When you think about threats to your home's shingle roofing, you probably picture snow, wind, or a blazing sun. Few homeowners consider the impact of their attic on the roof above it, or vice-versa. But attic ventilation is a critical part of preserving the health of shingle roofing, and you should always incorporate as much airflow as possible when installing a new roof. These are just a few of the ways ventilation in your attic interacts with roofing.
Conserving Cooling Energy
Ventilation keeps attic spaces dry and cool. Because hot air floats upward, it naturally collects in attic spaces. Shingles act as insulation, and so temperatures may rise faster than the heat can disperse. This gradually trickles back down to your living spaces and raises room temperatures. Your air conditioner and appliances then struggle to keep up, increasing energy costs as a consequence. Shingle temperatures rise as the heat radiates through them which might also shorten their life span.
Avoiding Moisture Buildup
Attic temperatures may hurt your energy bill, but your roof can usually withstand higher temperatures from below. More damaging, however, is the moisture also associated with poor airflow. Attic ventilation regulates not just temperature but dryness. Hot, humid air creeps its way into roofing materials, where it can do real damage. Shingles and their underlayment can warp and become brittle as they dry out and grow moist again. If it happens too often, they could lose years of their natural life span.
Preventing Ice Dams
In winter, you might believe a warm attic is a good thing. But in reality, it can cause expensive problems like ice dams. An ice dam occurs when hotter air at the peak of a roof melts snow along the ridge. The water flows down the roof as intended, but by the time it reaches the eaves, it freezes again. This puts an undue burden on parts of the roof and leads to melt-water backups. With nowhere to go, water runs down the roof, pools, and eventually seeps through the damaged shingles.
Prolonging the Life of Your Shingles
All of these factors can shave years off your shingle roofing and leave you footing expensive repair bills. That's why it's essential to get attic ventilation right the first time. Always choose skilled, professional roofers, and talk to them about the unique needs of your home. With a few extra precautions, you can keep your attic cool and dry and protect your home investment in the process.
Contact a local roofing service, such as Pelican Roofing, to learn more.