Attic Ventilation

ventilation during summer months

Attic ventilation is critical to getting the most life out of the roof covering.  Attic ventilation also play a large role in keeping the home cool in the summer, and the prevention of condensation and Ice Dam problems in the winter.  Attic ventilation is an important part of the roof system. The 3 components of the roof system are Roofing Material, Attic Ventilation, and Attic Insulation.  Attic Ventilation is a key component in this system.

Attic ventilation is a simple concept.  The fresh, outside air should enter the attic preferably on the lower part of the roof, and then exhaust the hot or moist air near the upper part of the roof.  It’s best to have 50 to 60% of the vents low and 40 to 50% of the vents as high as possible.

3 Things You Should Know about Attic Ventilation

1. An improperly vented attic can reach a temperature of up to 160 degrees when the outside air temperature is in the 90s. Proper ventilation can reduce the attic temperature by as much as 60 degrees.

2. An under ventilated attic will “cook” asphalt shingles, and cause them to prematurely fail, this will void manufacturers warranties.

3. A properly ventilated attic will make the house cooler, and cost less to Air Condition.

attic ventilation during winter months
During winter months, proper ventilation prevents moisture from getting trapped in the attic and causing problems.

attic ventilation during summer months
During summer months, proper ventilation cools and reduces the heat penetrating the home, through the attic.

Attic Exhaust Vents

There are many types of vents used to exhaust attic air. The important thing is to not incorrectly mix too many vents of different types. This is often done by overloading the upper roof with vents, and not providing enough air inlets. The term for this is called, “short-circuiting the ventilation”. This can actually cause the attic to become hotter! Click here for more: Fans and Ventilation

Slant Back Roof Vents have closely spaced louver openings allowing for exhaust air.

Solar Powered Attic Fans move a tremendous amount of air and have almost silent operation.

Ridge Vents are a great way to vent all attics and the only way to vent attic cavities on a vaulted ceiling. Ridge vents help prevent snow from blowing into the attic.  Ridge Vents are never allowed below a pitch of 4/12!

Wire Powered Attic Fans have a control box that turns the fan on at a set temperature, or if moisture is in the air.

Gable Vents

gable roof vent air flow

Gable vents are another way to vent an attic. However, the usually don’t prevent enough ventilation on their own. The best way to get adequate ventilation with gable vents is to install an electric gable vent fan at one end and create an “air tunnel”.

Air Intake Vents

Soffit Vents

Soffit vents are installed into the underside of your home’s eaves (soffit). These vents allow fresh air from outside to be drawn into the attic.

Cutting in & Installing New Soffit Vent

Eave Vents

Eave Vents are the simplest way to vent a home without proper soffit vents.  These vents should be installed on both sides of the house and should run the entire length. Eave vents must also be installed above any insulation.

installing eave vent under shingles

Proper Attic Ventilation

Ensuring your home has proper attic ventilation is an important step in the roof system. At Excel, our roofing professionals are educated on proper ventilation techniques and they care about the comfort of your home just as much as you do. If you plan on getting a new roof, updating or adding to your ventilation is a good plan. If you need a free inspection you should contact an A+ rated BBB company like Excel Roofing.  

At Denver’s best roofing company, “You Don’t Pay A Cent Until You’re Content”!  If you have any questions, or need an estimate schedule an inspection with the cool roofing experts at Excel Roofing

The 4 Components Of The Roofing System

roof with an ice dam

The roofing system consists of four vital components:

  1. The Roof cover material
  2. Attic ventilation
  3. Attic Insulation
  4. Rain gutters & Proper roof drainage

All of these components need to be chosen for the best look for the home and also value for the customer.  Then the components need to be correctly installed to obtain maximum performance for the homeowner.

Asphalt Roofs

The first part of the system is the Roofing material.  The type of material, color, and how the Roof is applied will impact may things such as;

  1. What will the roof look like?
  2. How easily is the roof damage by hail?
  3. How much heat will the roof absorb and transfers into the home.  
  4. How fast snow slide off the roof
  5. How much will it cost to insure the roof

When deciding on a new roof for a home, all of these factors should be considered when making the decision about the roof material.  Keep in mind all roofs all have pros and cons.

The most common roofing material in America is Asphalt Shingles.  Asphalt Shingles have dramatically transformed since the early 1990’s.  They have changed from a low-end roof covering to multiple designs, thicknesses, and price points from low to high.  Asphalt shingles are generally guaranteed from 25 years to the lifetime a Homeowner owns the home. Asphalt shingles do absorb and transfer a considerable amount of heat into the home.  Inexpensive Asphalt Shingles are easily damaged by hail. The more expensive Asphalt shingles are made with a rubber like core and the hails tends to bounce off these shingles. Most insurance companies will give the Homeowner a discount for having a Class 4 Impact resistant roof. 

