Roof vents are necessary for proper air circulation in the attic, where temperatures can rise enough to cause damage. Many instances of emergency roof repair can be avoided just by ensuring there is enough ventilation in your attic.
Why Poor Roof Ventilation Is Bad
Installing a roofing system without or with little ventilation is one of the most common reasons behind roof damage. Hot air naturally rises, so when it reaches the roof, it should have a way to exit your home.
However, if there isn’t enough ventilation in your attic, or if there is none at all, there is no way for heat to leave. When it’s trapped in the attic, the space becomes very hot. This can also affect the comfort level in your home.
Your roof being pummeled by heat from both sides is soon going to suffer damage. While you might be diligent in performing scheduled roof maintenance, if heat is trapped under the roof, your efforts still won’t be enough to keep your roof healthy over a long time. It wouldn’t be surprising if your roof does not reach the expected life span of its materials.
High heat often leads to high humidity levels, which means your roof will have moisture problems that can lead to stained walls, sagging ceilings, decaying wood, a damp underlayment and mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew are not simply aesthetic problems, as they can cause health concerns such as allergic reactions and respiratory difficulties among the members of the household.
The heat in your attic will also lead to ice dam formation in winter. This happens because the snow that ends up at the top of your roof will melt faster than the snow at the edges, where temperatures are lower. The melted snow will then refreeze at the edges of the roof, forming an ice dam that prevents more water from draining. The water is forced to back up and enter beneath the roofing material. This leads to leaks, which might force you to call for emergency roof repair in the middle of a snowstorm.
If your gutters and downspouts are clogged, that can also contribute to the formation of ice dams. It can also cause your gutters and downspouts to freeze, which can lead to cracks.
Poor roof ventilation can lead to many expensive problems, so it’s best to talk to your contractor about inspecting your roof and taking the necessary steps to improve its ventilation.
Why You Shouldn’t Cover Roof Vents in Winter
A roof with ample ventilation is less likely to overheat in the summer. But what will happen when winter comes?
If your attic has a vent problem, it will remain hot even during winter. Your attic will become cold when temperatures begin to drop if there is ample ventilation. However, this is not like trapped heat. It’s not likely to damage your roof or increase your HVAC’s energy consumption.
There is no need to cover your attic ventilation systems. Keeping them open will allow air to circulate, which is what your roof really needs if you want to protect it from damage.
There is plenty of moisture during winter. Covering your roof vents traps heat, but it also prevents moisture from naturally leaving your home. Moisture is one of the worst enemies of your roof and the rest of your home, including electronics.
Preventing Heat Loss Through Roof Vents
Most people cover their roof vents in winter to prevent the heat from escaping. However, the proper way to deal with this is to install attic insulation. Blown-in insulation, as well as insulating boards, are great for attics. This will prevent your heated indoor air from reaching your attic and leaving through the vents. Plenty of attic insulation is good for both hot and cold seasons, as it keeps your home more comfortable without overworking your heating or cooling equipment and using too much energy.
When you add insulation to your attic, it’s a good idea to call a professional to do it for you. You don’t want blown-in insulation to accidentally block your attic vents. While the added insulation will prevent heat loss in winter, it can lead to other problems, such as mold and mildew growth due to trapped moisture.
Preparing Your Roof for Winter
Residential and commercial roofing repair services are important for the survival of residential and commercial roofing systems. Without regular and proper maintenance schedules, a roof’s life is shortened, and this will lead to more expensive repairs or even premature roof replacement.
Leaky roofs can also damage other components of your home, including your appliances and your home’s foundation. Your health may also be affected by the growth of mold and mildew, as well as the presence of pests like cockroaches, rats and termites, which favor places where there is plenty of moisture.
Homeowner’s insurance providers can also refuse to insure your home if your roof lacks maintenance. The same is true if you try to file a warranty claim with a roofer or manufacturer. Proper roof maintenance can save you from a lot of problems.
To prepare your roof for winter, make sure to:
- Clean your roof by removing debris such as leaves, branches and pine needles.
- Remove debris from your gutters and downspouts to prevent clogs.
- Have your roof inspected for problems, including cracked or loose shingles, popped nails, broken or corroded flashings and chimney boots and other signs of deterioration.
- Have your roof inspected for ventilation problems so your contractor can suggest the best way to address them, such as adding static ventilation or fans.
- Inspect your roof for signs of leaks in the attic.
Talk to your contractor about fixing any potential problems before winter so you won’t have to go through the ordeal of fixing your roof in the middle of the freezing weather. It’s also a good idea to inspect your roof once again when winter ends, just to make sure the freezing temperatures and the snow and ice have not caused any damage.
Get in touch with Superior Construction Co. for your roof repair or replacement, as well as for your regular maintenance needs. We offer residential and commercial roofing repair services. Call us today at (978) 807-1401 or fill out this form.