If you have noticed signs of damage to your roof (including curling shingles and mildew growth), the culprit may actually be your attic. While there are other factors that could be causing your roof to deteriorate (like poor installation), in most cases when a roof is prematurely aging, it will be poor attic ventilation that is at the heart of the issue.
Without good ventilation, moisture builds up in your attic, which slowly eats away at the materials in your roof. In the winter, the drastic difference between the temperatures inside your home versus outside can cause condensation to form inside your attic. The heat from cooking, warming your home, hot showers, and other everyday activities create heat that rises into your attic and affects its moisture level. In the summer, the hot air in your home will be concentrated in your attic, since heat rises. That means that if your attic isn’t properly ventilated, it may be growing mildew year round. It is vital to have the proper vents that will allow warm air to escape without allowing in too much air from outside.
When insulating one’s attic, many homeowners make the mistake of mounting too much insulation in the roof’s eves, which makes it difficult for the air to move in and out of the attic as necessary. Make sure to never cover soffit vents with insulation, because this will stop natural air flow. Soffit vents tend to be the most effective way to ventilate your attic. A contiguous air vent in conjunction with soffit vents are recommended for encouraging the best natural air flow.
Not only does ventilation help maintain the quality of your roof, but it also helps to prevent ice damming in the winter. Ice damming happens when the snow from the roof melts in the sun and then freezes into a sheet of ice that weighs on your roof. Too much of this ice buildup will do harm to your home, and in some severe cases, cause the roof to collapse.
The best way to ensure that your attic is properly vented is to hire a professional. There are a number of methods for creating natural ventilation, including venting the roof deck or attic, and none of these have to involve ripping off your rooftop. Make sure to speak with a professional before attempting to remedy your attic ventilation problems to ensure that it is done correctly and doesn’t cause further harm to your roof.
If you are concerned with the state of your roof and would like someone to examine your attic for venting issues, please contact All Weather Tite in Marlborough, MA. We are roofing experts with years of experience in venting roofs and attics, and would be happy to help you make sure that your home is in good condition.