Do you want your shingles to last long? Or are you up for reducing indoor temperature extremes? While we may not think about our roof vents often, they play an essential role in protecting the home. They help regulate the temperature inside your home, prevent moisture damage, and protect your home from pests and animals.

Also, a properly ventilated home will have a lower risk of condensation and mold, be more energy-efficient, and generally last longer.

This blog post will look at the most common types of roof vents and discuss which ones are best for your home. Also, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type so that you can decide which is best for your home. Let’s get into it.

The Two Styles of Ventilation

There are two main ventilation systems in industrial and commercial buildings: intake and exhaust vents. Each type has advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider when designing a ventilation system.

1. Exhaust Ventilation

Exhaust vents aim to remove contaminants from the air in a room or space. This ventilation system uses fans to draw contaminated air out of the space and expel it outdoors. It is most effective with an intake ventilation system, which will bring fresh air into the space to replace the air that is being removed.

  • Removes contaminants from the air
  • It can be used in conjunction with other ventilation systems
  • It can be expensive to install and maintain
  • Requires regular maintenance to ensure that it is operating properly

2. Intake Ventilation

Intake vents bring fresh, clean air into a room or space. This ventilation system uses fans to draw outside air into the space. Intake ventilation is most effective when paired with an exhaust ventilation system, which will remove contaminated air from the space.

  • Brings fresh, clean air into the space
  • Uses fans to draw in outside air
  • Pairs well with an exhaust ventilation system
  • Placed on roof line to draw cool air

What Happens If My Roof Doesn’t Have Proper Venting?

If your roof doesn’t have proper venting, it can lead to a number of problems.

1. Poor Indoor Air Quality

If your attic is not adequately ventilated, it can cause the build-up of heat and moisture. This can lead to poor indoor air quality and a stuffy feeling in your home. You may also notice an increase in dust and allergens in the air. It is vital to ensure your attic ventilation to avoid these problems.

2. Damaged Roof Shingles

Excess heat and moisture can also damage your roof shingles. The shingles can become warped, cracked, or even brittle. This can lead to leaks and other problems with your roof.

3. Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can also grow in attics that are not properly ventilated. This can cause serious health problems for you and your family. 

4. Ice Dams

In the winter, the warm air from your home can escape into the attic and melt the snow on your roof with bad ventilation. This water can then refreeze at the edge of your roof, forming an ice dam. Ice dams can damage your roof and allow water to enter your home.

5. Insect Infestations

Another problem that can occur is insect infestations. Warm, moist conditions are ideal for many pests, so they may start nesting in your attic.

If you think your roof has a ventilation issue, contact a professional roofing contractor. They will be able to assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.

The Most Common Types of Roof Vents

There are many different types of roof vents available on the market today. However, not all of them are appropriate. Some are more effective than others and some are more suited for specific types of homes and roofs.

Here are the most common types of roof vents to help you choose the best option for your home.

1. Ridge Vents

Ridge vents are installed along the length of your roof ridge (the highest point on your roof where the two sloped sides meet). They allow hot air to escape from your attic and help keep your home cooler in the summer months. Ridge vents are less visible than gable vents, so they can be a good option if you don’t want to alter the look of your home.

2. Turbine Vents

Turbine vents are powered by the wind and rotate to allow hot air to escape from your attic. They’re a good option if you live in an area with high winds, as they can still function even when the wind is blowing strongly. Turbine vents are also less likely to be damaged in a storm than other types of roof vents.

3. Solar Vents

There are two types of solar vents: passive and active. Passive solar vents rely on thermal convection to circulate air, while active solar vents use a fan to create airflow. Solar vents are most effective in hot climates and can help reduce cooling costs by up to 30%.

4. Power Vents

Powered vents are powered by electricity and help to remove hot air from your attic. They’re a good option if you live in an area with high temperatures, as they can remove hot air more effectively than other types of roof vents. Also, they can be used in conjunction with other roof vents, such as gable vents or ridge vents.

5. Off Ridge Vents

They are installed along the roof ridge length, allowing hot air to escape through the small gaps between the shingles. They effectively prevent heat build-up but can be challenging to install and require regular maintenance.

6. Cupola Vents

Cupola vents are small dome-shaped vents that you can install on the roof. They are typical of metal or plastic and have a small base attached to the roof. They are usually used in conjunction with other types of vents, such as ridge vents or soffit vents.

7. Box Vents (aka Louver Vents)

Box vents are a popular type of roof vent that is similar to an off-ridge vent. They are installed by cutting a hole in the roof and are typically used in bunches for effective ventilation. The design of a box vent is more square, and they come in various sizes. They can be used on hipped roofs and offer versatility for complicated roof lines. Ridge vents are typically more effective for larger roof lines.

The Most Common Intake Ventilation Types For Your Home

1. Gable Vents

Gable vents are installed at the roof’s peak in the gable (the triangle-shaped area formed by the intersection of the two sloped sides of a roof). They allow hot air to escape from your attic, which helps keep your home cooler in the summer. They come in various shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits the aesthetic of your home.

