Many homeowners are very aware of the costly damage that wind and water can do to their roofs. However, some may not realize that the heat and humidity of warmer months can be equally detrimental. Here is everything you need to know about how heat and humidity can damage your roof, how to avoid it, and what to do if you suspect your roof has been compromised.
How Heat Impacts Your Roof
Heat causes things to expand, and roofing materials are no exception. When your roof is exposed for extended periods of time to high heat, there is a chance that roofing joists, support beams, and decking will start to expand. When this happens to support beams, it causes the flashing to crack, which then creates a space for water and moisture to seep in. High heat also directly impacts shingles by making them curl, bend, and shrink.
The heat from the sun plays a significant role in roof damage during the hotter months, but the heat that rises through your home and into your attic without proper ventilation comes with its own set of risks. When warm air gets trapped in a poorly ventilated attic, it causes the asphalt roofing shingles to blister and crack as well.
How Humidity Impacts Your Roof
When the air feels humid, it’s because there is a lot of moisture in the air. When you combine this moisture with high temperatures, you get a recipe for water damage, even if there isn’t a drop of rain.
When it’s very humid, the moisture in the air can cause your wooden roofing materials, roof decking, and shingles to be compromised. Moisture in the air can also penetrate the exterior roofing materials and get trapped in your attic or crawl space, which can lead to mold. Excessive mold weighs on the plywood and makes it weak. Not to mention that it can be a health risk for your family.
In addition, humidity in the attic can also cause wood to rot, which weakens the structure and stability of your roof. South Carolina has a high, humid, subtropical climate, so roofs in this region are at a higher risk of damage due to humidity.
How To Prevent Heat and Humidity Damage
The number one way to prevent extreme heat and humidity from damaging your roof is ensuring proper ventilation. When air can move freely through your attic, the temperature in this space and the roof can be regulated. When your attic is adequately ventilated, it also reduces the need for your AC unit to work overtime to cool down the home. Proper attic ventilation can reduce many of the problems associated with heat, humidity, and airflow.
Regular roof inspections are also a great way to stay on top of any issues your home may have due to heat and humidity. While you can do a basic roof inspection from the ground, it’s highly recommended to call the professionals to get a better look from the top. Routine inspections help identify roofing problems before they get out of hand.
Other Signs Of Heat Damage On Your Roof
Along with the expansion of materials and shrinking of shingles, there are other signs that your roof has heat and humidity related damaged:
- Degradation. High temperatures are hard on older roofs and can lead to peeling, buckling, and eroding of roof materials.
- Thermal shock. Thermal shock happens when a roof experiences consistent expansion and shrinking due to a rise and fall in temperatures. This can weaken older roofs, causing cracks that allow water, moisture, and debris to settle in.
- Roof discoloration. Just like everything else that is exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, your shingles will also begin to fade and discolor. Not only do faded and discolored shingles make your home look old, but they can also contribute to higher utility costs. The color of the shingles is designed to deflect the sun’s heat, and when these colors are faded, they can’t do so effectively. This could increase the temperatures on your roof, in your attic, and in your home.
Heat or Humidity Damage? Call Homewerx
If you think your roof has suffered during this hot South Carolina summer, contact Homewerx today. We offer free roof inspections and can establish a quick, affordable, and effective way to fix the damage and put measures in place to keep them from happening again.