Categories: Home Improvement

How Heat and Humidity Affect Your Roof and What to Do About It

July 28, 2020

Though it may seem static, your roof is actually constantly changing, depending on the weather. While your roof is quite robust and built to withstand extreme conditions, these harsh conditions will eventually take their toll. To ensure that your home remains protected, it’s important to identify when your roof has been negatively affected so that you can act to reverse the damage. Here are a few ways that heat and humidity can affect your roof and some suggestions about what local roofers can do to fix it.

Weak Sheathing

A serious risk that comes from high humidity is a weakening of the plywood sheathing that supports your home’s shingles. If humidity is trapped in your attic, it can become so concentrated that it dampens the wood in your roof. Over time, this can cause the sheathing to sag to the point that you see hills and valleys all along your roof. To help prevent this, it’s important to upgrade your attic’s ventilation to allow humidity to escape before it has a chance to build up.

Curling Shingles

If the heat in your area becomes especially excessive, it can cause the shingles on your roof to curl. This is especially common if the roofers who put your roof on weren’t thorough in how they attached the shingles to the roof. Most of the time, this curling will stop when the heat goes away. However, if there is a summer storm while the shingles are curled, it could lead to roof leaks. Therefore, if you notice curling shingles, be sure to have a professional roofer replace the problem shingles.

Excessively Dry Wood

In general, the wood in your roof needs a relatively stable level of humidity to continue to do its job properly. Therefore, if the weather remains dry for too long, it can cause the wood fibers to shrink due to the lack of moisture. If this persists for too long, cracks can appear in the wood that can cause some of the roofing nails to work their way back up through the shingles. Known as nail pops, these exposed nails can lead to roof leaks and should be fixed by hammering the nails back through the shingle and sealing the holes with roofing tar.

Mildew Growth

If water finds its way beneath your shingles, you’ll have more than roof leaks to worry about. Since the water will be protected from quick evaporation, it could pool under your shingles. This long-term water exposure can cause mildew to grow, which can weaken your roof and lead to sinus issues. It’s important, then, that if you discover a leak, you do a thorough check to ensure that all the water has been removed so that no mildew has a chance to grow.

Many of the problems mentioned above can largely be avoided if your roof is installed properly, and your attic is properly vented. Therefore, it’s important to choose an experienced contractor who can take their time to complete the job correctly. Starting with the proper protections will help your house avoid damage for years to come.

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