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How Your Attic Affects Your Roof


You might not think that your roof and your attic have much to do with each other, but the health of your roof has a lot to do with the health of your attic. Poor attic ventilation can cause costly roofing problems, and homeowners often aren’t aware of an issue before a roofing professional points it out. These problems range from mold and mildew to high energy bills, and they can significantly reduce the lifespan of your shingle roofs.
As Phoenix roofing experts, we know firsthand just how vital the relationship between the roof and the attic is. Here’s what you need to know about how it can impact your home.

What is attic ventilation?

When warm air rises from your home, intake vents draw in cold outdoor air, pushing the warm air out through exhaust vents. This process happens continuously, and attic vents help keep your roof adequately vented. Since attics aren’t climate-controlled, they’re prone to becoming dangerously hot. This is especially true for Phoenix attics during the summer, making proper ventilation to reduce the heat even more critical.

What is attic insulation?

Attic insulation redistributes heat coming from outside your home. During the summer, a well-insulated attic blocks heat from entering your home and raising the temperature. In the winter, the process is reversed, and insulation keeps warm air inside your home. It’s essential that attic insulation does not touch the roof. Otherwise, it can trap moisture and damage the roof materials.

4 Ways Your Attic Can Affect Your Roof

1. Poor Attic Ventilation Can Shorten Your Roof’s Lifespan.

A roof can last anywhere from 25-50 years, depending on your chosen roofing material. For example, shingle roofs last around 20 years, while tile roofs can last up to 50. Poor attic ventilation is one of several factors that can shorten the lifespan of even the most robust roofs. In the summer, poorly ventilated attics can cause heat build-up, and all that hot air can cause adhesives to deteriorate and roofing materials like shingles to crack or curl. When hot air from the home travels into the cold attic in the winter, condensation build-up can occur. The trapped moisture in condensation can cause the roof’s decking to swell and lose its load-bearing capacity.
No matter if it’s hot or cold, proper attic ventilation is critical in helping your roof stay in good condition for years to come.

2. Improper Attic Ventilation May Void Your Materials Warranty.

Often, your roof’s manufacturer’s warranty can be voided if your roof attic doesn’t have proper ventilation. This means that the company won’t pay to repair or replace your roof if materials start to fail prematurely because of poor attic ventilation. The last thing any homeowner wants is to pay for a premature roof replacement, so it’s essential to ensure your attic’s ventilation is working as it should.

3. Shingle Roofs Can Crack or Swell Because of Poor Ventilation.

If your attic can’t ventilate warm air properly, the attic will get hotter and hotter over time. This heat can speed up the deterioration process of shingles and their underlayment. This can prematurely age your roof and potentially result in you having to replace it years before you planned.

4. Moisture from Poor Ventilation Can Damage Your Roof.

Even in Arizona’s dry desert climate, there’s still moisture in the air– particularly during the rainy monsoon season. Condensation can develop if this moist air gets trapped because your attic vents aren’t working. The presence of condensation in the attic often leads to roof decking and roof shingles swelling or buckling. Not only does this look unpleasant, but it also compromises the health of your roof. Condensation can also cause the wooden roofing components to rot, compromising the structural integrity of your roof.
This moist environment is also a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, both of which can wreak havoc on your roofing components. Mold and mildew can also cause health issues, making it even more important to prevent their growth.

Signs of Attic Ventilation Problems

It’s not always easy to notice when your attic has ventilation problems, but there are some common signs to look out for. If you notice any of the following issues in your home, you can call the pros at Ky-Ko Roofing to come out for an inspection.

    -Corrosion or rust on HVAC equipment, electrical boxes, or light fixtures
    -Warping or deteriorating roofing materials
    -Cracked shingle roofs
    -Loss of granules
    -Frost or ice dams developing in the attic and on the rood during the winter
    -Water stains on the sheathing of your roof
    -Frequent repairs or problems with your HVAC system
    -Higher energy bills with no other explanation

A well-ventilated attic can lower your energy bills and make your home comfortable.

Your roof and attic work together with your HVAC system to keep your home at a safe and comfortable temperature all year round. If your attic vents aren’t working as they should or your roof has suffered damage, your HVAC system will have to work harder. This leads to expensive monthly bills and overall energy waste.
Thankfully, by fixing your attic’s ventilation and keeping your roof in good condition, you can lower your energy bills and make your home more energy-efficient than ever. In fact, one of the best home improvement jobs you can invest in is attic ventilation since it affects everything from your HVAC equipment to the health of your roof.

How Ky-Ko Roofing Can Help

Ky-Ko Roofing is the Valley’s premier roofing repair, service, and installation team. We’re here to help with all your roofing needs, and we offer free roof checkups to help you understand the health of your roof. Whether you need your roof repaired or need to troubleshoot a problem, contact us to get started today.