Pros:  The most options of any roof covering  * The least expensive $ roofing

Available  * Many types of Class 4, Impact Resistant Asphalt Shingles available

Cons:  Cheap shingles are easily damaged by hail  * Asphalt shingles have a short life

    Expectancy  * Some Asphalt shingles can be expensive  $$

When deciding on a new roof for a home, all of these factors should be considered when making the decision about the roof material.  Keep in mind all roofs all have pros and cons.

Concrete Tile Roofs

Concrete Tile roofs are supposed to last 50 years.  It is important to understand that a high-quality underlayment system is critical to getting 50 years of service from a tile roof.  Excel has replaced many tile roofs that were not installed to the quality standards, and this has caused problems for the homeowners well before 50 years.  Excel installs Tile roofs designed to last the 50 years. The Tile is installed on an elevated batten system, so the tile are not in direct contact with the roof deck, the heat absorbed by the tiles does not pass directly to the roof deck and into the home.  Tile roofs are long-lasting and great choice especially when replacing a Cedar Shake Roof.

Pros:  High end roof covering that adds value to home

Long lasting  * Hail resistant  * low maintenance Roof  * Easy to Repair 

Cons: Heavy Weight, A structural engineer needs to evaluate the home and sometimes additional bracing is necessary to reinforce the home’s framing

 Moderately expensive $$$ *  Tiles can be broken by foot traffic

Metal Roofs

Residential metal roofing is divided into 2 types of styles.  The First is vertical panels that are screwed on through the top or have the fasteners hidden.  The second type is horizontal panels that try to mimic Shake or Tile roofs. These panels are referred to as stone coated steel. Metal roofing is lightweight and can have a thick look. Stone Coated Steel panels have granules glued on top for color.  These are the same granules used on Asphalt shingles. Stone Coated Steel panels can be dented when walked on. The granules can be knocked off by hail, which may not be covered by insurance. Most Steel roofs are Class 4 Impact resistant, and qualify for insurance discounts.  

Pros:  Lightweight  * Long Life Span  * Stone coated steel roofs look thick and have a high end curb appeal  * Vertical panels are moderately priced $$

Cons:  Snow sliding off the vertical panels and can be dangerous  *  Exposed panel screws need to be re-tightened about every 5 years  * Stone coated Steel panels can be dented by foot traffic  * Stone coated steel roofs are expensive $$$$

Synthetic Roofs

There are two main manufacturers of synthetic residential roofing material, Da Vinci and F-Wave. Da Vinci Roofing products have been around for over 20 years. They are durable and have a thick Cedar Shake or Slate-like appearance.  F-Wave roofing material is relatively new. Their patented manufacturing process produces granule free, plastic synthetic shingles that are durable, resistant to cracking and fading and have an asphalt shingle appearance. The cost of this shingle is about double the price of asphalt shingles.

Pros: Extremely Hail resistant, the most hail resistant product on the market today  *Qualifies for Class 4 insurance discounts * Wide variety of profiles, can look like Asphalt shingle, Cedar Shakes, or Slate  

Cons:  Expensive $$$$ 

Cedar Shake & Shingle Roofs

Shake roofs are like Bell bottom pants.  In the 1970’s it was the thing to have. Now a shake roof will get you an insurance surcharge, and when the home is sold most buyers will demand a new roof.   Despite the fact that insurance companies don’t like Cedar Shake roofs they do have some good attributes. Cedar Shake roofs are the greenest roof possible; they are naturally grown.  The Cedar wood absorbs minimal heat, and because they are a natural insulator, they transfer very little heat into the home. Shakes are made of Cedar Wood which is naturally bug resistant, and resists rot.  These days Excel usually only installs Cedar Shake roof on historical structures where it is required to match original roof materials.

Pros:  Green Roof  * Natural insulator does not Transfer Heat  * Bug and Rot Resistant

Cons:  Many Insurance Companies will not insure this type of roof  * Easily damaged   by hail * Expensive $$$

Attic Ventilation

Attic ventilation is the second component of the roofing system.  It is the most important factor in keeping the attic cool.  The best attic ventilation is when air flow is balanced, 50% entering the lower area, 50% exiting the top.  The heat in an under-ventilated attic can actually damage the asphalt shingles on your roof, causing them to “cook” and blister in the intense heat. This can void manufacturers’ warranties.

The coolness of the attic will affect the overall temperature of the house and can greatly affect the efficiency of the cooling system.  In the summer when the temperature is 95 degrees an attic can reach 160 degrees if it’s not properly ventilated.  This is going to cause the house to be hot, and stay hot. It also causes the air conditioner to work overtime. Proper attic ventilation is a key component of the roof system.

Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is the third component in the roofing system.  Most homes built in the 70s and before had about 3.5 inches of attic insulation.  This was because of lax building codes and the fact that energy was cheaper than insulation.  Insulation is measured in R-value, e.g. the resistance to heat flow through a given thickness of material. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance.  Today’s Standard for our area is R-49, or about 20 inches of insulation.

roof with an ice dam

An under insulated attic floor can cause up to 40% of the homes heated air to be lost through the ceiling.  In the winter this escaping heat from your home will rise and gather in the top of the attic. This heat will then permeate through the roof in the absence of proper ventilation.  If the home is in a snow region this will cause the snow to prematurely melt which in turn causes ice dams at the eaves. An overly heated attic can also cause water vapor to condense.  If this moisture cannot escape (proper ventilation) there is a chance of water accumulation in the attic of the home. In these cases homeowners think they have a roof leak, only to find out that there is excessive moisture in the attic leaking down through the ceiling.

Insulation will keep the warm air in your home and should reduce heating costs.

Rain Gutters & Proper roof drainage

Rain Gutters & proper roof drainage are the fourth component of the roofing system.  In areas with expansive soil such as Colorado & Wyoming proper water drainage away from the home is critical.  If the water is allowed to accumulate next to the base of the home damage to the foundation can occur. The best practice is to direct all water at least 4 feet away from the home. Clogged gutters are one of the most common gutter problems Excel sees.   Clogged gutters causes water to overflow the gutters next to the home, this can flood a basement, which is not covered by insurance. Excel has not seen a gutter protection system that work effectively.

Because of this Excel recommends cleaning the gutter at least once a year, late October after the leaves fall is the best time to do this.  If the home is has lots of trees around it cleaning the gutters in both Fall & Spring is a good idea.


Each component of the roofing system is important. They must designed, and installed correctly for the system to function as a whole. At Excel, we specialize in entire roofing systems from choosing the right roofing material, making sure the attic ventilation is correct, we can help evaluate the insulation, and make sure the gutter system works properly. We make sure every element of your roofing system is installed correctly and works effectively.  Whatever your roofing needs are Excel Roofing can help you. Whether you need a leak repaired or a complete roof replacement contact Excel Roofing today! 

What is a Cool Roof?

diagram of a cool roof

What is a Cool Roof?

A cool roof is a roof that absorbs less of the sun’s heat, and transfers less heat into the building.

Summer heat can make a house hot! Certain roofs will make the house hotter, and some “cool roofs” can make it cooler.  The most important factor for how much heat the roof absorbs is the color of the roofing material. A dark roof absorbs more heat than a light colored roof.  

The heat the roof absorbs is transferred into the building, this has a big impact on the inside temperature of a home. Having a cool roof can result in summer monthly power savings between 7%-15% to air condition a home.

Different types of roofing installations transfer the heat into the building differently. 

Asphalt and Steel roofs absorb and transfer the most heat to a structure because they are installed directly to the roof deck (plywood).  Steel roofs get so hot they require a special underlayment that will not melt and ooze out from under the metal! Elevated roofs such as concrete tile or stone coated steel will not transfer as much heat to the structure.  This is because they are typically installed on an elevated wood batten system creating a dead air space between the roofing and the plywood deck. This in turn transfers less heat into the building.

What Are Cool Roofs?

diagram of a cool roof

The Cool Roof Council rates roofing materials for solar reflectance and thermal emittance. New roofing technology has made cool roofs a new, cost effective way to combat heat from the sun’s rays.  The scale for reflectance and thermal emittance is from 0 to 1–with 1 being optimal. Cool roofs are made from materials that reflect the sun’s rays up to four times more than standard roofing materials.  Cool roofing materials will reflect parts of the light spectrum that are invisible to the human eye but carry a lot of heat.

Asphalt shingle Cool Roofs are a great option for a residential roof replacement

Asphalt Shingle cool roofs have a lot of benefits in terms of initial cost effectiveness, these types of roofs also last longer than traditional roofs.  During excessive heat, traditional asphalt shingles become more brittle, making them more susceptible to wind and hail damage. The durability, and lowered chances of a roof insurance claim with these roofs during summer months is another advantage of using a cool roof.

It’s not just a roof, it’s the Roof System

It’s not just the color of the Roof material, it’s an entire system.  The 3 system components are: 

The roof covering -a cool, hail resistant material is best

Attic ventilation -1 to 150 ventilation ratio, utilizing a mechanical fan to exhaust hot air is best

The Attic insulation -R49, 20 inches of attic insulation is best 

Theses 3 components need to be designed and installed correctly in order to optimize the energy efficiency of the system. 

Top roofing companies know the best replacement roof systems

If you have an insurance claim and are getting a new roof, you should contact an A+ rated BBB company like Excel Roofing.  We know the best cool, hail resistant, energy saving roof system for you. Important tip, never pay a roofing contractor any money up front, at Denver’s best roofing company, “You Don’t Pay A Cent Until You’re Content”!  If you have any questions, or need an estimate schedule an inspection with the cool roofing experts at Excel Roofing!  

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