Ventilation & Your New Roof
An oft ignored facet of the durability of your new roof is proper ventilation. Heat and moisture can build up in your attic, making the rafters rot faster and causing shingles to buckle. That’s why louvers, vents, eaves and slits are important.
Your ideal attic will have a secure layer of insulation on the floor that prevents heat loss from the house, a vapor retarder beneath it to prevent moisture from reaching the attic and enough vented open space to let the circulation of air happen freely. Having a space of at least an inch between the insulation and sheathing is recommended. The NCRA recommends 1 square foot of free vent area for every 150 sq.feet of attic floor.
What Will Harm Your New Roof?
Your roof’s performance is at the mercy of various elements of nature.
Sunlight and heat cause wear and tear of your roofing material, with direct exposure to the sun accelerating this process.
Rain water seeping beneath shingles and shakes can cause the roof structure to rot and weaken it. Damp encourages growth of moss, mildew and fungi.
Wind can stress shingles and even lift them right off. Damage can be extensive if the quality of your new roof isn’t good.
Snow and ice in colder climates can cause physical injury to your new roof. When the ice melts, unless water flows off it can create more harm.
Condensation in moist weather promotes decay of wooden components of your roof. Ventilation can help minimize damage from condensation.
Moss, algae and fungi grow on moist wood or even shingles and shakes. They not only weaken the structure, but also create health hazards for residents.
Trees, branches and leaves near the building can potentially impact your new roof by falling on it or pressing upon it.
Other factors that can weaken your roof are the result of wear and tear on your roof, with missing or torn shingles, deterioration of poor quality roof shingles and flashing degradation leading to damage.
A new roof is a major undertaking. Some home owners may be qualified to install one themselves. Most are not, and seek the services of a roofing professional. If you fall into that category, hopefully you have enough information to hire the right one for your needs.