After Hurricane Irma, we encountered a pattern of leaks in hundreds of roofs. Their common trait was they had off ridge vents but no baffles. But why was this the case?
Roof vents are designed to provide ventilation in the attic space. They work more like a vacuum, allowing continuous air circulation through every rafter. As a result, the warm air and moisture in the attic space can escape to the outside and enhance your home’s energy efficiency.
Unlike ridge vents that provide a seamless look and better weather protection, off-ridge vents are often susceptible to leaks.
Fortunately, there are solutions. Having regular roof inspections can help you identify the source of leaks and prolong the life of your roof.
How Off-Ridge Vents Let in Water
In many cases, off-ridge vents let in leaks through wind-driven rain. Traditional vents are installed over penetrations cut in the roof and use wind and convection forces to allow warm air and moisture in the attic space to escape to the outside. Roofs can have several box vents on the roof, depending on the square footage.
Spaces between the rafters where the off-ridge vent sits can store air, which becomes difficult to force out. And since the vent is covering a hole, it is more prone to leaks. Moreover, wind-driven rain can find its way into your attic from the bottom of the vent, causing a myriad of problems to your roof’s interior. The damage may not be immediately noticeable since the moisture is soaked up by the insulation. It’s often not enough to drip down and stain your ceilings or destroy the baseboard or carpet inside. However, the little leaks can gradually cause mold, rot, and deterioration in the attic and should be addressed.
After Hurricane Irma showed how many vents without baffles failed, the building code was updated to require them.
Install Baffles to Mitigate Leaks
For off-ridge vents to work properly, you must have proper soffit ventilation and an open attic. These vents are more often installed on homes with uniquely designed roofs or small roof ridges which don’t allow for ridge vents.
To prevent leaks from off-ridge vents, they need external wind baffles to direct airflow up and over the vent. This helps to create an area of low pressure over the vent openings, effectively pulling air out of the attic. The baffles also deflect wind-driven rain over the vent, protecting your roof and the attic from moisture infiltration.
These baffles can be added to existing off-ridge vents so you won’t need to have them replaced. This adds protection to your tile roof, eliminates worry about leaks, and helps extend the roof’s life.
If you have off-ridge vents, connect with Kelly Roofing in South Florida to make sure your roof is fully protected. We provide free consultation and estimates throughout the year. Contact us today to learn how we can help you eliminate worry about roof leaks.