Your roofing system is far more intricate than it may appear at first glance. Various components of your asphalt or metal roof work together to protect your family and home from the elements. For example, did you know your attic plays a critical role in your roof’s long-term health and stability?
Making sure your attic is properly maintained and cared for can help prevent roofing problems such as:
- Mold. Though this problem can spread far beyond your roof, if your attic isn’t equipped to handle humidity and hot air in a safe way, it can set the stage for the growth of mold and mildew. Of course, this can contribute to the structural deterioration of your roof, but certain species of mold can also prove quite damaging to your and your family’s health. On top of it all, mold is quite expensive to get rid of, often requiring extensive remediation, as the problem can quickly snowball beyond your control.
- Rust. In a similar vein, if your attic cannot properly handle moisture, this moisture can cause nails and other metal components of your roofing to rust and deteriorate. Many metal roofing brands are made to resist moisture damage. However, your attic’s innards and the nails used to ensure your roof’s stability might not be so lucky.
- Ice dams. Caused in part by a complex reaction between the temperatures outside and inside your attic, these nasty winter nuisances are a major cause of moisture damage to your roof. Ice dams inherently involve standing water, which is majorly destructive to roofing of all sorts, as roofing is designed to allow water to slide off of it, not linger. It sets the stage for everything from soggy attics to the aforementioned mold and rust problems. Watch your roof in the winter for their appearance, and don’t hesitate to call a specialist to take care of them! Calling in a professional roofer after the snow melts to assess any possible damage is also a good course of action.
As you can see, a healthy attic and a healthy roof go hand in hand. Keeping your attic from compromising the integrity of your roof is easy; You just need to keep an eye on its ventilation. Let’s dive a bit deeper into this topic.
Roof and Attic Ventilation
In essence, ventilation is the allowance of outdoor air to enter your attic space – the space directly underneath your roof. This occurs through specialized vents. However, just having these vents doesn’t guarantee your roof is properly ventilated; Complex calculations and strategic placement must occur on the part of the installer in order to allow for just the right amount of ventilation. Too much ventilation and not enough ventilation can both be problematic.
As far as roofing and attic ventilation go, the average homeowner should also be aware of the following:
- It isn’t just the weather and outside humidity levels that can contribute to moisture buildup in your attic. Think of all the activities we use water for every day – showering, washing the dishes, doing laundry, etc. If your attic is improperly ventilated, the water that evaporates from these activities can also contribute to moisture accumulation in your attic, which in turn can damage your roofing.
- There are many ways to improve or otherwise affect attic ventilation. Aside from the aforementioned vents, a seasoned professional can strategically place anything from fans to turbines to promote proper attic ventilation. If your attic is feeling a little stuffy, don’t fret! There are a variety of approaches you and a technician can take to fix the problem before it becomes damaging and irreversible to your roof.
- Some attics are unvented. Though above we cited the importance of vents in attic ventilation and roof health, some attic spaces have been made to function without these items. Professional opinions about the effectiveness of such attics in maintaining roof health vary. If you know for a fact your attic does not have any physical vents, It pays to have a professional check it over to ensure your attic is getting the ventilation it needs (and that your roof is thus structurally sound).