If your attic has poor ventilation, it's probably a matter of time before it affects the condition of your roof. Poor attic ventilation can cause a number of problems for your home, and roof damage is one of the more expensive consequences. Here's how poor ventilation can harm your roof and the repairs that might be needed to get your roof back in shape.
Problems Caused By Poor Ventilation
Without ventilation, your attic builds up heat and humidity. Heat accumulates due to solar heating and from the heat of your house. Humidity also finds its way to your attic as it rises when you shower, wash dishes, or use water in your home. When air can circulate freely in your attic, outdoor air is constantly being pulled in and the warm and humid air is being pushed out. When this air movement stops or is slowed down, then the humidity can lead to mold and rust on the roof, and the heat can cause damage to the shingles, underlayment, and deck.
Types Of Roof Repairs That May Be Needed
If humidity has caused the flashing or other metal parts on your roof to rust, they may need to be replaced to prevent or repair leaking. Heat can also damage the shingles in both the summer and winter. In the summer, it's the intense temperatures that can cause harm. In the winter, when the temperature in the attic is warmer than the outdoor temperature, snow and ice will melt on the roof and form ice dams that force moisture under the shingles.
While your roof may only need to have some damaged shingles replaced, it's also likely your roof has damage to the deck when attic ventilation is poor. If the deck is rotting, moldy, or spongy, it has to be pulled out and new decking installed before new shingles are added. It's even possible that your roof will age much quicker due to poor ventilation and you'll have to replace the roof years sooner than you expected.
Ways To Improve Attic Ventilation
Air is pulled in through soffit vents and then goes out through vents on the top of your roof, so the circulation is constant. If an intake vent is blocked, as can happen sometimes when new insulation is installed, then the circulation of air is diminished. Putting in new vents or unblocking the old ones may fix the problem, but the roofer may also suggest putting in a fan to pull heat out of the attic. The usual system your roof relies on for air circulation is passive and occurs as a result of the way a roof is constructed. If this passive system doesn't provide enough circulation, then adding a fan might be the solution to preventing future roof damage.
Speak to a roof repair professional to learn more.