An older style of intake vent, gable vents make use of horizontal or cross-ventilation to keep air moving through the attic space. By having vents on each side of the home, a cross breeze is created that helps to circulate the air. However, this method is not as effective on more complex roof styles where rafter beams, peaks, valleys, dormers, and other parts can impede airflow.

2. Soffit Vents

The most common type of soffit vent is the rectangular aluminum or vinyl vent installed under the roofs’ overhangs. These are also known as underage vents. They allow air to enter the attic space at the eaves, which helps equalize the temperature and prevent ice dams from forming.

Small holes in soffits allow excellent air flow into an attic space. This movement of air helps push hot air out of a home through an exhaust vent. The size of the holes in a soffit does not allow for pests or other animals to enter a home.

3. Drip Edge Vents

Drip edge vents are a type of roof vent that you can install underneath the first row of shingles. These vents help drain water into the gutters and are of various materials, including metal. While drip edge vents are effective, they are not as good as soffit vents regarding air intake.

They are best for roofs that cannot utilize sufficient soffit vents for their air intake. Installation of drip edge vents is complicated and only professionals should handle.

4. Over Fascia Vents

Over-fascia vents are designed for roofs that do not have sufficiently sized eaves to fit soffit vents. They are placed at the top of the fascia board and gutter and directly underneath the starter row of shingles. The basic premise behind fascia vents is to allow air intake where the wind hits the roof, unlike a soffit vent that relies on air rising.

Although they generally stretch across the entire bottom of the roof line, over-fascia vents are only about ½ an inch in height, a drastic decrease in available airflow compared to soffit ventilation.

What’s The Best Roof Vent for My Roof?

The vent requirement for a home depends on the climate. An attic can reach temperatures upwards of 160 degrees Fahrenheit in hot and humid conditions. To combat this, experts recommend one square foot of venting for every 300 square feet of attic space. Soffit vents, ridge vents, and gable-end vents are common methods to provide this much-needed ventilation.

If you’re building a new home or have the opportunity to replace your roof, consider installing a ridge vent system. This type of ventilation runs along the length of your roof’s peak and releases heat and moisture from your attic. Ridge vents are most effective when used in conjunction with soffit vents installed on the underside of your roof’s overhang.

When it comes to venting your attic, more is better. Attic ventilation helps fight against the formation of ice dams in cold weather and prevents your shingles from deteriorating prematurely. If you’re unsure what’s best for your home, consult a roofing professional to get help.


What Are Some Popular Features For Roof Vents?

Roof vents come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Some of the most popular features include:

  • A low-profile design that blends in with your roofline
  • Durable construction that can withstand extreme weather conditions
  • An easy-to-install design that does not require special tools or expertise
  • A wide variety of colors and finishes to match your home’s exterior

What Is Vent On Roof For?

Vents on roofs are designed to allow hot air and moisture to escape from your attic, which can help prolong your roof’s life and prevent damage to your home. Heat and moisture can build up in your attic without proper ventilation and cause several problems.

Are Roof Vents Necessary?

While roof vents are not required by code in all areas, they are generally recommended to extend the life of your roof and prevent damage to your home. If you live in an area with hot summers and cold winters, or if your attic is poorly ventilated, roof vents can help regulate the temperature and moisture levels in your attic.

Can Rain Get In Roof Vents?

Roof vents allow air to flow freely while keeping out water and debris. However, if a vent is damaged or improperly installed, it can allow rainwater to enter your attic. To prevent this, ensure your vents are in good condition and installed correctly.

What Happens If Your Attic Is Not Vented?

If your attic is not properly ventilated, heat and moisture can build up and cause various problems like premature aging of your roof, wood rot, mold and mildew growth, and ice dams.

Do All Roof Vents Need A Cap?

No, not all roof vents need a cap. However, caps can help to keep out debris and pests, and they can also improve the appearance of your vents. If you are unsure whether or not your vents need a cap, consult a professional for guidance.

Do Attic Vents Really Work?

Yes, attic vents work and are essential to keeping your home in top shape. Attic vents help regulate the temperature in your attic and help to prevent moisture build-up.

Without proper ventilation, your attic can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can cause serious health problems for you and your family. Additionally, adequately ventilated attics help extend your roof’s life by preventing premature deterioration.

How Do I Stop The Rain From Blowing In My Attic Vents?

You can do a few things to stop the rain from blowing into your attic vents. First, make sure that your vents are properly installed and sealed. Also, you can install a guard over the top of your vents to help deflect the wind and rain. You can also try taping around the edges of your vents with weather-resistant tape.

Are Ridge Vents Better Than Roof Vents?

Ridge vents are a great option for ventilation, but they are not necessarily better than roof vents. Each type of vent has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing the best option for your home is vital. If you are unsure which type of vent is best for your home, you should consult with a professional roofer to get the best advice.


Roof vents come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to roof vents, so it’s essential to choose the right type for your home or business. Consider the climate, the type of building, and the ventilation needs before making a decision. With a little research, you can find the perfect roof vent for your needs.

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Last Updated: July 27, 2022 / Categories: Construction & Renovation, Roofing & Gutters / 11.3 min read / Tags: , /

About the Author: Shaun Wright

Shaun Wright

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