Prolong the Life of Your Roof with these Attic Tips

Roofing Company Madison WI Roof Contractor Attic CareIn the month of May, our articles focused on roofing — specifically GAF roofing products. In this article, we’re shifting our attention from the roof to the attic.

Why? Because a couple of useful attic tips can help extend the life of your roof, regardless of whether your roof is brand new or not.

Essentially, our attic tips boil down to ventilation and insulation …

A Well-ventilated attic can prolong the life of your roof …

Keeping your attic well-ventilated is a key element in roofing care. It’s something we take into account when we install a new roof on a home, and it’s also something you’ll want to inspect — or have a professional inspect — if you haven’t done so recently.

That said, how do you determine if your attic is well ventilated, or if there are issues that need addressing?

  • Check for mold in the attic. If mold is present, have a professional, local remediation company stop by and take a look. Essentially, with moisture can come mold, mildew, and fungi — which like to grow in warm, moist, dark environments.
  • Heat can dissipate too quickly in the winter, leading to snow or ice buildup (or both) along the roofing — which adds extra weight onto a roofing system. If you find this is happening, it could be caused by a ventilation or insulation issue in your attic, and it’s something that needs addressing ASAP to avoid any further roof stress or failure.
  • Check the condition of the wood. If it’s in bad condition, for example rotted, there might be need for structural repair as well as ventilation improvement. Structural repair could include fixing problems that were caused by the moisture including rusted nails or wood that has remained wet for too long — which can eventually lead to roof deck sagging.

How does ventilation work?
As warm air rises in your home, intake vents naturally draw in colder air from the outdoors. When this happens, the warmer air leaves the home through exhaust vents. It’s simple science, really, and it’s something that happens continuously when an attic’s ventilation is working well. In the warmer months, attics can get very hot, and during those months it is key that your ventilation effectively reduces attic heat.

  • Some technical talk …
    An attic needs to have roof ventilation that has a minimum of one square foot of vent area for every 150 square feet of attic space.
  • This helps intake and outtake vents remain “balanced,” so that fresh air is continuously brought into the attic, while hot air is removed.
  • Airflow can be controlled by sealing and insulating your attic — which can keep the conditioned air in the attic longer.

The importance of attic insulation …
Speaking of insulation, a well-insulated attic is the second critical element to attic health, and subsequently prolonged roof life. This is because attic insulation has the ability to redistribute heat. In summer months, attic insulation blocks heat from getting into your attic (just like insulation in the walls of your home do),  and in winter the opposite process occurs with attic insulation keeping the warm air inside your home. In a nutshell, attic insulation is a protective barrier that helps regulate temperature.

Note: Attic insulation should never be in contact with your roof. If it is in contact, it could trap in moisture and cause damage to your roofing materials.

Need an attic or roof inspection?
Feel free to contact Legacy Exteriors anytime to ask questions, or set up a complimentary inspection of your attic and roofing. We’re happy to help!