In the summer, good attic ventilation reduces heat buildup and can cut cooling costs and prolong shingle life. In the winter, warm, moist air seeps into the attic from the living space below. Proper ventilation allows the heat and moisture to escape keeping your attic dry and reducing the likelihood of ice dams. Here are four signs of an unventilated or under ventilated attic:
Check your eaves and roof. If you don’t see any attic vents on the roof or in the eaves, you need to either add some yourself, if you’re comfortable with that level of home repair, or consult a professional. Your roof may have a ridge vent, which is a low profile air vent running along the peak of the roof or it may have gable vents, which are openings at the top of gables.
Touch your ceiling on a warm, sunny day. A hot ceiling tells you that the attic is acting like a solar oven, raising your cooling bills and cooking the shingles.
Thick ridges of ice on your eaves in winter are a sign of poor attic ventilation. Warm air that escapes rooms below gets trapped in the attic. Snow melts and the water refreezes on the cold eaves, creating ice dams.
Warm air that escapes living space also carries moisture that will condense on rafters or roof sheathing. Grab a flashlight and inspect your attic during the winter. If you see dampness or frost, you need better roof ventilation and some attic vents.
For the best results, place roof ventilation near the roof’s peak and soffit vents in the eaves. Air flows in through the soffit vents and out through the roof vents. Vents come in various styles.
How Can Summer Heat Affect Your Roof?
UV Exposure. Your roof most likely takes a considerable amount of beating from UV Rays, in some cases causing premature aging and deterioration. Even on cloudy days, your roof is exposed to UV rays. It’s especially harmful during long, sunny summer days. Some of the effects of UV damage are bleaching, warping and granule deterioration and dissipation.
Heat. When your roof isn’t shaded, the dark color of shingles absorbs heat and on a 90°F day, can reach temperatures as high as 160°F. These high temperatures accelerate deterioration, causing your roofing materials to break down faster. Proper attic ventilation prevents heat buildup and issues with condensation.
Thermal Shock. The roof on your home reaches very high temperatures during the day, causing roofing materials to expand and contract. This weakens your roof’s integrity over time. Expanding and contracting are especially problematic for metal, which is prone to warp and create gaps.
Summer Storms. Wind and hail can cause serious damage to your roof. By dealing with any issues in the spring you may be able to prevent or identify problems early. Be sure to check for damage to the shingles and roof decking, look for damp patches under the eaves.
By being proactive about these common issues you can prolong the life of your roof and help reduce the likelihood of further damage to your home in the future.
How to determine whether you need better attic ventilation
If your roof is in need of replacement,
you are in good hands with the professionals at RCI Roofing.
We are experienced with both commercial and residential Roof Replacements. We will walk you through the options and explain the materials used, warranties offered and answer any questions you may have.
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