Providing your roof with adequate ventilation is vital to prolonging the life of your building, and saving money in the long term by avoiding costly structural repairs due to mould, rot, or damp that will occur throughout your building in the absence of proper roof ventilation.
Roof ventilation is important to maintaining the structural integrity of your home, as well as reducing energy costs, and creating a safe environment to live in.
View our guide to roof ventilation below, and browse our range of opening rooflights to aid ventilation in your home.
Why does mould grow on walls?
Warm air contains moisture particles. As the warm air rises and hits the colder roof, the difference in temperature causes the moisture to cool and release water onto the surface, which can form a damp spot over time; particularly on materials such as wood, fabric, and brick – all of which can absorb water. Once a damp patch has formed, it can capture mould spores that are present throughout the atmosphere and encourage them to grow into colonies.
Mould occurs throughout most environments, providing a vital role in nature as a means of breaking down dead organic matter like trees and fallen leaves. It is likely that your house will already contain mould particles in the air, which is completely normal for most homes, so you should ensure the rooms of your house are properly ventilated to not encourage mould growth on damp surfaces.
Sources of moisture on roofs
Your average household routine of washing, cooking, drying clothes, and even breathing, releases moisture into the atmosphere, which can produce up to 14 litres of water vapour in a 24 hour period. If your house is not properly ventilated then this will cause major growth of mould in a relatively short period of time. This is particularly important for the top floor and roof of your house as hot air rises, causing more condensation to form.
Below we have included some of the most common reasons that condensation and moisture will form in your house.
Most household activities will produce some form of moisture in the atmosphere. Anything from washing dishes, breathing, or taking a shower will produce moisture in the air, but these issues can be alleviated by providing adequate ventilation in your rooms by opening windows or turning on extractor fans.
If you are in a new build property, there will be a considerable amount of moisture used in the building materials that could take up to 2 years to fully evaporate. A typical housing block will require around 8000 litres of water to build, which is used for things like cement. The evaporation of this water will usually be noticed in the form of minor cracks forming on your walls.
Weather events such as rain and high temperatures will create excess moisture in the air. You may notice condensation on your windows in the winter months when you are cooking, and this type of moisture must be properly ventilated to avoid accumulation on absorbent materials such as brickwork, plaster walls, and furniture fabrics.
Increase energy efficiency with proper ventilation
Providing your home with proper roof ventilation will allow you to reduce the cost of cooling down your home by letting hot air escape through window openings. This can potentially save you thousands over the course of your occupancy, and taking steps to invest in proper ventilation for your home will help offset any extra energy costs.
Learn more about energy efficiency with our blog ‘Are Rooflights Energy Efficient?’.
Increase your roof’s lifespan
Providing proper ventilation in your roof space will prevent the accumulation of mould, which if left untreated could be costly to fix, as mould can ultimately damage the overall structural integrity of your roof. In addition to this, if your roof space is allowed to accumulate excess heat, this can damage wood and PVC fittings by causing them to warp over time.
How can I ventilate my roof?
There are a number of ways to provide proper ventilation for your roof, with one of the best methods being to install a rooflight or skylight with either automatic or manual opening options. Some rooflight types are multifunctional, and can provide access to your roof space as well as ventilation.
The COXDOME Access Hatch Roof Dome can be fitted on standard builders upstands, and will fully open to provide access to your roof with manual opening options available.
You can also view our range of smoke vents and access hatch rooflights, which provide both ventilation options, and emergency opening functions in the case of fires or excess smoke.
What opening rooflights do we sell?
We sell a range of opening rooflights, including:
- TGS Electric & Manual Opening Rooflights
- Fakro Centre Pivot Roof Window Pitched
- Coxdome Manual Glass Opening Rooflight with 160mm vertical upstand
- Electric Opening Polycarbonate Rooflight – Mardome Trade
- Dome Rooflight Manual Opening
- Access Hatch Rooflights
BS 5250-2021 British standards on moisture accumulation
In 2021, the British building regulations were updated, which included guidance on the accumulation of moisture in residential buildings. These regulations are taken into consideration during the design and construction phase of building development, and they state that the building designer should consider the following:
- Water incorporated during the construction process (including precipitation)
- Precipitation after construction
- Water vapour arising from the occupants and their activities
- Temporary condensation occurring when cold weather conditions are followed by warm, humid weather
The regulations also state that the building fabric should provide a weathertight envelope to minimise or prevent the ingress of moisture from external sources, and BS 5534 deals with the construction of pitched roofs. The 2018 amendment to BS 5534 and the introduction of BS 8612 have sought to improve the product quality and standard of installation of dry-fix roofing systems.
Internally, moisture is generated by building occupants and their activities. Perspiration, respiration, cooking, cleaning and washing can all generate significant quantities of moisture that needs to be removed from the building, usually by ventilation.
BS 5250 acknowledges that occupants rarely use a building in the manner intended by the designer. It recommends adopting “fail-safe” solutions to account for the likely difference between theory and reality.
More helpful blogs
- Considerations Before Buying a Rooflight
- Building Regulations and Planning Permission for Rooflights: Complete Guide
- Rooflight Sizes: A Complete Guide
- Can You Install a Rooflight on a Flat Roof?
- Can You Add a Rooflight to a Garage?
What rooflights do we sell?
We sell an impressive range of rooflights and skylights, including: