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Should I Cover My Roof Turbines in the Winter?

Roof of building with wind turbine (vent)
When the conversation turns to whirlybirds, you may be expecting descriptions of birdsongs, flightpaths, or feather patterns. If so, you’ll be sadly disappointed. While whirlybirds do hang out on roofs, they don’t consume birdseed or suet. That’s because a whirlybird is a more whimsical name for a roof turbine. If these spinning roof vents are on your home or business, there’s a question to ponder: Should I cover my roof turbines in the winter?

Should I Cover My Roof Turbines in the Winter?

If you are considering covering your roof turbines, you’ll need to know a bit about the importance of roofing ventilation. It also helps to learn what a roof turbine is. Then, you might want to explore the arguments for and against covering them. In addition, you may want to investigate some options for covering them.

Why Roofing Ventilation Matters

Your roof plays a vital role in protecting your building and its contents from the elements. If its primary purpose is to keep the weather out, why would you want to cut holes in it to install roof vents? Roofing ventilation is an essential element for a healthy roofing system. Without it, you can have numerous problems:

  • Premature aging of your roof
  • Damage to your rafters, insulation, and roof sheathing
  • Rotting wood
  • Mold and mildew
  • Ice dams
  • Increased strain on the building’s climate control
  • Higher energy usage and expenses

What Is a Roof Turbine?

As HomeAdvisor explains, a roof turbine is a wind-powered exhaust vent that helps to tug unwanted heat and moisture from the attic space. When the wind blows, it spins, pulling air out of the attic. In doing so, it helps to reduce the risk of wood rot, mold, and mildew. No electricity is needed to operate this vent because the wind does the work. What about the times when there’s no breeze? When the air is still, a wind turbine operates like a simple box vent. Convection draws air through the vent.

The Pros and Cons of Covering Roof Turbines

Should I cover my roof turbines in the winter? People don’t generally climb up onto their roof for fun. Why go to the trouble of covering the roof turbines? Remember, these vents release heat from the attic space, so covering them can reduce the amount of heat that escapes from your home. Depending on your situation, this could help keep you more comfortable and reduce your energy costs.

Why wouldn’t people cover their roof turbines? In places where winters are very long, cold, and snowy, a cold attic is desirable. It serves as a barrier between the heated living space and the roof that helps to prevent the formation of damaging ice dams. When ice dams form, they trap melted snow and ice on the roof. If it doesn’t evaporate or find a way down, this icy water can seep under your roof’s shingles, causing trouble. Clearly, covering your roof vents when you live in this kind of climate would be a mistake. This is especially true if covering your roof turbines also traps moisture inside your attic.

Covering Roof Turbines in Missouri

Should you cover your roof turbines if you live or work in Missouri? With Missouri’s varied climate, it’s best to pay attention to the cues your roof offers. You can cover your roof turbines if you choose. However, you’ll need to pay attention. Watch for signs of condensation. If you see any, uncover every other roof turbine.

Roof Turbine Covers

You have decided that you want to try covering your roof turbines. Now, where do you find covers? If your local hardware store doesn’t have them in stock, you can order them online. You can even make your own with online tutorials like this one from Simple Practical Beautiful. If you go this route, be sure to choose your material wisely. Look for a durable fabric that will allow moisture to escape.


We hope that answered all of your questions about roof turbines and how they fare in winter weather!

When you have a roofing question, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready with user-friendly answers. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, we’re fully licensed and insured and dedicated to delivering the best service possible to our friends and neighbors here in Southwest Missouri. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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