Roofs with a shallow slope are common on certain architectural styles of homes, including Spanish Mission and adobe brick. Most roofers consider a slope of 4 to 12 to be shallow and slopes of 5 to 12 and higher to be steep. While a shallowly sloped roof costs less to build and insulate, it poses some special concerns for ensuring that the space receives enough air flow. Experienced Fort Worth roofing experts can help homeowners devise a plan that provides the correct amount of ventilation necessary for energy efficiency, comfort and rooftop protection.
No matter what the slope of a roof, there should be at least 1 square foot of vent opening per every 150 square feet of the roof's surface. This includes both intake vents that allow outdoor air to come into the attic as well as exhaust vents that allow hot air to leave the space. If a rooftop is made from asphalt shingles or other dark materials, a slightly higher ratio of vents may be ideal, as dark items absorb more of the sun's heat.
Louver vents are a good choice for the gables of a roof. Roofers can install two gable louvered vents to allow for cross ventilation in the attic. The triangular shape of these vents allows for easy installation right at the roof's peak.
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Although the angled slats of the vent prohibit the entry of most birds and animals, homeowners can have roofers install a layer of protective screening to prevent insects from getting inside.
Fascia vents are a good choice for homes with an extremely low pitch, including those that have a slope of 2 to 12 or less. Because these roofs are not very tall, the hot air that accumulates has little room to escape through ventilation systems like a ridge or box vent. When a home with such a shallow pitch is constructed, roofers can install fascia vents. This allows hot air to escape downward rather than through its usual upward path. Fascia vents are best when installed at the time of a home's construction, as retrofitting them is usually a laborious and expensive project.
Turbine vents are the other option for owners of homes with low pitched roofs. These vents are installed near the roof's peak. Within the vent is a small fan that spins around as hot air moves through it, removing more hot air as it spins. The spinning creates a vacuum effect that sucks out more hot attic air.