In our roofing world, right now, during the summer months our sales consultants are peeking into and even climbing into attics. The overwhelming majority of attics we see are brutally hot…too, too hot! When an attic is that brutally hot there is potential for serious problems.
Serious problems that could arise due to extreme heat in attics:
-overheating of the wood decking (whether it’s the old time 1” x 6” plywood or the new technology O.S.B. panels) can take all the moisture out of the wood and make it brittle (reducing integrity of the roof decking, durability and promote dry rot).
-overheating in the attic can cause premature degradation of the roofing shingles (causing early and costly replacement. reducing your ROI) .
-overheating can cause moisture build-up and promote mold growth (not a good thing).
-moisture build-up can also sit on fiberglass insulation, compacting the thickness thus reducing the r-value (reducing r-value allows more heat or cold to penetrate into your home).
-excessive heat in the attic can penetrate through the insulation and into your home making your a/c unit work more often and harder (increased wear and tear on your unit reduces longevity).
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Ventilate and Insulate.
Proper ventilation. There are two parts to proper insulation, intake and exhaust. Providing intake air is equally as important as exhausting the attic air.
The intake air brings in fresh, cooler, less humid air. The intake air is pulled up from the edge of your roof and runs along the bottom of the roof decking, cooling the decking, evaporating moisture and replacing the hot, stale, moist air.
Exhausting the attic air…important because it gets rid of the bad air.
Insulation. Not very sexy but very effective increasing the comfort level of your home, reducing the work load for your air conditioning unit as well as the furnace in the winter. Insulating your attic reduces the transferrance of heat into your home in the summer (of course) and reduces the heat going into your attic in the winter time reducing condensation.