventilation system is to let airflow in, but keep rain and snow out.
With a static ventilation system the direction of the wind can affect the usefulness of the vent by creating a vacuum on the leeward side of the roof. A better alternative is to use traditional wind turbine or “whirlybird” vents. These are round metal vents with fins on them that pull air from an attic space no matter from which direction the wind is blowing. Unlike static vents, they do have moving parts but are wind driven not power driven. When the wind blows these “chef’s hats” move a lot more air than static vents. They run in the $30 to $50 range and are quite effective. They come in a variety of quality and you should make sure you purchase wind turbine vents with plastic bushings or permanently lubricated bearings to avoid the squeak of less expensive models.
The vents are round metal dome-shaped housings that have fins located inside. When the wind is blowing it catches the fins which then acts as a fan displacing air from the attic. They stand up 18″ to 20″ above the roof. The turbine rotates faster as the wind speed increases.
Turbine vents have been used for many years in both residential, commercial and agricultural buildings. They are affordable, efficient and pump a lot of air out of attic spaces. To give you an idea a small 12-inch turbine vent with a wind speed of 5 mph can remove 347 cubic feet of air per minute (cfm). A larger 14-inch vent can displace over 1,342 cfm. This means with a constant wind speed of 5 mph one turbine can replace 18,000 cubic feet of air every 52 minutes. Although the vents look as if rain would leak in during a rainstorm the wind that usually accompanies the rain actually cause the turbine to spin and blow rain and snow away from the vent.
A professional roofer like Colorado Premier Roofing can install a single turbine in less than fifteen minutes. They are affordable, efficient and should last for years.