A properly functioning roof ventilation system is crucial in any home. It provides continuous airflow through and out of your attic. It creates the right air balance and controlling the moisture that lingers in your home. Investing in proper roof ventilation is essential in keeping a safe and comfortable home.
If there are problems with the ventilation, moisture from everyday activities such as washing the laundry and dishes and showering can rise to the attic and slowly collect. This can lead to several severe and expensive repair problems.
Here are some of the most common problems caused by poor roof ventilation:
Roofing System Deterioration
Roofs naturally age after years of exposure to extreme elements until it eventually reaches the end of its service life. However, some problems can shorten the lifespan of your roof. Poor roof ventilation and attic insulation usually cause early roof deterioration.
The ventilation system serves to regulate the intake and outtake of air in your attic to keep your shingles at an ideal temperature. When the roof ventilation is not functioning correctly, it can cause excessive moisture and heat, leading to dry rot on the roof decking.
Dry rot is such an issue because the fibers make wood timbers and beam strong and rigid. In turn, this will affect the performance of your shingles and underlayment. The damage will not be limited to your roof structure or attic. It will also spread and damage any affected lumber.
As a result, the roofing system would require costly repairs. In some cases, it might even require a replacement. Unfortunately, it won’t be covered by the warranty from the manufacturer. If your roof damage is proven to be caused by the lack of ventilation, it can result in your warranty voided.
Keep an eye out for the signs of a shortened roof lifespan caused by inadequate roof ventilation, including the premature loss of grains or cracking roofing shingles.
A roofing system is made up of many different metal components. These include nails that hold the underlayment in place, fasteners that connect shingles to your roof decking, and flashing that protects the seams and inserts from water damage.
As a result of the moisture build-up, these metal components are at risk of developing rust. Rust can weaken metal roofing materials and cause them to fail. In turn, this can become a source of serious water leakage. It can also rust things like plumbing, heating, and venting duct straps and prematurely break.
Sagging or Spongy Decking
The decking and framework of your roof is the plywood sheathing that sits below the shingles. It provides a flat plane that can be fastened for the shape of the stability of a roof. It also creates a path for workers to use. When excessive moisture seeps into the roof decking, it will dissolve the adhesives that hold them together, causing it to warp and sag.
A sagging roof is not a problem that can be solved by putting in new shingles. When you install new shingles onto a sagging roof deck, it can cause more damage to your home over time. The nails on the shingles won’t hold, resulting in losing entire sections to wind or gravity. This also presents a grave threat to anyone who walks on it.
More importantly, your roof may be in danger of collapse once the decking starts to sag.
Excessive heat and High Energy Costs
Apart from the structural damages mentioned above, poor roof ventilation can result in uncomfortable and unhealthy living conditions.
In the warm months, poor roof ventilation can trap the heat from the sun, making your interior hotter. As the heat builds up, air conditioners will have to work harder to cool your living space, particularly in the upper levels. This undue stress will drive up energy costs and reduce the unit’s life, causing the need for more frequent repairs or sooner.
Ice dams are a common problem during the winter caused by poor roof ventilation. Hot air can get trapped in the attic if the roof isn’t properly ventilated, which will melt the snow piled on top of your roof. As it reaches along the edges of the roof, the melted snow will start to refreeze. The freeze-thaw cycle will create a barrier or dam that prevents water from running off the roof.
Roof damage caused by ice dams can be extensive. Once it starts damming, the water and ice can creep back up under the shingles and underlayment and into your living space. This may result in leaks that can damage your ceiling, walls, and insulation.
Mold & Mildew
The warm and humid settings caused by a poorly ventilated roof creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew growth. During the winter months, the attic’s cold air will meet with the rising moist air from your everyday activities, which creates condensation. When condensation drips, mold growth will start to spread.
Mold and mildew can damage items stored in your attic if left unchecked. Additionally, it can waft into your living space and cause health problems. Molds are known to produce allergens and irritants.
Any sensitive individuals in your home can suffer from allergic reactions after touching mold or mold spores. These allergic responses may appear in the form of sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes. For people with asthma, it can also trigger asthma attacks. Even non-allergic people can be affected. Your eyes, nose, skin, throat, and lungs can get irritated after being exposed to mold.
Avoid these problems by having your roof ventilation system inspected at least every few years. Look for any weather abrasions such as cracks, loose vents, as well as broken or missing tiles around the vents. It would help to look for anything that may be blocking the vents. This includes leaves and other debris. Make sure to also inspect the attic or roof deck for damage caused by moisture or heat.
You can obtain help regarding a roof ventilation system inspection, roof maintenance, repair, or replacement from roofing experts like Fahey Roofing + Contracting.
Fahey Roofing + Contracting has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. Visit our website today at www.faheyroofingcontractors.com or contracts us at (304) 826-1323 for West Virginia or (740) 523-0380 for Ohio to learn more.